Norwegian cruise line executive suspended after virus outbreak

Norwegian cruise line executive suspended after virus outbreak
The Hurtigruten ship Roald Amundsen in Tromsø on August 3rd. Photo: AFP
Norwegian cruise line Hurtigruten said Friday it had asked a top executive to step aside, after a coronavirus outbreak on one of its ships led to suspended operations and a police investigation.

The Arctic cruise operator has been in hot water after an outbreak of COVID-19 was recorded on the MS Roald Amundsen.

“On the initiative of Hurtigruten, Bent Martini is temporarily stepping down from the positions as chairman of the board and as managing director,” CEO of Hurtigruten, Daniel Skjeldam said in a statement.

“Temporarily, he will also step down from Hurtigruten's management,” Skjeldam added.

Hurtigruten said it had hired a law firm and an independent auditor “to conduct a full investigation of the incident”.

On Monday, Norwegian police confirmed they had opened an investigation into the matter.

 

As of Friday 62 people — 41 among the largely Filipino crew and 21 passengers — have tested positive after two July cruises between mainland Norway and the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic circle.

Martini told Norwegian media that he was on board the MS Roald Amundsen, on holiday with his family, when it docked in Tromsø in northern Norway last Friday.

However, he did not comment on whether he was aware of the outbreak while on board.

The operator has suspended all cruises, apart from its coastal ferries, after a preliminary investigation had shown failures in several “internal procedures”.

The company was also attacked for being slow to inform the 386 passengers who had travelled on the Amundsen after the first case was confirmed.

Hurtigruten was one of the first players to resume its activities in a cruise sector heavily affected by the pandemic.

READ ALSO: Norway tightens rules for cruise passengers after ship outbreak 


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