Hurtigruten Group is reorganizing its cruise operations into two separate entities: Hurtigruten Expeditions and Hurtigruten Norway.
Hurtigruten’s expedition cruise entity will operate a fleet of eight small-size, custom-built and greener expedition cruise ships. These cruises visit more than 250 destinations from pole to pole, ranging from the Northwest Passage, Greenland, Norway, Svalbard, the British Isles to the Caribbean, South America and Antarctica. Starting in 2021, Hurtigruten Expedition is offering several new itineraries—including new year-round departures from United Kingdom and Germany, as well as a full Alaska season.
Newly appointed CEO of Hurtigruten’s global expedition cruise operations, Asta Lassesen, said in an announcement: “We go where the big ships can’t—taking you far beyond the ordinary and closer to communities and nature, while exploring the true beauty of our planet in a more sustainable way.”
As for Hurtigruten Norway, the coastal operation will consist of seven custom-built ships and will operate under a separate entity with a yet to be named CEO. The company has operated the Norwegian coast continuously since 1893. The 2,500-nautical-mile stretch between Bergen in the south to Kirkenes at the Russian border offers a combination of local travelers, goods and cruise guests, visiting and serving 34 communities.
In the same announcement, Hurtigruten reported strong demand for 2021 and 2022 cruises. “2020 is a tough year for everyone in the travel industry. But the set back is only temporary,” said Hurtigruten Group CEO Daniel Skjeldam in the announcement. “For second half of 2021 and beyond, we are seeing a strong demand across all markets and all destinations, including the Norwegian coast, the Arctic and Antarctica.”
The newly established cruise entities are part of the company’s plan for post-COVID-19 expansion. “The demand reflects our predictions that expedition cruises, with all our advantages such as smaller ships, more flexibility and fewer guests, will prove even more popular post-COVID-19,” Skjeldam added.
Hurtigruten is planning on resuming operations next year. Through November 15, travel advisors can offer travelers a “buy one, get one at half off” discount to experience Alaska. Starting April 2021, travelers to Alaska can expect to visit smaller ports with access to a selection of small towns to explore off the beaten path, including Wrangell, Petersburg, Misty Fjords and more. Clients can choose from a variety of itinerary lengths, including longer voyages that take “the scenic route,” such as the southbound option through British Columbia, a route not accessible for many ships.