As a response to the global coronavirus outbreak, Hurtigruten, the world’s largest expedition cruise operator, will voluntarily stop operations from pole to pole until the end of April.
“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.
Like the rest of the cruise industry, Hurtigruten last week committed to pause operations in US waters for 30 days. Over the past weeks, Hurtigruten has encouraged guests to move their bookings free of charge and have been working around-the-clock to help guests return to their home countries.
Now, the expedition cruise company pauses their global expedition cruise operations through April 28 and their Norwegian coastal cruises through April 19.
– One of Hurtigruten’s core values is “We care”. We care about our staff, we care about our guests, we care about the local communities we visit, and not least: We care about our role in the global society. That is why we are now taking these monumental steps to follow up on our continued commitment to take all appropriate actions to combat the spread of COVID-19, says Skjeldam.
Over the past week, Hurtigruten has helped thousands of guests return to their home countries. Dedicated teams are working around-the-clock to assist the limited number of guests still on board Hurtigruten’s ships back home.
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.