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Hurtigruten, now formally the Bergen – Kirkenes coastal route, is a shipping route along the Norwegian coast from Bergen to Kirkenes, with goods, mail and passengers. A total of 34 ports are called, and a tour of Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen takes less than eleven days. Following a tender agreement with the state, the route started on July 2, 1893, on the Trondheim – Hammerfest route, and in the first year DS "Vesteraalen" from the Vesteraal's Steamship Company (VDS) was the only fast ship.
Due to the corona crisis, the company has so far laid off over 3,000 employees, including 1300 Norwegian seafarers. The company has estimated the loss itself to be more than NOK 2 billion. That is why they have requested an additional guarantee scheme that would provide 12.5 million per ship in operation per month from June 15 to September 15.
We need your support, for the authorities to understand that the Hurtigruta must live on now !!
Hurtigruten does not receive emergency assistance. Employees are worried about homes, families and the future The government says no to a deficit guarantee for Hurtigruten. That puts the company's future at risk.
In the state budget for 2020, it has been decided to allocate NOK 856,100,000 to Hurtigruten through the Coastal Route Agreement. In other words, the payment they get for sailing between Bergen and Kirkenes.
Hurtigruten doesn't ask for money. We ask for guarantees and emergency loans that, among other things, train and airline companies have already received. We will pay this back, crown for crown - with interest, says Anne Marit Bjørnflaten, director of public relations at Hurtigruten.
The government, for its part, believes that they have already helped Hurtigruten enough by maintaining the payment in the Coastal Route Agreement, even though the company did not sail as agreed during the crisis.
It is now hardly possible to get to and from Finnmark by air. Stopped the Government of Northern Norway. So on top of that, it notifies Hurtigruta that it is not receiving the necessary support. Save Hurtigruta now!
The coastal route is the lifeblood along the coast, and it means far too many jobs far beyond the shipping company itself.