The foundation named ocean advocate, pioneer swimmer and environmental campaigner Lewis Pugh as its ambassador. Pugh was appointed 'Patron of the Oceans' by the United Nations in 2013.
The foundation is intended to raise awareness of opportunities and challenges in the regions Hurtigruten visits in the Arctic, in Antarctica and along the Norwegian coast, and to raise funds to sustain these areas for future generations.
Pugh has made spectacular swims all over the world, often in freezing cold water on the North Pole and in Antarctica, in just his Speedo, cap and goggles, to create awareness about safeguarding the environment.
By being one of the spearheads of the United Nations Environment Program, Pugh has access to leaders all over the world. He was appointed 'Young Global Leader' by the World Economic Forum and his swims have led to National Geographic appointing him as one of their 'Adventurers of the Year.'
As foundation ambassador, Pugh will join selected Hurtigruten voyages, giving lectures and taking part in excursions. His first sailing is scheduled aboard Midnatsol to Antarctica in 2016. He expressed confidence the foundation 'will create strong results and make a real difference.'
Over the weekend Pugh and Hurtigruten ceo Daniel Skjeldam, together with Hurtigruten employees and partners, marked the creation of the foundation by picking up litter on a beach outside Tromsø, Norway, north of the Arctic Circle. The litter is not left by local residents but washes up there and in many other polar regions due to the ocean currents and the dumping of trash at sea.
Hurtigruten has been active in areas such as energy-saving initiatives, recycling, measuring sea temperatures along the Norwegian coast in cooperation with the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research and supporting many projections such the Norwegian Polar Institute Project, and helping maintain Antarctica research stations.