Norwegian specialist cruise line Hurtigruten is to celebrate its 120 year anniversary with calls to two new “breathtaking” fjords this year and year-round charter flights.
The line made the announcement at a special birthday party for key UK partners, agents and customers, where it also took the opportunity to remind people it was not embroiled in the price wars of the larger cruise lines.
In September and October, Hurtigruten will call at the Hjorund fjord which is just 35km long and accessed by a very small opening, meaning only small ships like those operated by Hurtigruten can gain access.
For 11 days to mark its actual birthday on July 2, the line will aloso visit the Lyngen fjord located 300km north of the Arctic circle.
UK managing director Kathryn Beadle said: “These are truly breathtaking venue for us to go to. It is something that we can offer that’s unique from our competitors.”
She also revealed that the success of 47 charter flights from eight different airports in winter 2013/14, in addition to its scheduled flying, had given Hurtigruten the confidence to introduce charter flights for the whole year in 2014.
Commenting on competitors in the market, Beadle said: “Our offering is very far removed from the big white ships. In this current market where it’s all about price, getting drawn into this (price-driven competition) is not something that we get involved in. We use our difference and our niche as our lever, not price.”
She added: “Customers travel with us because they want to visit the real Norway; really isolated places. We serve local recipes, our staff are local and all our excursions get really involved in the local culture of the area.”
She thanked everyone for their support selling Hurtigruten, adding: “In Norway, we’re a highly recognised brand but in the UK it’s not quite the same. People can’t even say Hurtigruten, let alone spell it, so thank you for raising awareness and sales.”
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