Beach cleaning in Svalbard, a new walking path in Ålesund and turtle protection in West Africa are among the actions supported by Hurtigruten Foundation in their summer round of grants for 2022.
The foundation aims its efforts towards local contributions in areas and waters where Hurtigrutens companies travel to.
– Hurtigruten Foundation is dedicated to the development of living local communities, on natures terms. We, our crew, and our guests have a common desire to contribute positively everywhere we travel, and to every community we visit. This summer’s grants gives guests the opportunity to give back, and actively engage with both people and nature, which I am proud of, says Henrik A. Lund, general manager of Hurtigruten Foundation.
Aktiv i Friluft’s beach-cleaning project in Svalbard and the Turtle Foundation’s efforts to protect sea turtles in Boa Vista and Cape Verde are the two largest benefactors of Hurtigruten Foundation’s annual round of donations, which also includes six more organizations in Norway, Ecuador, Panama, Chile and South Georgia.
Svalbard was the first destination of the Norwegian coast where Hurtigruten sailed, back in 1893. Cape Verde will welcome their first Hurtigruten-ship this autumn, becoming a new adventure destination for travelers who want to explore warmer waters.
– Giving back to the local communities that welcome us and our guest so graciously is essential to us. When you travel to remote and exotic locations and partner with local communities, you become acutely aware how vulnerable and precious these areas are. Therefore, our list of recipients feels right and natural this year, says Lund.
Aktiv i Friluft, the recipient in Svalbard, emphasizes the need for beach cleaning in the archipelago, an effort that has hit several speed bumps in recent years.
– Now we have finally launched one of the most important beach cleaning projects in Svalbard at “Forlandet”. The project was postponed due to the pandemic, and has been at risk due to increased fuel costs. We are incredibly grateful for the contributions we’re receiving from Hurtigruten Foundation and other organizations, says Lene Jeanette Dyngeland, project manager for Aktiv i Friluft Longyearbyen.
Dyngeland also places a particular responsibility on travel companies.
– It is especially important that those with travel activities on Svalbard do their fair share to contribute, and we hope other companies look to Hurtigruten Foundation and their dedication to the environment up here.
Among the other recipients is the organization Happy Whale. They are developing an app that uses artificial intelligence to identify humpback whales based solely on pictures of their tails. The app will allow guests and crew on all ships that encounter whales to see names, migration patterns, previous sightings and more information about that individual whale, and the species in general. These reports are shared with scientists who study the whale population and the movements of the majestic species.
About the Hurtigruten Foundation
The Hurtigruten Foundation was established in 2015 with the aim of making a difference for important projects around the world.
The total funds donated so far are over five million Norwegian kroner for 50 initiatives across 11 countries. The Foundation is a collaboration between Hurtigruten and our passengers, partners, suppliers, other organizations, and donors to make a real difference. Among previous recipients are The Association of Greenlandic Children, Norske Redningshunder (Norwegian Rescue Dogs) on Svalbard, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSBP), the North Cape Stairs and Oceans Initiative.