As a response to the continuing global coronavirus outbreak, Hurtigruten, the world’s largest expedition cruise line, will extend the temporary suspension of operations from pole to pole.

MS Roald Amundsen in the fjords of Alaska (Photo: HURTIGRUTEN)

– The situation is affecting virtually everyone in one way or another. Hurtigruten is no exception. This is a setback for us, for the local communities we work with and for our guests. But the setback is only temporarily, says Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.

Hurtigruten has not had any confirmed or suspected cases on any ships. But as a result of the extraordinary situation, Hurtigruten has extended the temporary suspension of operations worldwide. 

With the latest development, including local and global travel restrictions and advisories, Hurtigruten has decided to extend the temporary suspension period: 

  • All Hurtigruten expedition cruises will be suspended until May 12. In addition to already cancelled cruises, this includes the MS Fridtjof Nansen’s departure from Hamburg, Germany April 29 as well as MS Spitsbergen’s departure from Longyearbyen May 6.
  • In addition, Hurtigruten’s Alaska expedition cruise season will be postponed to July due to new travel restrictions from Canadian authorities. This means that the May 17, May 31, Jun 12, Jun 24 and July 1 MS Roald Amundsen Alaska departures unfortunately will be cancelled.
  • Operations on the Norwegian coast will be suspended through May 20. As of now, the first scheduled round trip departure from Bergen will be on May 21.  

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 hit hard by travel restrictions. 

– Seeing our ships laying idle for a prolonged period of time instead of exploring is difficult. These are extraordinary and emotional times for the entire Hurtigruten team. But I firmly believe it is the only responsible decision in the extraordinary crisis the world is currently facing, Skjeldam

Daniel Skjeldam (hurtigruten)

– There is nothing we would love more than welcome our guests back to explore the world with us as soon as the situation allows for it. I am confident that Hurtigruten and our explorers will hit the ground running as soon as we resume operations – embarking on life-changing adventures with all the Hurtigruten difference, Skjeldam says.

Flexible rebooking policy

To give explorers the confidence needed for their travel plans in a difficult and uncertain situation, Hurtigruten has introduced a flexible rebooking policy.

Guests who have their voyages cancelled because of the temporary suspension of operations are offered a Hurtigruten Future Cruise Voucher in the amount of 125% of amounts paid (including fees). They will also get a 10% discount on any future Hurtigruten cruise – Expedition or Norwegian Coast – from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2021.

Even though they are not affected by the temporary suspension of operations, guests booked on voyages through 30 September 2020 are offered rebooking, without any rebooking fee and a future discount of 10%, to any future Hurtigruten cruise – Expedition or Norwegian Coastal – for departures between 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2021.

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