Hurtigruten returns to Norwegian Coastal Voyage service all 7 of its ships from July

   June 1, 2021 ,   Cruise Industry

Hurtigruten Norway announced it will return all of its 7 ships on Norwegian Coastal cruises between Bergen and Kirkenes in July.

The return follows over a year of limited operations by Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Express because of COVID travel restrictions.

According to Group chief executive Daniel Skjeldam, the global travel industry had been hit hard by the pandemic.

"With the safety and well-being of our guests and crew as our number one priority, we are now entering a new phase of our step-by-step return to operations.”

The company reported record-strong demand for 2022 small-ship cruises with booking levels ~50% higher than pre-pandemic levels. 2021 is also “shaping up”.

According to Skjeldam, as vaccines were being rolled out and travel restrictions were lifted, they were seeing "huge pent-up demand and strong booking trends across all markets."

Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Express chief executive Hedda Felin said she was looking forward to once again welcoming international travelers onboard when travel restrictions are lifted.

“Our step-by-step return to sailing under our strict health and safety procedures has been extremely well received from both guests, our crew and the local communities.

“We continuously adapt to the Norwegian authorities’ plans for reopening, and follow all guidelines and recommendations.

“Operating safely throughout the pandemic also gives us unparalleled experience as we now are getting ready to welcome international guests.

“We were born and raised to connect the coastal communities and their people with the world. This summer, we will have the fjords almost to ourselves. And there is no better way to experience the Norwegian coast than with our small ships, close partners and our almost 130 years of local know-how.”

Felin added they were "combining the best available technical solutions and cutting CO2 emissions along the Norwegian coast with at least a quarter" and laying the foundation for introducing "new and even more efficient environmental solutions as they are developed.”