HX Expeditions Set For Arctic Expansion

MS Spitsbergen

“For 2024-25, Greenland will take center stage with our largest-ever offering, featuring an additional vessel, Spitsbergen, and the launch of sailings from Nuuk’s new airport, which opens this year,” said Alex McNeil, senior vice president expeditions product at HX (formerly Hurtigruten Expeditions).

“We’re also intensifying community engagement along Greenland’s west coast, building on sister-brand Hurtigruten’s new partnership with local Arctic Umiaq Line and reinforcing our commitment to responsible exploration,” he said.

In Iceland, the company is introducing two new itineraries:  “Iconic Iceland – The Maritime Ring Route” and “Elemental Iceland – Circular Saga.”

“Additionally, we are delighted to offer our ‘Svalbard in Spring – Return of the Sun’ itinerary, taking our guests deep above the Arctic Circle to explore areas rarely visited during this season,” McNeil added.

McNeil said the company places a significant emphasis on collaborating with local communities, governments, and organizations, which was pivotal to creating authentic experiences.

Examples include enhancing cultural enrichment programs with Arctic Canada’s indigenous communities. The company also has a Black Travel Advisory Board, aimed at developing programs for engaging and supporting local communities in West Africa.


“Building on the success of our debut season, where we collaborated with local Senegalese chef Koffi Gassen to offer an authentic culinary experience onboard, we plan to bring back Chef Koffi or another local chef) next season. And, we have plans to introduce local chefs in other destinations.”

Africa is among new destinations for HX, as it launched a 14-day program last November roundtrip from Dakar, with calls in both Cape Verde and the Bissagos Islands.

“Another distinguishing feature of our ‘formula’ is that we are one of the only operators that employ our expedition leaders on a full-time basis. In contrast, many of our competitors rely on part-time contracted expedition teams,” he continued. “This enables us to work directly with our teams in the field to build itineraries that are finely tuned to our guests’ needs and the unique characteristics of each destination, year after year.”

McNeil said the company’s aim was to bring products to market about two years out.

“For our destination strategy, we have a longer window and begin the planning process three to five years ahead,” he said.

Leader in Antarctica

“Our 12-day ‘Highlights of Antarctica’ sailings were the single bestselling itineraries last year,” McNeil noted. “We’re the largest operator in Antarctica and have been sailing to the continent for over 20 years.

“One of the most important factors that drives itinerary planning is alignment with HX’s brand pillars and values. Our commitment to sustainability, responsible tourism, and authentic cultural engagement drives every step. From the earliest stages, we actively seek local partnerships to create the most authentic products, providing our guests with unrivaled access.

‘And throughout this process, we maintain a customer-centric mindset, from start to finish. For us, a successful itinerary is one that weaves a compelling narrative, striking a balance between the expedition’s purpose and the thrill of discovery.”

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