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