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Covid-19 Confirmed on Hurtigruten vessel

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4 hours ago, Heartfelttraveler said:

Are the 61 plus new cases just positives, or are there serious hospitalizations?

This is crew and passengers tested positive - August 6th it was 41 crew and 21 passengers - four crew at hospital. 
 

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Just for the record: According to an article today in the Norwegian newspaper, Nordlys, it is stated that the number of COVID-19 infected by MS Roald Amundsen, has now increased further. A total of 71 people are now registered as infected (42 crew members and 29 passengers). The reason given for the increase in the number of infected is that people who first tested negative, later have tested positive.

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Has there been any accountability assigned to the Hurtigruten executives responsible for the mishandling of Amundsen fiasco?  

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Earlier this month, it was reported in Norwegian media that on the initiative of Hurtigruten, Bent Martini is temporarily resigning from his roles and positions in Hurtigruten Cruise AS. And for the time being is leaving Hurtigruten’s group management. This according to CEO Daniel Skjeldam in Hurtigruten. Martini is the managing director of the company Hurtigruten Cruise AS. It is this company that operates the cruise part of the Hurtigruten group.

Moreover, there is obviously quite a lot now going on regarding the investigation of this COVID-19 outbreak, from various Norwegian authorities:

It is previously known that the police have opened an investigation of Hurtigruten, for violation of the Infection Control Act.

It is also stated that The Norwegian Maritime Authority, have asked Hurtigruten for documentation on weather they have carried out safety assessments to be made, and what preparedness plans they have. The Maritime Authoity said they expects that a safety assessment had been made in advance, and will, in light of what has happened, have an answer as to whether the preparedness plans were followed, said acting director of Maritime Affairs, Lars Alvestad.

The county medical officer in Troms and Finnmark have also informed that they will investigate Hurtigruten's handling of the outbreak on the ship.

The county governor of Troms and Finnmark has recently stated that they are opening a supervisory case against two of the ship doctors on Roald Amundsen.

Hurtigruten has earlier this month informed Norwegian media that several breaches of internal procedures on MS Roald Amundsen had been revealed. The company regrets that they have failed, and has now, engaged the company DNV GL, to carry out a full external investigation of the incident, the procedures in Hurtigruten and how they are followed. (DNV GL is an international classification society and a recognized advisor for the maritime industry, and technical advisor to the oil and gas industri, headquartered in Norway).

 

I think it will be interesting to see what in the end will come out regarding the COVID-19 scandal on board MS Roald Amundsen!

 

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For information:

According to the newspaper VG, the newspaper writes today that the entire crew of MS Roald Amundsen has now recovered regarding the COVID-19 infection.

The newspaper also writes that Hurtigruten states that the crew says that they have been very well taken care of and followed up.

 

https://direkte.vg.no/nyhetsdognet/news/hele-mannskapet-paa-ms-roald-amundsen-er-friskmeldt.0qekjkCOV

 

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Many thanks for your updates.  Good news about the crews' recovery.

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According to an article in the newspaper VG yesterday,

it says that The Norwegian Maritime Authority’s investigation of the corona outbreak on MS Roald Amundsen, has revealed seven discrepancies and failures in several areas of Hurtigruten's safety policy.

Acting general manager of Hurtigruten Cruise AS, Asta Lassesen, says that the company has invested all available resources to strengthen and improve routines and procedures at all levels.

- The discrepancies that are pointed out by the NMA are important to us in the work with a safe start-up of the expedition cruises, when the COVID-19 situation allows it, Lassesen says.

 

 https://www.vg.no/nyheter/innenriks/i/1ngbEW/sjoefartsdirektoratet-paapeker-sikkerhetssvikt-paa-hurtigruten

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Hurtigruten has earlier engaged the company DNV GL (an international classification society and a recognized advisor for the maritime industry), and the Norwegian law firm, Wiersholm, to carry out a full external investigation of the corona outbreak on MS Roald Amundsen, the procedures in Hurtigruten and how they are followed. At a press conference this afternoon, the investigation report was presented. The report is reviewed today as one of todays top stories in many Norwegian newspapers, and in the Norwegian TV news.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

 These are the main conclusions of the report: «Hurtigruten Cruise AS's risk management process has been insufficient. Hurtigruten did not implement sufficient risk-reducing measures for testing foreign crews in Norway before signing on. The quarantine rules were practiced incorrectly. Suspicion of infection during the voyages was not followed up, and covid-19 testing was not carried out in time.  When Hurtigruten received positive test results on 31 July, it took time before the crisis management system was implemented. Investigation leader, lawyer Jan Fougner, pointed out during the press conference that the quarantine regulations have been practiced differently in the Hurtigruten Group. He said that it appears that the person who was responsible for an evaluation of the quarantine regulations was a skilled chef, not a lawyer. "It was a mistake," he said. As a result of the findings, the report also makes some recommendations to Hurtigruten. Among other things, it is about evaluating whether the culture in the organization supports risk management».                                                                                                       

 

The press conference was opened by Hurtigruten's chairman of the board, Trygve Hegnar. He expressed that the board still has confidence in CEO Daniel Skjeldam.

- Skjeldam is an excellent man to implement the measures that will now be implemented, Hegnar said.

In a press release, Skjeldam apologizes for the company's handling of the case.

- The outbreak of infection on MS Roald Amundsen was a serious incident.- As chief executive of the group, I take responsibility for what happened.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         The attached link is to an article from the press conference in the newspaper E24: https://e24.no/naeringsliv/i/7KlB8W/smitteskandalen-paa-hurtigruten-konsernsjef-og-driftsdirektoer-med-motstridende-forklaringer

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

 

 

 

 

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Not sure how you can trust a company that was so cavalier about the health and safety of passengers and crew.  It caused us to cancel a Greenland cruise in July 2021.

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On 8/3/2020 at 11:29 AM, bluesea777 said:

We are so sorry to hear that. I did read in another source that the 33 infected were from the Philippines. 

 

Bottom line: the air travel is the hot spot. You can be tested negative, produce doctor's letter and be healthy within 72 hours before you travel but can still get infected while travelling to the ship. Very few flights coming to Bermuda - about 1/4 normal and planes have been less than 1/2 full.

 

Bermuda had been virus free for 3 weeks until the airport reopened to commercial travel on July 1. Then there have been several positive cases - all from the air arrivals! Worst are the ones on Delta from Atlanta. The 72 hours thing do not work. Fortunately Bermuda is strict. All arrivals are tested (nose cavity swabs) on arrival, again on Day 3, 7 and 14.

 

Unfortunately for us, we're booked on two Hurtigruten trips in December this year - they were booked back in January - before the Covid hell. We are going to have to cancel them (final payment due in Sept) anyway as we are not going to risk ourselves air travelling via the USA or UK to Norway, period (and go into quarantine before boarding the ship). We're hoping that Hurtigruten will consider refunding (or at least putting it into credit for future) the 20% non-refundable deposit that we paid.

 

 

 

On 8/3/2020 at 11:38 AM, bones774 said:

I have a 12 day coastal voyage booked in Dec myself, have a small deposit down, let's see what H does. I would think that at a minimum they will give credit, though prefer to have cash back at this point.

 

Hi, I thought I'd give you an update. I went online (.no, not .com) earlier this month and saw that you can cancel your Hurtigruten cruise(s) and request a future credit (125%) or a refund of what you already paid. So I applied for the refund, and today I received email from Hurtigruten saying they've refunded what we already paid (the 20% non-refundable deposit). 

 

I could have requested the 125% credit but it has to be used by end of 2022, and we already planned not to cruise in 2021 and booked a couple of big cruises in 2022, leaving no room for the Hurtigruten cruises. One year we'll do them.

 

 

Edited by bluesea777

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An update from the newspaper Dagbladet today, regarding the police investigation after the Covid-19 outbreak on MS Roald Amundsen:

«20 interrogations i in the Hurtigruten Covid-19 investigation. In a press release the police write that they are investigating the case extensively, and that they among other things have conducted interrogations and reviewed electronic communication, in connection with the Covid-19 outbreak on board Hurtigruten's "MS Roald Amundsen" this summer.                                                                                                                                                                                     

 

The case is being investigated to clarify whether the company or individuals may have violated provisions in the Criminal Code of Infection Control and/or provisions issued in accordance with the Infection Control Act, says Police Attorney, Lisa-Mari Ellingsen in Troms Police District.                                                                                                                  

 

The police are investigating circumstances in connection with this summer's two cruises with MS Roald Amundsen. Around 20 interrogations have been carried out, and a comprehensive data material with electronic communication is reviewed. The police are also looking at the Norwegian Maritime Authority’s investigation of the case, Hurtigruten's own investigation, and they also await the Chief County Medical Officer's investigation.

 

Hurtigruten still has the status of a suspect, while it is too early to comment on the status of individuals in this case. As it looks now, it will still take several weeks before the police can finish their work, Ellingsen concludes».

 

https://www.dagbladet.no/studio/nyhetsstudio/5?post=43909

                                                                                                            

 

    

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, jakob71 said:

Hurtigruten still has the status of a suspect, while it is too early to comment on the status of individuals in this case.

I'm following this because we've done two cruises with them, a RT Norwegian coastal one having loved our Antarctica trip with them. I have to tell you that if it plays out the way it looks to be I won't be traveling with them again. That makes me sad...but realistic.

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7 hours ago, clo said:

I'm following this because we've done two cruises with them, a RT Norwegian coastal one having loved our Antarctica trip with them. I have to tell you that if it plays out the way it looks to be I won't be traveling with them again. That makes me sad...but realistic.

 

It now looks it will still take quite a long time before «the last word» in the scandal case about the Covid-19 outbreak on MS Roald Amundsen, has been said! A case that has really shocked and surprised many Norwegians. In fact up to the Norwegian Government level. They had not expected it from a previously very reputable company like Hurtigruten.

 

 

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In a message today from Hurtigruten Group to the newspaper Nordlys (a message that has also been reffered to in other Norwegian newspapers like DN), it says that Bent Martini will resign from his positions as Chief Operating Officer and CEO of Hurtigruten Cruise AS, with permanent effect from 9 October 2020. November 9 this year, he will leave the company for good.

(Martini resigned temporarily from his positions in Hurtigruten Cruise in August, after the Covid-19 outbreak on MS Roald Amundsen).

Hurtugruten Group’s CEO, Daniel Skjeldam, says he wishes Martini good luck with «new challenges».

 

https://www.dn.no/reiseliv/hurtigruten-topp-gar-av/2-1-899850

 

 

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How nice of Daniel.  I'm sure his well wishes are much appreciated by Mr Martini. Apparently Daniel remains unscathed by this debacle.

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