HURTIGRUTEN’S currently underway strategic structural change will deliver operational specialisation and will also allow clients to identify the cruise line’s two different brands — Hurtigruten Coastal Express and Hurtigruten Expedition — Managing Director APAC Damian Perry told travelBulletin.

Rolling out now across the world, the structural change will emphasise the difference in operational expertise between the two brands, with Perry adding it will result in a sharper execution of both products for clients, as well as a nimbler workforce.

“The reason to [split the business] is to create an agile way of working where we have the right people in the right roles,” he said.

“You need to have an in-depth specialised skill-set to run Coastal Express at the best level, and you need the same expertise to run Expedition sailings around the world in warm and cold waters.

Hurtigruten’s Expedition arm will focus on its sailings around the world in warm and cold waters ©Karsten Bidstrup

“It’s meant we’ve had to bring different expertise into the business over time to be able to deliver on our promise.”

An additional result of the change is a full pipeline of concepts and expansion, which Perry believes will deliver “a huge amount of change in the marketplace”.

“You’re going to see a lot of action in the next six to 12 months, and that could be more destinations, broader destinations, that could be operational expertise, expansion of our core pillars, you’ll see a whole lot of things happen.”

Revealing Australia has been a part of “every single strategic conversation that comes up” at Hurtigruten, Perry said the country could feature among the cruise line’s expansion.

“People want us to be here…we have a lot of engagement already with key people in this part of the world,” he enthused.

“When we have these conversations from a local level, we get such a positive and open response, because they love what we do, they’ve seen how we commit to local communities around the world and they want us to bring it to their region.”

The Coastal Express part of the business will focus on the classic Norwegian voyages that the line originally was known for ©Agurtxane Concellon

The change will also allow Hurtigruten to grow either side of the business as necessary, with different markets able to create business plans centred on their strong points.

“You might find in some markets, Expedition is a far stronger product than Coastal Express, or vice versa, so you might find those markets create business plans that focus on that strength and grow that area more aggressively.

“For Australia, we grew off the back of Norwegian Coastal Express and created enough awareness that people were interested in doing the Scandinavian and Nordic experiences.”