Norway to Open Svalbard to Expedition Cruise Lines with Strict New Rules

MS Fram (Gian Rico Willy)

The Norwegian Government has announced that expedition cruise operations will be allowed again in Svalbard with strict new regulations.

Ships will only be able to carry half of their maximum capacity, require additional medical staff onboard and also require guest health certificates. 

The reopening will take place within already existing national rules for entry and mandatory quarantine obligations which stipulate, for instance, that during a phased approach residents in Norway – and from June 15 residents from Nordic countries with some exemptions – can travel to Svalbard – keeping access somewhat restricted. 

Each cruise operator will need to develop and apply individual plans based on the infection control industry guidelines, which then will be considered by the Governor of Svalbard, according to a press release from AECO, the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators.

"We are thrilled that the Norwegian Government and local stakeholders are demonstrating determination, willingness and cooperation to open for expedition cruises in Svalbard again, which is a vital contributor to local tourism economies," said AECO’s executive director, Frigg Jørgensen.

The infection control industry guidelines for expedition cruises in Svalbard builds on comparable general tourism industry guidelines for Svalbard, which the authorities earlier have prepared in close collaboration with Visit Svalbard, the local tourist office in Longyearbyen.

Cruise operators will need to review and comply with a 100-page infection control guideline document



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