illustration photo Amazon Rainforest
illustration photo Amazon Rainforest Photo: © Filipe Frazao - Shutterstock Photo

Hurtigruten heads for the Amazon rainforest

From start of 2017, adventurous guest can sail with Norwegian explorer cruise line Hurtigruten’s expedition ship on the world's largest river into the South American rainforest.

For more than 100 years, Hurtigruten has taken guests close up to nature along the Norwegian coast, in the Arctic, and eventually also in Antarctica. Now Hurtigruten let people connect with their inner explorer also in tropical waters.

- By placing Amazonia on the Hurtigruten explorer voyages program, we offer our guests unique and meaningful travel experiences in the tracks of a new kind of expedition pioneers. The sailing from North Africa to South America with MS Fram follow roughly the route of Thor Heyerdahl and the Ra II expedition, says CEO Daniel Skjeldam in Hurtigruten.

The demand for adventure tourism is rapidly growing globally. Hurtigruten is an important driver and world leader in offering sustainable nature-based travel experiences at sea.

- People no longer want to spend their vacations being passive spectators. Therefore Hurtigruten offers active and educational voyages. The many unique excursions and lectures gives guests genuine close encounters with the nature and culture of the destinations, says Skjeldam.

Educational rainforest experiences

The Amazon voyage starts in Manaus deep inside the Brazilian rainforest. Sailing down the immense river, guests can experience and learn more about the unique nature and wildlife from the expedition vessel itself and canoes, and by hikes onshore. There will be landings at places like Parintins and Santarém.

- The Amazon rainforest and has exceptional ecosystems and extremely interesting history and culture, says Skjeldam.

Amazonia is a high-biodiversity wilderness area and on top of a very rich flora, explorer guests may encounter animals such as jaguars, tapirs, howler monkeys, parrots, piranhas and caimans.

Excursions with local partners are on the itinerary. Hurtigruten’s experienced expedition teams will accompany guests on excursions.

- We encourage our guests to immerse themselves in the destinations we visit, says Skjeldam.

Educational voyages

The Hurtigruten explorer cruises to the Amazon rainforest combine active adventures with learning. Onboard and ashore popular science lectures on topics relevant to the destinations will be given from experts in areas such as history, zoology, botany, and environmental science.

- We offer traveling with meaning. Our guests are given the opportunity to learn more about and to give back to the destinations. Many of the areas Hurtigruten sails to are vulnerable. It is important to showcase nature in the gentlest manner possible and to encourage our guests to become ambassadors who will help to preserve it, says Skjeldam.

He says Hurtigruten wants to build knowledge and spread awareness to create a broader commitment to help preserve the destinations their vessels sail to.

- Through mobilizing ambassadors and through the sustainability foundation Hurtigruten Foundation, we help ensure that guests of tomorrow can have the same unique travel experiences as guests of today, says Skjeldam.

At the mouth of the Amazon River, the South American sailings continue sailing southwards along the coast of Brazil. MS Fram will visit ports such as Fortaleza and Paraty. The journey ends in the southernmost capital on the continent, Montevideo in Uruguay.

Several South American expeditions

Hurtigruten will also take guests on sailings along both the Atlantic and the Pacific coast. Some of the sailings include South Atlantic islands and archipelagos, such as the Falkland Islands and South Georgia, where guests will meet locals and be taken close to penguins, birds, whales, seals and other wildlife.

The Land of the Inca special sailing goes from Valparaíso in Chile north along the coast of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Panama, before ending in Puerto Limón in Costa Rica.

The Penguins, Patagonia and Poetry special sailing begins in Ushuaia south in Argentina and passes Cape Horn and the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, before continuing via the Chilean fjords and further to the final destination of Valparaíso, Chile.

It is also possible to take part of the cross-sailings back and forth across the Atlantic. The stretch from Bergen to Lisbon includes landings in Amsterdam, Guernsey and La Coruña. The stretch from Lisbon to Brazil, has landings in ports such as Cadiz, Casablanca and Cape Verde.

FACTS ABOUT HURTIGRUTEN: TOTAL TURNAROUND

Hurtigruten is the legendary original Norwegian coastal route dating back to 1893. From 2016, four vessels offer explorer sailings in Arctic areas around Spitsbergen, Iceland and Greenland, and in Antarctic waters. Norwegian coastal voyages are offered from eleven ships.

After years of deficit, Hurtigruten reported a (normalized) profit last year. Third quarter 2015 is the strongest quarterly results the company has announced. The improvement of NOK 154 million in normalized EBITDA is mainly driven by increased volume and higher prices for Norwegian coast, explorer products and the land-based activities on Spitsbergen.

- Macroeconomic conditions such as a weakened Norwegian krone and lower oil prices are positive for Hurtigruten, but it is a significant improvement in underlying operations that drives the strong performance. This makes Hurtigruten well positioned for further growth, says CEO Daniel Skjeldam.

The explorer cruise line has recently made numerous steps to strengthen its position as world leader in offering sustainable tourism expeditions at sea:

  • Hurtigruten has tripled its activity around Antarctica and will operate two ships in the waters surrounding the Antarctic Peninsula.

  • The newly established sustainability foundation Hurtigruten Foundation will contribute greatly to preserving the fragile environment and the unique culture of the areas Hurtigruten ships sail to. The first ambassador of the foundation is pioneer swimmer and ocean advocate Lewis Pugh - appointed “Patron of the Oceans” by the UN.

  • Hurtigruten has invested a three-digit million amount in the refurbishment of four Norwegian coastal vessels. In addition, also the new ship MS Spitsbergen is to be totally renewed inside and furthermore undergo a major conversion for sailing under polar conditions.

  • Hurtigruten has thrown all junk food overboard and offers guests authentic Norwegian food in collaboration with more than 35 Norwegian local food producers.

  • The brand new Hurtigruten web site reflect the polar adventure spirit of the explorer cruise line and inspire people worldwide to connect with their inner explorer.

For further information contact:

Øystein Knoph, Global PR Manager
oystein.knoph@hurtigruten.com
+47 977 39 224

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