Hurtigruten cancels Q1 2021 Antarctica cruises because of pandemic

Norwegian cruise line Hurtigruten, which three months ago had been one of the first to attempt to revive the international cruise industry, has now cancelled its remaining planned Antarctica cruises from January to March 2021, it said on Thursday October 22nd. It will also reduce capacity along the Norwegian coast because of a lack of international travellers.

The cruise line announced in September that it had cancelled all remaining cruises this year because of the rise in Covid-19 cases in Europe and the Americas.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is still affecting large parts of the world and travel restrictions and quarantine requirements are widespread and changing rapidly,” the company said.

It said that demand for its expedition cruises for the second half of 2021 and into 2022 was strong and that many customers have chosen to postpone rather than cancel, it added.

In mid-June the company was the first cruise operator worldwide to return an oceangoing cruise ship to service after the coronavirus outbreak. It promised reduced passenger capacity, social distancing and strict rules on hygiene.

Unfortunately dozens of crew and passengers on a Hurtigruten ship tested positive for the virus after an Arctic cruise in July, triggering a police investigation into the circumstances.

All 160 crew members on cruise ship Roald Amundsen (IMO 9813072) were quarantined on the ship and the 177 passengers – all of whom had already disembarked – were being contacted by telephone and told to self-isolate (IMN, August 3rd 2020). The move came after four crew members were diagnosed with Covid-19 after the vessel arrived at Tromso early on Friday July 31st.

The Roald Amundsen had been on a week-long journey from Tromso to the Svalbard archipelago. It had been scheduled to sail around the British Isles in September, docking at ports in England and Scotland. Those voyages were cancelled.

2019-built, Norway-flagged, 21,765 gt Roald Amundsen is owned by Explorer IIAS care of manager Hurtigruten Cruise AS of Tromso, Norway. It is entered with Gard P&I Club on behalf of Hurtigruten Cruise AS.