Hurtigruten Foundation funds local communities, projects

One of the projects supports vulnerable children in Greenland One of the projects supports vulnerable children in Greenland PHOTO: Foreningen Grønlandske Børn/Hurtigruten

Preserving South Georgia's shores, recycling plastic in the Philippines, growing fresh vegetables in the high Arctic, training rescue dogs and preserving the polar bear population were all projects awarded funds by Hurtigruten Foundation in 2018.

For years, Hurtigruten travelers have contributed to the communities and areas where the company operates.

'We established Hurtigruten Foundation to ensure that our guests of tomorrow can enjoy the same unique experiences as our guests of today,' Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam said. 'Working closely with guests, partners and organizations, Hurtigruten believes we can make a difference by minimizing our operational impact and maximizing the positive contribution we make to local communities.'

Three focus areas

The foundation focuses on three main areas: conserving the world’s polar bear population, the fight against marine and plastic pollution and global and local projects at the over 200 destinations in more than 30 countries Hurtigruten ships visit.

Hurtigruten Foundation is funded by direct donations and several on-board initiatives, including auctions, fund-raisers, and the 'Green Stay' program, where a donation is made for every night the passenger asks for the cabin not to be cleaned — saving energy, power, detergent and water.

Hurtigruten Foundation also spans activities on board and ashore, such as beach clean-ups, citizen science, water sampling, oil spill monitoring and other science-related projects.

Projects supported in 2018 included the Norwegian Polar Institute (Tromsø) for research on the Arctic polar bear population and Polar Permaculture (Svalbard, Norway) to produce farm fresh, nutritious vegetables, microgreens, sprouts and quail eggs for the community with the future aim of producing enough food for the entire town of Longyearbyen and processing all of the community’s organic and biological waste.

Foreningen Grønlandske børn (Greenland) helps vulnerable children in Greenland, where one-third of youngsters grow up in families with social issues. Eco Pantao (Pantao, Philippines) aims to help solve the plastic problem plaguing the Philippines and other countries.

Challenges of Antarctica involves Swede Greta Jodal and Norwegian Kathrine Kirkevaag's expedition to the South Pole in 2019/20 to raise awareness about the enormous challenges the continent is facing. For Hearts in the Ice (Svalbard), Norwegian Hilde Fålun Strøm and Canadian Sunniva Sorby are spending nine months in the remote wilderness, collecting scientific material and raising awareness about climate change.

Further support went to The Polar Citizen Science Collective (Antarctica), Svalbard turn/Aktiv i friluft (an art project involving children and plastic waste), Disco Arts Festival 2019 (Oqaatsut and Ilulissat, Greenland), The Plastic Crab (Averøy, Norway) and Ørsta Næringskontor (Urke, Norway) to establish a new hiking shelter.

Other supported projects include Nordkapp og omegn turlag to maintain a public path at the North Cape to protect the natural environment, South Georgia Heritage Trust to conserve and protect indigenous fauna and flora and Norwegian Rescue Dogs (Svalbard).

To apply for grants

Twice a year, the Hurtigruten Foundation board issues grants. Applications can be made here. The deadlines to apply are May 1 and Nov. 1.

Posted 25 April 2019

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review