Hurtigruten cancels remaining 2020 cruises due coronavirus

OSLO, Sept 17 (Reuters) - Norway’s Hurtigruten has called off its remaining cruises this year due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in Europe and the Americas, the company said on Thursday.

“Our goal is to resume operations in January 2021,” the company said in a statement.

The decision affects Hurtigruten’s so-called expedition cruises, which often take passengers into Arctic or Antarctic waters, though its business of shipping goods and people between ports along the Norwegian coast will continue.

The company was the first cruise operator worldwide to return an oceangoing cruise ship to service in mid-June, touting reduced passenger capacity, social distancing and strict rules on hygiene.

But dozens of crew and passengers on board a Hurtigruten ship tested positive for the coronavirus following an Arctic cruise in July, triggering a police investigation into the circumstances. (Reporting by Terje Solsvik)