In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, Hurtigruten will extend the temporary suspension of worldwide sailings to mid-June. The company envisages to gradually restart operations from 16 June.
“We are two months into what is a truly extraordinary situation. In one way or another, the consequences of the pandemic impact us all,” Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam said.
As the company extends pole-to-pole operations of its fleet of small, custom-built ships until 15 June, Skjeldam says Hurtigruten hopes to gradually restart its cruises from mid-June.
“There is still a lot of uncertainty in what the next weeks and months will bring. However, we do see international restrictions gradually being lifted. Step by step the pandemic is being brought under control. Businesses are reopening and everyday life is slowly getting back to a degree of normality,” Skjeldam remarked.
In Norway, which is one of the most popular destinations for Arctic cruises and where Hurtigruten is headquartered, schools, kindergartens, restaurants, cinemas and hairdressers are already open and travel restrictions are being gradually lifted.
“Gradually restarting operations within Norwegian waters are the natural first steps towards normalisation for us. The size and scale of our step-by-step restart is dependent on national and international travel restrictions, government support and other external factors outside of our control. But we are eager to welcome guests on board our ships again,” he said.
Hurtigruten also plans to gradually restart Arctic expedition cruises this summer.
Operations update 12 May 2020
Following the latest pandemic developments, including local and global travel restrictions and advisories, and government support, Hurtigruten has decided to extend the temporary suspension of operations.
Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Voyages
Operations on the scheduled Bergen – Kirkenes – Bergen voyages will be suspended until 15 June 2020.
A gradual restart of operations on the Norwegian coast is planned to begin with the departure of MS Finnmarken from Bergen on 16 June.
In agreement with the Norwegian Ministry of Transport, Hurtigruten has deployed two ships in an amended domestic schedule. The newly upgraded MS Richard With and MS Vesterålen is bringing critical supplies and goods to local Norwegian communities. This service will continue through to 15 June.
Hurtigruten Expedition Cruises
All Hurtigruten expedition cruises are temporarily suspended, with a number of voyages affected – including voyages with battery hybrid-powered MS Fridtjof Nansen to Norway and MS Roald Amundsen to Alaska and the Northwest Passage, as well as some cruises to Svalbard and Iceland. Full details here.
Hurtigruten plans to gradually restart expedition cruises in areas where restrictions are lifted – where and when it believes it is safe. All booked guests will be notified of any changes that will affect their voyage no later than three weeks (21 days) before the scheduled departure.