Press release -
Alex McNeil Joins Hurtigruten Expeditions
The world’s largest and leading expedition cruise line has onboarded expedition expert Alex McNeil to develop Hurtigruten Expeditions’ next generation of expedition cruises – with even more depth and destination partnerships at the core of the experience.
A pioneer in the expedition industry since 2007, McNeil (CAN) has completed over 100 expeditions, including reaching the Geographic North Pole on 14 separate occasions. He will assume the role as SVP Expeditions Product and Guest Experience this spring.
“Alex will play a significant role in developing the future of our expeditions as we continue to create new and exciting adventures for our guests. His extensive field experience combined with understanding of how to offer the most sustainable and inspiring expedition cruises, makes me confident that he will help us re-design the future of adventure travel,” said Hurtigruten Expeditions CEO Asta Lassesen.
Hurtigruten Expeditions CEO Asta Lassesen will re-design the future of expedition cruising. PHOTO: Yuri Choufour/Hurtigruten Expeditions.
New generation of exploration
In his more than 15-year expedition career, McNeil has sailed on more than a dozen different expedition vessels and completed trips by land and aircraft. His creative and collaborative approach to product development has led to the creation of industry-first itineraries, immersive shore excursion experiences, and the first expedition cruise products developed in full partnership with indigenous communities.
“I am excited to be a part of the Hurtigruten Expeditions team as we identify global opportunities to develop an entirely new range of sustainable, guest experiences,” said McNeil.
His expertise in sustainable adventure travel will help advance Hurtigruten Expeditions’ ambitions to balance tourism growth with the environmental changes. This responsibility is central to the Hurtigruten Expeditions’ ambition to be the world’s most sustainable travel company including achieving net zero emissions by 2040.
BALANCED GROWTH: Alex McNeil will help Hurtigruten Expeditions develop new sustainable guest experiences. PHOTO: Acacia Johnson
McNeil believes viewing the expeditions and the destinations as an integrated unit is an important measure for success.
“We will explore nature and culture together with our guests and alongside those who live in the regions we visit. It will be important, for example, to integrate even more local expertise, local food and other local products and services than today,” said McNeil.
Contrasts mass tourism
Hurtigruten Expeditions’ 2023/24 season is the most extensive in Hurtigruten Expeditions’ more than 125 years of history. The forward-looking company are now rethinking what should be the actual content of a modern expedition cruise.
“We want to present new generations of guests with next-generation expeditions. Building on our existing mindset and offerings, we will invite modern-day explorers to expedition cruises that are genuinely life-changing – where sustainability, true exploration, learning and quality always come before quantity,” said CEO Lassesen.
The innovative push will create an even clearer alternative to quantity-oriented mass tourism.
“We are totally aligned with our guests, the local communities we sail to, and the crews of our small-sized, custom-build ships: Our primary focus will be on creating increased value – in the guest experience, for our partners, and for nature. Our quest is to transform expeditions into a regenerating and protective force in parallel with growing our presence to new corners of the world,” said Lassesen.
Alex McNeil’s previous role was as Director of Expedition Experience and Innovation at Quark Expeditions.
Hurtigruten Group - World leader in exploration travel
Building on 130 years of Norwegian pioneering heritage, Hurtigruten is today the world's largest expedition cruise company.
Hurtigruten’s rapidly growing fleet of custom-build expedition ships takes modern-day adventure travellers to the world’s most spectacular destinations - from the High North to Antarctica in the south.
Being the world leader in exploration travel comes with a great responsibility. Hurtigruten is enhancing destinations and runs an responsible, sustainable global operation. Read more about Hurtigruten's sustainability efforts here.