July 2nd marks 125 years since Hurtigruten founder Richard With brought the steamer DS Vesteraalen into service along the coast of Norway, establishing a regular sea link for locals and tourists and founding what today is the world’s largest expedition cruise company.
As Hurtigruten mark 125 years of global exploration in 2018, the world leader in exploration travel take guests to more than 200 destinations in 30 countries from pole to pole – in the waters of Antarctica, South America and the Caribbean; the Northwest Passage; Greenland; Iceland; Svalbard; and where it all began: The spectacular Norwegian coast.
“We continue to build on our 125 years of experience and heritage, and we continue to push the boundaries by introducing the world’s first hybrid powered expedition ships. We strongly believe Hurtigruten is the perfect fit for the modern-day explorer, and we experience substantial growth across markets. The expansion we’ve seen so far, is just the beginning,” said Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam.
To celebrate the anniversary, Hurtigruten will host a birthday party extending over 11,000 nautical miles, from Seattle in the west and Hong Kong in the east, to Svalbard in the High North, and along the Norwegian coast. The birthday will be celebrated in Hurtigruten ports, destinations, ships and offices, without use of any single-use plastic items.
Global green change-maker
As the first plastic-free cruise line in the world, Hurtigruten has banned all unnecessary single-use plastics across their global fleet of expedition ships – from the Arctic to Antarctica. From straws to drinking cups and plastic bags, everything will be replaced by paper, biodegradable material and other sustainable alternatives. In the wake of the announcement, several major cruise lines and shipping actors have followed Hurtigruten’s lead.
“Being world leader in exploration travel comes with a great responsibility for preserving the natural wonders on our itineraries. Plastic pollution is the single biggest threat to our oceans. What better way to tie together our past and future than celebrating our anniversary by removing all unnecessary single use plastic,” said Skjeldam.
Sustainability in core
Hurtigruten’s 14 intimately-scaled, purpose-build expedition ships offer modern-day adventure travellers breath-taking experiences in some of the world’s most spectacular destinations. With the introduction of the world’s first battery hybrid powered expedition ships – along with the conversion of up to nine existing ships to hybrid LNG-battery powered hybrid ships – Hurtigruten also sets a new standard for the future of adventure travel.
“We are committed to remain being the global leader in green adventure travel. Whether we are developing the Hurtigruten product, designing new ships or discussing new itineraries and destinations, sustainability is the core of every detail of the Hurtigruten operation,” said Skjeldam.
Hurtigruten is also advocating a ban on Heavy fuel oil and stricter regulations in pristine destinations, partakes in several research projects, and funds local and global projects through Hurtigruten Foundation.