Starting in January 2021, Hurtigruten—the small-ship line best known for its Norwegian coastal voyages—will sail year-round from Dover, United Kingdom; Hamburg, Germany; and Bergen, Norway.
Three of the line's 500-plus passenger vessels will receive updates prior to sailing these new itineraries with an expeditionary-style cruise product.
"We have seen an increasing demand for closer-to-home departures," says Daniel Skjeldam, Hurtigruten's CEO. "We expect this to further increase in the wake of COVID-19. To give our guests even more flexibility, we have decided to expand our offering with year-round expedition cruise programs from the U.K., Germany and Norway.
Three Ships, New Itineraries
- From Dover, the Maud, currently known as Midnatsol, will offer guests a special winter itinerary, maximizing time above the Arctic Circle, including an overnight in Tromso. In summer, guests can explore the North Cape, the Lofoten Islands, fjords and mountains. One new itinerary will explore the British Isles; another new itinerary will focus on southern Scandinavia.
- From Hamburg, the fully upgraded Otto Sverdrup, formerly Finnmarken, will take guests on two different summer and winter itineraries to the North Cape and back.
- From Bergen, Hurtigruten also will offer year-round departures with Trollfjord. Exploring the Norwegian coastline to the North Cape and back, itineraries will feature such remote destinations, such as Reine in Lofoten, Fjærland and Træna.
Hurtigruten says these new itineraries offer flexibility and more time in port for in-depth experiences. "We put a lot of pride into handpicking the destinations and crafting the itineraries," says Skjeldam. "We wanted to make sure guests can enjoy Norway like never before—to go deep into fjords, enjoy remote nature, see amazing wildlife and charming coastal cities, towns and villages while avoiding the mass tourism crowds."
Originally built for the Bergen-to-Kirkenes route, all three ships will have the line's trio of expeditionary restaurants: Aune, the main restaurant; Fredheim for casual international dining; and Lindstrom, an exclusive fine dining restaurant.
A new Science Center on all three vessels will offer guests books, touch screens and microscopes, and guests will learn from expedition team members about geology, ornithology, history, the Northern Lights and natural sciences.
In addition, travel advisors can expect the Maud and Otto Sverdrup to be fully upgraded with new cabins and suites. Stylish new decor will reflect such natural Scandinavian materials as wool, pine, birch, oak and granite.
Hurtigruten is the world's first cruise line to permanently introduce biodiesel (used in combination with other low-emission fuel sources) to power its vessels in day-to-day operations on several ships, including the three mentioned in this story.
What's the benefit? Biodiesel reduces emissions by up to 80 percent compared to regular marine diesel. Biodiesel is also produced from waste created by such industries as fisheries and agriculture. No palm oil is used in the biofuel production, a measure designed to protect the world's rainforests.
The three ships sailing the new itineraries are also equipped for shore power. So, they can plug into local power sources (if the port is equipped with such technology) rather than burning fuel while docked. In addition, as with all Hurtigruten's ships, single use plastics onboard have been eliminated.