A Footprint We Are Proud Of

Being the world leader in exploration travel—and the world’s largest expedition cruise company—comes with great responsibility. With the UN Sustainable Development Goals as a framework, and a company mission focused on innovation, technology, and concrete measures, sustainability is inherent in every detail of a Hurtigruten expedition.

As we enter a new era of expedition cruising and adventure travel driven by sustainability, Hurtigruten aims to raise and set standards for the entire cruise industry.

Our overall business and operations reflect many of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by all U.N. Member States in 2015. Our sustainability ambitions are directly linked to goals regarding responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water, and more. This is where we believe we can have the most positive impact—for society as a whole and for our business—both now and in the future.

In addition, we have chosen four goals that represent our very foundation, our license to operate. These are goals related to quality education, gender equality, peace, and justice; they represent the values that make up the core of Hurtigruten, and are embedded in all that we do.

In our efforts to achieve each of these U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, we have successfully accomplished the following:

  • We are in the process of building the first-ever hybrid electric-powered expedition cruise ships.
  • We were the first major travel company in the world to remove single-use plastic from our entire fleet.
  • We invite guests to explore with us on safer, greener, and more advanced expedition ships.
  • We spend time educating our guests; our expert expedition team is only too eager to share their knowledge of the culture, history, wildlife, ecosystems, and more of each destination we visit.

Hurtigruten has been exploring and operating in some of the most challenging waters in the world since 1893; our roots go as far back as famed Norwegian polar heroes, including Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen. Today, we are facing one of the greatest and most difficult challenges in our 125-year history: Climate change, plastic waste, and unsustainable mass tourism are altering vulnerable ecosystems and threatening wildlife.

Building on our passion and heritage, Hurtigruten—with our dedicated crew and staff—is determined to make a difference. We will leave behind a footprint we are proud of, contribute to sustainable development, and create positive change through our operations.

Gentoo penguin
Photo: Marsel van Oosten Photo

Sustainable Operations, Wildlife & Destinations

Hurtigruten is dedicated to enhancing local communities through cooperation and trade. Our guests are explorers and appreciate quality experiences, learning, and understanding as a viable path to all-year activity and sustainable growth. We know that protecting and adding long-term value to the waters we sail in, and to the destinations we visit, is not just the right thing to do—it is necessary.

By participating in excursions and sourcing ingredients from local suppliers, Hurtigruten contributes to the livelihoods and welfare of small coastal societies. Hurtigruten respects and supports indigenous communities, values culture and traditions, and maintains a very close cooperation with the communities that make an immense effort to welcome our guests—wherever we visit.

Exploring some of the most spectacular destinations on our planet—and observing the unique wildlife—is an important part of every Hurtigruten voyage. And with that, comes an obligation to explore respectfully. Any impact should be minor and transitory only. Hurtigruten and our guests will not leave visible or lasting signs from a visit. Observing wild animals is done at a distance so as not to alter natural behavior, and with the utmost respect for their welfare and habitat.

Hurtigruten is taking the lead in the fight against the exploitation and degradation of sites, nature, and local communities by unsustainable overtourism. We are advocating strict rules and regulations, and we are imposing them on ourselves to prove it can be done.

Red ship in a body of water

Science, Innovation & Technology

Hurtigruten is setting a new industry standard by building the world’s first hybrid electric-powered expedition cruise ships. These revolutionary vessels are packed with green technology, and will be the backbone in a greener and more advanced fleet of expedition  ships than the cruise industry has ever seen before. Hurtigruten implemented a voluntary ban of heavy fuel oil a decade ago, and is advocating for the rest of the world to finally follow.

A man standing on a rock in the snow

Plastic, Pollution & Cleaner Oceans

Hurtigruten was the first major travel company to remove single-use plastic from all of our ships, restaurants, and hotels. We are constantly improving how we reduce, recycle, and handle our waste—and sharing everything we learn along the way. Our crews and guests collect metric tons of waste every year and are educated and trained in conservation. Hurtigruten is spreading awareness about pollution in every way we can, as well as engaging in strategic partnerships, working with relevant organizations, and conducting research and real time monitoring of the oceans.

A polar bear in the water

Hurtigruten Foundation

Hurtigruten has established the Hurtigruten Foundation to ensure that our guests of tomorrow can enjoy the same meaningful travel experiences as our guests do today. Hurtigruten Foundation is funded by onboard activities and donations, and focuses its efforts around three main pillars: Conserving the world’s polar bear population, fighting against marine and plastic pollution, and running local and global projects in the areas Hurtigruten explores.



Hurtigruten Sustainability report 2018: A footprint we are proud of


Previous reports:

Guideline to the use of Sustainable Development Goals Logos

Explore the Green Pioneer MS Roald Amundsen

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