Smoother seas for Hurtigruten

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Norway’s famed coastal shipping line Hurtigruten could report some improved results last week but continues to face booking challenges during the winter season. Bookings from European passengers were also said to be tough, given economic problems on the continent.

Hurtigruten's shore-based personnel will be berthed in Tromsø soon, too. PHOTO:

One of the Hurtigruten vessels on a port call in Tromsø. PHOTO:

Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported that the legendary shipping line, however, logged its best operating result since 2006, with operating revenues up 4.4 percent from the first quarter of last year, to NOK 755 million (USD 130 million) from NOK 723 last year. Operating losses were cut by nearly half, to NOK 69 million from NOK 122 million in last year’s first quarter.

The line is also seeing “solid progress” in sales of short cruises, such as a three-day voyage from Lofoten and along the Helgelands coast, or just four days along the coast of Finnmark. There was a decline in bookings for the full, nearly two-week roundtrip from Bergen to Kirkenes and back.

Hurtigruten is now heading into its traditionally most popular summer season but bookings again were described as “challenging” for both the second and third quarters. Investor Trygve Hegnar, who earlier was involved in the cruise industry, is now the biggest single shareholder through his family company Periscopus, with a 33 percent stake as of mid-May. staff