As a response to the continuing global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Hurtigruten is extending the temporary suspension of operations from pole to pole. “This is a setback for us, for the local communities we work with and for our guests. But the setback is only temporarily,” says Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam in an official release.
With the latest development, including local and global travel restrictions and advisories, Hurtigruten has decided to extend the temporary suspension period. All Hurtigruten expedition cruises will be suspended until May 12. In addition to already cancelled cruises, which includes the MS Fridtjof Nansen’s departure from Hamburg, Germany April 29, as well as MS Spitsbergen’s departure from Longyearbyen May 6, Hurtigruten’s Alaska expedition cruise season will be postponed to July due to new travel restrictions from Canadian authorities. This means that the May 17, May 31, June 12, June 24 and July 1 MS Roald Amundsen departures will be cancelled. In addition, operations on the Norwegian coast will be suspended through May 20. As of now, the first scheduled round trip departure from Bergen will be on May 21.
Note: Hurtigruten has not had any confirmed or suspected cases on any ships.
In agreement with the Norwegian Ministry of Transport, Hurtigruten has deployed two ships in an amended domestic schedule. The newly upgraded MS Richard With and MS Vesterålen is bringing critical supplies and goods to local Norwegian communities hit hard by travel restrictions.
Due to the circumstances, Hurtigruten has introduced a flexible rebooking policy. Guests who have their voyages cancelled because of the temporary suspension of operations are offered a Hurtigruten Future Cruise Voucher in the amount of 125 percent of amounts paid (including fees). They will also get a 10 percent discount on any future Hurtigruten cruise from July 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021.
Even though they are not affected by the temporary suspension of operations, guests booked on voyages through September 30, 2020 are offered rebooking, without any rebooking fee and a future discount of 10 percet, to any future Hurtigruten cruise for departures between July 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021.