Hurtigruten operate with a full accompaniment of seven ships for its Norwegian coastal voyages between Bergen and Kirkenes next month.
The line said it was entering a "new phase of our step-by-step return to operations” after more than a year of limiting sailing due to the Covid pandemic.
Booking levels are “almost 50% higher” than pre-pandemic levels, Hurtigruten said, reporting “strong” demand for 2022 small-ship cruising, with 2021 also “shaping up”.
“As vaccines are being rolled out and travel restrictions are lifted, we are seeing a huge pent up demand and strong booking trends across all markets,” said group chief executive Daniel Skjeldam. “When international travel resumes, we will be ready to welcome our guests onboard.”
Operating since 1893, Hurtigruten’s Norwegian Coastal Express fleet will be the only ships to offer voyages along the Norwegian coast this summer – combining a transportation link for Norwegian nationals, goods and mail delivers to local communities and cruise trips for international tourists.
Hurtigruten’s Norwegian Coastal Express chief executive Hedda Felin said: “Our step-by-step return to sailing under our strict health and safety procedures has been extremely well received from both guests, our crew and the local communities.
“We continuously adapt to the Norwegian authorities’ plans for reopening, and follow all guidelines and recommendations. Operating safely throughout the pandemic also gives us unparalleled experience, as we now are getting ready to welcome international guests.”
Hurtigruten recently revealed its latest investments in sustainability and green technology.
Using a combination of batteries, shore power and biofuel, the seven ships in its Norwegian Coastal Express fleet will be upgraded to reduce Carbon dioxide (C02) emissions by “at least 25%” and Nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions cut by 80%.