Norwegian expedition cruise line Hurtigruten has been forced to once again suspend operations because of a COVID-19 outbreak on board MS Roald Amundsen, after being one of the first vessels to return to service amid the coronavirus pandemic.
At least 36 crew members and several guests have tested positive for COVID-19 in the outbreak.
Hurtigruten has reached out to guests who traveled on the MS Roald Amundsen for voyages from July 17 to 24 and July 25 to 31, cruising from Bergen in the south to the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, the Associated Press reported, where there were 209 guests on the first voyage and 178 guests on the second voyage.
All expedition sailings on MS Roald Amundsen, MS Fridtjof Nansen and MS Spitsbergen have been suspended until further notice. The decision has no impact on Hurtigruten's coastal Norway operations.
Hurtigruten is working with the Norwegian National and Local Health Authorities for follow-up, information, further testing, and infection tracking, said CEO Daniel Skjeldam.
“In light of the recent increase in new cases of COVID-19 globally, the only responsible choice is to suspend all expedition sailings until we are 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,” Skjeldam said in a statement.
Hurtigruten is in the process of reaching out to and informing guests booked on the now cancelled voyages.