Safer together

We have introduced measures on all our Hurtigruten Expedition ships to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

Your safety is our highest priority

The safety of our guests, our employees, and the communities we visit is our highest priority. We’ve partnered with health and safety experts to design and implement protocols and procedures across our expedition fleet.*

We continuously evaluate our health and safety procedures and update the information on this page. The procedures are thus subject to change. Specific requirements may vary according to the sailing, local requirements, updates in scientific and medical advice, and conditions at the time of sailing. We will do our best to inform you of the specific measures in place for your cruise before departure.

Third-party certification

When we relaunched our operations in 2021, our onboard health and safety procedures were third-party accredited by Bureau Veritas (BV), a leading independent certification body. BV conducted a strict and thorough safety audit regarding measures related to hygiene, sanitation, and limiting the spread of infectious diseases on board.  

What we do

Embarkation screening

We have put strict embarkation requirements in place for both guests and crew members. Specific requirements may vary by sailing but could include pre-travel testing, health screening, and requesting proof of vaccination.

Health and safety protocols

In addition to enhanced cleaning and disinfection, we’ve introduced protocols specific to COVID-19, including face mask regulations, capacity limitations, and other measures.

Continuous risks monitoring

We regularly monitor the health of our guests and crew during each cruise. If required, we’ll initiate our robust outbreak prevention and response procedures.

Onboard Medical Center with high-quality care and expertise

We have expanded our onboard medical capabilities. Our expedition ships feature a well-equipped Medical Center staffed with a doctor and nurse, available 24/7.

What you do

Travel requirements

We expect you to follow all applicable travel or quarantine restrictions, both at home and at your expedition destination.

COVID-19 travel map

Use our interactive map to keep updated on what’s open for travel and get details on any potential entry requirements.

Please note that our embarkation procedures and requirements may be stricter than national regulations. Therefore, it’s important that you read the information below, where we provide an overview of our procedures and requirements.  

Monitoring and testing

We ask all guests to be alert for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow procedures for informing our crew if you develop any symptoms.

Joining your Hurtigruten Expedition

Embarkation requirements

Below you can find the key embarkation requirements for your cruise. The embarkation screening process may vary per sailing due to different local regulations, updates in scientific and medical advice, and the conditions at the time of sailing. Instructions from local health authorities and changes in legislation may also impact our procedures and how we handle specific cases. Before your departure date, we will do our best to inform you of the latest requirements for your cruise if material changes are made before the sailing.  

Vaccination for expedition cruises 

For all Hurtigruten Expeditions Cruises in 2022, we require all guests aged 5 years and over to have completed their primary vaccination series  against COVID-19 with  WHO-approved vaccines. You are considered to have completed your primary vaccination series 14 days after receiving the final dose of a WHO-approved vaccine. Please note: A primary vaccination series refers to the initial number of doses required. It does not include booster doses. For example, the primary series of Moderna or Pfizer consists of two doses.

For all European sailings, guests who completed their primary vaccination series more than 270 days ago must present proof of a booster shot. For all North American sailings, guests who completed their primary vaccination series more than 150 days ago must present proof of a booster shot. The vaccine and vaccine certificate must comply with the local regulations in the area of the cruise. 

Regulations and travel restrictions are constantly changing. You’re responsible for ensuring that you’re considered fully vaccinated by health authorities of each country visited during the sailing, regardless of whether you plan to disembark.    

Hurtigruten Expeditions reserves the right to deny embarkation to guests who do not fulfil the current regulations of each country on the sailing, at the time of embarkation.    

Hurtigruten Expeditions will continue to monitor local requirements and scientific and medical guidance for future expedition cruises.   

If you’re unable to be vaccinated, please contact us to discuss rebooking options.  If your booking was made prior to the adoption of this policy on 1 July 2021, and you are unable to get vaccinated in time for your departure or provide the required proof, please contact us to discuss your options for refund or rebooking to a future departure.  

You should seek health information and advice from a medical professional regarding vaccination.  

This vaccine requirement does not apply to Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Express voyages.  

At check-in and embarkation 

Our check-in processes have been modified to enable embarkation screening. You will be assigned an embarkation time before your departure date **. We have strict requirements during embarkation to reduce the risk of infection, including: 

  • Health and temperature screening **, including a signed health self-declaration form. You may be refused boarding if you have symptoms compatible with COVID-19, have been in close contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days, or are otherwise subject to isolation, quarantine, or other such restrictions by authorities.    

Show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (see above).

Test requirements may depend on where you are travelling from:  

If you're travelling from a European port, all guests aged 5 years and over you will take a mandatory lateral flow/antigen test at the port. If the test result is negative, you will be allowed to board.  The test costs 65 EUR and is charged to your onboard account. Onboard credits can be used to pay for the test. We will provide a waiting area and refreshments while you wait for your results.

All guests aged 5 years and over will take a mandatory lateral flow/antigen test at the hotel. If the test result is negative, you will be allowed to board.  The test costs 30 EUR for MS Fram and MS Spitsbergen, or 300 NOK for MS Nordstjernen.

If you’re embarking in Canada or the USA, all guests aged 5 years and over  will take a mandatory lateral flow/antigen test at specific test centres in Vancouver, Anchorage or Seward. If you embark in Nome, you will take a COVID-19 test in Vancouver before boarding the charter flight to Alaska. If you embark in Cambridge Bay, you will take a COVID-19 test in Edmonton before boarding the charter flight to Cambridge Bay. The test costs 75 EUR and is charged to your onboard account. Onboard credits can be used to pay for the test.

 

Test requirements for sailings in West Africa will be published closer to departure.

You cannot travel if you test positive or inconclusive. If your result comes back positive, we are, of course, happy to rebook you to a future sailing.    

To show proof of recovery from COVID-19, guests must present a certificate of a positive PCR or lateral flow/antigen test dated no less than 10 days and no more than 90 days before embarkation. Such guests will then be exempt from the testing mentioned above. Please note: We require all guests to comply with our vaccination policy, even if they have recovered from COVID-19. 

You may be required to submit certain forms during the embarkation. You’ll receive more information in the travel documents, which are sent to you 3-4 weeks before your expedition cruise.    

Our standard forms are still required for each expedition cruise, such as a doctor’s approval for remote destinations including Antarctica, Northwest Passage, Northeast Greenland and transatlantic crossings.    

Denial of boarding – exclusion policy  

During the embarkation process, you may be denied boarding if you do not fulfil the requirements in our procedures. We particularly draw attention to the following:  

  • Guests who do not comply with the vaccination policy will be denied embarkation to the vessel.  
  • Guests who test positive for COVID-19 or have inconclusive test results will be denied embarkation to the vessel. The same applies to guests who have been in close contact with an infected person.   
  • Following a medical assessment, guests may be denied embarking the vessel if they experience new onset symptoms of the following:     

    • Cough 
    • Shortness of breath 
    • Difficulty breathing 
    • Fever or chills 
    • Loss of taste or smell 
    • Vomiting or Diarrhoea  

Life onboard

We look forward to welcoming you on board! 

We monitor the health of everyone on board throughout the cruise. Around the ship and at the entrance of our restaurants, we have installed contactless temperature scanners to screen guests daily. We also operate regular health and temperature screening of the crew.  

Face masks onboard

We currently require all guests aged 6 years and over and crew to wear an FFP2 (without an exhalation valve)/N95/KN95 face mask when moving around the ship and during embarkation and disembarkation. We do not accept fabric, homemade, face shields or visors.  

Cleaning and hygiene

We’ve enhanced our standard practices with additional cleaning protocols to reduce the risk of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.

All public spaces are regularly cleaned and disinfected throughout the day and hand sanitizer is available throughout the ship. We have increased the frequency of all cleaning procedures, especially for frequently touched areas.

Guest cabins are cleaned and disinfected daily. Our housekeeping staff are equipped with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and are trained in new methods to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

Expedition lectures and activities

One highlight of Hurtigruten Expeditions is the wide array of expedition activities we provide on board, from lectures to activities in our Science Center. We have introduced enhanced cleaning and disinfection measures for public areas like the Science Center. Hand sanitizer will be available and touchpoints are regularly cleaned.

Hotel and wellness facilities

Our pool, spa, gym, and other wellness facilities are open on all ships that feature them. Use of these facilities and certain services may be limited.

We have introduced procedures in these spaces, including enhanced cleaning and disinfection and limited guest capacity. In some cases, you will need to make a reservation in advance. 

Medical services

Our expedition ships feature a small onboard hospital working 24 hours a day. Every ship has a medical team with a doctor and at least one nurse, supported 24/7 by dedicated land-based experts. Our medical staff can conduct rapid or PCR COVID-19*** tests on board and are trained in outbreak prevention and response.

 

Testing

You may be required to be tested on board during the cruise. Additional testing may be required, for example if a positive case is detected during your cruise.  

Book a COVID-19 test for your return home

You may be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test during your trip home. You can take an antigen/lateral flow test or a PCR test on board and receive a certificate with the result. An antigen/lateral flow test costs 65€, and a PCR test costs 145€ ***. Please speak to reception to arrange a test.  This service is available on all ships except MS Nordstjernen.

Please note: You’re responsible for making sure that you comply with all entry requirements.

Positive cases, isolation, and quarantine

Guests are requested to self-isolate in their cabin and call reception immediately if they experience any COVID-19 symptoms, such as cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fever or chills, new loss of taste or smell, vomiting, or diarrhea. Our medical staff will conduct a rapid COVID-19 test on board if guests or crew develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19. If required, we have robust procedures in place for outbreak prevention and response.

Because the COVID-19 pandemic is developing, we are constantly assessing our procedures for isolation and quarantine. Our procedures are based on local legislation, medical advice, and risk assessments. The isolation and quarantine periods may be reduced or removed, and may vary depending on the location of your expedition cruise.

Exploring on shore

Activities, landings, and shore excursions

We plan to offer shore excursions, expedition landings, and small-group expedition activities. In addition to joining one of our organized activities or shore excursions, you’ll be able to explore independently in ports where this is possible. Specific offerings and availability will depend on your itinerary and conditions at the time of sailing. 

We follow all mandates from local governments and communities when exploring on land and adjust our plans and procedures as needed. This may mean some activities or independent exploration are restricted in some cases.

Safety measures on shore

We’ve adjusted our procedures for expedition landings and small group expedition activities. These include new cleaning and disinfection measures for equipment, buses, and small boats (RIBs). We work closely with local partners to implement health and safety policies on all shore excursions. These may include limiting guest capacities on excursions and transfers and new cleaning and disinfection procedures.

You will be required to wear a face mask when visiting communities, both with the Expedition Team and on shore excursions. On nature landings and in wilderness areas, you may remove face masks if social distancing is possible.

Disclaimer

* Even with infection control procedures, there are some unavoidable risks to passengers and property associated with expedition travel. These may, for example, include illness or disease caused by exposure to viruses, bacteria or pathogens, including the coronavirus, despite screening and testing and other steps taken by us to reduce these risks.  

If someone on board a ship tests positive for COVID-19 and/or develops symptoms of COVID-19, local authorities may require a 7-day or longer quarantine of all individuals on the ship, either on board or at another location. Hurtigruten Expeditions has no control over such requirements and must adhere to orders made by the local authorities.  

Hurtigruten Expeditions is not liable for any claims, demands, and/or damages arising from, or relating to, any exposure to the coronavirus and/or the contraction of any illness or disease as a result of any such exposure, including but not limited to COVID-19, by passengers or any other person. 

**Not applicable to expeditions on board MS Santa Cruz II
***PCR testing is not available on board MS Santa Cruz II.