Hurtigruten has extended the temporary suspension of operations from pole-to-pole until May 12th.
While the expedition cruise line has not yet had any confirmed or suspected cases on any ships, the decision was taken as countries around the world impose restrictions on movement.
“The situation is affecting virtually everyone in one way or another,” explained Hurtigruten chief executive, Daniel Skjeldam.
“Hurtigruten is no exception.
“This is a setback for us, for the local communities we work with and for our guests.
“But the setback is only temporarily.”
In addition, Hurtigruten confirmed the Alaska expedition cruise season will be postponed to July due to new travel restrictions from Canadian authorities.
The decision means that the May 17th, May 31st, Jun 12th, Jun 24th and July 1st MS Roald Amundsen Alaska departures will be cancelled.
Operations on the Norwegian coast will also be suspended through to May 20th.
As of now, the first scheduled round trip departure from Bergen will be with MS Vesterålen on May 21st, Hurtigruten said.
In agreement with the Norwegian ministry of transport, Hurtigruten has deployed two ships in an amended domestic schedule.
The newly upgraded MS Richard With and MS Vesterålen is bringing critical supplies and goods to local Norwegian communities hit hard by travel restrictions.
“Seeing our ships laying idle for a prolonged period of time instead of exploring is difficult,” Skjeldam added.
“These are extraordinary and emotional times for the entire Hurtigruten team.
“But I firmly believe it is the only responsible decision in the extraordinary crisis the world is currently facing.”
To give explorers the confidence needed for their travel plans in a difficult and uncertain situation, Hurtigruten has introduced a flexible rebooking policy – with more information here.
For all the latest from Breaking Travel News on the coronavirus pandemic, take a look here.