The boss of Hurtigruten has apologised for failures by the Norwegian cruise line, which has seen an outbreak of Covid-19 on its Roald Amundsen ship.
Reports from Norway say that Hurtigruten chief executive Daniel Skjeldam has admitted that mistakes were made as the cruise line resumed commercial sailings.
The News In English website in Norway said: “The humbled boss of Norway’s Hurtigruten cruise and shipping line has admitted to a breakdown in its own routines regarding coronavirus rules for its newly re-launched cruises.”
It reported that he told Norwegian broadcasters: “A preliminary evaluation shows that there have been weaknesses in several of our internal procedures.
“This is a serious situation for everyone affected. We haven’t been good enough and we have made mistakes.
“On behalf of all of us working at Hurtigruten, I’m sorry for what has happened. We are taking full responsibility.”
Maritime Executive reported that Skjeldam told reporters in Oslo: “We have made mistakes and we have failed in this case. We thought we were ready to start the expedition cruise and that we were well prepared.
“The preliminary review of what has happened on Roald Amundsen shows several deviations from our procedures.”
It is understood that the quarantine rules for foreign crews on expedition cruises had not been followed and passengers should not have been permitted to disembark during the cruise.
An official statement from Hurtigruten yesterday said: “As a response to the coronavirus outbreak on board MS Roald Amundsen, Hurtigruten temporarily suspends all expedition sailings on MS Roald Amundsen, MS Fridtjof Nansen and MS Spitsbergen until further notice.
“36 crew members and several guests have tested positive for Covid-19 in the outbreak on board the expedition cruise ship MS Roald Amundsen.”
In the statement, Skjeldam said: “The safety and well-being of our guests and crew is Hurtigruten’s number one priority. We are now focusing all available efforts in taking care of our guests and colleagues. We are working closely with the Norwegian National and Local Health Authorities for follow-up, information, further testing, and infection tracking.”
Travel Weekly has asked Hurtigruten for a response.
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