The cruise industry continues the slow process of relaunching operations as Hurtigruten began domestic service in the waters around Norway.
According to CruiseCritic.com, the cruise line’s 628-passenger MS Finnmarken set sail on a 12-day voyage from Bergen to Kirkenes that will stop at 34 ports in the northern areas of the country.
While the ship can carry over 600 passengers, social distancing guidelines allow for only around 200 customers per trip. Hurtigruten also announced three additional ships, the MS Trollfjord, MS Midnatsol and MS Richard With, would begin sailing domestic service along the Norwegian coast.
The cruise line also revealed expedition voyages aboard the hybrid-powered Fridjtof Nansen would launch on June 26. The vessel will operate 15-day itineraries from Hamburg along the Norwegian coast.
“With the first guests boarding the beautiful MS Finnmarken over the next hours, we are thrilled to be restarting our operations,” a Hurtigruten spokesperson told Cruise Critic. “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,” the statement continued. “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.”
The Roald Amundsen is scheduled to sail seven-night voyages from Tromso to Svalbard, starting on July 7. Hurtigruten temporarily suspended cruise operations in March as the coronavirus outbreak began impacting travel.
To keep passengers and crew members safe, the cruise line has implemented new health and safety protocols, such as the elimination of self-serve buffet dining, limited ship capacity and social distancing measures.
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