NEWS + 13 PHOTOS: Hurtigruten Expeditions is launching a sale on cruises during Earth Week and the Hurtigruten Foundation will donate 1 per cent of the total cost of each Alaskan cruise sold during Earth Week to the Alaska Wilderness League.
The Alaska Wilderness League helps protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge located in Alaska’s northeast corner, as well as other wildlife reserves. Comprising 19.6 million acres of land, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is the largest unit in the National Wildlife Refuge System.
Hurtigruten Group CEO Daniel Skjeldam was named one of AFAR’s 2021 Travel Vanguards for his and the brand’s commitment to sustainability.
“Sustainability is an integral part of Hurtigruten’s DNA and our priority any day of the year. From introducing the world’s first hybrid electric-powered expedition ship, the MS Roald Amundsen, a few years ago, to most of our ships soon operating with biofuel from organic waste and battery power, we can confidently claim we have the greenest fleet in the industry,” said John Downey, President of Hurtigruten Americas.
“Another important aspect of our everyday focus on the environment we operate within is working closely with all the local communities in the destinations we serve to help empower them for the future. Our mission is that you arrive as a guest but leave as a friend, as you get to know and understand the local indigenous population. In Alaska, we take you further and closer to the remote communities than any of the large ships can ever get,“ added Downey.
“Alaska Wilderness League stands with the many people and organizations that believe in a sustainable future for Alaska. We also honor and respect the cultures of Alaska Natives whose way of life remains deeply connected to the state’s land, water, and wildlife,” said Adam Kolton, Executive Director of Alaska Wilderness League.
“Alaska, with its rapidly rising temperatures, increases in wildfires, thawing permafrost, receding glaciers, eroding coastlines, and disappearing sea ice is ground zero in the climate crisis in the United States. Alaska Wilderness League is committed to confronting the causes and impacts of climate change and defending America’s last great wild public lands and waters, and are happy to have the support of companies like Hurtigruten and their customers that are dedicated to conducting business in an environmentally responsible way and committed to respecting local Indigenous cultures.”
Hurtigruten Expeditions is also the only major cruise operator in Alaskan waters to be certified by Adventure Green Alaska, a certification program that defines sustainable tourism as travel to natural areas that benefits local economies, respects the environment, and is sensitive to indigenous cultures.
During Earth Week, April 19 to 26, 2021, Hurtigruten offers up to 40% off 27 Alaskan and Norwegian cruises between 2021 and 2023:
- Alaska and British Columbia – Wilderness, Glaciers and Culture
- Alaska and British Columbia – Inside Passage, Bears and Aleutian Islands
- Northern Lights and Fjords Expedition
- Fjords Expedition Cruise
- Midnight Sun Expedition
Hurtigruten Expeditions’ other popular destinations include Antactica, including two once-in-a-lifetime Solar Eclipse sailings this November; the British Isles; Canada’s Northwest Passage, the Caribbean and Central America; Europe; Greenland; Iceland; South America and Svalbard in the Arctic North.
“At Hurtigruten, we are constantly pushing the boundaries for innovation within sustainability, whether it is to introduce the first battery-powered catamaran in the Arctic, the MS Bard, this summer, or the battery-powered snowmobiles we introduced back in 2019. We will continuously strive to find the best partners to drive our sustainability focus forward, ensuring our guests leave a minimal impact on their journey,” said Downey.
With a solid commitment to innovation and sustainability, some recent highlights include:
- Hurtigruten will introduce the first battery-powered catamarans custom-built for Polar water exploration this summer. In partnership with Norwegian startup Brim Explorer launch Featuring large battery packs, the hybrid catamaran will be one of the world’s most flexible electric ships. She can be charged at virtually any port and operate on batteries for 10 hours with a cruising speed of 10 knots. These will operate in Svalbard in the Arctic North;
- In 2019, Hurtigruten Expeditions introduced the world’s first hybrid electric-powered expedition cruise ship, MS Roald Amundsen followed by MS Fridtjof Nansen last year. Most ships will soon be operating on clean biofuel from organic waste and battery power, making it the most advanced and greenest fleet in the industry. Biofuel, a renewable fossil-free fuel produced from organic waste, will reduce emissions by more than 35%;
- Being the first cruise operator to remove all single-use plastic onboard back in 2018, Hurtigruten saves 32 metric tons of plastic every year, and its Food Waste Project aims to reduce food waste by 20% by 2022;
- Hurtigruten Foundation was established in 2015 to ensure that the guests of tomorrow can enjoy the same unique experiences as the guests of today. It 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 Group is a founding member of AECO (Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators), an organization dedicated to managing responsible, environmentally friendly, and safe tourism in the Arctic;
- Hurtigruten cooperates with several technology-driven companies. From global players to local startups, Hurtigruten is determined to raise the standards and move borders. With the Norwegian startup Blueye Robotics, Hurtigruten is adding underwater drones which will open new horizons for guests;
- Hurtigruten is advocating for a global ban on heavy fuel oil (HFO), one of the world’s dirtiest fuels, which is extremely difficult to clean up in the event of a spill and produces higher air and climate levels pollutants than other marine fuels. Hurtigruten is working with leading environmental agencies such as Clean Arctic Alliance and European Climate Foundation, spearheading the HFOFreeArctic campaign to ban the use of HFO in Arctic waters and along the Norwegian coast;
- Hurtigruten Group’s business and operations, directly and indirectly, touch on many of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, in particular: #9: Industry, innovation, and infrastructure; #11: Sustainable cities and communities; #12: Responsible consumption and production; #13: Climate action; and #14: Life below water;
- In 2019, Hurtigruten’s land-based adventure travel company Hurtigruten Svalbard partnered with the Finnish startup company Aurora Powertrains to introduce electric and emission-free snowmobiles fully powered by renewable energy from the Arctic winds and Midnight sun; and
- With plastic pollution as one of the biggest threats to our oceans’ health, Hurtigruten has arranged beach clean-ups in multiple destinations for several years, which guests are encouraged to participate in.
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