Hurtigruten Group CEO Daniel Skjeldam Named 2021 AFAR Travel Vanguard

Hurtigruten Group CEO Daniel Skjeldam Named 2021 AFAR Travel Vanguard (April 2021)CEO Daniel Skjeldam of Hurtigruten Group has been named one of the 2021 AFAR Travel Vanguards. Every year the highly acclaimed magazine AFAR selects key players that inspire both travelers and travel industry leaders to engage with the world more consciously and responsibly.

“I’m so excited to announce the 2021 AFAR Travel Vanguard honorees. The six visionaries who make up this year’s class are leaders who truly harness the power of travel as a force for good. We are honoring Daniel Skjeldam, the CEO of Hurtigruten Group, for his deep commitment to creating a more sustainable travel industry,” said Julia Cosgrove, Vice President and Editor in Chief, AFAR.

“Daniel has seen firsthand the devastating effects of climate change in the Arctic, and he believes cruise companies must become better stewards of the environment. His actions as CEO reflect his resolve: Under his leadership, Hurtigruten stopped using heavy fuel oil—a cheap and heavily polluting fuel commonly used on cruise ships—more than a decade ago; he’s also overseen the launch of the world’s first hybrid electric–powered ships; and to support local businesses, Hurtigruten partners with educational institutions and trains and hires staff from remote communities in the countries where its ships sail, including Greenland and Canada. For Daniel’s extensive commitment to sustainable innovation in the travel industry, we are so proud to celebrate him as a 2021 AFAR Travel Vanguard,” said Cosgrove.

As CEO of Hurtigruten Group, Skjeldam oversees Hurtigruten Expeditions, the world’s largest global expedition cruise company; and Hurtigruten Coastal Express, which has been operating what’s described as ‘the world’s most beautiful journey’ along the Norwegian coast since 1893; as well as land-based Arctic adventure travel experiences through Hurtigruten Svalbard.

“This recognition is really a tribute to every one of my hard-working Hurtigruten Group colleagues, off and onboard our ships. Along with our guests, they challenge and inspire us to push new green barriers every day. This is a great honor for the entire company,” said Hurtigruten Group CEO Daniel Skjeldam.

AFAR particularly highlighted Skjeldam’s push to become the most sustainable cruise operator and Hurtigruten’s commitment to supporting the local businesses in the many remote destinations it serves worldwide.

“In Hurtigruten, we explore to protect. For almost 130 years, we have traveled to some of the most spectacular waters of our planet. Working closely with local communities, we strive to empower and inspire our guests to become ambassadors for every destination on every voyage through truly unique experiences and encounters. Travel that matters has a positive impact, and this is what makes expedition cruising the Hurtigruten way truly unique,” said Skjeldam.

The other 2021 AFAR Vanguard includes Rue Mapp, Founder, and CEO of Outdoor Afro; Apoorva Gandhi, Marriott International’s VP of Multicultural Affairs and Business Councils ; Mei Zhang, Founder of WildChina; Akwasi Agyeman, CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority; and Zita Cobb, Founder, and CEO of Shorefast.