Norwegian-based Hurtigruten has becomes the first ocean cruise line in the world to resume cruises since the global suspension of operations.
Cruises Have Resumed!
Finally, there is some good news since cruise lines around the world suspended operations due to the global pandemic. Hurtigruten which is an expedition cruise line based out of Norway has resumed sailing for the 919-passenger MS Finnmarken.
The vessel is kicking off the cruise industry with a 12-day voyage departing Bergen, Norway today. The round trip voyage will be to Kirkenes, a town located in the north of the country.
At the moment there is limited passenger capacity with no international guest currently able to cruise. Those onboard are mainly from Norway or the Netherlands but when travel restrictions reduce more international cruisers will be able to enjoy cruising with Hurtigruten.
This is not only the first ocean cruise voyage in the world since the pandemic but also the first where cruisers can take a cruise along the Norwegian coastline. The cruise line will slowly begin to resume cruises for other vessels too with MS Richard starting on June 19, MS Trollfjord on June 21 and MS Midnatsol on June 24. All those four ships will resume their original routes between Bergen and Kirkenes.
Other ships in the fleet will also come back into service depending on the currently global pandemic and the impact on the travel industry. Hurtigruten is going with the flow and will adapt as time goes on.
The cruise line has implemented a wide range of new health measures to make sure cruises can resume and everyone onboard can remain safe. Ships will not be sailing with more than 50% capacity. There will be floor marking to make sure guests keep one meter apart at all times and of course extra checks and sanitation too. It’s a sign of what cruising will be like once other cruise lines gear up of sailings too.
MS Finnmarken is the perfect ship to be the first to resume ocean cruises as it underwent a major refurbishment in early 2020. In fact, it’s the largest upgrade in Hurtigruten’s history with a complete makeover bow to stern. The vessel has a gross tonnage of 15,690 and has 540 beds.
Photo Credit: Ørjan Bertelsen / Hurtigruten