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Another Cruise Company Sailing Again – Hurtigruten’s Scandinavia and more!

September 3, 2020 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Our recent very successful eGlobal Travel Media “What Might the Future of Cruising Look Like” webinar gave me the opportunity to have a chat with Damian Perry, Managing Director, Asia-Pacific of Hurtigruten, a cruise company that has always appealed to me, as Hurtigruten is described as being built on 127 years of Norwegian pioneering heritage, now the world’s leading expedition cruise company.

I have also seen their ships many times as in addition to cruising, they service all the remote towns and villages in the Norwegian fjords and chatting with Damian, I felt as if I had been whisked away to Norway and more as told me that Hurtigruten’s rapidly growing fleet of custom-build expedition ships takes modern-day adventure travellers to the world’s most spectacular destinations, from the High North to Antarctica in the south.

What was also very exciting is that many of Hurtigruten’s routes take in highly sensitive environments with Damian explaining that being the world leader in exploration travel comes with a great responsibility, with Hurtigruten running a responsible, sustainable global operation, which you can red more about by clicking HERE.

He said, “We have two distinctive types of product, with one very flexible where you can be as active or as relaxed as you like that sails the coast of Norway., providing a cultural and nature focused journey that brings in many beautiful elements such as our ocean to plate coastal kitchen and partnerships with many operators along the coast offering amazing experiences for our guests,” which I would really like to try.

He told me that Hurtigruten currently sails 6 ships on the Norwegian coast, yes that is right now and when international travel opens up they are ready and waiting for you, but during the pandemic they even continued to sail and support the communities along the coast of Norway, with in 2021 Hurtigruten will increase to 7 ships.

The other product Damian told me about, which is where the…”and more” comes in and also interests me greatly is that Hurtigruten has a number of worldwide Expedition ships, with 3, yes 3 sailing right now, with 3 being maintained and refurbished for the upcoming seasons, with a focus on the Arctic and Antarctica polar regions, as this is where their historic expertise lies.

The great news though is also that they do see more varied destinations coming into play including traditional cruise areas such as the Caribbean, parts of the USA and Canada and he even added that into the future Australia and New Zealand could well be on the cards!

With COVID-19 very much on everyone’s minds globally, I asked Damian about Hurtigruten’s COVID-19 protocols and he told me that Hurtigruten goes beyond the mandatory and best practice safety and COVID19 protocols which he believes any reputable cruise ship or company will adopt, with the greatest challenge being in how they can still offer authentic, engaging, educational and immersive cultural, nature based experiences in sometimes sensitive and fragile areas.

He said that Hurtigruten’s’ team are working on this now and they are confident that the future experience will actually be better than the old but what was interesting is that he said that while we can exclude the impact of some COVID safety protocols like masks and social distancing, cleaning etc., as those we should take for granted and of the very highest standards, they also want to focus on the experience.

Damian stressed that while Hurtigruten’s ships are built as spacious, premium quality and premium service expedition ships, the engagement and interaction with others onboard and onshore is often a major highlight with Hurtigruten believing that experience will be even more important and actually be more intimate as they will be offering and delivering those experiences in smaller groups, with smaller group sizes more interactive and immersive.

This is built on Hurtigruten’s direct hands on experience as they already their guest experiences on Expeditions in what they call boat groups, with each boat group small enough to fit in one explore boat, a zodiac creating a great bond for these travellers.

Damian also pointed out that their ships’ designs mean that they have multiple communal areas and large open spaces which is a massive advantage in the Expedition field and allows for safe and comfortable interaction on board, with significant investments and upgrades in technology so if you wish you can experience much of the activities, events and lectures on board streamed to your cabin or in open areas.

It appears to me from my chat with Damian that the future of cruise in Expedition is focused more on the experience than ever before and delivered in a safe manner and he was very positive about the Expedition segment going forward, believing that safety will be major focus as it always has been but additionally they will continue to develop greater more engaging and immersive experiences.

Finally, he told me that while Hurtigruten has not developed the very special marketing and communication tools of the airlines in relation to safety but they have communicated their core protocols, with in addition to ongoing improvements continued transparency on the challenge they face and solutions Hurtigruten has created will indeed build trust with guests.

He described catching a flight is a necessity and being shoulder to shoulder could be stressful for some, but a cruise with strong protocols and procedures will allow people to be more relaxed and comfortable on board, with an understanding of the level of ongoing cleaning and sanitation conducted on cruise ships will certainly give comfort as he believes, not seen in any other sector of the travel industry, with Hurtigruten’s protocols updated continuously as they continue to develop better procedures and learn how we effectively live with COVID-19, with more details available by clicking HERE.

So, what does Hurtigruten offer and where will their amazing ships be sailing in 2021 and 2022? Check out these examples!


Norway Expedition tours combine a new expedition cruise in Norway with a partially self-guided tour starting in Oslo. The self-guided component begins with the four-day Norway In A Nutshell experience including a rail, coach and ferry journey exploring the stunning mountain and fjord scenery between Oslo and Bergen, including the famous Flåm Railway. Then embark on 12-day Hurtigruten Norway Expedition voyage stopping at nine handpicked, exclusive ports along the Norwegian coast. The voyage includes daily excursions and activities, expert Expedition Team, Science Centre offering in-depth lectures on nature, culture and history, and superb local cuisine.

Itineraries include:

Norway’s Spring Awakening Expedition (March & April)
Norway’s Midnight Sun Summer Expedition (April to September) Norway’s Northern Lights Winter Expedition (January & February)


(September to March)

Highlights of the tour include the Norway in a Nutshell experience from Oslo to Bergen or Bergen to Oslo; Oslo and Bergen city tours, a land-based journey through Finland, reindeer and husky experiences, the Santa Claus village, and the magic of the Northern Lights.


Hurtigruten’s Northern Lights promise is exclusively available on their Follow the Lights tours and Norway’s Northern Lights Winter Expedition. If the Northern Lights do not appear on your tour, they will give you another 6 or 7-day Classic Voyage FREE OF CHARGE.

 How good does that sound! 

For more information visit

A report by John Alwyn-Jones

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