Hurtigruten is marking its 125th anniversary today (Monday) by staging a plastics-free birthday party.
The celebrations will extend more than 11,000 nautical miles, from Seattle in the west and Hong Kong in the east, to Svalbard in the High North, and along the Norwegian coast.
The birthday will be celebrated in Hurtigruten ports, destinations, ships and offices, without use of any single use plastic items.
The line has banned all unnecessary single-use plastics across its fleet of expedition ships – from the Arctic to Antarctica.
From straws to drinking cups and plastic bags, everything will be replaced by paper, biodegradable material and other sustainable alternatives.
Several major cruise lines have followed Hurtigruten’s lead.
Chief executive Daniel Skjeldam said: “Being world leader in exploration travel comes with a great responsibility for preserving the natural wonders on our itineraries.
“Plastic pollution is the single biggest threat to our oceans. What better way to tie together our past and future than celebrating our anniversary by removing all unnecessary single use plastic.”
The expedition line was originally established with the steamer DS Vesteraalen serving the coast of Norway, establishing a regular sea link for locals and tourists.
Hurtigruten now has 14 ships covering more than 200 destinations in 30 countries from pole to pole.
Skjeldam said: “We continue to build on our 125 years of experience and heritage, and we continue to push the boundaries by introducing the world’s first hybrid powered expedition ships.
“We strongly believe Hurtigruten is the perfect fit for the modern-day explorer, and we experience substantial growth across markets. The expansion we’ve seen so far is just the beginning.”
The company plans to introduce the world’s first battery hybrid powered expedition ships as well as converting up to nine existing vessels to hybrid LNG-battery power.
“We are committed to remain being the global leader in green adventure travel,” said Skjeldam.
“Whether we are developing the Hurtigruten product, designing new ships or discussing new itineraries and destinations, sustainability is the core of every detail of the Hurtigruten operation.”
The company is also advocating a ban on heavy fuel oil and stricter regulations in pristine destinations, partakes in several research projects and funds local and global projects through Hurtigruten Foundation.
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