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Hurtigruten suspends operations until April 19th


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As of yesterday, all expedition voyages to Greenland, Iceland and Spitzbergen have been cancelled for this season by Hurtigruten. We feel sad even if we fully understand the significance of keeping such remote places as corona-free as possible, but still... We booked our cruise to Greenland on  Fridtjof Nansen the moment it came out, got a great cabin plus onboard credit to use, booked flights and hotels etc. After the virus struck Europe so hard even after the lockdown was eased this month we weren't really comfortable about going with all that (necessary) mask-wearing, closure of airport lounges, restrictions on board but still were wanting to go. No more discussions in the family about that for now!

We're still dithering about asking for a refund or re-booking for 2021.

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On 6/13/2020 at 10:48 AM, grayjay said:

As of yesterday, all expedition voyages to Greenland, Iceland and Spitzbergen have been cancelled for this season by Hurtigruten.

Were did you see that? I do not see this exactly like this on Hurtigruten's webpage and cruises for ships of 250 passengers or less are actually allowed in Svalbard from July 1st, so I'm surprised at least by the cancellation of Svalbard cruises. To be fair that's only for the nationalities allowed in mainland Norway, which currently are only people from Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Greenland and Faroe Islands only, so I suppose if you are not from one of those countries then indeed it works as if all cruises are cancelled. But' I'd be curious to know if Hurtigruten is still trying to run some trips in Svalbard. Currently those in July and August are not shown as cancelled : https://www.hurtigruten.com/practical-information/coronavirus-update/cancelled/departures/

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They have been cancelled on the page you mentioned above as per June 12th.

I don't know about Svalbard, but as Norway is still closed to most foreigners cruises at least until August there could only include passengers from the Nordic countries ( except Sweden).

 

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29 minutes ago, grayjay said:

I don't know about Svalbard, but as Norway is still closed to most foreigners

Just for information - Spitsbergen is part of Svalbard.
As I see information at the web only expedition cruises with MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen have been canceled - for example, there are still scheduled trips with MS Fram, MS Nordstjernen and MS Spitsbergen (might very well change)
Norway expects to open borders to Schengen countries on July 20 (with Some restrictions).
I doubt Greenland will open ports for cruises this year.  Denmark is not expected to open the borders before August 31. Borders open with some limitations from June 15 in Denmark while still restrictions on travel to and in Greenland including a requirement for Covid-19 test.

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The most current information I have is that both Norway and Svalbard are still closed to international visitors at least until July 20th, when the Norwegian government will reconsider whether or not to ease restrictions . As of now borders are closed to most visitors until August 20th with some exceptions regarding some Nordic countries or if you own a house in Norway etc.

But in view of the remoteness of Svalbard I can't believe that visitors can book expedition cruises this year and I expect that at least all July expeditions, if not all, will be cancelled by Hurtigruten during the next weeks. But hope dies last, as you say in my country.

Personally I hope to be able to go in 2021 after a vaccine has been found that really works and I won't be a danger to others as well as not in danger myself.

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On 6/14/2020 at 6:39 PM, hallasm said:

As I see information at the web only expedition cruises with MS Roald Amundsen and MS Fridtjof Nansen have been canceled - for example, there are still scheduled trips with MS Fram, MS Nordstjernen and MS Spitsbergen (might very well change)

Yes exactly.

 

And I've heard (from people who work in Svalbard) that Hurtigruten has been one of the operator pushing hard to allow for cruises to Svalbard to resume this summer, and they are now actually allowed, for ships carrying less than 250 passengers, so I very much expect them to try to run some cruises at least.


Of course only the nationalities allowed in Norway will be allowed to enter Svalbard, so as of today June 15th (and at least until July 20th), that means people from Norway (of course), Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Greenland and Faroe Islands (and the Swedish province of Gotland, strangely enough). Whether that's enough people to fill up ships, I don't know. It's possible that people will be allowed from less-infected European country (such as Germany) from July 20th.


This is the press release about this from the Norwegian government (see last paragraph about Svalbard) : https://www.regjeringen.no/en/aktuelt/norway-opening-up-for-more-leisure-travel-to-and-from-the-other-nordic-countries/id2706368/

Cruises companies have received guidelines with sanitary measures, and I have understood that one of the measures is operating the ship at half-capacity only to allow for physical distancing on board, but I don't have a link, so don't quote me on that.

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For all those who are willing and interested to start from Hamburg, Germany:

Hurtigruten is offering 6 Norway coastal voyages in the months of June-September on brand-new Fridtjof Nansen, unfortunately at eye-watering prices...

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3 hours ago, grayjay said:

from Hamburg, Germany:

Hurtigruten is offering 6 Norway coastal voyages

Good initiative despite the pricing. Looks like the voyages only are available at the Hurtigruten German web. 

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On 3/19/2020 at 11:20 PM, Homerody said:

@medeba - sorry to hear about your misfortunes. I hope all works out for you.  I'm curious to see how they will respond.

 

 

Hi Homerody.

I'm pleased to report that Hurtigruten has agreed to give me a refund rather than the FCV.  Now, when I receive the money is another matter!  At least I know it has been approved.  No travel agent involved this time.  It will be the last of my three refunds to be paid.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/19/2020 at 4:03 AM, Medeba said:

Hi Homerody.

I'm pleased to report that Hurtigruten has agreed to give me a refund rather than the FCV.  Now, when I receive the money is another matter!  At least I know it has been approved.  No travel agent involved this time.  It will be the last of my three refunds to be paid.

That is good to hear.  Hope your refund will be processed quickly.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Homerody said:

That is good to hear.  Hope your refund will be processed quickly.

 

 

The refund was paid back on our credit card 3 days ago.  So, that's the last of our cruise refunds paid.  Am a bit sad that we don't now have any cruises to look forward to but hopefully in the future we may cruise again.

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4 hours ago, Medeba said:

The refund was paid back on our credit card 3 days ago.  So, that's the last of our cruise refunds paid.  Am a bit sad that we don't now have any cruises to look forward to but hopefully in the future we may cruise again.

Great news about the refund.

 

Hope 2021 would be a better year for everyone and their travel plans!

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