Hurtigruten today suspended all expedition sailings by three ships “until further notice” after an outbreak of  coronavirus outbreak on board MS Roald Amundsen.

A total of 36 crew members and “several” passengers have tested positive for Covid-19 on the expedition cruise ship.

The Norwegian company, which was planning a short series of ex-UK sailigs in September, has now temporarily suspended expedition sailings by MS Roald Amundsen, MS Fridtjof Nansen and MS Spitsbergen until further notice.

Chief executive Daniel Skjeldam said: “The safety and well-being of our guests and crew is Hurtigruten’s number one priority. We are now focusing all available efforts in taking care of our guests and colleagues.

“We are working closely with the Norwegian National and Local Health Authorities for follow-up, information, further testing, and infection tracking.

“In light of the recent increase in new cases of COVID-19 globally, the only responsible choice is to suspend all expedition sailings until we are absolutely confident, we can carry out our operations in line with all requirements from the authorities and with the even stricter requirements we have set for ourselves .”

Hurtigruten is in the process of contacting guests booked on the now cancelled voyages.

The decision has no impact on Hurtigruten’s coastal Norway operations, the company added.