Hurtigruten Refused Entry to Russian Waters Above Arctic Circle

by Daniel McCarthy
Hurtigruten Refused Entry to Russian Waters Above Arctic Circle

Hurtigruten was forced to cancel two sailings of MS Spitsbergen because of a permit denial from Russian authorities. Photo: Hurtigruten. 

Expedition cruise company Hurtigruten will not be able to sail its ship MS Spitsbergen into Russian waters above the Arctic Circle because of the denial of a sailing permit by Russian authorities.

The 250-guest Spitsbergen was scheduled to sail a 15-day voyage roundtrip from Tromsø to explore Franz Josef Land, a Russian territory, but was forced to cancel plans. According to Hurtigruten’s Anne Marit Bjørnflaten, the cruise company’s SVP sustainability and public affairs, Hurtigruten was told that a Russian exercise in the area prevented the sailing application from being approved.

“MS Spitsbergen meets the requirements of the Polar Code and has permission to operate in this part of the Arctic. Despite this fact, and at the last minute, the final remaining permits from Russian authorities have unexpectedly been denied and we have not been granted the necessary final sailing permission to Franz Josef Land,” Bjørnflaten said.

According to Hurtigruten, the decision was unexpected, and the cruise line will continue to talk to Russian authorities about future sailings to Franz Josef Land.

“Hurtigruten has engaged in a long-term dialogue with Russian authorities about the planned expedition cruises. Their last-minute decision comes as a surprise, further highlighted by the very vocal strategy from Russian authorities to attract more cruise traffic and new operators in general – and Hurtigruten, in particular – to Russian Arctic waters,” Bjørnflaten added.

In the meantime, Hurtigruten is reaching out to all impacted guests, offering compensation and other options to sail with the line.

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Selling Celestyal Cruises: A Sit-Down with Gordon Dirker

The mid-sized ships deliver the destination via immersive experiences both on and off the ship, at an all-inclusive price.

Carnival Cruise Line Resumes Regular Calls to the Bahamas

The cruise line also pledged $2 million in funding and in-kind support for hurricane relief efforts in the region.

Cruise Lines Commit to Help Bahamas Following Hurricane Dorian Devastation

Operators also provide updates on private islands in the Bahamas, including Half Moon Cay and Castaway Cay.

Cruise Lines Make Changes to Sailings as Hurricane Dorian Heads Toward Florida

Here are the details of itinerary adjustments made to sailings for all of the major cruise lines.

Cruise Line Executives Talk NCFs, First-Time Cruisers, & Overtourism

ASTA’s Global Convention amassed 1,000 industry professionals to discuss the pressing issues travel advisors.

Advisors Get First Look as Scenic Eclipse Arrives in North America

Travel advisors experienced the world’s first 'discovery yacht' during its inaugural journey to Quebec City from Europe.

News Briefs
Tip of the Day

"Bringing companies, consumers and communities together is our best chance to protect destinations and ecosystems for future generations.” - Prince Harry, Creator of Travalyst

Daily Top List

The Best Times to Post on Instagram

1. Monday: 6am, 10am, 10pm

2. Tuesday: 2am, 4am, 9am

3. Wednesday: 7am, 8am, 11pm

4. Thursday: 9am, 12pm, 7pm

5. Friday: 5am, 1pm, 3pm


TMR Outlooks
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: USTOA's Recalculating with Harrison Greenbaum – Episode 2 (Dining in Mexico City)