Hurtigruten restarts coastal cruises between Bergen and Kirkenes from June 16

   May 25, 2020 ,   Cruise Industry

Norway’s Hurtigruten announced plans to resume coastal service between Bergen-Kirkenes from June 16, 2020.

The first ship to sail will be MS Finnmarken (Otto Sverdrup), due to depart northward from the port of Bergen. Decisions on each daily sailing will be made on an individual basis.

Arctic expeditions are expected to resume later in the summer though these will be limited to Norwegian waters. Voyages in other regions, including the Northwest Passage and Alaska, have been cancelled for 2020.

Aside from a couple of vessels used to deliver medical supplies and cargo to small communities in northern Norway on behalf of the government, the entire fleet of Hurtigruten has been out of service for more than 2 months.

Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam said the plans were “natural first steps” towards normalization of operations.

MS Otto Sverdrup cruise ship

Hurtigruten promotes the 12-day cruise as a sailing aimed primarily at international clients and this usually results in a mix of locals hopping between towns and roundtrip passengers mainly from the U.K., Germany, and the U.S.

However, the sailings will have a different type of client for the first 2 months of service because Norway has extended its border closure to non-residents until August 20. Hurtigruten launched an advertising campaign within Norway to sell its cruises to Norwegians.

The company has implemented a number of measures to comply with government guidance as well as increase the safety of its guests, including strict and a reduced capacity and hygiene protocols. This allows some empty staterooms to be reserved for self-isolation in case any passengers or crew members develop symptoms. The use of some onboard facilities like saunas and gyms may be limited.

For Coronavirus updates on cruise ship quarantines (infected passengers and crew) and top-pandemic countries (COVID-19 cases and deaths, daily updated statistics) see at CruiseMapper's Norovirus page.