Hurtigruten Foundation Launches Innovative Rapid Response Fund

Hurtigruten (logo)Hurtigruten Expeditions distributes inaugural Rapid Response Fund donation, effectively launching the philanthropic initiative from Hurtigruten Foundation, the Group’s charity arm.

The new Fund empowers Hurtigruten Expeditions’ people to support the communities they visit at sea, reinforcing its commitment to creating a net-positive impact through travel.

About the Rapid Response Fund

The innovative framework, which allows ships to allocate funds directly to projects for immediate and targeted support, was developed from the experiences of Expedition Leaders and Science Coordinators who interact with local communities throughout Hurtigruten Expeditions sailings.

“We observed a crucial need for our onboard teams to respond swiftly when they encounter a community in need,” explains Tudor Morgan, Vice President of Sustainability and Industry Relations at Hurtigruten Expeditions. Adding on, Henrik A. Lund, Managing Director of Hurtigruten Foundation, explains: “Many of the projects our teams encounter are small in scale or lack the structure to apply for funding through our traditional funding mechanisms. The Rapid Response Fund fills this gap, enabling each leader to provide grants directly to local projects.”

Under the framework, every Hurtigruten Expeditions ship is empowered with the knowledge to identify and assess local initiatives in need. To be eligible, the project must be urgent, short-term, and well-defined, benefiting the entire community. Additionally, the project should promote the active involvement of women. Projects that duplicate existing efforts by other organizations or support lobbying or political demonstrations are ineligible.

Unlocking the funds requires collective agreement from the Captain, Hotel Manager, and Expedition Leader, ensuring the entire leadership team is engaged in a unified assessment and donation process. Additionally, ships can allocate funds to either a single project or multiple causes throughout the year.

“The Fund’s structure allows each ship to support the unique needs of the local communities that lie at the heart of our adventures, demonstrating true partnership. We are committed to fostering mutual growth and creating lasting, positive change through travel,” concludes Tudor Morgan, Vice President of Sustainability and Industry Relations at Hurtigruten Expeditions.

Inaugural Contribution: Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust

Hurtigruten Expeditions successfully made its first donation to The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust, which preserves marine environments in Scotland’s Hebrides (including the establishment of Marine Protected Areas). The Trust received funds from MS Maud to purchase much-needed equipment for their research vessel, Silurian, which collects vital data to protect Hebridean whales, dolphins, and porpoises.

“On our last visit to Tobermory, [The Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust] gave a presentation about their work to our guests, including how our guests can get involved in using their citizen science app. The Rapid Response Fund is a fantastic example of how our guests can directly contribute towards making a real difference in small, local communities,” explains Vivi Bolin, Hurtigruten Expeditions Science Coordinator.

“[The donation] will be used to buy new binoculars for our Research Expeditions on board Silurian, so that our participants have the best kit for surveying our seas. We were delighted to welcome passengers from the MS Maud into our Hebridean Whale Centre earlier this month, and chat with the guests and staff,” explains Caroline Willis, Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust Community Engagement Officer.

(Hurtigruten Foundation Launches Innovative Rapid Response Fund; Inaugural Donation from Hurtigruten Expeditions Goes to Local Marine Conservation Project – Hurtigruten)