Norway’s HURTIGRUTEN has released preliminary results for 2010 that shows net income of approximately $3.8 million (before taxes) on revenues of $692.7 million for the year ended Dec. 31, 2010, compared to a loss of $5.1 million on revenues of $606.3 million for the prior year.

Hurtigruten reported a 14 percent increase year-over-year in cruise night roundtrips along the Norwegian coast; a 7 percent increase in shorter cruises; and a load factor of 69.1 percent compared to 61.5 percent for 2009.  During the summer capacity utilization approached 100 percent.

The biggest source markets were Norway and Germany, representing approximately 375,000 and 340,000 cruise nights, respectively, followed by the UK with an estimated 90,000 nights, and the U.S., with 40,000.

The official results will be presented March 15.

Being the sole bidder for the coastal service contract from the Norwegian government, Hurtigruten has submitted a bid to continue the service, requesting state support of $134 million per year for daily sailings year-round; $130 million for daily sailings in the summer and five sailings per week in the winter; and $104 million for five weekly sailings year-round . The bid is valid until March 8.

Hurtigruten operates a fleet of 14 ships of which 11 sail year-round on the Norwegian coast, offering cruises and transportation to the local population and carries cargo, in addition to expedition cruises to the Arctic and in Antarctica, and occasional cruises in Western Europe.  The newest is the Fram, which was built by Fincantieri and delivered in 2007, and is presently in Antarctica.