Hurtigruten, the world leader in exploration travel, celebrates 125 years since founder Richard With brought the steamer DS Vesteraalen into service along the coast of Norway, establishing a regular sea link for locals and tourists, by hosting a plastic-free birthday party across all ports, destinations, offices and ships on July 2, 2018.
“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 electric-powered cruise ships. We strongly believe Hurtigruten is the perfect fit for the modern-day explorer, and we are experiencing substantial growth across markets. The expansion we’ve seen so far is just the beginning,” said Hurtigruten CEO, Daniel Skjeldam.
For 125 years, Hurtigruten has taken guests to more than 200 destinations in 30 countries from pole to pole – in the waters of Antarctica, South America, the Northwest Passage, Greenland, Iceland, Svalbard, and where it all began: the spectacular Norwegian coast. To mark the anniversary, the birthday party will extend 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.
Global Green Changemaker
As the first cruise line in the world, Hurtigruten has banned all unnecessary single-use plastics across its 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 materials and other sustainable alternatives. In the wake of this announcement, several major cruise lines and shipping operators have followed Hurtigruten’s lead.
“Being a world leader in exploration travel comes with 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 plastics,” said Skjeldam.
Sustainability at Our Core
Hurtigruten’s 14 intimately-scaled, purpose-built expedition ships offer modern-day adventure travelers breathtaking experiences in some of the world’s most spectacular destinations. With the introduction of the world’s first hybrid electric-powered cruise ships – along with the conversion of up to nine existing ships to hybrid LNG-battery powered ships – Hurtigruten also sets a new standard for the future of adventure travel.
“We are committed to 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, partaking in several research projects, and funding local and global projects through the Hurtigruten Foundation.