Hurtigruten reports strong demand for cruises for 2021 and 2022 in a press release dated October 15, 2020. In preparation for further expansion to Covid-19, the company announces that it will redefine its growing cruise business by establishing a separate unit for expedition cruises.
Like the rest of the global travel industry, Hurtigruten is currently facing the challenges of the global Covid-19 pandemic. “2020 is a tough year for everyone in the travel industry. But the setback is only temporary. For the second half of 2021 and beyond, we see strong demand in all markets and for all destinations, including the Norwegian coast, the Arctic and Antarctic,” says Daniel Skjeldam, CEO of Hurtigruten Group.
Small ships – great demand
As CEO of the Hurtigruten Group, Skjeldam is responsible for the operation of the 15-ship fleet, which has grown significantly in recent years in terms of the number of ships as well as the number of destinations and the number of guests. Hurtigruten has recently released selected trips for the 2022/2023 season for booking – including crossing the Northwest Passage and expedition cruises around Spitsbergen – and is reporting strong global demand.
“We have only seen the beginning of what is to come. Hurtigruten sees great demand and equally great opportunities in the expedition cruise segment from 2021 and beyond. This is the growth we are preparing for,” says Skjeldam.
The global travel company is preparing for further growth by restructuring its cruise activities into two different units: Hurtigruten Expeditions and Hurtigruten Norway.
Hurtigruten’s expedition cruises include more than 250 destinations worldwide, from the Northwest Passage to Greenland, Norway and Spitsbergen, the British Isles to the Caribbean, South America and Antarctica.
Asta Lassesen is appointed CEO of Hurtigruten’s global expedition cruises. It will further develop Hurtigruten’s leading position in the expedition cruise sector.
“As we continue to expand the range of Hurtigruten expedition cruises, we will continue to do what we do best: combining our nearly 130 years of experience with cutting-edge innovation and our unparalleled commitment to sustainability to provide our guests with unique experiences in some of the world’s most impressive destinations,” says Lassesen.
The Hurtigruten Expedition Cruise Company will operate a fleet of eight small, specially built and more environmentally friendly expedition cruise ships. Starting in 2021, Hurtigruten will offer several new itineraries – including a complete Alaska season and year-round departures from the UK and Germany. Directly from Hamburg, modern adventurers can experience the Northern Lights and Midnight Sun on the Norway expeditions. The routes combine highlights of the traditional postal route with new attractions, off the beaten track – in winter as well as in summer.
“We go where the big ships don’t get there, take our expedition guests far beyond the ordinary and get closer to the communities and nature, while at the same time exploring the true beauty of our planet in a more sustainable way,” says Lassesen.
Hurtigruten Norway – The traditional Hurtigruten postal ship trip
The legendary Hurtigruten Postal Ship Journey, with 2500 nautical miles between Bergen in the south and Kirkenes on the Russian border in the north, visits and supplies 34 communities along the rugged Norwegian coast and offers a unique combination of local travellers, goods transport and cruise guests.
From 2021, Hurtigruten will operate the postal ship route with seven custom-built ships and operate as a separate unit with a CEO to be named.
“The Norwegian coast is our home. No one knows Norway as well as Hurtigruten, and given the Northern Lights, the midnight sun, wildlife and local communities, there is no better way to experience authentic Norway than with Hurtigruten. We have been pioneers on the Norwegian coast for more than a century. But the best is yet to come,” says Daniel Skjeldam.
Heiner Kubny, PolarJournal / Press Release Hurtigruten