Hurtigruten builds APAC workforce with two new hires

Dennis Basham named Regional Sales Manager, APAC

MS Trollfjord, soon to be MS Maud | Image Credit: Hurtigruten

Hurtigruten has appointed Dennis Basham to the newly created role as Regional Sales Manager, based in Brisbane. The Norwegian Coastal and polar expedition cruise line has also recruited Joe Zou as Marketing Lead for China, based out of Hurtigruten’s Melbourne HQ.

“The pool of talented people wanting to get back into the industry has never been stronger,” voiced Damian Perry, Managing Director Hurtigruten Asia Pacific. “All candidates were exceptional. Dennis brings much-needed skills to a specific role in our business as we continue to innovate with global solutions for the re-emerging industry.”

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Basham was formerly Global Head of Marketing, Partnerships & Distribution for On The Go Tours. Prior roles included Back-Roads Touring (a division of Flight Centre Travel Group) Country Manager, Scoot General Manager Australia and over 14 years in various commercial roles within Virgin Australia.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Hurtigruten family, not only is it exciting that after 18+ months, borders are re-opening, it is fantastic to see the industry recovering and recruiting once again across all levels. It gives us all confidence for the much-needed boost in post-COVID tourism,” Basham said.

“We know tourists in the post-COVID era will be making more considered travel choices. It’s an exciting time to be joining Hurtigruten, the leader in sustainable expedition cruising. Hurtigruten sails to the most remote corners of the world – from the Norwegian Fjords to the Antarctic Peninsula – all while educating guests and leaving the smallest environmental footprint possible.”

Basham can be contacted on 0421 109 775 or at

Hurtigruten adventures at sea, Antarctica | Credit: Dave Katz

Meanwhile, Joe Zou is a skilled Business Manager, Sales Leader and Marketer with extensive experience across Australia and China.

“We are fortunate to have found Joe and his knowledge is priceless as we navigate the intricate details of our China solution in what is a subdued market,” Perry said.

Zou has been in the industry for 12 years in the capacity of business leader within the inbound market and now moves to the outbound sector. He led and was co-founder of Oceania Travel Management which was an award winning DMC/ITO. Zou can be reached at

Further roles at Hurtigruten will follow in the coming weeks as the company seeks a PR Manager, E-comm Manager and Customer service and sales staff ahead of a strong 2022 and 2023.

MS Fridtjof Nansen | Credit: MotionAir/Hurtigruten

MS Fridtjof Nansen recognised

Meanwhile, Hurtigruten Expeditions’ battery-hybrid powered MS Fridtjof Nansen has been named the safest and most sustainable cruise ship in the world.

Scope ESG Analysis, a European provider of ESG analysis, carried out the first in-depth assessment of 400 cruise ships focusing on a combination of safety and sustainability.

On top of the list was Hurtigruten’s expedition cruise ship MS Fridtjof Nansen – equipped with large battery packs, shore power connection and a wide range of green technology.

The independent ranking is published in cooperation between Scope and Europe’s largest current affairs magazine, Stern. According to Stern and Scope, they “want to offer environmentally conscious travellers a decision-making aid and an incentive for the cruise industry to continue to invest in sustainability and safety”.

“To be recognised for our commitment towards sustainability and safety by such a world-renowned ratings agency is a fantastic endorsement and testament to our commitments to operate as sustainable as possible. This is also recognition our crew and staff and their hard work, making us a little bit better, a little bit more sustainable while creating unique experiences with our guests every single day,” said Asta Lassesen, CEO of Hurtigruten Expeditions.

Scope and Stern’s cruise ship ranking is 70% based on a score for sustainability, and 30% on safety. For sustainability, the score is calculated based on a number of criteria, such as CO2 emissions (with different target values set for different types, sizes and years of construction for ships), use of emission and water purification systems, limitations on operations, and disposal of waste.

For safety, the criteria such as quality of ship and the operator, results from port state controls, and incidents were taken into consideration.

MS Fridtjof Nansen will spend her full maiden-season sailing expedition cruises from Hamburg to the Norwegian coastline.

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