Hurtigruten extends suspension of sailings

Hurtigruten has extended its temporary suspension of all operations in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

All expedition cruises are now suspended, until at least May 12.

Hurtigruten had already suspended Norwegian coastal voyages until April 19 and polar expedition sailings until April 28.

The line said it has not had any confirmed or suspected cases of Covid-19 on board any of its ships.

Chief executive Daniel Skjeldam said: “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.”

Cancellations include MS Fridtjof Nansen’s departure from Hamburg, Germany, on April 29 and MS Spitsbergen’s departure from Longyearbyen May 6.

Hurtigruten’s Alaska expedition cruise season will be postponed to July due to travel restrictions from Canadian authorities. This means the May 17, May 31, Jun 12, Jun 24 and July 1 MS Roald Amundsen Alaska departures will be cancelled.

Operations on the Norwegian coast will be suspended through May 20. The line’s first scheduled round trip departure from Bergen will be on May 21.

Two ships – MS Richard With and MS Vesterålen - are operating domestically, bringing “critical supplies and goods” to local Norwegian communities.

Skjeldam added: “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.

“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.”

Guests who have their voyages cancelled because of the temporary suspension of operations are offered a Hurtigruten Future Cruise Voucher of 125% of the original booking (including fees). They are also being offered a 10% discount on any future expedition or Norwegian Coast cruise when rebooked for July 1, 2020, to December 31, 2021.

Guests booked on voyages from September 30, 2020, are offered free rebooking and a future discount of 10% for departures between July 1, 2020, and December 31, 2021.

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