March 24 ------ As a response to the global coronavirus pandemic, Norway’s expedition cruise operator Hurtigruten has decided to voluntarily suspend all operations on the Norwegian coast by April 19. In addition, all international expedition sailings are canceled through April 28. “To ensure a smooth and safe pause to operations, Hurtigruten will gradually take ships out of service,” Daniel Skjeldam, CEO of Hurtigruten, informed.
These actions, aimed at combating the spread of COVID-19, are taken although Hurtigruten has not had a single virus case on board any of its ships. “We have offered the Norwegian government to deploy two of our ships in an amended domestic schedule, bringing critical supplies and goods to local communities that rely on Hurtigruten along the Norwegian coast,” Hurtigruten CEO added. The company recently introduced several targeted measures to limit the spread of the pandemic, including massive layoffs of onshore workers. Last week, Hurtigruten also decided to pause operations in US waters for 30 days.