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​Hurtigruten Foundation funds local communities and projects

Press release   •   Apr 25, 2019 12:40 UTC

From preserving the shores of South Georgia, recycling plastic in the Philippines, growing fresh vegetables in the high Arctic, to rescue dogs, local initiatives and conserving the polar bear population. These are the projects awarded funds by Hurtigruten Foundation in 2018.

For years, the conscious guests of Hurtigruten – the world’s largest expedition cruise company – has contributed to the local communities and areas Hurtigruten operates.

- We established Hurtigruten Foundation to ensure that our guests of tomorrow can enjoy the same unique experiences as our guests of today. Working closely with guests, partners and organizations, Hurtigruten believes we can make a difference – by minimizing our operational impact and maximizing the positive contribution we make to local communities, Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam says.

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Want to apply for Hurtigruten Foundation grants? More info at Hurtigruten.com/foundation

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION: May 1 / November 1

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Through the Hurtigruten Foundation, Hurtigruten grants funds to projects, communities and organizations focused around three main pillars:

  • Conserving the world’s polar bear population.
  • The fight against marine and plastic pollution.
  • Financially supporting global and local projects at the over 200 destinations in more than 30 countries Hurtigruten’s ships and guests explore.

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Causes that makes a difference

Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam. Photo: RUNE KONGSRO/Hurtigruten

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Hurtigruten Foundation is funded by direct donations and several onboard initiatives, including auctions, fund-raisers, and the “Green stay” program, where a donation is made for every night guests asks for the cabin not to be cleaned - thereby saving energy, power, detergent and water.

With minimal administration costs, all surplus funds from Hurtigruten Foundation are donated to selected organizations and causes – that all makes that special difference. Twice a year, the board of Hurtigruten Foundation will grant funds to initiatives in the areas Hurtigruten operate.

Hurtigruten Foundation also spans activities onboard and ashore, such as beach clean-ups, citizen science, water sampling, oil spill monitoring and other science related projects that aims to educate guests and create ambassadors for every destination on every voyage.

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Green initiatives

Hurtigruten Foundation is a key driver in a number of sustainability initiatives in Hurtigruten, which is considered the world’s greenest cruise line.

Hurtigruten is currently building the world’s first hybrid powered cruise ship, MS Roald Amundsen, at Norway’s Kleven yard. Debuting in 2019, she will be followed by MS Fridtjof Nansen and a third sister ship in 2021. 

In 2018, Hurtigruten celebrated its 125th anniversary by banning all unnecessary single-use-plastics. In another industry first, Hurtigruten is completely rebuilding existing ships to run on a combination of large battery packs, liquefied natural gas (LNG) and biogas (LBG) made from organic waste such as dead fish.

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Projects supported by Hurtigruten Foundation in 2018 include:

The Norwegian Polar Institute (Tromsø, Norway) Climate change and the loss of sea ice is first felt and worst in the Arctic – and the greatest threat to the polar bear population. The highly acclaimed polar bear research done by the Norwegian Polar Institute has been ongoing since the 1960s and is crucial for understanding and preserving the Arctic polar bear population.

Polar Permaculture (Svalbard, Norway) Svalbard has a history of self-sufficiency and sustainability that has long been forgotten. Polar Permaculture was founded by Benjamin Vidmar in 2015 to create sustainable systems that make a difference in the local community and around the world. Today, Polar Permaculture produces farm fresh, nutritious vegetables, microgreens, sprouts, and quail eggs for our local community with a sustainable, circular system. In the future, Benjamin aims to produce enough food for the entire town of Longyearbyen and process all of the community’s organic and biological waste.

Foreningen Grønlandske børn (Greenland) One third of all children on Greenland grow up in families with social issues. A lot of children finish primary school without the proper foundation for a further education. A lot of them struggle with motivation and finding their way forward in the educational system. This organization wants to change this, and want to secure vulnerable children on Greenland a future.
Photo: Foreningen Grønlandske Børn/Hurtigruten

Eco Pantao (Pantao, Philippines) Eco Panto is a newly founded company that aims to contribute to the solution of the plastic problem plaguing Philippines and other countries. They aim to create value for the local community by buying segregated litter from households and business, arrange clean-ups, educational projects with local schools, and raise awareness around littering and the health of our home.

Challenges of Antarctica (Antarctica) Greta Jodal from Sweden and Kathrine Kirkevaag from Norway are planning to complete an unsupported expedition to the South Pole in 2019/2020. The goal is to create awareness and increase people’s knowledge about the enormous challenges the continent is facing. Through their expedition, they aim to raise awareness and influence society to take their share in preserving Antarctica.

Hearts in the Ice (Svalbard, Norway) As the first women in history, Norwegian Hilde Fålun Strøm and Canadian Sunniva Sorby will do an overwintering in the Svalbard wilderness. For nine months, the two true adventurists will stay in the remote Svalbard trappers hut “Bamsebu”, collecting science material and raising awareness on climate change.

The Polar Citizen Science Collective (Antarctica) Through long-term collaborations with scientific organizations, coordination with participating vessels, development of standardized project protocols, training of data collectors, distribution of data and when possible, delivery of feedback, the Polar Collective facilitates ship-based citizen science programs from start to finish.

Svalbard turn/Aktiv i friluft (Svalbard, Norway) A Norway-based artist-duo have developed an art project involving children and plastic waste from the ocean. The project has already engaged 10.000 children all over Norway. Now they want to take the project to Svalbard.

Disco Arts Festival 2019 (Oqaatsut and Ilulissat, Greenland) Disco Arts Festival is an interdisciplinary incubator for new artistic expressions. The mission is to be an arena for the development of new artistic ideas, projects and collaborations, presented for a local and global audience. Great emphasis is put on the inclusion of emerging Greenlandic artists from various fields, and the festival works actively to secure a balanced and diverse group of participating artists.

The Plastic Crab (Averøy, Norway) In cooperation with a professional artist the youth from Averøy on Nordmøre will clean up plastic litter along their local beaches and reuse the waste as material in a large crab sculpture. The project is hosted by Averøy county and Norwegian Scenic Routes. The Plastic Crab is going to be exhibited outdoors in the 2019/20 season.

Ørsta Næringskontor (Urke, Norway) Establish new hiking shelter open for the public at Urke, by the spectacular Hjørundfjorden in western Norway.

Nordkapp og omegn turlag (Nordkapp, Norway) Maintaining tourist path to protect the natural environment.

South Georgia Heritage Trust (South Georgia, South Atlantic Ocean) A trust with two main purposes: To help efforts to conserve and protect those species of indigenous fauna and flora that breed and grow on South Georgia or in the surrounding seas - and to raise awareness about threatened species. They also assist efforts to preserve the historical heritage of South Georgia.

Norwegian Rescue Dogs (Svalbard, Norway) Norwegian Rescue Dogs is a volunteer organization, and the dogs in the Svalbard branch are a vital part of the local rescue force. But Svalbard is in desperate need of more trained dogs and masters. The Hurtigruten Foundation grant will secure avalanche training and equipment for dogs and handlers.

Photo: Pål Laukli/Norske Redningshunder/Hurtigruten

Hurtigruten - World leader in exploration travel

Building on 125 years of Norwegian pioneering heritage, Hurtigruten is today the world's largest expedition cruise company.

Hurtigruten’s rapidly growing fleet of custom-build expedition ships takes modern-day adventure travellers to the world’s most spectacular destinations on our Planet - from the High North to Antarctica in the south.

Being the world leader in exploration travel comes with a great responsibility. Hurtigruten is enhancing destinations and runs an responsible, sustainable global operation.

Hurtigruten is introducing the world’s first hybrid battery powered cruise ships, the MS Roald Amundsen and the MS Fridtjof Nansen. A third hybrid powered expedition vessel will be added to the fleet in 2021. 

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