The Norwegian cruise line Hurtigruten is returning to the waters, but with a big itinerary change: the ship won’t be stopping anywhere on the way, and passengers will stay on the boat for the entire two-week journey. 

The 14-day cruises are setting sail from Hamburg, Germany, to the coast of Norway, but because the country’s borders have been partially closed since mid-March, the boats are not permitted to make port calls. Only legal residents, EEA citizens visiting members of their immediate family, students accepted on courses for study this academic year and employees who are set to begin work are permitted to enter Norway, and all must self-quarantine for ten days after arrival.

500px Photo ID: 68482341 - When you look closely you can see my sleeping bag on the plattform.
Preikestolen (Pulpit's Rock), Norway ©Roman Burri/500px

From 15 July, Norway is set to allow quarantine-free travel for some nationalities, the list of which is set to be published on 10 July and updated every two weeks. Hurtigruten says it’s staying flexible and will amend its itineraries on short notice if visitors are permitted ashore, even if the rules change mid-cruise. Passengers still have access to Zodiac boats, kayaks and paddleboards and can swim from the ship or take in the coastal fjords and mountain scenery.

Evening in Bergen ©Nicholas Olesen/Lonely Planet

Hurtigruten also runs a coastal boat service within Norway, and those trips have also been restarted. The traditional ferry route runs from Bergen in the south to Kirkenes over seven days, stopping in 34 towns.

Cruise ships across the world were some of the biggest coronavirus hotspots, and many international cruise operators have cancelled their sailings until at least September, though some European river cruises have now reopened to customers.

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