Hurtigruten returns 14 expedition cruise ships to operation

   July 9, 2020 ,   Cruise Industry

After successfully restarting passenger shipping operations in June, Hurtigruten announced plans to further expand operations with a total of 14 (out of 16 total) cruise ships returning in August and September 2020. In addition, the Norwegian company launches new itineraries in the British Isles over the next months.

Hurtigruten marked the return to operation as its MS Finnmarken (renamed to MS Otto Sverdrup) became the world's first ocean cruise ship to return to sailing (on June 16). With strict hygiene measures and limited capacity, Hurtigruten now operates 5 ships on domestic and international Norwegian itineraries.

Hurtigruten (currently the world's largest expedition cruise company) stepped up its rebound strategy, revealing plans to bring 14 of the fleet's 16 vessels back to sailing by late-September. The company's Arctic expedition program is based on battery-hybrid powered ships (MS Spitsbergen and MS Roald Amundsen) and restarts in mid-July with 6- to 15-day roundtrips to Norway's Svalbard Archipelago.

7 additional ships will be gradually introduced on the Norwegian coastal cruiseferry route Bergen-Kirkenes in August-September. As of this week, Hurtigruten already operates 4 ships on the route.

MS Spitsbergen cruise ship

Hurtigruten also launches a series of British Isles itineraries on the world's first battery hybrid-powered cruise ship - Roald Amundsen. Departing out of UK - Portsmouth (on September 2), Liverpool (on September 7 and 17) and Glasgow (on September 12) - the roundtrips visit off-the-beaten-track destinations like Scilly Isles, Rathlin Island, Fowey, Fort William, Fishguard, Oban, Waterford.

In June, the company announced its 2021 plans for year-round departures from Dover UK and Hamburg Germany to Southern Scandinavia, Norway and the British Isles.

Hurtigruten's newest cruise ship - MS Fridtjof Nansen - departed Hamburg on June 26 for the first in a series of 2020 roundtrips to Norway. The 14-night itineraries will continue into September 2020, exploring world heritage fjords, bird cliffs, glaciers, narrow inlets, as well as other sites all the way to the North Cape.