Hurtigruten to establish Australian beachhead

Sales, marketing and operations team coming down under

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In 2019 and 2020 Hurtigruten, the world’s largest expedition cruise line, will expand its business in the Asia-Pacific region substantially, building an Australia sales, marketing and operations team.

With a growing fleet of 16 ships, Hurtigruten is offering guests unique experiences in some of the world’s most spectacular destinations – from Antarctica, South America, Caribbean and Alaska, to North West Passage, Greenland, Svalbard, Russia or the beautiful Norwegian coast – in a more sustainable way than ever seen before.

Hurtigruten sourced around 60,000 guest nights from the Australian market in 2019, many of them through long-term partnerships with carefully selected travel agents. Now Hurtigruten aims to further strengthening its regional position by opening a dedicated Australia-based office.

Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam and Australia/APAC Managing Director, Damian Perry

“We are confident our sustainable offering is highly attractive for Australia and New Zealand based guests,” Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam said.

Skjeldam has spent the past week in Australia, where Hurtigruten recently launched a .com.au website, and soon to expand their regional team – specifically targeting a market Hurtigruten believes will see substantial growth.

“Hurtigruten’s story and experiences resonate very well with the Australian market, and our customer insights indicate that our travellers have a strong focus on sustainability. The exclusively operational Hurtigruten Australia/NZ team will be passionate like-minded experts and leaders that will support the travel industry and partnerships to build our brand and share our love for expedition travel with fellow explorers,” says Hurtigruten Australia and APAC Managing Director, Damian Perry.

Green initiatives and hybrid powered ships

In an unparalleled move, Hurtigruten – considered the world’s greenest cruise line – is investing more than US$850 million in green technology and sustainability initiatives.

The expedition cruise line is currently building the world’s first hybrid battery powered cruise ship, MS Roald Amundsen, at Norway’s Kleven yard. Debuting in 2019, she will be followed by MS Fridtjof Nansen and a third sister ship in 2021.

In 2018, Hurtigruten became the first major tourism company – and world’s first cruise line – to ban all unnecessary single-use-plastics.

MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen
MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen

In another industry first, Hurtigruten is completely rebuilding existing ships to run on a combination of large battery packs, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and biogas (LBG) made from organic waste such as dead fish.

Hurtigruten is also pushing for construction of shore power facilities and a global ban of heavy fuel oil (HFO).

Hurtigruten CEO: No place for oil rigs in the Bight

Skjeldam and Hurtigruten is also outspoken in the opponent against the oil exploration of The Great Australian Bight, where Norwegian oil giant Equinor is facing fierce resistance against their plans.

“As an outdoor enthusiast, it makes an impact to see the strong opposition that Equinor is facing in Australia. We have recently seen the same protests against oil and gas exploration in pristine areas in Norway. At Hurtigruten we fully stand by the opponents of the controversial Equinor plans. There is no place for oil rigs in the Bight,” Skjeldam said.

“Hurtigruten have operated in some of the world’s most vulnerable waters for more than 125 years, and have seen the effects of climate change as it has happened. There is no need to bring more pollution and more risk to areas that needs less,” Skjeldam said.

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