Safer together

As we prepare for the safe restart of our expedition cruises, we’ve introduced strict measures on all our Hurtigruten Expedition ships designed to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

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Your safety is our highest priority.

Our highest priority is the safety of our guests, our employees, and the communities we visit. We’ve partnered with experts in health and safety to design new protocols and procedures to be safer together as we restart our expedition operations.   

We will continuously evaluate our health and safety procedures and update the information on this page. Specific measures may vary per sailing, local regulations, the latest scientific and medical advice, and the conditions at the time of sailing. We will inform you of the specific measures in place for your cruise before departure.

        All our ships are certified with SafeGuard

All our ships must pass stringent tests before we put them into service. This is why the onboard Health & Safety procedures are third-party accredited by leading independent certification body Bureau Veritas (BV). The strict and thorough safety audit required by BV ensures every ship is in compliance with industry and international health, safety and hygiene best practices. When you see the SafeGuard label, you can feel confident the vessel you’re sailing in meets the highest standards to achieve certification. SafeGuard furthermore ensures that best practice guidelines are being followed with regard to hygiene, sanitation and limiting the spread of infectious diseases onboard. 

What we do

Embarkation screening 

We’ve put in place strict embarkation requirements for both guests and crew members. Specific requirements may vary by sailing but may include pre-travel testing, health screening, and requesting proof of vaccination. 

New health and safety protocols 

In addition to enhanced cleaning and disinfection, we’ve introduced new protocols, including face mask regulations, capacity limitations, and other measures in line with local requirements. 

Continuous monitoring to identify risks and take prompt action

We’ll regularly monitor the health of our guests and crew during each cruise. Then, if required, we’ll initiate the robust procedures we’ve established for outbreak prevention and response.  

Onboard Medical Center with high-quality care and expertise

We’ve expanded our onboard medical capabilities. Our expedition ships feature a well-equipped Medical Center staffed with a doctor and nurse available at all hours. 

What you do

Travel requirements

We expect you to follow all applicable travel or quarantine restrictions you may be subject to, whether at home or your destination. 

Embarkation screening

We’ll inform you of the embarkation requirements for your cruise – please ensure that you fulfil all the obligations before you travel. We also ask that you arrive at your assigned check-in time to adhere to physical distancing requirements. 

Health and safety protocols

During your cruise, you’ll be required to follow all social distancing, face covering, and handwashing policies to ensure everyone’s safety. 

Monitoring and testing

We ask all guests to be alert for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow procedures for informing our staff as soon as any symptoms develop. 

Joining your Hurtigruten Expedition

Embarkation requirements

Before your departure datewe’ll inform you of the latest requirements for your specific sailing. The embarkation screening process may vary per sailing, local regulations, the latest scientific and medical advice, and the conditions at the time of sailing. 

Our standard travel documentation is also required for each cruise. This includes doctor’s approval for remote destinations such as Antarctica, Northwest Passage, Northeast Greenland, and transoceanic crossings. 

Check-in

Check-in processes have been modified to enable physical distancing and embarkation screening. Floor markings will be in place and hand sanitiser will be available. Guests, crew, and check-in staff will be required to wear face masks during the check-in process. Only medical-grade face masks or FFP2 face masks are allowed onboard. We will not accept fabric, homemade, face shields or visors.

To facilitate physical distancing during check-in, you will be assigned an embarkation time before your departure date.  

Life onboard

Face masks onboard

Currentlyyou’re required to wear face mask in public areas indoors, except when eating and drinking. Outside on deck, face masks may be removed if physical distancing is possible. Policies may vary by destination, in line with local requirements.

Only medical-grade face masks or FFP2 face masks are allowed onboard. We will not accept fabric, homemade, face shields or visors.

Physical distancing

We plan to sail with a reduced passenger capacity to enable greater physical distancing onboard. We have also reduced the guest capacities of public spaces like our restaurants and lecture halls so that all guests can enjoy our services and activities comfortably. 

Cleaning and hygiene

We’ve enhanced our standard practices with additional cleaning protocols to reduce the risk of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. 

All public spaces are regularly cleaned and disinfected throughout the day, and hand sanitiser is available throughout the ship. We have increased the frequency of all cleaning procedures, especially for high touch areas. 

Guest cabins are cleaned and disinfected daily. Our housekeeping staff are equipped with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and are trained in new methods to reduce the risk of COVID-19. 

Expedition lectures and activities

One of the highlights of a Hurtigruten Expedition is the wide array of expedition activities we provide onboard, from lectures to activities in our Science Center. As we restart operations, we plan to offer all of our standard onboard activities. 

We’ve introduced enhanced cleaning and disinfection measures for public areas such as our Science Center. Hand sanitiser will be available and touch points regularly cleaned. Lecture hall seating capacities have been adjusted to allow for physical distancing. On some ships, we’ll offer streamed lectures, enabling you to enjoy them in your cabin.

Dining

We’ve made adjustments to our food and beverage services to reduce the risk of COVID-19. 

We’re reducing seating capacity and extending opening hours in our restaurants to facilitate increased distances between tables. Our new reservation system for restaurants minimises wait times. At restaurant entrances, guests can expect hand sanitiser dispensers and a temperature check with a contactless temperature scanner. 

We have adapted menus and services to offer individual dishes rather than self-service buffets. We also provide a “takeaway service” for guests who wish to dine in their cabin. 

Our Explorer Lounge and pool bars, where applicable, will be operating via table service only.  

Hotel and wellness facilities

Our pool, spa, gym, and other wellness facilities will be open on all ships where they’re available. Use of these facilities and certain services may be limited. 

We’ve introduced new procedures in these spaces, including enhanced cleaning and disinfection and limited guest capacity. In some cases, you’ll need to make a reservation in advance. 

Medical services

Our expedition ships feature a small onboard hospital available at all hours. Every ship has a medical team with a doctor and at least one nurse, supported 24/7 by dedicated land-based experts. Our medical staff can conduct a rapid COVID-19 test onboard and are trained in outbreak prevention and response.

 

Exploring on shore

Activities, landings, and shore excursions 

We plan to offer shore excursions, expedition landings, and small group expedition activities when we restart our expedition cruises. In addition to joining one of our organised activities or shore excursions, we expect that you’ll be able to explore independently in ports where this is possible. Specific offerings and availability will depend on your itinerary and the conditions at the time of sailing. 

We’ll follow all mandates from local governments and communities when exploring on land, adjusting our plans and procedures as needed. In some cases, this may mean some activities or independent exploration are restricted. 

Safety measures on shore

We’ve adjusted procedures for our expedition landings and small group expedition activities, such as kayaking and hiking. These include new cleaning and disinfection measures for equipment and expedition boats, physical distancing, and wearing face masks when physical distancing is not possible. 

We are working with our local partners to implement health and safety policies on all shore excursions. These may include limiting guest capacities on excursions and transport and new cleaning and disinfection procedures. 

When visiting communities, either with the Expedition Team or on a shore excursion, you’ll be required to wear a face mask. On nature landings and in wilderness areas, you may remove your face mask if physical distancing is possible. 

Only medical-grade face masks or FFP2 face masks are allowed onboard. We will not accept fabric, homemade, face shields or visors.

Embarkation

To reduce the risk of COVID-19, we have strict requirements before embarkation. As we restart operations, Hurtigruten Expeditions plans to require: 

  • Proof of negative COVID-19 PCR test completed no more than 72 hours prior to arrival at the ship 
  • Health and temperature screening, including a signed health self-declaration form. You may be refused boarding if you have symptoms compatible with COVID-19, have been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days, or are otherwise subject to isolation, quarantine, or other such restrictions by authorities. 
  • Negative rapid COVID test, provided at embarkation free of charge 
  • Proof of full vaccination for COVID-19, for all sailings with a departure date in 2021 and 2022. Guests must show proof of being fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Guests must be considered fully vaccinated by the health authorities of each country on their sailing itinerary. 

The embarkation screening process and specific requirements may vary by sailing, based on regional requirements, the latest scientific and medical advice, and the conditions at the time of sailing. Specific requirements for further sailings will be announced closer to the departure date. We are still developing our plans for our Antarctica expedition cruises as the situation evolves, and will share more information as soon as possible. 

Our standard documentation is still required for each expedition cruise, including a doctor’s approval for remote destinations including Antarctica, Northwest Passage, Northeast Greenland, and transatlantic crossings. 

Guests will be assigned a time of arrival to the ship for check-in. Floor markings will be in place to help maintain physical distancing, and hand sanitizer will be available. Guests, crew, and check-in staff will be required to wear face masks during the check-in process. 

At this time, we require guests to bring proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result no older than 72 hours. We also require a negative rapid test conducted during the embarkation process. The rapid test will be provided at embarkation.

Specific requirements may vary by sailing, based on regional requirements, the latest scientific and medical advice, and the conditions at the time of sailing.

Onboard

At this time, face masks will be required for guests and for crew in several situations during your cruise. Guests and crew are required to wear face masks in public areas indoors, except when eating and drinking. Outdoors on deck, face masks may be removed if physical distancing is possible.

We will continuously evaluate our policies for face masks, as our overall health and safety procedures evolve. Policies may vary by destination, in line with local requirements.

Only medical-grade face masks or FFP2 face masks are allowed onboard. We will not accept fabric, homemade, face shields or visors.

Hurtigruten Expeditions operates relatively small ships. In regular operation, our largest ships have a max. capacity of around 530 guests. At this time, we are operating with reduced capacity on all of our ships to enable more physical distancing onboard.

Capacity restrictions vary based on ship and may vary by sailing as we adjust our policies for regional requirements.

We plan to sail with reduced passenger capacity and have also reduced the capacities of public spaces like our restaurants and lecture halls, to limit the number of people at one time.

We’ve made several adjustments to our regular Food & Beverage service to reduce the risk of COVID-19 while ensuring our guests can enjoy our delicious meals onboard. We’ll continue to update these services and procedures as our overall health and safety procedures evolve.

New procedures include:

  • Reduced seating capacity and extended opening hours in our restaurants to enable greater distance between tables
  • New reservation system to minimize queuing
  • Adapted our menus and services to serve individual dishes instead of self-service buffets
  • “Takeaway” service for guests who wish to dine in their own cabin

Our Explorer Lounge and pool bars (where applicable) will be open, with table service only.

At restaurant entrances, guests can expect hand sanitizer and a temperature check with a contactless temperature scanner. As always, our kitchens follow the highest standards of hygiene and quality. Touchpoints in our restaurants and kitchens are frequently cleaned and disinfected.

We plan to have these facilities open, on all ships where they are available. Use of these facilities and certain services may be limited as we start up operations.

New procedures have been introduced in these spaces, including enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures and limits to capacities. In some cases, guests will need to book reservations in advance to reduce queuing and maintain physical distancing.

We plan to offer our standard onboard expedition activities, including our Science Center and lectures, as we restart operations.

New procedures have been introduced in these public spaces, including enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures and limits to capacities in areas like our lecture halls. Hand sanitizer will be available and touch points regularly cleaned.

Lecture hall seating capacities have been adjusted and on some ships we offer streaming of lectures to guest cabins.

We have enhanced our standard practices with additional cleaning protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19, based on the latest medical and scientific advice and technology.

All public spaces are regularly cleaned and disinfected throughout the day. We have increased the frequency of all cleaning procedures, especially for high touch areas.

Guest cabins are cleaned and disinfected daily. Our housekeeping staff are equipped with PPE and trained in new protocol to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

Our expedition cruises sail with a small onboard hospital available any time of the day. Every ship has a medical team with a doctor and at least one nurse, supported 24/7 by dedicated land-based experts. Our medical staff are able to conduct a rapid COVID-19 test onboard and are trained in outbreak prevention and response.

On Shore

In ports where this is possible, we plan for guests to be able to explore independently, in addition to joining activities or shore excursions organized by Hurtigruten Expeditions. In some circumstances, independent exploration may be restricted due to local requirements or conditions.

On nature landings or in wilderness areas, guests may explore freely within the landing area designated by the Expedition Team.

When visiting communities either with the Expedition Team or on a shore excursion, guests must wear a face mask.

Outdoors, on nature landings, and in wilderness areas, face masks may be removed if physical distancing is possible. Face masks are also required on expedition boats when physical distancing is not possible.

We will continuously evaluate our policies for face masks, as our overall health and safety procedures evolve. Policies may vary by port, in line with local requirements.

Only medical-grade face masks or FFP2 face masks are allowed onboard. We will not accept fabric, homemade, face shields or visors.

We are working with our local partners to implement new health and safety protocols on all activities on land. These may include adjusting guest capacities on excursions and buses to enable physical distancing, new cleaning and disinfection procedures, and other changes to services and experiences.

We have adjusted procedures for our expedition landings and small group expedition activities, such as kayaking, hiking, and snow-shoeing. These include new cleaning and disinfection measures for equipment and expedition boats, physical distancing, and masking when physical distancing is not possible.

We will follow all requirements from local governments and communities when exploring on land, and adjust our plans and procedures as needed. In some cases, this may mean some activities are restricted.

As we return to operation, transfers will operate with buses at reduced capacity to enable physical distancing. We have implemented new health and safety procedures with our suppliers and buses will be sanitized regularly.

COVID-19 Vaccination

Due to the emergence of the Omicron variant, passengers boarding cruises on MS Maud and MS Otto Sverdrup may be denied embarkation if they have visited any of the following countries in the last 14 days:

  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • Eswatini
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • South Africa
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe.

Yes. Hurtigruten Expeditions will require proof of vaccination for COVID-19. This policy applies to all Hurtigruten Expeditions sailings with a departure date in 2021 and 2022. 

For all Hurtigruten Expedition Cruises in 2022, we require that all guests (including children under the age of 18), be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 with a WHO-approved vaccine. In addition, the vaccine and vaccine certificate must comply with the local regulations in the area of the cruise.

Regulations and travel restrictions are constantly changing. Guests are responsible for ensuring that they are considered fully vaccinated by health authorities of each country on their sailing, regardless of whether they plan to disembark.  

Hurtigruten Expeditions reserves the right to deny embarkation to guests who do not fulfil the current regulations of each country on the sailing, at the time of embarkation.  

Hurtigruten Expeditions will continue to monitor local requirements and the latest scientific and medical guidance for future expedition cruises. Travelers should seek health information and advice from a medical professional regarding vaccination. 

As of November 2021, this policy applies to all Hurtigruten Expeditions sailings with a departure date in 2021 and 2022. We will continue to evaluate our policies and procedures for future Hurtigruten Expeditions sailings.

This vaccine requirement does not apply to Norwegian Coastal Express voyages.

For all Hurtigruten Expedition Cruises in 2021 and 2022, we require that all guests (including children under the age of 18), be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 with a WHO-approved vaccine. In addition, the vaccine and vaccine certificate must comply with the local regulations in the area of the cruise.

Hurtigruten Expeditions will continue to monitor local requirements and the latest scientific and medical guidance for future sailings to evaluate which vaccines we accept. Travellers should seek health information and advice from a medical professional regarding vaccination.

Regulations and travel restrictions are constantly changing. Many countries have different policies for whether combining vaccines is considered full vaccination or not. In some cases, only some specific combinations of vaccines are accepted as full vaccination.  

Guests are responsible for ensuring that they are considered fully vaccinated by health authorities of each country on their sailing itinerary, regardless of whether they plan to disembark. Hurtigruten Expeditions will deny embarkation to guests who do not fulfil the current regulations of each country on the sailing, at the time of embarkation. 

Regulations and travel restrictions are constantly changing. We understand that some countries currently consider individuals who can document recovery from COVID-19 to be fully vaccinated with only 1 dose of a 2-dose vaccine. 

Guests are responsible for ensuring that they are considered fully vaccinated by health authorities of each country on their sailing itinerary, regardless of whether they plan to disembark. Hurtigruten Expeditions will deny embarkation to guests who do not fulfil the current regulations of each country on the sailing, at the time of embarkation. 

Approved forms of proof of vaccination will be confirmed before your departure date. Proof of vaccination will be required at embarkation and may need to be presented during your expedition voyage upon request by medical staff or public health authorities.

For sailings departing in 2021 and 2022, we are only able to accommodate guests who are considered fully vaccinated by the health authorities of all countries on their sailing. This applies to guests of all ages, whether or not they plan to disembark. 

Guests who are not able to be vaccinated are encouraged to contact Hurtigruten Expeditions to discuss options for rebooking to a future departure.  

As of 1 July 2021, vaccination is required only for guests on sailings with a departure date in 2021 and 2022. Please contact Hurtigruten Expeditions as soon as possible to learn more about your options.  

If your booking was made prior to the adoption of this policy on 1 July 2021, and you are unable to be vaccinated in time for your departure date or provide the required proof, please contact Hurtigruten Expeditions to discuss your options for refund or rebooking to a future departure. 

We have made arrangements to offer COVID-19 vaccines to all Hurtigruten Expeditions crew members. As we restart operations, all of our ships will be sailing with fully vaccinated crew and guests. 

In addition, our crew members follow a number of stringent protocols at embarkation and during our cruises, including testing, quarantine, social distancing, and regular monitoring while onboard.

General

We expect guests traveling with Hurtigruten Expeditions to act with respect toward fellow travelers, our employees and partners, and the communities we visit.

Guests are expected to comply with all applicable travel or quarantine restrictions in place at the time of sailing, in addition to the protocols Hurtigruten Expeditions has implemented.

Our latest requirements for embarkation can be found on our website, and the specific requirements for your sailing will be shared with you before your departure. These requirements may include testing, a mandatory health self-declaration form, and other screening procedures to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

Hurtigruten Expeditions will continue to monitor both local requirements and the latest scientific guidance, as they evolve. All our health and safety protocols, including embarkation requirements, will be adjusted to the conditions at the time of each sailing.

Yes, all guests are required to follow our embarkation requirements.

These requirements may include testing, a mandatory health self-declaration form, and other screening procedures to reduce the risk of COVID-19. All our health and safety protocols, including embarkation requirements, will be adjusted to the conditions at the time of each sailing.

Yes, at this time, face masks will be required for guests and for crew in several situations during your cruise. 

Guests are required to wear face masks in public areas indoors, except when eating and drinking. Outdoors on deck, face masks may be removed if physical distancing is possible.

When visiting communities, guests must wear a face mask. Outdoors, on nature landings, and in wilderness areas, face masks may be removed, if physical distancing is possible.

We will continuously evaluate our policies for face masks, as our overall health and safety procedures evolve. Policies may vary by destination, in line with local requirements.

Only medical-grade face masks or FFP2 face masks are allowed onboard. We will not accept fabric, homemade, face shields or visors.

In addition to rigorous embarkation screening, we monitor the health of everyone onboard throughout the voyage. Around the ship and at the entrance of our restaurants, we have installed contactless temperature scanners to screen guests daily. We also have regular health and temperature screening of crew.

Our medical staff is able to conduct a rapid COVID-19 test onboard. Guests may be required to take a COVID-19 test during the voyage, for example if required by local authorities or if a guest experiences symptoms of COVID-19.

Guests are requested to self-isolate in their cabin and call reception immediately if they experience any symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fever or chills, new loss of taste or smell, vomiting or diarrhea. Our medical staff is able to conduct a rapid COVID-19 test onboard. If required, we have robust procedures in place for outbreak prevention and response.

If guests are notified that they are a “close contact” via contact tracing, they are requested to self-isolate in their cabin and call reception immediately. Our medical staff is able to conduct a rapid COVID-19 test onboard. If required, we have robust procedures in place for outbreak prevention and response.

We understand that some guests may currently need a negative COVID-19 test to return home or continue international travels after a voyage. We do conduct COVID-19 tests onboard as part of ongoing health monitoring and our outbreak prevention and response plan. However, at this time we do not provide test documentation for guests’ onward travel unless you’re sailing on MS Fram or MS Roald Amundsen to Antarctica.

Travel restrictions around the world are constantly evolving, and as we plan for the restart of our operations, we are considering these needs and our options to support them.

 

 

We’ll be constantly updating our measures according to the latest medical and scientific advice and technology available.   

As we restart expedition operations in destinations around the world, our health and safety protocols may vary from sailing to sailing, based on the evolving requirements of local authorities and communities.  

We are currently refining our health and safety procedures for the upcoming Antarctica season and the unique requirements of operating in this destination. This will likely involve additional measures, especially for the mandatory pre/post (hotel, charter flight, etc.) included in the tour.

Guests will continue to receive travel documents, 3-4 weeks before departure. These travel documents will include important information about embarkation, arrival and departure, and health and safety procedures.