Tag Archives: Hurtigruten Svalbard

MEGA MERGER: Store Norske buys Hurtigruten Svalbard’s properties, agrees to 30-year joint tourism operation

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Store Norske, in a significant step toward transitioning to new industries beyond coal mining, announced Monday it is buying all of the properties of Hurtigruten Svalbard – the archipelago’s largest tour company – and the two companies are entering into a 30-year operations agreement.

THE REAL DARK SEASON BEGINS (AGAIN): Surge of new COVID-19 cases and restrictions exposes outbreak of panicking travellers, layoffs and destitute businesses in Svalbard

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Scrambling to obtain a COVID-19 test newly mandated just hours before their flight home Friday was only the most immediate of the very painful and likely very lengthy consequences ahead.

A surge of new infections in Norway and globally is threatening economic decimation for many residents and businesses in Svalbard – again and more severely – for a second straight year just as the archipelago enters what should be peak tourism season as yet more travel restrictions were imposed late this week for the mainland and Svalbard.

At the same time, two major local tourism companies announced they’re temporarily laying off a total of 60 employees and a smaller independent company revealed its had only four guests since September.

BIG HOTEL SALE: Hurtigruten may sell its three lodges and other Svalbard properties, joining Mary Ann’s Polarrigg and Svalbar as notable tourism businesses on the market

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Update 2:45 p.m.: Store Norske is among the companies interested in buying Hurtigruten’s local operations, according to reports.

Original story: A huge sale at local hotels and other tourism businesses is in the making as the crippling economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic persist, as Hurtigruten announced Tuesday is it considering selling or entering a partnership for its three hotels and other land-based properties in Svalbard.

The announcement comes as at least two other notable tourism-oriented businesses, Mary Ann’s Polarrigg and Svalbar, are also up for sale. However, plans for those sales were underway before the pandemic and Hurtigruten noted their exploratory efforts “may or may not result in a transaction.”

SCOOTER OFF: Governor overrules city, orders Hurtigruten Svalbard to immediately remove dozens of snowmobiles from open field due to complaints

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“No parking” of snowmobiles in a large field near the edge of Longyearbyen does not mean the city can violate its own code by declaring “except for a huge tourist fleet,” The Governor of Svalbard stated Friday in order demanding Hurtigruten Svalbard immediately remove dozens of its rental units from the area due to complaints from residents.

‘The punishment we deserve’: Hurtigruten Svalbard, subcontractor hit w/ 150K in fines for numerous labor and building violations during Radisson hotel renovations

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While the Radisson Polar Blu Hotel is trying to promote its fancy new upgrades to the outside world, officials closer to home are far more concerned about numerous labor violations involving those doing the work as 150,000 kroner in fines is being levied against the hotel’s owner and one of the subcontractors doing the renovations.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Nov. 27, 2018

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Mine 7 sees record income a year after other Store Norske mining ceases
A year ago Store Norske shut down nearly all of its coal mining operations, but the relatively small-scale production continuing at Mine 7 experienced a record year by achieving the first “real surplus” in the mine’s 52-year history.

Build the walls! (And they’ll pay for it): Hurtigruten Svalbard planning 200M in hotel, recreation facility upgrades

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Svalbard’s largest tourism company, which has already upgraded its main hotels and added new lodging during the past few years, is now planning a record 200-million-kroner expansion and upgrade of its facilities in anticipation of a major increase in tourism in Longyearbyen in the near future.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Jan. 24, 2017

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Snowboarding movie, wireless mikes get big boosts in Korkpenger funds
A group hoping to make “the ultimate snowmobile film from Svalbard” got a show of support from city cultural officials after a request for a Korkpenger grant was initially rejected.