Hurtigruten, the world leader in exploration travel, celebrated 125 years of its operation on July 2, 2018. Exactly 125 years ago, Hurtigruten Founder Richard With brought the steamer MS Vesteraalen into service along the coast of Norway, establishing a regular sea link for locals and tourists and founding what today is the world’s largest expedition cruise company.
To celebrate the anniversary, Hurtigruten hosted a birthday party extending 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. The birthday was celebrated in Hurtigruten ports, destinations, ships and offices, without use of any single use plastic items.
“The initiative taken by Hurtigruten to ban “Single Use Plastic” needs to be applauded as this signifies that there are businesses which are conscious of their surroundings and would do all possible to minimize the damage to the environment. Very recently, we have heard that Maharashtra is the first state in India to ban single use plastic – if similar initiatives could also be taken in other cities as well then our cities would not choke on plastic and be more liveable. Currently many Indian cities rank amongst the top polluted cities in the world, which is caused by a combination of air, water and noise pollution. We need to take solid steps to stop this and become a GREEN SOCIETY” said Nishith Saxena, Director, Cruise Professionals – the sole GSA for Hurtigruten in India.
As the first cruise line in the world, Hurtigruten has banned all unnecessary single-use plastics across their 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 material and other sustainable alternatives. In the wake of the announcement, several major cruise lines and shipping companies have followed Hurtigruten’ s lead.
Moreover, Hurtigruten’s 14 intimately-scaled, purpose-build expedition ships offer modern-day adventure travellers breath-taking experiences in some of the world’s most spectacular destinations. With the introduction of the world’s first battery hybrid powered expedition ships – along with the conversion of up to nine existing ships to hybrid LNG-battery powered hybrid ships – Hurtigruten also sets a new standard forthe future of adventure travel.
Hurtigruten is also advocating a ban on Heavy fuel oil and stricter regulations in pristine destinations; partakes in several research projects, and funds local and global projects through Hurtigruten Foundation.