Hurtigruten has confirmed that 36 members of its crew and six guests have tested positive for Covid-19.
All 158 crew members on Hurtigruten’s expedition ship MS Roald Amundsen have now been tested for coronavirus, with 122 confirmed as negative. The ship is currently docked in Tromsø, Norway with no guests on board.
Hurtigruten said it has contacted all passengers who were on board for the ship’s July 17 and July 14 sailings.
The company has also temporarily cancelled expedition cruises and its planned British Isles cruises in September.
“We are now focusing all available efforts in taking care of our guests and colleagues,” Hurtigruten’s vice president of global communications, Rune Thomas Ege, told Cruise Critic. “We work closely with the Norwegian national and local health authorities for follow-up, information, further testing, and infection tracking.”
The company is currently running cruises on a reduced operation. Its July 17 cruise had just 209 passengers on board while the July 24 cruise had 178, in line with new regulations.
Passengers on these cruises will now have to self-quarantine. Hurtigruten has said it will assist passengers with “transport, accommodation, food and other needs” according to reports.
“The safety and well-being of our guests and crew is Hurtigruten’s number one priority,” Ege said. “All crew members are closely monitored and screened daily. Non-Norwegian crew members are quarantined before boarding the ship, and non-European crew need to undergo two negative COVID-19 tests before even leaving their home country.”
Daniel Skjeldam, chief executive of Hurtigruten, said that the line would resume affected voyages when it was “absolutely confident, we can carry out our operations in line with all requirements from the authorities and with the even stricter requirements we have set for ourselves.”
“This is a serious situation for everyone who is affected. We have not been good enough and we have made mistakes. On behalf of everyone at Hurtigruten, I am sorry for what has happened.”
In another blow for the industry, a guest onboard Paul Gauguin has tested positive for Covid-19, just four days into the first sailing by the French Polynesian specialist since it restarted cruises.
The 332-passenger ship cut short its French Polynesia cruise and returned to its home-base of Papeete. All other guests and crew are now isolated in cabins onboard the ship awaiting test results.
A traveller who sailed on SeaDream I has also tested positive for Covid-19 upon returning home to Denmark. All guests and crew are now in quarantine on board.
See Hurtigruten’s cancelled voyages here.