Industry News

Hurtigruten Group CEO Honoured For “Outstanding Achievements” Towards Sustainability in the Tourism Industry

Hurtigruten Group CEO Daniel Skjeldam has received the 2022 Honorary Award from the Association of German Travel Journalists (VDRJ) for his “outstanding achievements” in tourism with emphasis on his efforts towards sustainability and for being a “role model” in the industry.

Rüdiger Edelmann, Chairman of the VDRJ said: "The Honorary Award pays tribute to companies and personalities in the travel industry who not only talk but take action. Hurtigruten Group and Daniel Skjeldam are excellent examples of this. He has implemented environmental protection and sustainability at an early stage, quickly and consistently and is a role model for sustainable change.”

Since taking the helm in 2012, Skjeldam stopped the use of heavy fuel oil on its fleet of ships, led Hurtigruten Group to become the first company of cruise liners to ban single-use plastic and overseen the launch of the world’s first battery hybrid ships.

More recently, Hurtigruten Group’s expedition cruise company Hurtigruten Expeditions, launched a third battery hybrid ship MS Otto Sverdrup in 2021. Its other battery hybrid ship, MS Fridtjof Nansen, was named the world’s most sustainable ship by ratings agency Scope ESG Analysis in association with Stern magazine. Three ships on its Norwegian Coastal Express fleet are to have battery packs installed this year while Hurtigruten Svalbard launched a series of initiatives including partnering with Volvo Penta to run a hybrid day cruiser for guests.

“It’s a huge honour to accept this award on behalf of Hurtigruten Group. We live in an increasingly fragile planet, and we are more committed than ever to delivering the most unique, sustainable travel experiences for our guests. We will continue to be a catalyst for change in the travel industry not only for our guests but for the communities we visit, and we look forward to welcoming even more German guests as they explore across Hurtigruten Group’s portfolio of products,” said Skjeldam, who was presented with the award on board MS Otto Sverdrup in Hamburg earlier today.

Franz Neumeier, travel journalist and publisher of the cruise guide, who proposed Daniel Skjeldam as a candidate added: "Hurtigruten Group has been a pioneer in the cruise industry on many issues. Daniel Skjeldam takes a very clear public stance, criticizing his own industry, sometimes harshly, and regularly calling on legislators and competitors for more commitment to environmental protection and sustainability in cruising. Hurtigruten Group shows how sustainable and environmentally friendly cruise tourism is possible."

The VDRJ Honorary Award is presented annually to personalities, organizations or initiatives that have gained extraordinary achievements in the tourism industry and are sustainably successful.

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