Hurtigruten Temporarily Suspends Operations Globally
Hurtigruten, the world’s largest expedition cruise operator, has voluntarily stopped operations from pole to pole until the end of April in response to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
The move follows a similar one in the U.S. Last Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump asked Carnival, Royal Carribean, Norwegian and MSC to voluntarily suspend cruise ship operations from U.S. seaports for a period of 30 days.
Last week Hurtigruten also committed to pause operations in U.S. waters for 30 days. Over the past weeks, Hurtigruten has encouraged guests to move their bookings free of charge and has been helping guests return to their home countries. The expedition cruise company has now paused its global expedition cruise operations through to April 28 and their Norwegian coastal cruises through to April 19.
“To temporarily suspend operations was a difficult decision to make, and it’s an emotional moment for me and the entire Hurtigruten team. But I firmly believe it is the only responsible decision in the extraordinary crisis the world is currently facing,” says Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.
To ensure a smooth and safe pause to operations, Hurtigruten will gradually take their small, custom-built expedition cruise ships out of operation.
“At the same time, in cooperation with the Norwegian government, we will deploy two of our ships in an amended domestic schedule, bringing critical supplies and goods to local communities on the Norwegian coast at this time of crisis,” says Skjeldam.
There have been no confirmed or suspected cases of coronavirus on any Hurtigruten ships.