Hurtigruten pauses cruise operations

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Hurtigruten's Roald Amundsen expedition ship.
Hurtigruten's Roald Amundsen expedition ship.

Norwegian expedition cruise line Hurtigruten on Wednesday voluntarily ceased operations until the end of April because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

It was one of the last cruise lines to hold out. 

As of Wednesday morning, Hurtigruten was still operating the Coastal Express along the Norway’s coast but was not boarding guests who had been outside of Norway in the past 14 days. 

The company will now end global expedition cruises through April 28. Norwegian coastal cruises are suspended through April 19. 

“To temporarily suspend operations was a difficult decision to make. And it’s an emotional moment for me and the entire Hurtigruten team,” Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam said in a statement. “But I firmly believe it is the only responsible decision in the extraordinary crisis the world is currently facing.”

There have been no cases of Covid-19 on Hurtigruten’s ships. The company is working on helping the small number of passengers still onboard get back home.  

In cooperation with the Norwegian government, two Hurtigruten ships will sail an amended domestic schedule to carry supplies to communities on the Norwegian coast.

Guests who had their voyages canceled will get a future cruise credit in the amount of 125% of the amount they paid including fees. They will also get a 10% discount on any future cruise from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2021, with a flexible rebooking date. 

Those who did not have their cruises affected who are booked on voyages through Sept. 30 can rebook without a fee for cruises departing from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2021.

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