This past week, Norwegian Coastal Voyage officially dropped its name. Going forward, the line will be known as Hurtigruten, its parent company's name. The change was marked at an event in New York, which was hosted by Hans Rood, president of Hurtigruten, who was accompanied by Ambassador Liv Morch Finborud, the consul general of Norway.
Here is the back story: Hurtigruten, which has been around in Europe for more than 100 years, was known in North America and the U.K. as Bergen Line Services before giving way to Norwegian Coastal Voyage in 1997.
"There was a clear disconnect between Hurtigruten and Norwegian Coastal Voyage," said Rood, who even went as far as saying that it should never have taken the Norwegian Coastal Voyage name in the first place. (Hurtigruten supplanted the Norwegian Coastal Voyage name in the United Kingdom this past year.)
The Hurtigruten brand is popularly known throughout most of the world, while Norwegian Coastal Voyage is not, said Finborud. "With Hurtigruten, any Norwegian would know what you are talking about," she said.
Now the cruise line is looking to get the word out to the trade and its customers. At one point, Rood posed next to a Hurtigruten placard, which phonetically spelled out the name, "Her-te-grew-ten."
What Comes With the Change
The Norwegian Coastal Voyage name began being phased out earlier this summer. Now, its web site redirects to Hurtigruten's, and literature on board ships will involve the Hurtigruten name (the Norwegian Coastal Voyage name will remain below it on collateral as a reminder). New marketing campaigns will also feature Hurtigruten, and the line has set up an additional call center in Florida to support growth. There is also a new booking engine through the Amadeus global distribution system.
Meanwhile, the name change shouldn't hinder the growth of the cruise line, which caters to the experienced-cruiser market and operates itineraries in such destinations as Greenland, the Arctic and Antarctica. The line operates 16 expedition ships and in April added its newest, the 318-passenger Fram, which is currently on its 67-day "Longitudinal World Explorer Cruise."
Rood said that North American business has doubled in both passengers and revenues over the past couple of years, attaching credit to baby boomers, whom he said "are moving to our product."