Hurtigruten ship refused entry in Russian waters
The "Spitsbergen" has been refused entry to Russian waters above the Arctic circle just two weeks before sailing. The expedition ship had been due to sail from Tromsø to Murmansk via Franz Josef Land, a remote Russian archipelago inhabited only by Russian military. But now the 250 passengers who paid at least $6,200 per person face disappointment after Hurtigruten had their sailing license refused for two cruises. The company had planned the trip in cooperation with Russian authorities for years. Because of this previously good dialogue, Hurtigruten's communications director Anne Marit Bjørnflaten called the decision "very surprising. They had been informed that the Russian military have planned exercises in the region at the same time. The unexpected rejection of the sailing license comes as Russia builds up its military bases near the Barents Sea and conducts a major military exercise along the coast of Norway. 30 Russian naval vessels, including surface ships, submarines and supply ships took part in the exercise last week. Russia wants to show that it can prevent NATO from operating in the North Atlantic. According to the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs said the decision must be seen in a broader context as the Barents Sea region has become a strategically important area. The Hurtigruten ships will be viewed by Russia not just as civilian ships, but as vessel that could be utilized for military purposes such as intelligence gathering. Hurtigruten was in process of contacting all customers who booked tickets for the two cruises to offer compensation.
Hurtigruten to move four coastal express vessels into its expedition fleet
With Norway’s Hurtigruten having to share the coastal express route with compatriot operator Havila Kystruten from 1 January 2021 – Hurtigruten operating seven vessels and Havila four vessels – it comes as no surprise that Hurtigruten has announced that it will move four vessels from its existing coastal express fleet into its expedition fleet by 2021 – FINNMARKEN, MIDNATSOL, SPITSBERGEN and TROLLFJORD – taking the expedition cruise fleet to ten vessels. The four new vessels will be used for year-round expedition cruises.
Spitsbergen skipped call at Hornvika due to strong wind
The "Spitsbergen" changed the route for the second time this year. The ship would actually call at Hornvika on June 6, 2018,, but sailed on to Kai west of Honningsvåg due to the strong wind.Upload News