Luggage Theft Briefly Delays Antarctic Cruise

A Hurtigruten cruise ship in Antarctica (file image courtesy Genna Roland / Hurtigruten)

Published Dec 5, 2019 2:58 PM by The Maritime Executive

Dozens of passengers aboard a recent sailing of the Hurtigruten expedition cruise ship Roald Amundsen lost their luggage when the truck ferrying it from the airport to the ship was hijacked in Santiago, Chile. The incident led to a brief delay in the ship's departure. 

Last week, the Amundsen was in Punta Arenas preparing for a voyage to Antarctica. A contractor-operated truck ferrying passenger luggage intended for the voyage was hijacked in Santiago, Chile, and it was later found empty; the 200 bags and suitcases it was carrying had been stolen. No Hurtigruten staff or passengers were involved in the incident, according to the cruise line. 

“Hurtigruten is committed to ensuring all guests who have been impacted by this incident have as much support as needed to continue with the voyage,” a Hurtigruten spokesperson told travel industry media. “We are working closely with local law enforcement on the investigation, and have deployed care teams to assist with the staff members involved.”

Though the truck was operated by a local firm, Hurtigruten is offering affected guests up to $2,000 in reimbursement for clothing required for the voyage. It is also facilitating guests' contacts with their travel insurers and other matters related to the theft. 

The voyage was briefly delayed due to the incident, and 15 passengers opted to cancel their participation. On Nov. 29, the Amundsen got under way, and as of Thursday she was operating off the Antarctic Peninsula in the vicinity of the Palmer Archipelago.