Slowly but surely, society is opening up again, and at the same time many people are wondering how we practically continue with everyday life. At Hurtigruten, safety always has been, and always will be, our number one priority.
With over 127 years of experience, we have established strict procedures for protection against infectious on board our ships. As we start to welcome you back on board, it is important that you understand what actions we have been taking regarding health and safety.
To ensure all voyages are safe for both guests and crew, we have introduced a number of new procedures, as described below.
Last edited: 7/2/2020 10:57 AM
Your experience on board
You can rest assured that we will always follow national rules and guidelines from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. We have already been sailing throughout the Coronavirus pandemic with strict national measures.
One of the reasons we have been allowed to do this is because we already have good infection protection procedures in place:
- For the summer of 2020 we will not sail with more than 50% capacity, so there will be even more room on our already spacious ships. We have a variety of ships of different sizes, so the precise numbers of fellow guests will vary from ship to ship.
- We ask all guests to comply with national guidelines issued by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health at all times. Among other things, this means that while on board, wearing a face mask is optional.
- Respect the capacity restrictions in the various public areas on the ship, such as the swimming pool, sauna, gym and other communal areas.
- Keep at least one metre from each other, and respect the floor markings set up to help with this.
- Frequent hand washing is one of the most important measures against infection. You will often be asked to wash or disinfect your hands; including at embarkation and disembarkation, outside all restaurants and on entering public areas.
- You will be asked to open a cruise account where all purchases are registered on a touch-free card. We do this to limit the use of cash and frequent contact with payment terminals.
We have made arrangements for more dining sessions so we can serve food to fewer people at a time, while ensuring the necessary social distancing between our guests.
- We ask you to arrive for your meals at the agreed time to minimise queuing.
- You should wash or disinfect your hands outside our restaurants before being welcomed in.
- Everything guests are in contact with in the restaurants are disinfected between dining sessions.
- Our chefs will serve you and carefully place your choice of meal onto your plate as you request.
We already have strict cleaning procedures on board:
- In addition to thorough daily cleaning, all cabins will be fully disinfected at changeover.
- We use electrostatic cleaning with strong disinfectants in all communal areas, storerooms and galleys.
- We will do a full disinfection of the entire ship if any infectious substances are detected.
- We carry out regular testing, and flood hard surfaces in cabins, galleys and all public areas with UV light to identify any organic materials invisible to the naked eye, which can then be removed by our cleaning experts.
These routines give continuous feedback on the effectiveness of our cleaning activity, and help us develop more and more robust cleaning methods. In addition, we also,
- Use external partners to implement both planned and unannounced hygiene inspections on all ships.
- Do regular checks of HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) ventilator filters, and the quality of the drinking water.
Excursions and going ashore
You have the opportunity to go ashore at several places, and we will regulate the number of people who board and disembark the ship at any given time, to control the flow of people getting on and off the ship.
We are in close dialogue with our excursion suppliers along the Norwegian coast to meet the applicable national guidelines:
- We are implementing additional cleaning and hygiene procedures.
- You will be asked to wash or disinfect your hands thoroughly before, during and after excursions.
- The capacity of the excursions has been reduced to ensure sufficient spacing for social distancing. This may mean some of the excursions are no longer available, or that the excursion has been changed to minimize the risk of infection.
- All equipment provided is disinfected before use by another guest.
- All buses used are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between each trip.
All staff follow national guidelines from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health at all times. Among other things, this means that while on board with us, wearing a mask is optional, also for crew.
- All crew members undergo a health check before they come to work, in addition to daily temperature readings.
- They have completed the WHO’s official COVID-19 course for hygiene procedures and infection management, as well as an extensive internal training programme.
- Also, our crew has always undergone thorough first-aid training and has access to health professionals should a medical issue arise.
- There is a dedicated Health & Safety Officer on board, whose task is to coordinate and ensure the quality of infection control on board.
Along the Norwegian coast, we are never far from land and access to the onshore health service; meanwhile our expedition ships always have a doctor and at least one assistant nurse as part of the crew. Should we get a case of COVID-19 on board, we will immediately carry out infection tracking protocols, together with the Norwegian authorities.
How you and others can help
It is important to emphasize that for all the measures and procedures to be effective, we rely on you to contribute.
Before embarkation, all guests must provide a self-declaration form. On this form, you must,
- Confirm that you are not showing signs of any COVID-19 symptoms at embarkation.
- Confirm that you have not been in contact with anyone who has COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
- Confirm compliance to the current travel restrictions imposed by the Norwegian authorities (for journeys starting and ending in Norway.
A medical certificate from a doctor is not required. This declaration is required to allow you to travel with Hurtigruten, and we reserve the right to refuse embarkation for guests with missing or incomplete information.
The digital form is sent to you by email 24 hours before departure. If you are not able to fill in the digital form, you will be given a self-declaration form at check in.
A contactless fever scan to record your temperature will be performed before embarkation, and we reserve the right to conduct this procedure at any point during the trip. This is for your own safety and for the safety of others.
- Should you or someone become ill during the voyage, we will quickly be able to isolate the individuals concerned, either in their own cabin or in a designated ‘isolation cabin’.
- We have established procedures for handling infection, experienced collaboration partners and good communication with all of the ports we visit.
- Should we get a case of COVID-19 on board, we have carefully prepared infection tracking procedures and will receive help from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.
- We always adhere to Norwegian national health guidelines and we regularly update our procedures when advice from the authorities changes.