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Geirangerfjord on a cloudy summer day. Small expedition ships sail again in Norway and the British Isles.

Along the Norwegian coast and the British Isles, small expedition ships sail again. “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. As travel restrictions are lifted, we are now entering the next phase of our step by step return to full operation,” says Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.

The world’s largest expedition cruise company has stepped up its rebound strategy, as theirThey  small expedition cruise ships sail again. plans to bring 14 of their 16 ships back in operation by the end of September including:

As travel restrictions are lifted, we are now entering the next phase of our step by step return to full operation,” says Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.  Small expedition ships sail again. Photo: RUNE KONGSRO/Hurtigruten

The return of Arctic expedition cruising with battery-hybrid powered MS Roald Amundsen and MS Spitsbergen – ships will offer 6- to 15-day voyages on the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard starting mid-July

Hurtigruten already operates four ships on what’s known as “the world’s most beautiful voyage”.The launch of 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.

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 26 for the first in a series of 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. 

“As travel restrictions are lifted, we offer German and international guests two distinct and unique ways of exploring Norway. Expedition cruises departing from Hamburg, and the original voyages along the Norwegian coast. This summer, we will have the fjords all to ourselves. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience the rugged beauty of the Norwegian coast,” says Skjeldam.

As ships return to sea, Hurtigruten has also launched a first-ever, all-inclusive offer, the Norway Expedition Package. From July 9th until September 9th of 2020, travelers ready to book future Expedition Norway travel can explore the new all-inclusive packages that include round-trip flights, transfers, hotels, and more here:

  • Small ships – big difference.    Hurtigruten is the world’s largest expedition cruise line and has operated in polar waters continuously since 1893. As the most experienced operator on the spectacular Norwegian coastline, Hurtigruten is the only cruise line to offer year-round sailings on the Norwegian coast. “We are seeing a strong demand across all markets and all destinations, including the Norwegian coast, the Arctic and Antarctica. 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,” says Skjeldam.
  • Health and safety.   There have not been any confirmed or suspected  cases of COVID-19 on any of Hurtigruten ships. Hurtigruten has 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.

Hurtigruten is part of the solution to accelerate sustainability programs. Launch of the first hybrid-powered cruise ship.

MS Roald Amundsen is the world’s first hybrid powered cruise ship, equipped with large battery packs and groundbreaking green technology. The hybrid propulsion will reduce CO2 emissions by more than 20 % when compared to other ships of the same size. The 530-passenger MS Roald Amundsen uses large battery packs to support her low-emission engines.

Leading the way. Plastic Free Ships. 

Hurtigruten banned all unnecessary single-use plastics such as drinking cups, straws and plastic bags. They were replaced with paper and biodegradable materials. In each cabin aluminum water bottles are available to be refilled at water stations on each deck. The water stations offer sparkling water as well. 

By 2021, Hurtigruten plans to operate at least 6 of its ships on a combination of bio-gas, LNG and large battery packs.

– While competitors are running on cheap, polluting, heavy fuel oil, our ships will literally be powered by nature. Biogas is the greenest fuel in shipping and will be a huge advantage for the environment. We would love other cruise companies to follow, Skjeldam says.

Hurtigruten’s unmatched investments in green technology and innovation sets a new standard for the whole industry to follow.

Polar hero Roald Amundsen known for the first expedition to the south pole and the first expedition proven to have reached the North Pole. Inspiration for the Huritgruten cruise ship.

Hutegruten’s ship is named after polar hero Roald Amundsen – who led the first expedition to traverse the Northwest Passage and the first expedition to the south pole and the first expedition proven to have reached the North Pole. This ship, MS Roald Amundsen, is set to honor his legacy.

Starting this summer, the hybrid powered cruise ship will explore some of the most spectacular areas of the planet from Antarctica to Greenland and Alaska to the Northwest Passage, using the battery packs to support her low-emission engines. The ship is specially constructed for voyages in polar waters.

The Nordic modern design – with features spanning from the high-tech Amundsen Science Center (with microscopes), vast observation decks, an infinity pool, a large panoramic sauna, a state-of-the-art wellness center, three restaurants, bars, Explorer Lounge and aft-facing suites with private outdoor hot tubs – was spectacular. My cabin had clean wood walls, neutral colors, two contemporary chairs (instead of a couch), a desk, a spacious shower and a balcony. The Amundsen is an attractive, contemporary-designed ship.

The glass-walled sauna offers guests floor to ceiling views and is the largest I’ve ever seen on a ship.

MS Roald Amundsen is designed and built with sustainability at its core. In addition to green technology, she is the first cruise ship designed to be single-use plastic free. Sustainability is an integral part of the guest experience. From the hand-picked Hurtigruten Expedition Team to the industry-first Science Center, we will give the guests a deeper understanding of the areas we explore, Skjeldam says.

For our industry to operate more sustainably, we need to avoid overcrowding Arctic regions (Greenland, Antarctica, Alaska, The Northwest Passage). Local culture can be distorted and destroyed by poorly trained guides and guests. The growth of tourism in Arctic regions must be spread out over the entire year, not just in July and August, Skjeldam says. There is not doubt that Hurtigurten leads the way for a more sustainable way of traveling.  They already have: the small expedition ships sail again. 

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