Hurtigruten has announced a reorganisation of its cruise operations which will see its expedition business and Norwegian coastal voyages split off as a separate entities, each with their own Chief Executive Officers.
Group CEO Daniel Skjeldam says demand for small ship cruising is thriving in the post COVID-19 era, with strong demand for Hurtigruten’s 2021 and 2022 voyages.
Acknowledging the current challenging period for the entire travel industry, Skjeldam says the set-back is “only temporary”, and that demand for the second half of 2021 is strong across all markets and destinations.
“The demand reflects our predictions that expedition cruises, with all our advantages such as smaller ships, more flexibility and fewer guests, will prove even more popular post-COVID-19,” Skjeldam said.
“We have only seen the beginning of what’s to come. Hurtigruten sees great demand and equally great opportunities in the expedition cruise segment from 2021 and beyond. This is the growth we are preparing for,” Skjeldam added.
The separate businesses will be identified as Hurtigruten Expeditions and Hurtigruten Norway.
Skjeldam will continue to oversee the group’s 15-ship operation and that of the Norway coastal voyages which have been running continuously since 1893 and currently consists of seven custom-built vessels.
Hurtigruten Expeditions will be led by Asta Lassesen.
Lassesen has been at Hurtigruten for more than nine years, holding roles including Chief Financial Officer, Head of Treasury and Group Account Manager, according to her LinkedIn profile. A CEO has yet to be named for Hurtigruten Norway.
“We’ve pioneered the Norwegian coast for more than a century. But the best is yet to come,” Skjeldam said.