After a successful return to sailing last month, Hurtigruten has released its plans to further ramp-up operations with 14 of 16 ships returning in August and September.
In addition, Hurtigruten launches a series of new itineraries in the British Isles over the coming months.
"With the safety and well-being of our guests and crew as our number one priority, the response to our successful return to sailing last month has been extremely positive from both the local communities, our guests and crew," said Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam. "As travel restrictions are lifted, we are now entering the next phase of our step by step return to full operation.
Hurtigruten marked the return of cruising as MS Finnmarken became the first ocean cruise ship in the world to return to sailing with her June 16 departure. With limiting capacity and strict hygiene measures, Hurtigruten currently operates five ships on international and domestic Norwegian itineraries.
Welcoming back the fleet
Hurtigruten marks the return of Arctic expedition cruising, as battery-hybrid powered MS Roald Amundsen and MS Spitsbergen starting mid-July will offer six to 15 day voyages on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard.
Step by step, seven additional ships will be introduced on the Bergen to Kirkenes voyage along the Norwegian coast in August and September. As of this week, Hurtigruten already operates four ships in what’s known as “the most beautiful voyage in the world”.
Hurtigruten launches a series of exclusive British Isles itineraries on the world’s first battery hybrid powered cruise ship the MS Roald Amundsen. Departing from Portsmouth (Sep 2), Liverpool (Sep 7 and 17) and Glasgow (Sep 12), the short expedition cruises will take guests to off-the-beaten-track destinations such as Isles of Scilly, Fowey, Rathlin Island, Fortwilliam, Oban, Fishguard and Waterford.
In June, Hurtigruten also announced their 2021 plans for year-round expedition cruise departures from Dover and Hamburg to Norway, Southern Scandinavia and the British Isles.
The newest addition to Hurtigruten’s fleet of custom built expedition cruise ships, battery-hybrid powered MS Fridtjof Nansen, marked the return of international cruises as she departed Hamburg, Germany on June 26th for the first in a series of summer 2020 expedition cruises to the Norwegian coast.
The 14 night itineraries will continue into September, exploring world heritage fjords, glaciers, bird cliffs, narrow inlets and other sites under the midnight sun - all the way to the iconic North Cape.
"Strong demand" for small ships
"We are seeing a strong demand across all markets and all destinations, including the Norwegian coast, the Arctic and Antarctica," Skjeldam said. "The demand reflects our predictions that small-ship cruising, with all our advantages such as more flexibility and fewer guests, will prove even more popular post-COVID-19."
There have not been any confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 on any of Hurtigruten ships.
Hurtigruten have implemented strict procedures to ensure the health and safety of guests and crew.
These include reduced guest capacity to allow even more social distancing, strict hygiene protocols, health checks and -screenings, frequent temperature readings upon boarding and entry to restaurants, and numerous other measures.
Find out more about Hurtigruten’s Safer Together health and safety policies here.
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