Starting this July, Hurtigruten Norway Coastal Express will return all its seven ships to operate what is often called ‘The World’s Most Beautiful Voyage’ along the Norwegian coast, with full operation between Bergen in the south and Kirkenes in the Arctic North. The company predicts that this summer will be a unique opportunity for Europeans to experience the Norwegian coast, and for North Americans as soon as the borders reopen.
Earlier this month, Hurtigruten announced a sale offering up to 20% off a number of sailings between this August and May 2023 for North American travelers to explore the Norwegian coastline. The departures on sale range from six to 12 days, with the latter calling at 34 ports along the Norwegian coast and sailing past more than 100 fjords and 1,000 mountains. All eligible sailings can be found at hurtigruten.com/coastal-offers/ and are valid for sale until June 30, 2021.
“We have been looking forward to announcing this news. We will be scaling up to full operation with seven ships in July, and we have great faith in the summer season. There is no better way to experience the Norwegian coast than sailing it with the Coastal Express, and we will have the fjords almost all to ourselves. Together with our local partners, who supply local food and excursions, we will create unique experiences for our guests,” said CEO Hedda Felin in Hurtigruten Norway.
Norway often tops travelers’ bucket lists, and just last month, American travelers listed seeing the Northern Lights in Northern Norway as their number one bucket list travel experience in the world, according to USTOA (the United States Tour Operators Association). Being onboard a ship is one of the best ways to experience these magical occurrences from November to March every year. To ensure that guests can cross the lights off their bucket list, Hurtigruten offers the unique Northern Lights Promise on select voyages.
“We are excited to welcome guests from all over the world as soon as the travel restrictions are being eased. We continuously adapt to the Norwegian authorities’ reopening plan and recommendations and have comprehensive safety and infection control measures in place,” said Felin. “The travel industry has been hit hard by the Corona pandemic. We are born and raised to connect coastal communities and people, and we are happy to now see the summer looking bright.
We are excited to welcome travelers back to experience local food, local traditions, and unique local Norwegian experiences,” she added.
Hurtigruten Norway has kept the Coastal Express in service throughout the pandemic. Since January, five ships have been in service between Bergen and Kirkenes to maintain the important traffic for freight and local passengers, and in July all the company’s seven ships will be fully operational. MS Nordlys is back in the schedule from Bergen on July 4 and MS Nordnorge follows on July 10. Overall, the route has been operated since 1893.
Earlier this month, Hurtigruten Norway Coastal Express announced all its seven ships will undergo one of the largest environmental upgrade in the history of European shipping, with significant green upgrades which will result in CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions being reduced by at least 25% and NOx (nitrogen oxide) emissions cut by 80%.