Tag Archives: Roald Amundsen

‘CRIMINAL AND PUNISHABLE!’: Reception manager on COVID-19 infected Roald Amundsen quits, says Huritgruten put profits above crew and is ‘an organization controlled by fear mentality’

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Accusing Hurtigruten of “miserable ethical compliance,” a top manager on the cruise ship Roald Amundsen has resigned due to what he called “criminal and punishable” actions by the company regarding an outbreak of COVID-19 during two voyages to Svalbard last summer.

‘DEVASTATING’ INVESTIGATION: Roald Amundsen doctors treated sick crew who had COVID-19 on July 21 – ten days before Hurtigruten reported first ‘known’ cases to officials

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A formal investigation of the COVID-19 outbreak on Hurtigruten’s Roald Amundsen during two one-week voyages in Svalbard adds more findings described as “devastating” to an already long list of violations and questionable decisions, including crew members sick with COVID-19 who went unreported ten days before the outbreak was reported to authorities.

COVID-19 cases from Roald Amundsen rises to 53; French luxury ship continuing Svalbard cruises beginning this weekend; trade minister discusses tourism crisis during visit

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All cruise ships with more than 100 people may be banned, but a French company is still planning to dock a “luxury” ship in Longyearbyen this weekend and advertising a subsequent voyage later this month.

Compagnie du Ponant’s Le Boréal, with a capacity for 140 crew and 250 passengers, is the only expedition cruise ship now traveling in the archipelago and is scheduled to arrive at Longyearbyen Harbor on Saturday. Because the voyage started before the new nationwide limit was imposed Monday there are more than 100 people board, but the passengers are being allowed to disembark for their plane trip home because there are no diagnosed COVID-19 cases on the ship, according to The Governor of Svalbard.

Listicle: 14 reasons the COVID-19 outbreak aboard the Hurtigruten cruise ship Roald Amundsen is controversial

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(Illustration courtesy of Filter Nyheter)

Editor’s note: The following is inspired by, expands on and updates an article by NRK with our own reporting, plus other global media. It summarizes the growing list of controversies surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak aboard Hurtigruten’s Roald Amundsen during two week-long voyages in Svalbard in July. The outbreak was publicly announced when the ship docked in Tromsø on July 31, but company officials knew about the problem two days earlier and attempted to cover it up. Furthermore, nearly all aspects of the outbreak from ignoring crew concerns about safety precautions to lack of cooperation with health authorities to allowing infected passengers off the ship unmonitored have come to light. A week after the initial reports, at least 41 crew members and 21 passengers are infected with the virus.

1. Employees from the Philippines went straight to work instead of mandatory quarantine

Most of infected crew members infected are from the Philippines. Under Norwegian COVID-19 regulations they should have been quarantined for 10 days upon entering the country. Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam said the workers were tested twice for the virus in their home country before departing and “international rules are such that they are quarantined on board the ship after arrival. That quarantine means that you can participate in working on board, but not go ashore.” But experts on laws and regulations at sea say Skjeldam’s interpretation is wrong.

‘COVER-UP’ OF COVID-19 OUTBREAK: E-mails show Hurtigruten ‘doesn’t want this to come out’; local tourism officials worry alarm about Svalbard resulting from incomplete media coverage

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An e-mail declaring ““Hurtigruten doesn’t want this to come out, they want to have control of this themselves,” regarding COVID-19 infections aboard the Roald Amundsen is among the evidence escalating accusations against the company about its handling of the situation to new levels, as authorities and Norwegian media pursue an increasing list of violations involving its employees.

The outbreak resulted in Norway cancelling all cruise ships carrying more than 100 people for two weeks and global alarm about cruise tourism resuming during the pandemic. It is also heightening the already immense concern about Svalbard’s tourism, with local leaders saying the vast international media coverage mentioning the archipelago is omitting the fact the area remains free of known cases and the infected ship did not making any port stops while here.

COVID-19 outbreak on Roald Amundsen revives global cruising fears; Hurtigurten stops all voyages due to ‘internal procedures’ failures, police and health officials investigating

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The COVID-19 outbreak aboard Hurtigruten’s Roald Amundsen voyaging in Svalbard the latter of half of  July that as of Monday has infected at least 40 crew and passengers, and put nearly 400 more under quarantine orders, is reviving fears of the virus locally – but spreading even more ill feeling globally about cruise liners resuming their voyages.

Hurtigruten, facing a barrage of hindsight criticism, announced Monday it is halting all expedition sailings until further notice due to “failure in several of our internal procedures.” Norwegian police and health agencies also announced they are investigating the company’s actions.

DAWN (AT MIDNIGHT) OF A NEW HYBRID FERRY ERA: Hurtigruten’s new battery-powered ship makes first stop in Longyearbyen overnight under sunny skies

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Since the ship is designed for maximum energy efficiency in the Arctic in particular, it’s only fitting nature provided a matching setting as Hurtigruten’s first hybrid-powered ferry made its debut in Longyearbyen with a 12-hour stop beginning at 10 p.m. Friday where passengers were able to spend a long “day” exploring under clear skies lit by the midnight sun.