The Fiasco with the cruise ship Roald Amunsen of the Norwegian Company Hurtigruten

The Norwegians are known for their strict approach to COVID-19. They also have relatively few cases, less than 10.000 and, although every victim is of course a drama, a relatively modest number of 256 kill. In particular, the borders are closely monitored and countries are quickly placed on the red list. There is a very good chance that this will also apply to the Netherlands and that is a shame for me, because i plan to go there next week. But now the story of Hurtigruten, known for the trips along the coast with the red ships, which used to provide the only connection between the towns on the Norwegian fjord coast. You can say that Hurtigruten is the national pride of Norway. The company also provides cruises, to Spitsbergen among others.

The intention was to take another cruise to Spitsbergen after a long time. Since the number of infections was small at the beginning of July and new, stricter measures, met name m.b.t. quarantine were introduced, the chance seemed negligible that it could go wrong. And it is extremely important for the cruise sector that people could show that there (again) could be safely sailed. The sector is completely flat and dramatic losses are being incurred, while the ships float on the oceans like floating ghost towns because they have nowhere to dock and shutting them down apparently costs more than running the engines. In short, a drama and understandable that people want to start the business again as soon as possible. Hurtigruten was the first airline to start cruising again.

Hurtigruten Cruise

Hurtigruten received three days before the maiden voyage with the m.s. “Roald Amundsen” Hurtigruten was told no one could go ashore if the crew or passengers were quarantined upon boarding. At the same time, authorities asked Hurtigruten to change its infection control plan in light of the changes. According to the regulations that 15 entered into force in July, crews or passengers may only go ashore in Norway or Spitsbergen, if no one on board should have been quarantined when boarding. However, Hurtigruten allowed all passengers to pick up after the maiden voyage 24 went ashore in July.

Monday 3 August gave Daniel Skjeldam, of CEO van Hurtigruten, admits that the company has not followed the foreign crews and quarantine regulations on board well enough. This applied to 16 crew members from the Philippines. The following Wednesday it turned out that a passenger on one of Hurtigruten's ships was infected. Friday morning it was announced that two crew members were also infected.

Both the Department and the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) have stated that they thought Hurtigruten would inform passengers on Wednesday. It was only Friday that it became clear that Hurtigruten had not yet informed the passengers.

Hurtigruten says they have allowed employees to carry out the quarantine period while working on board. But that's not allowed at all. Of course you can't go with passengers on a cruise ship with a population that is particularly vulnerable,

It now appears that at least 36 employees are infected and minimal 4 travelers, who were therefore allowed to disembark without warning and apparently infected other people on land.

Almost all infected workers come from the Philippines. CEO Skjeldam said on Monday that they had not followed all the measures necessary to quarantine the foreign workers on board the ship.. From COO, Bent Martini, resigned his position after the total number of infections exceeded the 60 came true. Especially the fact that the infections have been kept quiet, the company and its leaders are taken very seriously.

To analyse

Although the chances seemed slim, have they gone too far?. There is talk of a 'banana peel' and 'Diver of Acapulco' (too early is also not on time).

By the way, I also describe the 'Dirty Dozen' in my book.: based on lessons learned from the analysis of accidents and incidents in the aviation sector, one can conclude that human shortcomings often play a role there, like ignorance, tunnel vision, lack of communication, solo performance, peer pressure, fatigue, stress, distraction, lack of assertiveness, etc. It is very important to find out which factors have played a role here and how they can be banned from the culture in the future. It is clear that pressure played a role here and those who saw the abuses did not feel free to report them.

"Mercedes has such a huge lead". That is precisely why I cherish every spot that I win.”


Hamilton won three of the first four races and is already a street length ahead of Max Verstappen. In fact, he had such a big lead in the last race that he was able to finish the last race with a flat tire on a rim. In short: the ambition to become world champion already seems to have failed in the first part of the season. I'm not saying it's impossible, because that's why you never know with Verstappen, but the start is clear for the Briton and he is already well on his way to his seventh world title. Can someone stop him? "No", is Verstappen clear and ready. "Mercedes has such a huge lead". That is precisely why I cherish every spot that I win.”


Verstappen had to deal with an unexpected event several times, that had an impact on the realization of his plans.

Only one can win and Verstappen and Red Bull are unlucky to be active in the same period as the Hamilton and Mercedes combination.

Where Red Bull develops along the path of evolution and thus builds on existing approach, Mercedes innovates radically, for example via the DAS construction.

De VIRAL-score

To qualify the failure and describe how brilliant it is, we developed a score score, the so-called VIRAL score. This is a measure of the brilliance of the failure. The score consists of five components: V (Vision), I (Effort), R (Risk management), A (Approach) in L (Lessons). Together these factors form the word VIRAL and that is no coincidence, because after all, it is about learning experiences that should not be hidden, but deserve to be distributed, so have to go 'VIRAL'!

  • V = Vision: 9
    Becoming world champion in F1 is of course a great goal within this sport. Not everyone likes it, but this is for the fans.

  • I = Bet: 10
    There goes years of practice, persevere and put a lot of money in it (in the end many tens of millions). And Max races with all his heart.

  • R = Risk: 7
    You know that you are dealing with strong opponents and that you have to push your limits in every way. These risks are part of it, both as a team and a driver and I think maybe there could be a little more risk taking with regard to. it (her)car design. Max takes sufficient and, in my opinion, responsible risks, although some think it goes too far sometimes.

  • A = Approach: 8
    Max is doing great and the car is not bad either. There is also good teamwork, this became apparent, for example, during the race at the Hungaroring where he broke his steering rod during the warm-up lap, but by miraculously fast repair he was able to start and become second. The only point of criticism is the somewhat traditional-looking improvement process of the car compared to Mercedes.

  • L = Learning: 6
    Max learns quickly and Red Bull can also move forward with all the analyses. But the learning process must be faster, because the competition doesn't stand still either. So far this is relative to the other points and perhaps also to Mercedes the weakest point.


All in all a spacious 8. A real brilliant failure and I sincerely hope that with the second one, or actually the sixth chance it will still work. And another time later. Hamilton will replace Schumacher's record of 7 equal and perhaps surpass championships, but Max Verstappen's time will surely come. Whether that will happen with Red Bull, that is of course waiting.