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Friday,  April 19, 2024 12:17 PM 

GLP Worldwide & Hurtigruten showcase Norway


GLP Worldwide & Hurtigruten showcase Norway
From left: Øyvind Haga, director, Innovation Norway Canada; Alan Law, director of sales and marketing, GLP Worldwide; Eric Bacon, sales manager, Hurtigruten North America
Michael Pihach

Michael Pihach is an award-winning journalist with a keen interest in digital storytelling. In addition to PAX, Michael has also written for CBC Life, Ryerson University Magazine, IN Magazine, and DailyXtra.ca. Michael joins PAX after years of working at popular Canadian television shows, such as Steven and Chris, The Goods and The Marilyn Denis Show.

“On our cruises, there’s no rock climbing walls, casinos or Broadway shows,” Alan Law, director of sales and marketing at GLP Worldwide, explained to travel agents at a workshop last Friday morning (May 5).

The intimate session, which was held at Innovation Norway in downtown Toronto, not only showcased GLP Worldwide’s partnership with Hurtigruten – a longstanding Norwegian cruise, cargo and ferry operator – but to also highlight the company’s travel packages in Norway.

“It’s a really authentic local experience in that you’re travelling with local passengers,” Law told PAX, noting how Hurtigruten ships serve as a lifeline for the many small communities located along Norway's coastline.

IMG_4209.jpgGLP Worldwide's Alan Law addresses travel agents at Innovation Norway in Toronto.

GLP Worldwide, which recently re-branded its tagline to “Travel for Travellers,” sells worldly experiences that cover the river, ocean and rail categories, but also offers expeditions that take guests into bucketlist regions, off the beaten path.

The company’s Norwegian experiences include adventures into the Svalbard archipelago in the Norwegian Arctic where the polar bears roam to coastline cruises through the scenic Norwegian fjords from Bergen, Norway's second largest city, and back.

“We’re looking to follow in the footsteps of all the great explorers without all the hardship and pain,” Law explained. “These tours are for someone who has done the tour circuit and is looking for something different.”

Hurtigruten ships are smaller in size as “this give us an edge to go to areas where other cruise lines may not be able to go,” Eric Bacon, sales manager, Hurtigruten North America, told workshop attendees.

With 34 ports northbound and 31 ports southbound along the Norwegian coast, Hurtigruten deploys a diverse range of vessels. The company’s MS Fram, for example, is an explorer ship that fits 250 passengers, whereas the MS Midnatsol is a discovery ship designed for 500 passengers. The MS Lofoten, Hurtigruten’s “grand lady,” was built in 1964 and still sails today, treating guests to a rare vintage experience.

DSC-6362.JPG-HGR-108936.jpgImage courtesy of Hurtigruten and photographer Andre Nottelmann.

Hurtigruten’s latest developments include a new vegan menu to compliment its onboard premium dining options, as well as a new fleet of eco-friendly ships, developed in partnership with Rolls-Royce, that will be fully electric and will rely on sustainable hybrid technology (the first two ships are slated to arrive in 2018 and 2019).

When sailing with Hurtigruten, from October to March in particular, guests are given a valuable guarantee: “We’ll give you a free cruise if you don’t see the Northern Lights,” Bacon said.

For Øyvind Haga, director at Innovation Norway Canada, Hurtigruten ships are near and dear to his heart as they were once his primary mode of transportation to northern Norway back when he was a student.

The experiences offered by GLP Worldwide and Hurtigruten “touch on all the core values of Norwegian society and what we’re proud of showcasing abroad,” Haga told PAX.

GLP Worldwide, a full-service wholesale operation, is TICO-registered and lists all of its prices in Canadian dollars.

As a special offer to registered travel agents, the company is currently offering expedition cruises to Iceland, the Arctic and Greenland at discounted rates of up to 75 per cent off.

For more information, visit glpworldwide.com. For support on selling Hurtigruten, agents can visit hurtigrutenagents.com.

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