Just over a year after boutique cruise company Hurtigruten had to call off its already resumed expedition cruises because of a Covid-19 incident aboard one of its expedition cruise ships, the company has once again resumed cruise operations, this time as part of its newly created Hurtigruten Expeditions cruise brand.
The company had traditionally offered Norwegian coastal voyages, but is looking to move into more adventurous expedition cruises, which would take passengers well into the Arctic Circle, as well as to far-flung places such as the Galapagos Islands.
Hurtigruten Expedition’s third battery-hybrid powered ship, the Otto Sverdrup (IMO 9231951, ex-Finnmarken), set sail from the company’s new Hamburg homeport in Germany on August 24th on a 15-night cruise along the Norwegian coast sailing to North Cape and returning to Germany. This cruise ship will be homeported year-round in Hamburg as part of the company’s efforts to expand into more geographies. Next month, the company will also start operations with its first UK-based cruise ship.
Hurtigruten is rebuilding two vessels that formerly operated on the coastal voyages so that they can head off on expeditions.
Hurtigruten resumed its expedition cruises in Norway in July 2020, but it then suffered a high-profile diagnosis of Covid-19 aboard the Roald Amundsen (IMO 9813072).
Hurtigruten suspended its expedition cruises while internal and external audits were undertaken. The company reorganized its operations, including splitting into brands focused on the continuing coastal operations and a new dedicated brand to expand the expedition cruises.
In October and November 2021 Hurtigruten will resume Antarctica expeditions, then in January 2022 it will introduce cruises to the Galapagos Islands. Future programmes include expeditions in Alaska and West Africa. By the end of 2022, Hurtigruten plans to operate eight expedition cruise ships.
As of August 25th the Otto Sverdrup was in the North Sea travelling from Esbjerg to Stavanger.
2002-built, Norway-flagged, 15,690 gt Otto Sverdrup is owned and managed by Hurtigruten Cruise AS of Tromso, Norway. It is entered with Gard P&I on behalf of Hurtigruten Cruise AS. Claims leader for Loss of Hire and H&M is Norwegian Hull Club (listed under ex-name of Finnmarken).
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 Explorer II AS. It is entered with Norwegian Hull Club for H&M, with Gard AS having a subscription position.