• Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Log In
You may also like
Hurtigruten Becomes the First Ocean Cruise Line in the World to Resume Cruising

Hurtigruten Becomes the First Ocean Cruise Line in the World to Resume Cruising

Hurtigruten Becomes the First Ocean Cruise Line in the World to Resume Cruising

June 17, 2020

Adam Coulter
UK Managing Editor
By Adam Coulter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
(Updated 4:12 p.m. EDT) -- Norwegian cruise line Hurtigruten resumed its coastal voyage service from Bergen to Kirkenes today.
The 628-passenger MS Finnmarken, which will be carrying 200 Norwegian and Danish passengers, set sail on the 12-day trip via 34 ports to the far north of the country.
Over the next week or so, three more Hurtigruten ships -- MS Trollfjord, MS Midnatsol and MS Richard With -- will also return to service along the Norwegian coast.
On June 26, the line resumes its expedition services on its newest ship, the hybrid-powered Fridjtof Nansen, with 15-day roundtrips from Hamburg along the Norwegian coast. And on July 7, sister ship Roald Amundsen begins seven-night round trips from Tromso to Svalbard.
Yesterday's voyage marks the very first ocean line to resume cruise service, since most ceased operations in March due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
"With the first guests boarding the beautiful MS Finnmarken over the next hours, we are thrilled to be restarting our operations," a spokesperson said. "Over the past months, weeks, days and hours, we've been preparing for this moment. We're ready.
"In close cooperation with the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and other experts, we've taken our extremely strict existing health and safety procedures and introduced additional new measures. We have been working rigorously to ensure all voyages are safe for both guests and crew -- and at the same time ensure that everyone can fully enjoy their voyage."
In a press call today, CO Daniel Skejeldam confirmed that cruises were being confined to one nationality (or in the case of the coastal voyage, two), depending on a specific country's COVID-19 infection rate, and ruled out Brits or Americans getting on the ships until our infection rates dropped significantly. Asked to put a timeline on it he said: "likely early 2021".
MS Finnmarken Social Distancing Sign
The line did not technically stop services, but it did drastically cut them back to just two ships and operating as a ferry service purely for locals using it to travel from one port to another.
This is the first time that passengers can take an actual cruise all along the Norwegian coastline.
Hurtigruten has also recently introduced a number of new health and safety protocols intended to curb the spread of COVID-19. These include new sanitation measures, the elimination of self-serve buffet dining, and the implementation of social distancing procedures onboard. For the summer of 2020, Hurtigruten ships will be limited to 50 percent capacity, and capacity will be limited in areas like the pool and the ship's sauna and fitness center.
The line is not alone in operating from Norway, which has had relatively few cases of COVID-19; SeaDream Yacht Club has moved both its small ships to Norway and is planning on operating cruises there in the summer.
Hurtigruten's move follows that of Nicko Cruises, which became the first European river line to resume river services. A-ROSA is due to relaunch on Portugal's Douro River tomorrow and on the Rhine on Friday.
And this Saturday, American Cruise Lines will restart its service -- the first U.S. line to do so. It will sail on the Columbia and Snake rivers in the Pacific Northwest, departing from Portland, Ore.
For a full list, read Summer 2020: Where Can You Cruise Right Now.
How was this article?
Popular with cruisers like you
Virgin Voyages Postpones Sailings Into January

(Updated 12:20 p.m. EDT) – Virgin Voyages has pushed back its anticipated restart of cruise operations into January 2021. Scarlet Lady is now expected to debut on January 3, 2021.

The line had previously canceled voyages into the fall as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, and has rolled out generous measures to ensure booked guests continue to sail with the line once it enters service.

Virgin notes that all passengers -- which it calls "sailors" -- on affected voyages will receive a 200 percent future cruise credit, equivalent to double the amount currently paid by booked guests. It is a sum that is among the most generous in the i

Princess Cancels Australia, New Zealand Cruises Through May 2021

(9:45 a.m. EADT) -- Princess Cruises announced early Wednesday it would cancel all cruises in Australia and New Zealand through May 31, 2021, as a result of uncertainty over international travel restrictions imposed because of the ongoing global health pandemic.

The move cancels the remainder of Princess Cruises' deployment in Australia for the 2020-2021 cruise season. Sailings in Australia and New Zealand typically run from November through May during the spring and summer seasons.

According to Princess, booked passengers will receive future cruise credits equal to 125 percent of the voyage fare paid automatically. Passengers can also elect to request full refunds by completing <a hre

Stressed? So Are We. Let's Plan a Cruise

(6 p.m. EDT) -- Who else out there needs something to look forward to?

I know that I do. The crisp and sunny fall days are getting shorter. Colder temperatures are making outdoor dining and social-distanced deck dinners unfeasible. And we're finding it hard to figure out a way to make Thanksgiving and the December holidays safe for an extended family gathering.

Meanwhile, the news is a constant stream of anxiety. No matter what side you're on, the U.S. election looms large in the collective consciousness. Coronavirus cases continue to rise, not just here in the United States, but in Europe and the rest of the world. And if we feel this way now, how on earth will we get through winter?

CDC No-Sail Order Potentially Set to Expire Saturday

(4:30 p.m. EDT) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's long-standing No-Sail Order is set to expire at midnight Saturday, once again raising the question as to whether the order will be extended, or expire and allow cruise to resume from select ports in the United States.

Originally issued March 13 as the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic swept across the globe, the CDC's No-Sail Order was extended April 9, July 16 and September 30.

In the case of the latter date, the CDC opted to extend the No-Sail Order just hours before it was due to expire.

Saturday, October 31 is also a big day for other cruise industry restrictions: It is the day that [CLIA's volun

Good Judicial News For Carnival Corporation To Resume Cruising

(12:25 p.m. EDT) -- One possible hurdle for Carnival Corporation to resume sailing in 2020 has been cleared by a federal judge.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Patricia Seitz had indicated she would require 60 days' notice prior to any Carnival Corporation vessel entering U.S. waters. The company is currently on probation over the illegal dumping of contaminated oil waste involving Caribbean Princess in 2016. Carnival Corporation has been in an environmental compliance program since 2017.

That ruling would have dramatically affected Carnival's attempts to restart cruising from the United States following the industry's shutdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday, the

Alaskans Losing Most from Cruise Ban, U.S. Federal Maritime Commission Report Says

(5:50 p.m. EDT) -- A report issued by U.S. Federal Maritime Commissioner Louis E. Sola concluded that, "when considered on a per capita basis, there may not be another state in the Nation paying as high a cost from passenger ships not sailing than Alaska."

The latest in a series of in-depth assessments into the impact of the cruise industry's shutdown on the U.S economy, the report notes that the cancellation of the entire Alaskan cruise season because of the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected Alaskans, as many state towns are heavily dependent on cruise tourism.

"While tourism benefits all our Northwestern states, it is one of three pillars of t

Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.