Safer together

We have introduced measures on all our Hurtigruten Expedition ships designed to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

Your safety is our priority

The safety of our guests, our employees and the communities we visit is our priority. We’ve partnered with experts in health and safety to design and implement protocols and procedures across our expedition fleet. *  

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

What we do

We’ve put in place embarkation requirements for both guests and crew members, which may vary by sailing or destination. We also operate enhanced cleaning and disinfection protocols on board. What’s more, we monitor the health of our guests and crew, and if required, we’ll initiate the robust procedures we’ve established for outbreak prevention and response. 

What you do

We expect you to follow all applicable travel or quarantine restrictions you may be subject to, whether at home or your expedition destination. We also ask all guests to be alert for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow procedures for informing our crew if you develop any symptoms.   

Please note that our embarkation procedures and requirements may be stricter than national regulations. Therefore, it’s important that you read the information below, where we provide an overview of our procedures and requirements. 

COVID-19 travel map

Use our interactive map to keep updated on what’s open for travel and get details on any potential entry requirements.

 

Joining your Hurtigruten Expedition

The following sections (Embarkation requirements, Vaccination for expedition cruises, Booster dose requirements, Test requirements and Proof of recovery) are valid for all MS Fram, MS Otto Sverdrup and MS Roald Amundsen expeditions that depart before 28 September 2022 and all other ships that depart before 1 October 2022. See section further below for later departures.

Embarkation requirements

Below you can find the key embarkation requirements for your cruise. The embarkation screening process may vary per sailing due to different local regulations, updates in scientific and medical advice, and the conditions at the time of sailing. Instructions from local health authorities and changes in legislation may also impact our procedures and how we handle specific cases. Before your departure date, we will do our best to inform you of the latest requirements for your cruise if material changes are made before the sailing.  

Vaccination for expedition cruises

Please note: You’re responsible for ensuring that you’re considered fully vaccinated by health authorities of each country visited during the sailing, regardless of whether you plan to disembark. You should seek health information and advice from a medical professional regarding vaccination.  

FAQ

All guests aged 3 years and over must show proof that they have completed their primary COVID-19 vaccination series. A valid QR code or certificate is accepted. Please read the testing requirements for the Galápagos Islands if you are not fully vaccinated.

Guests aged under 3 years of age do not require any COVID-19 certificates to board the ship. 

We require all guests aged 12 years and over to have completed their primary vaccination series against COVID-19 with WHO-approved vaccines.  

 A green pass, certificate, doctor’s note or a positive test result with name and a date no less than 10 days before embarkation is acceptable proof of recovery.

 

What is a primary vaccination series?

You are considered to have completed your primary vaccination series 14 days after receiving the final dose of a WHO-approved vaccine. Please note: A primary vaccination series refers to the initial number of doses required. It does not include booster doses. For example, the primary series of Moderna or Pfizer consists of two doses.   

The vaccine and vaccine certificate must comply with the local regulations in the area of the cruise.  

Booster dose requirement

  • Guests who completed their primary vaccination series more than 150 days ago must present proof of a booster shot. 
  • Guests are not required to have a booster shot. 
  • Guests aged 12 years and over who completed their primary vaccination series more than 270 days ago must present proof of a booster shot.  
  • Guests who have recovered from COVID-19 in 2022 do not require a booster dose. However, they must show proof of recovery. A positive test result with name and a date no less than 10 days before embarkation is acceptable proof of recovery. 

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.    

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

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

At check-in and embarkation 

Our check-in processes have been modified to reduce the risk of infection. The process may vary depending on the location of your cruise, but may include assigned embarkation slots, a health and temperature check, a pre-boarding health declaration form and reviews of COVID-19 tests and/or vaccination status (see above for more information). 

 

Regions

All guests aged 5 years and over you will take a mandatory lateral flow/antigen test at the port. If the test result is negative, you will be allowed to board.  The test costs 65 EUR and is charged to your onboard account. Onboard credits can be used to pay for the test. 

All guests aged 5 years and over will take a mandatory lateral flow/antigen test at the hotel in Longyearbyen. If the test result is negative, you will be allowed to board.  The test costs 30 EUR and is charged to your onboard account. Onboard credits can be used to pay for the test.

All guests aged 5 years and over must show proof of a negative antigen/lateral flow test taken within 72 hours before embarkation. The test certificate must be issued by a lab or test provider.  

If you are a resident of Longyearbyen, you will be tested on the pier before embarkation. 

All guests aged 5 years and over will take a mandatory lateral flow/antigen test before embarkation.

  • If you embark in Vancouver, Anchorage or Seward, your test will take place at a test centre specified in your travel documents.
  • If you embark in Nome, you will take a COVID-19 test in Vancouver before boarding the charter flight to Alaska.
  • If you embark in Cambridge Bay, you will take a COVID-19 test in Edmonton before boarding the charter flight to Cambridge Bay.

The test costs 75 EUR and is charged to your onboard account. Onboard credits can be used to pay for the test.

Guests who are considered fully vaccinated do not take a test before boarding the ship. Please read the above embarkation requirements for the Galápagos Islands for more information.

Guests who are not considered fully vaccinated must show proof of a negative PCR or antigen test taken within 72 hours of boarding the flight from Quito to the Galápagos Islands. Unsupervised self-tests are not accepted; the test certificate must be issued by a lab or test provider.  

 

Test requirements

The following information applies to all expeditions, except those on board MS Santa Cruz II:  

  • From 4 September 2022, all guests must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test during embarkation.  
  • Hurtigruten Expeditions no longer conducts testing during embarkation.  
  • Therefore, guests must obtain the required proof in advance of embarkation.  
  • We accept either a PCR or an antigen/lateral flow test certificate that is certified by a laboratory/test provider:  
    • The PCR test must be taken within 72 hours before boarding the ship.  
    • The antigen/lateral flow test must be taken within 48 hours before boarding the ship.  
  • The certificate must be issued by a lab/test provider; unsupervised self-tests are not accepted. 
  • The following information should be present on the test result document:  
    • Type of test  
    • Entity issuing result  
    • Specimen collection date  
    • Full name  
    • Date of birth   

Please note: You will find information in your travel documents regarding where to arrange a test in the country of embarkation, should you arrive outside the timeframe mentioned above.  

Proof of recovery

To show proof of recovery from COVID-19, guests must present a certificate of a positive PCR or lateral flow/antigen test. Such guests will then be exempt from the testing mentioned above. We require all guests to comply with our vaccination policy, even if they present a proof of recovery certificate. The proof of recovery certificate must be dated as follows:

  • For cruises departing in Europe, the proof of recovery certificate must be dated no less than 10 days and no more than 180 days before embarkation.
  • For cruises departing in North America, the proof of recovery certificate must be dated no less than 10 days and no more than 90 days before embarkation.

Without proof of recovery as per above, you cannot travel if you test positive or inconclusive. If your result comes back positive, we are, of course, happy to rebook you to a future sailing.    

You may be required to submit certain forms during the embarkation. You’ll receive more information in the travel documents, which are sent to you 3-4 weeks before your expedition cruise.    

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

The following information is valid for all MS Fram, MS Otto Sverdrup and MS Roald Amundsen expeditions that depart from 29 September 2022 and all other ships that depart after 1 October 2022.

Below you can find the key embarkation requirements. The embarkation screening process may vary per sailing due to different local regulations, updates in scientific and medical advice, and the conditions at the time of sailing. Instructions from local health authorities and changes in legislation may also impact our procedures and how we handle specific cases. Before your departure date, we will do our best to inform you of the latest requirements for your cruise if material changes are made before the sailing. 

Expeditions to Antarctica

  • We require all guests aged 12 years and over to have completed their primary vaccination series against COVID-19 with WHO-approved vaccines or in accordance with the local regulations of where you travel, whichever is stricter.
  • A booster dose is no longer required to embark our ships. However, some countries you visit may require a booster dose to enter. Please check before travelling.
  • All guests must show proof of a negative COVID-19 test to embark the ship.
    • COVID-19 testing for guests on our charter flight from Buenos Aires or Santiago will be arranged and communicated in advance.
    • Cruise-only guests who travel to Ushuaia or Punta Arenas independently must arrange their own test. Either a PCR or antigen/lateral flow test is accepted. The PCR test must be taken within 72 hours before boarding the ship. The antigen/lateral flow test must be taken within 48 hours before boarding the ship.  
  • A positive test is allowed only  if an approved recovery certificate dated no less than 10 days and no more than 90 days before date of embarkation can be shown.

Rest of the world

  • We require all guests aged 12 years and over to have completed their primary vaccination series against COVID-19 with WHO-approved vaccines or in accordance with the local regulations of where you travel, whichever is stricter.
  • A booster dose is no longer required to embark our ships. However, some countries may require a booster dose to enter. Please check before travelling.
  • We strongly encourage all guests to test themselves for COVID-19 before joining their expedition. It is, however, no longer mandatory to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test during embarkation, except for expeditions to Antarctica.

Denial of boarding – exclusion policy  

During the embarkation process, you may be denied boarding if you do not fulfil the requirements in our procedures. We particularly draw attention to the following:  

  • Guests who do not comply with the vaccination policy will be denied embarkation to the vessel.  
  • Guests who test positive for COVID-19 or have inconclusive test results will be denied embarkation to the vessel. The same applies to guests who have been in close contact with an infected person (valid until 28 September 2022).   
  • Following a medical assessment, guests may be denied embarking the vessel if they experience new onset symptoms of the following:     

    • Cough 
    • Shortness of breath 
    • Difficulty breathing 
    • Fever or chills 
    • Loss of taste or smell 
    • Vomiting or Diarrhoea  

Life onboard

Face masks onboard

We advise all guests aged 6 years and over wear a medical face mask when moving around the ship. 

Face masks remain mandatory during the embarkation and disembarkation process in North America. 

Guest might be required to wear face masks if there’s a high number of positive cases on board. 

Currently, our crew are required to wear face masks**.

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 sanitizer is available throughout the ship. We have increased the frequency of all cleaning procedures, especially for high touch areas and wellness facilities.   

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.   

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 or PCR COVID-19*** test on board and are trained in outbreak prevention and response.  

 

Testing

You may be required to be tested on board during the cruise. Additional testing may be required, for example if a positive case is detected during your cruise. 

Positive cases, isolation and quarantine

Guests are requested to self-isolate in their cabin and call reception immediately if they experience any COVID-19 symptoms, such as a cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fever or chills, new loss of taste or smell, vomiting or diarrhoea. Our medical staff will conduct a rapid COVID-19 test on board if guests or crew develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19. If required, we have robust procedures in place for outbreak prevention and response.  

Because the COVID-19 pandemic is developing, we are assessing our procedures for isolation and quarantine. Our procedures are based on local legislation, medical advice and risk assessments. The isolation and quarantine periods may be reduced or removed and may vary depending on the location of your expedition cruise. 

Currently, we operate with the following standards:

  • Guests who show symptoms and test positive for COVID-19 will isolate for 5 x 24-hour periods from the time of symptom onset. 
  • Asymptomatic guests who test positive for COVID-19 will isolate for 5 x 24-hour periods from the date of their first positive test.  
  • Guests can leave isolation on day 5, providing they are fever-free and their symptoms have improved. 
  • Guests who test positive will move to a single cabin, if availability permits. If a single cabin is not available, they will isolate in their current cabin. 
  • If the guest stays in their current cabin, the person they are sharing with will be deemed a close contact and must take an antigen test every day for 5 days. They must also wear a mask while moving around the ship.
  • Close contacts who don’t share a cabin with a guest who tests positive for COVID-19 do not need to quarantine. However, they are required to take a lateral flow/antigen test after being identified as a close contact and another test on day 3. They are also required to wear a mask when moving around the ship. 

Alternatively, guests who test positive or are defined as a close contact can choose to leave the ship at their own expense. 

Positive COVID-19 guests   
If your isolation period is scheduled to end in US waters, the following procedures apply:

  • Guests who test positive for COVID-19 will isolate for a minimum of 5 x 24-hour periods from symptoms onset.
  • Asymptomatic guests who test positive for COVID-19 will isolate for a minimum of 5 x 24-hour periods from the date of their first positive test.  
  • Guests who test positive will move to a single cabin, if availability permits. If a single cabin is not available, they will isolate in their current cabin.
  • Guests can only leave isolation on day 5 if they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and other symptoms have improved.
  • Positive guests will stay in isolation for a maximum 10 days if their fever and/or other symptoms continue.
  • There are no requirements for any further testing after the initial confirmatory result.

Close contacts

Close contacts of a COVID-19 positive case will not need to quarantine. However, they are required to take antigen tests once per day for 5 days after being identified. They are also required to wear a mask when moving around public areas for the next 5 days.  

Close contacts with symptoms may be quarantined if the ship’s Doctor suspects the onset of COVID-19, even if the guest has a negative test result. The quarantine duration is at the Doctor’s discretion. 

 

Close contacts   

  • A close contact does not have to quarantine, provided they test negative with one lateral/flow antigen test, as all guests and crew are vaccinated.  
  • The test should be conducted as soon as possible after the guest is identified as a close contact. 
  • They will also be required to wear a mask when moving around public areas for the next 5 days. 

Positive COVID-19 test result 

If your isolation period is scheduled to end in Canadian waters, the following procedures apply: 

  • Guests who test positive for COVID-19 will move to a single isolation cabin where they will stay for a minimum of 10 x 24-hour periods from symptoms onset.   
  • To leave on day 10, the guest must be fever-free without the use of fever-reducing medication.  

Suspicion of COVID-19

Guests that show symptoms of COVID-19 will be tested by the on board doctor. If the test result is positive or inconclusive, local authorities will be called to the vessel to perform an official test.  

If the guest tests positive, they will be placed in isolation on one of the larger islands for 7 days or until a negative test has been provided, whichever comes first. The isolation period is counted from the time of the official test result.  

Close contacts 

  • Guests deemed a close contact will get tested. Provided the test is negative, they can continue the voyage. If they test positive, they will have to isolate as per the above. 

The following procedures will be in place for all MS Fram, MS Roald Amundsen and MS Otto Sverdrup expeditions that depart from 29 September 2022 and all other ships that depart after 1 October 2022.

Close contacts

  • Close contacts of a COVID-19 positive case will not need to quarantine as they are fully vaccinated.
  • However, they are required to take antigen tests once per day for 5 days after being identified.
  • They are also required to wear a mask when moving around public areas for the next 5 days.

Positive COVID-19 case

  • Guests who test positive for COVID-19 will isolate for 5 x 24-hour periods from symptoms onset.
  • Asymptomatic guests who test positive for COVID-19 will isolate for 5 x 24-hour periods from the date of their first positive test.  
  • Guests who test positive will move to a single cabin, if availability permits. If a single cabin is not available, they will isolate in their current cabin.
  • Guests in isolation will take an antigen test on day 3 and 4. They can leave isolation on day 4 if both tests are negative. If an antigen test returns a positive result, the guest will stay in isolation.
  • Guests are permitted to leave isolation on day 5 if they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and other symptoms have improved. There is no requirement for any further testing.
  • Guests that disembark the ship before completing their isolation period may need to isolate shoreside as per local regulations. Please note that the isolation period differs from country to country, meaning persons may have to isolate for longer than 5 days in total.
  • Guests will have the option to disembark at their own expense or remain onboard as above.

Exploring on shore

Activities, landings and shore excursions 

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

Disclaimer

* Even with infection control procedures, there are some unavoidable risks to passengers and property associated with expedition travel. These may, for example, include illness or disease caused by exposure to viruses, bacteria or pathogens, including the coronavirus, despite screening and testing and other steps taken by us to reduce these risks.  

If someone on board a ship tests positive for COVID-19 and/or develops symptoms of COVID-19, local authorities may require a 7-day or longer quarantine of all individuals on the ship, either on board or at another location. Hurtigruten Expeditions has no control over such requirements and must adhere to orders made by the local authorities.  

Hurtigruten Expeditions is not liable for any claims, demands, and/or damages arising from, or relating to, any exposure to the coronavirus and/or the contraction of any illness or disease as a result of any such exposure, including but not limited to COVID-19, by passengers or any other person. 

**Our expeditions to the Galápagos Islands follow COVID-19 regulations set by the Ecuadorian government. Therefore, this is not applicable to expeditions on board MS Santa Cruz II.
***PCR testing is not available on board MS Santa Cruz II.