Hurtigruten Cancels 20/21 Season Antarctica Cruises
Norwegian cruise ship operator Hurtigruten has decided to cancel the remaining of the Antarctica 20/21 season cruises - from January and throughout the first quarter of 2021, citing the impact of the pandemic. It will also reduce the capacity on the Norwegian coast.
The decision follows Hurtigruten's announcement in September when it said it would suspend remaining cruises in 2020, with plans to resume operation in January 2021.
"The Covid-19 pandemic is still affecting large parts of the world and travel restrictions and quarantine requirements are wide spread and changing rapidly. Given these challenging circumstances and that the developments are unpredictable, Hurtigruten has decided to cancel the remaining of the Antarctica 20/21 season - from January and throughout the first quarter of 2021," the Norwegian company said.
"Many of the guests who have booked expedition cruises with Hurtigruten that have been canceled, have chosen to postpone their trips rather than request a refund and the level of refund claims continue to be significantly below the industry average. Currently, we have approx. EUR 1.5m in unprocessed refund claims," it said.
Hurtigruten further said there was a strong demand for Hurtigruten's expedition cruises for the second half of 2021 and into 2022 with bookings for 2H 2021 8.4% higher compared to the same time last year for 1H 2020 and bookings for 2022 currently 97% higher compared with the same time last year for 2021.
"With the escalating uncertainties, very low number of national and international travelers, and the impact the pandemic has on our operations on the Norwegian Coast; Hurtigruten has also decided to reduce capacity on the coastal service. In November, Hurtigruten will only operate a limited-service between Bodø and Kirkenes with two ships. This is at the request of the Norwegian Ministry of Transportation," the company added.