Hurtigruten Cruise Ship MS Spitsbergen Denied Russia Entry

Hurtigruten Cruise Ship MS Spitsbergen Denied Russia Entry
Hurtigruten Cruise Ship MS Spitsbergen Denied Russia Entry

Hurtigruten Cruise Ship MS Spitsbergen Denied Russia Entry -Hurtigruten Cruise Line ship MS Spitsbergen was supposed to depart on September 12, 2019, for a 15-day cruise from Norway to Franz Josef Land in Russia. The planned the cruise was done “in cooperation” with Russian authorities.

The cruise was billed as, “Remote Franz Josef Land has always attracted hardy adventurers, and now you can set foot on the ice were Nansen and Johansen spent the winter, watch for polar bears wandering in their natural environment, and feel the cool Arctic from the North Pole just a few miles away. A  double-entry visa for Russia is required for this voyage. ”

In a statement, a spokesperson for Hurtigruten said, “(the) MS Spitsbergen meets the requirements of the Polar Code and has permission to operate in this part of the Arctic. Despite this fact, and at the last minute, the final remaining permits from Russian Authorities have unexpectedly been denied and we have not been granted the necessary final sailing permission to Franz Josef Land.

Hurtigruten has engaged in a long-term dialogue with Russian authorities about the planned expedition cruises. Their last-minute decision comes as a surprise, further highlighted by the very vocal strategy from Russian authorities to attract more cruise traffic and new operators in general, and Hurtigruten in particular, to Russian Arctic waters.

We are currently in the process of reaching out to guests, offering compensation and alternative Hurtigruten expedition cruises,” the statement concludes. “Hurtigruten will continue the dialogue with Russian authorities in regards to future voyages to Franz Josef Land.”

Mike Huckabee Twiiter Russia postNorwegian cruise company Hurtigruten had already sold tickets to 250 passengers, starting at $6,200, to sail to Franz Josef Land, a remote Russian archipelago.

Recently, Russia has been unreliable as a cruise destination partner. On June 20, 2019, Canadian Cruise ship company One Ocean Expeditions (OOE) had two of their cruise ships seized by Russia without warning. Russia has claimed the MV Akademik Ioffe and the MV Akademik Sergey Vavilov were taken to Kaliningrad for repairs as part of a “modernization project”.

One Ocean states, “The owners’ refusal to provide the vessels is a breach of their contract with OOE. OOE has done everything in its power to compel the owners to abide by their contractual obligations”.

It is interesting,  that this month two politicians were in Russia allegedly promoting an Azamara Club Cruises cruise to Russia and the very next week MS Spitsbergen was denied entry.

The Cruise to Russia, “Russian Odyssey St. Petersburg – Moscow – Volgograd 18 days / 17 nights is being promoted by two politicians, Mike Huckabee from Arkansas, and Rick Santorum from Pennsylvania.

Huckabee also posted to Twitter, ” Enjoyed dinner on Baltic Sea with @janethuckabee & dear friends Rick and Karen Santorum. Note to media-we are not here to collude but to see if we can get the uranium back that Hillary sold. We told Vlad we could be more flexible after the election.”

Earlier this month, a Russian naval base was on a mysterious month-long lockdown after an accidental missile explosion at the base was linked to a sudden radiation spike in the region.(see video below)

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Video: What we know about deadly radiation explosion at Russian military site