The boss of Hurtigruten has not ruled out sailing ex-UK cruises later this year – but has insisted the UK’s Covid-19 infection rate would need to be lowered.
The Norwegian cruise operator became the first major ocean line to resume operations this week with a coastal voyage from Bergen onboard Finnmarken carrying around 200 Norwegian and Danish guests.
Speaking onboard via video call, chief executive Daniel Skjeldam said as part of Hurtigruten’s sailing restart strategy, cruises would only be available to the nationalities of countries in which the ships are based and neighbours with low Covid infection rates.
From next week three more ships will sail Norwegian coastal routes, while Fridtjof Nansen will operate 15-day cruises exclusively for the German market from Hamburg starting on 26 June.
Next month Roald Amunsden is slated to begin seven and 12-day expedition cruises from Tromso to Svalbard for Norwegian and Danish guests.
Asked when UK travellers may be able to come onboard a Hurtigruten ship, Skjeldam said the line was “monitoring the infection rate in the UK very closely” to see if it could be viable this year.
He predicted that when UK infection levels approached similar lows to those seen in Germany itineraries may take place.