As a response to the global coronavirus outbreak, Hurtigruten announced it will voluntarily stop operations from pole to pole until the end of April.
“To temporarily suspend operations was a difficult decision to make. And it’s an emotional moment for me and the entire Hurtigruten team. But I firmly believe it is the only responsible decision in the extraordinary crisis the world is currently facing,” said Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.
“At the same time, in cooperation with the Norwegian government, we will deploy two of our ships in an amended domestic schedule, bringing critical supplies and goods to local communities on the Norwegian coast at this time of crisis,” he added Skjeldam.
In a separate post on Facebook, he wrote: “This is the toughest situation I have seen in my time in the travel industry, and putting more than 2,800 people on temporary leave is the toughest decision I have had to make.”
To ensure a smooth and safe pause to operations, Hurtigruten will gradually take its expedition cruise ships out of operation, the company said.
“After more than 125 years of operation, we’ve learned from our past experiences weathering storms such as wars, recessions and outbreaks. This is a setback for us, for the local communities and for our guests. But the setback is only temporarily,” continued Skjeldam.