Hurtigruten has launched an investigation into the outbreak of Covid-19 on one of its ships – and denied reports of a cover-up.
The Norway-based cruise line is also working with police and other Norwegian authorities which are conducting their own inquiries about what went wrong on Roald Amundsen last week.
The ship is now docked in Tromsø and all 158 crew members on board have been tested for Covid-19.
Hurtigruten said 36 tested positive, 33 of whom are Filipino crew members. The rest are German, Norwegian and French nationals. Five passengers also tested positive.
Daniel Skjeldam, chief executive, said: “The preliminary examination of what happened on MS Roald Amundsen has uncovered several deviations from our procedures.
“That’s not good enough. It has caused a demanding and serious situation.
“I apologise to our guests, colleagues and everyone who cares for Hurtigruten.”
Rune Thomas Ege, global communication vice-president, said these “deviations from procedures” related to quarantining foreign crews and the internal flow of important information.
Furthermore, passengers travelling with MS Roald Amundsen should have received information at an earlier stage.
Ege added: “We have failed. Information regarding recommendations and agreements with the National Health Authorities has not been forwarded.
“This happened due to a failure in our internal information routines. We strongly regret that.”
Hurtigruten has appointed DNV GL, an independent management and quality assurance specialist, to lead the cruise line’s external investigation.
“DNV GL will now go through the entire incident in detail, and get to the bottom of everything that has happened. Until this is concluded, we ask for understanding that we cannot go into all the details of the case right now,” said Ege.
“However, it’s important to underline that we never intentionally tried to hide or hold back information. Lack of clear and accurate information internally has resulted in weak communication over the last couple of days.”
On Monday (August 3), Hurtigruten suspended all expedition cruises until further notice. MS Fridtjof Nansen and MS Spitsbergen will be docked when their ongoing cruises end.
A series of cruises around the UK in September are among the cancellations.
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