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It’s all about people, comfort and experiences in good company.

All over Northern Norway Out travelling? Let us give you an unforgettable experience in our majestic landscape.






Contents Editorial 5 Turnarounds in Arctic Europe 6 Brønnøysund: A World Heritage Experience 13 Bodø: First port of call north of the Arctic Circle 14 Lofoten: Struck by Nature 15 Vesterålen: New port, new Adventures 16 Harstad: A cultural Destination 17 Narvik: Where two Borders meet 18 Tromsø: The Gateway to the Arctic 19 Alta: Winter Capital 20 Hammerfest: New Energy 21 North Cape: More than a Plateau 22 Vardø: Real Arctic 23 Kirkenes: Where East meets West 24 Longyearbyen: Northernmost Cruise Destination 25 Winter Cruise – The next thing to do 27 Who’s cruising the Northern Sailing Route first? 30 Explorer cruises in the North-East 31 Facts about CNNS 34

Editor: Erik Joachimsen (Cruise Northern Norway & Svalbard), erik.joachimsen@cnns.no Layout: Idemasjon AS, Tromsø, Norway English translation and proof reading: Gavin Tanguay Oversetting og språkvasking, Tromsø, Norway Print run: 5.000 Printing: Lundblad Media, Tromsø, Norway Paper quality: G-Print 90x64 – 90 gr / MultiArt Gloss 46 x 64 130 gr Ecolabel: The Swan Copyright: Cruise Northern Norway & Svalbard SA (cnns.no)

Meet Cruise Northern Norway & Svalbard at Cruise Shipping in Miami, March 11 – 14, 2013, at Booth # 892. All cruise ports in our region will be represented and can answer your questions about port facilities and shorex.



Photo: Terje Rakke / Nordic Life / www.nordnorge.com

northern norway

Annonse NordNorsk Reiseliv AS

www.northernnorway.com Cruisemagasinet.indd 1

26.11.12 10:33


12 10:33

Look north! In 2011 we established Cruise Northern Norway & Svalbard, which in time has become known as CNNS. This is a regional network of cruise destinations and other actors with a natural connection to cruise operations. In our northernmost part of Europe you will find the world’s northernmost cruise destinations. On an annual basis our 14 cruise ports receive 440 calls with more than 400.000 disembarking passengers. This is a market share of just one percent in Europe, but for those of us who live in this outer post in the north it is more than enough for the shore-based tourist industry to be going all out for an industry that is experiencing strong growth. CNNS was established in recognition of the fact that we have challenges associated with taking part in this strong growth. For our part, this means that we want to be even more proficient at developing new shore excursions. Our second major goal is to contribute to more cruise lines choosing to perform fly and cruise operations in Northern Norway and Svalbard. We believe strongly in this, and think that the solution for reducing fuel consumption and satisfying the passengers’ wish for shorter cruises lies in more turnaround alternatives in the north. CNNS comprises actors which are collaborating to advance this idea.

team up with nature and our guests that the magical moments occur. It’s also worth mentioning that “the Arctic kitchen” has had a tasty development in recent years. But it’s when the food is spared from having to travel to the guest, and instead the guest travels to the food, that it tastes best. Our part of the world has an unbelievable amount to offer. That’s why we have initiated our big signature project, “SHOREX 2014”, which will improve our “raw materials” and present unforgettable shorex offers for our guests. We look forward to sharing what we have and providing the cruise passengers adventures that will give them goose bumps and good memories to share with those who are yet to visit us. Welcome to Northern Norway and Svalbard!

Erik Joachimsen Managing Director Cruise Northern Norway & Svalbard

When we talk about region, we see Northwest Russia as a natural continuation of the CNNS region. Expedition ships and some larger ships have already secretly explored these enormous areas, from Vardø and Kirkenes in Norway to Murmansk, Arkhangelsk and Solovki in Russia. Combined with fly and cruise in Northern Norway, we believe that the larger cruise lines will also see the opportunities east of the North Cape – not to mention the Northern Sea Route, which is now opening up in correlation with climate changes in the Arctic. In a few years, we think the first cruises will be offered from Northern Norway to Japan. Winter cruise is a positive trend, and the number of curious Northern Lights chasers is increasing. Aurora Borealis has a magical power on the tourists and has been successful as a unique selling point. Owing to nature and our location, our region is one of the best places on earth to see the Northern Lights, and we believe the Northern Lights cruises we have seen to date is only the beginning. The majestic and beautiful nature is our raw material, but that is not enough. It’s when the adventure providers



READY FOR TURNOROUND IN THE NORTH Turnaround operations are predicted to be the future for continued growth in Northern Norway and Svalbard. There are many opportunities for cruise lines that want to plan fly and cruise operations, and several ports are preparing for this scenario. At the same time as the cruise lines are searching for solutions to reduce fuel consumption, the passengers want to travel on shorter cruises. Given the long sailing distances between the main European home ports and the northernmost ports in Norway, one could be excused for thinking this could lead to a reduction in traffic northwards. However, despite this, the traffic is continuing to increase. “There is no guarantee that this will continue and consequently we wish to prepare for a future in which these factors are eliminated. We believe that the best way of achieving this is by the cruise lines performing large-scale turnaround operations in Northern Norway,” says Erik Joachimsen, the Managing Director of Cruise Northern Norway and Svalbard (CNNS), a regional network that is working to achieve a positive development for the cruise industries in the northernmost part of Europe.

HIDDEN SECRETS By performing turnaround operations, a traditional cruise of 11-14 days duration may be reduced to a one-week cruise. The cruise lines would also be able to plan cruises with a base in Northern Norway, for instance sailing to Northwest Russia or Svalbard before returning to a “home port” in Northern Norway. “There are 13 different cruise ports in Northern Norway and Svalbard, and four of these currently account for 88 percent of the traffic. For cruise lines looking to offer exciting new alternatives to their passengers, there are rich opportunities and many hidden secrets, which we are sure will be discovered in the coming years.” “There are many options to implement successful turnarounds in Northern Norway. Our mission is to encourage the various destinations to develop good infrastructures, and to tell the cruise agents and shipping agencies the opportunities that exist at the top of Europe.” Turnaround operations have taken place on a small scale and in different variations at several ports in Northern Norway and in Svalbard for many years. As early as 1998, the first big turnaround took place in Bodø. Harstad performed turnaround operations for a number of years in the early 2000s (see page 8). Smaller cruise lines have for several years performed turnarounds in Bodø, Tromsø and Svalbard on an annual basis with great success.



Looking at the map of Northern Norway and Svalbard and the capacity of the different airports and ports, all together five different sites single themselves out as alternatives for cruise lines planning fly and cruise operations in the northernmost part of Europe. The North Cape, Longyearbyen in Svalbard, the cities of Tromsø and Bodø and the Evenes airport all offer good opportunities, depending on the companies’ strategies and wishes. The alternatives are featured on the following pages. The ports have large capacity, although some have restrictions for the largest ships. The willingness to develop the infrastructure is considerable, especially as oil and gas operations will increase heavily in a region that is in an early phase. In the long run, the cruise lines will take advantage of the infrastructure that is being built. There are three airports in Northern Norway that can accommodate wide-body aircraft: Lakselv (North Cape), Evenes (Harstad, Narvik, Vesterålen and Lofoten) and Bodø. The airports are built for both civilian and military purposes, and consequently have the capacity for large aircraft and passenger volume including luggage. The utilisation of the capacity at airports is low, since they are sized up for several purposes. The Norwegian state-owned company Avinor, which owns, operates and develops most airports in Norway, has developed the brand Northern Lights Airports, which covers the nine largest airports in Northern Norway. “It is in Avinor’s interest that the potential and accessibility that our Northern Lights Airports gives Northern Norway is fully exploited”, says Manager Tourism Development at Avinor, Iver Holter-Andersen. “Consequently, we want to be a good collaboration partner for the combined tourism-related work that organisations such as the Northern Norwegian Tourist Board and Cruise Northern Norway & Svalbard represent. Our airports are important bricks in the work that is being undertaken to get more turnaround operations in Northern Norway, and in this context we see a development potential both for scheduled flights and charter traffic,” says Holter-Andersen.

See map at page 35

ONLY THE BEGINNING CNNS will work with both the industry and the authorities to facilitate such operations, and to ensure that future operations are at least as successful as previous operations that have already been experienced on a small scale at several ports. CNNS has followed with great interest the turnaround operations performed by our colleagues in Trondheim, where Spanish Pullmantur is undertaking cruise and fly operations both in 2012 and 2013. Three jumbo jets are involved in the cruise and fly operation during the MV Empress turnaround at the port of Trondheim. “Such operations could also have taken place at several airports and ports in Northern Norway today. The North Cape/Lakselv, Evenes and Bodø airports are all capable of handling jumbo jets and large vessels”, says the Managing Director of CNNS, Erik Joachimsen. He adds that for medium-sized aircraft, there are two further options. Tromsø and Svalbard / Longyearbyen are both capable of handling large volumes of passengers and luggage in an efficient manner.

“Such operations could also have taken place at several airports and ports in Northern Norway today. The North Cape/Lakselv, Evenes and Bodø airports are all capable of handling jumbo jets and large vessels” Managing Director of CNNS, Erik Joachimsen.

“We think this is the beginning of something massive in Northern Norway. Several cruise lines will discover turnaround opportunities in the northernmost part of Europe in the near future, and use our different options to shorten the sailing time. Fly and cruise is the answer to the challenge cruise lines have to reduce fuel consumption and satisfy passengers’ desire for shorter cruises. However, it is ultimately the cruise lines’ sailing pattern and the market that will decide if and where the operations take place. CNNS will, with the greatest pleasure, assist them to implement successful aircraft and cruise operations,” Erik Joachimsen concludes.


Turnaround opportunities in the Northern Norway & Svalbard. See map page 35 for further details. Port(s)


Pros & Cons

Port of Bodø

Bodø Airport

+ Airport handles wide-body aircraft. Very short distance between port and airport - Limited draft for larger vessels (8.4 m, to be improved by 2016)

Ports of Lofoten (Svolvær/ Leknes), Sortland (Vesterålen), Harstad and Narvik

Harstad/Narvik Evenes Airport

+ Airport handles wide-body aircraft. Capacity for larger ships in Narvik, Sortland (Vesterålen) and Leknes (Lofoten). Port of Narvik plans investments in a new cruise port - Long transfer distance to the ports in Lofoten - Limitations for larger vessels in Svolvær and Harstad

Port of Tromsø

Langnes Airport, Tromsø

+ Good capacity for larger ships both in the city centre (Prostneset) and at the Breivika Terminal. Short distance between port and airport - Capacity limitations at the airport. Uncertainty regarding the timing of construction of a new port terminal

Port of North Cape and Porsanger

Airport of Lakselv (Porsanger)

+ The airport in Lakselv handles wide-body aircraft. Good capacity for larger ships in Honningsvåg - a 2.5-hour drive from airport to the North Cape



Arthur Kordt, CEO / Owner, European Cruise Service:


The biggest turnarounds in the north Way back in 1998, Costa Marina made a successful turnaround in Bodø at latitude 67 °N.

You have predicted that turnaround operations are the future for cruise in the northern parts of Norway. How do you envisage that the destinations, in collaboration with cruise agents and cruise lines, can propel the development in this direction?

This was the first really big turnaround operation in Northern Norway, handling 1270 French passengers. A facsimile from the local newspaper (illustration) tells the story from June 11, 1998. Three chartered aircraft flew 520 French passengers to Bodø, and 12 shuttle buses transferred the groups to the port only a few kilometres away.

“I’m not a fortune teller, but if we are to achieve a turnaround effect in the north, as is the case in Alaska, it is primarily important for the region itself to believe in this. Then the cruise lines need to be convinced that it is a good idea to turnaround their cruise ship in Northern Norway. This will create fantastic opportunities for tourism in Northern Norway and I’m not only taking about cruise. This will involve many actors and it will provide major opportunities for many.”

Later, during the years of 1999 to 2005, the city of Harstad handled passengers to and from Princess Danae via the airport at Evenes. This happened annually for six years with about 1000 passengers each time. They were switched from ship to cruise and vice versa as a jumbo jet landed with about 500 passengers. The operations were carefully planned and the local newspaper could note with satisfaction in the headlines that this was successful.

A major trend in the cruise market is that the passengers want shorter cruises. However, despite this, the statistics show a clear growth in the North Cape, which is normally an 11-14 day cruise. Does the North Cape have the possibility of continuing this growth without preparations being made for turnaround operations in the region? “A few years ago, 70 percent of all cruises called at North Cape. This proportion is now much lower. The fuel costs will continue to rise and it will become increasingly more expensive to cruise in Northern Norway. Even though the North Cape has a certain level of growth now, this is nothing in comparison with the potential providing the necessary arrangements are made for turnaround operations. The cruise volume will double then redouble and then the region will need to do something to take part in the growth.” Do you see willingness among the authorities, port directors and airport managers to make concrete initiatives to prepare for turnaround operations in Northern Norway? “Yes, a lot of willingness, but not much ability to act so far. I want to see a far more proactive attitude from the cruise destinations concerned.”

The last big turnaround in our region was conducted in Tromsø in 2012. There were French passengers on board this time too.

Tromsø is ready for more On Sunday, July 1, European Cruise Service, in cooperation with the French tour operator Taaj, handled one of the largest turnaround operations that have ever taken place in Northern Norway. Embarking passengers arrived on five chartered aircraft from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris to Langnes Airport in Tromsø. The 700 disembarking passengers were transported from Prostneset in downtown Tromsø, where Costa Voyager was moored, to the airport in Tromsø, barely 4 km from the port. No less than 18 buses, four trucks, 15 French-speaking guides, two large tents and a handful of local suppliers were all involved in the process. The airport and port had both increased their staff considerably to ensure that everything ran smoothly. “This was brilliant,” said Francisco Damm from Arctic Guide Service after the operation was conducted on Sunday afternoon. Ivar Helsing Schrøen from Avinor gave the same reply: “Brilliant!” Finally, we will quote the Tour Manager on Costa Voyager: “Today the whole operation ran smoothly, from the beginning to the end… thanks a lot” - Antonella Landi, Tour Manager, Costa Voyager.

Photo: Lars J. Løtvedt

“Even though the North Cape has a certain level of growth now, this is nothing in comparison with the potential providing the necessary arrangements are made for turnaround operations. The cruise volume will double then redouble and then the region will need to do something to take part in the growth.”

Arthur Kordt

CEO / Owner European Cruise Service 8


14 TURNAROUNDS LAST YEAR During 2012 there were 14 turnaround operations in Tromsø, conducted by 10 different cruise lines. In all, 6900 passengers embarked or disembarked at the Port of Tromsø. “Most cruise lines that use cruise destination Tromsø as a turnaround port use it as a transit port. Our goal is to include pre-and post-tours as part of the journey. It gives the opportunity to experience the destination and the region in a completely different way,” says Marketing Manager Harriet Willassen.

Bodø prepares the “Arctic Hub” Starting in the south, at the first port of call north of the Arctic Circle, port of Bodø is eager to facilitate larger cruise ships and to carry out turnarounds on a larger scale. Bodø is arguably one of the most conveniently located airports in the north, only a 10-minute walk from the city centre. The runway is one of Norway’s longest, and can therefore handle the largest aircraft. Costa Crociere performed a turnaround in Bodø back in 1998. Today Compagnie Ponant does turnarounds with Le Boreal. “We have handled turnaround in the past, we are handling turnarounds currently and we have ambitions to handle turnarounds regularly in the future,” says Ingvar M. Mathisen, Port Director at Port of Bodø. “To accomplish this we are willing and able to make heavy investments in port infrastructure.” Port of Bodø plans to expand the Terminal Quay. The proposed National Transport Plan includes deepening of fairway into Bodø, dredging along the quayside and dredging a turning basin. The establishment of new bollards up to 150 m is also on the drawing board. The investment framework is Euro 16 million. If the plans are completed, the Port of Bodø could moor vessels with a length of 350 m and 10.5 m depth. Facsimile from “Nordlandsposten”, Bodø, June 1998.

Silversea is one of the 10 shipping companies conducting turnarounds in Tromsø. “We normally have one and a half days in Tromsø. This gives the guest a half day free to explore the city on their own at the end of their Arctic (Svalbard) cruise”, says Thomas Harrison from Silversea. “The fact that the vessel once again docks in the city is a very good thing. In addition to the passenger exchange we normally have a very big loading, with lots of provisions arriving. Tromsø is good for this, as we can send items by truck from mainland Europe”.

Already in 2013, four turnarounds will be performed in Bodø. Club Med 2 (twice), Le Boreal and Quest will exchange passengers at the first port of call north of the Arctic Circle. “We are trying to push on so that planning and investments will start soon,” says Mathisen eagerly, knowing that this will enable Bodø to serve the largest cruise lines after 2016. Cruise Port Bodø Distance from port to airport: 1.5 – 2.5 km Unique Selling Points: Norway’s longest runway and shortest distance between port and airport Turnaround contact: Port Director, Ingvar M. Mathisen imm@bodohavn.no

View photos from the Costa Voyager turnaround operation at cnns.no/ image-gallery Cruise Port Tromsø: Unique Selling Points: Turnaround port in the biggest city in Northern Norway, with high capacity for accommodation Turnaround contact: Port of Tromsø, Marketing Manager Harriet Willassen hwi@tromso.havn.no

“Le Boreal” sailing from Bodø towards the Lofoten Islands. Photo: Jonny Harrang”



Evenes: Airport for five Evenes airport, situated between no less than five different cruise ports, is one of the best airports for take-off and landings in the north. From Evenes you can reach the nearby cities of Harstad (45 km) and Narvik (79 km). The Port of Sortland in Vesterålen (127 km) and the ports of Lofoten (Svolvær, 171 km and Leknes, 239 km), are also accessible from the airport at Evenes. At the harbour in Harstad, the port authorities have dredged up to receive larger ships, while the relocation of the quay front is planned. “When the plans are realized, there will be a completely new quay of 200 m and a depth that will satisfy even the largest cruise ships,” says Business Manager Helge Schjølberg in Harstad. The solution involves more land and a new terminal building. In addition, the road between the city and the airport will be upgraded over the next few years. EAGER INVESTORS IN CITY OF NARVIK Narvik has big investment plans for the future. Narvik Tourism Development has been established with the Port of Narvik, Narvik Fort and a large local real estate company as the shareholders. “We have a sketch and are currently doing a pilot project before the owners will inject capital into company. Narvik has ambitions and plan carefully to get this realized commercially,” says Roger Bergersen, Chairman of Narvik Tourism Development and Managing Director of the investment company Fort Narvik. Currently, this is a conceptual design studies, but Bergersen insists that the ideas will be followed up with local investor ability. “We will invest in tourism products and strengthen the infrastructure for cruise tourism,” says Bergersen, who can also present sketches that illustrate how the Narvik cluster is thinking for the future. It has considered one multi-purpose terminal. In addition, a major bridge project is under construction, which will shorten the driving time between the airport and Narvik from the current one hour to around 40 minutes when the bridge is completed in 2016. NO LIMITS AT SORTLAND In Vesterålen, one hour and 40 minutes’ drive from Evenes, the Harbour Master, Hugo Næss, is more than ready to carry out turnarounds. “We have quite simply no limits on port facilities and can moor the largest ships. The harbour is home to the Norwegian Coast Guard, and has a length of 450 m and a depth of 12 m.” In addition, Boreal Transport has 45 buses stationed at Sortland, and a new port terminal is ready to serve cruise ships. Airport Harstad/Narvik Evenes: Distance from port to airport: Harstad: 51 km, Narvik: 78 km, Sortland (Vesterålen): 127 km, Svolvær (Lofoten): 171 km and Leknes (Lofoten): 239 km Unique Selling Points: Airport with one of the longest runways in Norway Turnaround contact: Harbour Masters at the ports of Narvik, Harstad, Sortland, Svolvær or Leknes See map at page 35



Evenes Airport serves a turnaround operation from the Port of Harstad. This airport is also the main airport for city of Narvik and the Vesterålen (Sortland) and Lofoten areas.

Longyearbyen at Svalbard: Norway`s no 1. turnaround port Longyearbyen in Svalbard is by far the biggest turnaround port in Norway. Measured in the number of calls and the length of the quays, the Port of Longyearbyen probably has the most traffic and is the best utilized in Norway. In 2012 more than 180 turnaround calls were made to Longyearbyen, bringing 10,000 embarking and disembarking passengers to the many expedition cruises around the Svalbard Islands. The number of calls has been stable, while tonnage has increased tenfold. No less than 35 overseas calls were made in 2012, and the number of calls seems set to increase in the years ahead. “This is great and we are going to increase in the future too”, says Terje Aunevik, Managing Director of the local cruise agent Pole Position. Cruise Port Longyearbyen is a suitable cruise port for fly and cruise operations, with a short distance between port and airport, no immigration control and 10 to 12 weekly flights with good international connection at the Oslo Airport Gardermoen. Silversea has performed turnarounds in Longyearbyen for many years. “Due to a lack of space on the pier we have an interesting operation here. Some days we disembark and embark our guests by Zodiac,” says Thomas Harrison, Sales Manager for the Nordic countries. Silversea does a lot of provisioning from the local supermarket, as the logistics to and from the islands are complicated. Turnarounds are operated by use of chartered flights from Oslo. “Our guests generally spend a few hours in Longyearbyen before departure, visiting the museum and go shopping,” he says. Pole Position Ltd. organizes the entire operation, including transfers, luggage, hotel accommodation and administrative support. Although Svalbard is now facing major challenges regarding the ban on heavy oil in 2015 and the introduction of mandatory pilotage, the industry is optimistic. “We have been doing turnarounds for more than 10 years, and are now able of offering well organised and professional services,” says Aunevik. “The traffic seems to follow the melting of the ice cap in the Arctic – further to the north each year.” Cruise port Longyearbyen: Distance from port to airport: Unique Selling Points: The northernmost turnaround port in the world. Regular flights with high capacity (SAS) Turnaround contact: Terje Aunevik at Pole Position terje@poleposition.no

“The traffic seems to follow the melting of the ice cap in the Arctic – further to the north each year.” Managing director Terje Aunevik at Pole Position The distance between the port and airport in Longyearbyen, Svalbard is very short. In fact, this cruise destination is one of the biggest turnaround ports in Norway (Photo: Avinor)



Port of Harstad – culture, history and coastal adventures! The cruise port of Harstad offers wide variety of tailormade excursions and activities for passengers visiting Harstad during both winter and summer.

Destination Harstad, PO Box 654, NO-9486 Harstad post@destinationharstad.no www.destinationharstad.no Tel. +47 77 01 89 89

Schedule your turnaround operations in Harstad and utilise Evenes airport and the Port of Harstad.

Port of Harstad, PO Box 193, NO-9482 Harstad havnevakta@harstad.kommune.no www.harstadhavn.no Tel. + 47 77 00 12 10

Our authorized guides will ensure your visit is a memorable one!

Harstad Havn KF

Sjøveien naturligst i Norge



Foto: Orsolya-Haaberg

Foto: Orsolya-Haaberg

Foto: Brønnøy Havn KF

Foto: Brønnøy Havn KF

- Gateway to the World Heritage Area


The coast of southern Helgeland with over 12.000 small and big islands is the home of a unique nature and cultural heritage which makes the coastal scenery exceptional. The Vega Archipelago is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, in recognition of the fascinating interaction between the islanders and the eider ducks. The famous Mythic Mountain Torghatten with its distinctive hole right through its middle must be experienced. You can walk a well-prepared path up to the hole, enjoy the fantastic view and walk through the hole.

At the Norwegian Aquaculture Centre you can get a glimpse of the life in the sea, and learn about modern aquaculture, from fish-egg to ready products of high quality. The Centre offers underwater cameras, feeding of fish, information films and professional guiding.

Brønnøysund Cruiseport P.o.Box 65 N-8901 Brønnøysund Tel. +47 75 01 20 70 www.cruiseportbronnoysund.no


Gateway to World Heritage Area

The southernmost port in cruise region CNNS is Brønnøysund, a small and charming town with much to offer.

The Helgeland Coast is one of Norway’s most beautiful areas. A fantastic archipelago comprising more than 13,000 islands, islets and skerries, beautiful and mystical mountain formations, a rich cultural life and not least the Vega Archipelago World Heritage Site, which was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2004, combine to make Helgeland one of the most exciting Norwegian destinations. From the cruise port in Brønnøysund, you may visit many exciting areas by bus or boat and enjoy unique adventures.

If you have more time, you may visit the Vega Archipelago World Heritage Site. This coastal treasure gained World Heritage status not only for its beautiful nature, but also for the unique interaction between humans and nature. For generations the women of Vega have protected eider ducks during the nesting season and in return have been left precious eider down. This fascinating story is presented to cruise passengers who visit the local museum E-House on the island of Vega. This is geotourism at its very best.

In a couple of hours you can, for instance, walk through the majestic hole in the mountain Torghatten, which is 160 m long and 35 m high and is one of the best known landmarks along the Norwegian coast. The hole is a result of erosion thousands of years ago and forms the basis of many myths and legends. You may also visit the Norwegian Aquaculture Centre and gain an insight into why Norway is one of the world’s largest exporters of fish and seafood. At Hildurs Urterarium, Northern Norway’s only herbarium and vineyard, you may visit a cultural and historical Norwegian home and taste their wine products and local food.

“Brønnøysund has much more to offer,” says Port Director and former Manager of Tourism Sølvi Kristoffersen, adding that in addition to the above-mentioned experiences the region also offers unique nature and culture-based adventures in the fjords. Brønnøysund’s location in the centre of Norway, midway between the fjords of Western Norway and the Lofoten Islands, makes the region a natural port of call for all seafarers.

Cruise Port of Brønnøysund Number of calls 2012 (2013): 16 (8) Unique Selling Points: The Vega Archipelago World Heritage site, the mythic mountain Torghatten Shorex contact: Visit Helgeland, Eva Ekroll eva@visithelgeland.com




The first port of call north of the Arctic Circle


Bodø is an exciting cruise destination eager to be discovered. Although a major port of call for the Norwegian Coastal Steamer, Bodø has not pursued the cruise industry and is therefore thrilled to finally be able to present Bodø as a cruise destination.

Photo: Nadia Norskott”

“We can accommodate virtually all cruise ships and offer a great variety of shorex offers for all ages, group sizes and activity levels,” says Kirsten Holmen, Managing Director of Magic North, the local shorex handler. Bodø offers nearly 30 different shorex options through Magic North. Holmen says that the cruise activities are gathered under the “Top of Europe” brand. “Top of Europe is partner with the Port of Bodø, where the mutual goal is to increase the number of cruise ships to our region. This will be achieved by providing first-class infrastructure and a wide variety of exciting shore excursions,” she says.

“It’s our objective to make Bodø the port you will enjoy visiting again and again, as you seek new markets for your cruise ship experiences or yachting holidays,” says Port Director Ingvar M. Mathisen. “Being located in Northern Norway’s second largest city, with a major airport with one-stop connections to most gateways in Europe, Bodø is a great location for both guests in quest of adventures surrounded by fantastic nature, as well for logistics purposes such as resupplying by air, rail or sea,” says Mathisen.

Among shorex highlights is the world famous Saltstraumen, the world’s strongest maelstrom. The Norwegian Aviation Museum and the picturesque and historic trading post Kjerringøy match the needs of adventurous cruise passengers. Further south, Norway’s second largest glacier, Svartisen, is waiting to be discovered. Photo: CNNS/Erik Joachimsen

Cruise port of Bodø Number of calls 2012 (2013): 6 (13) Unique Selling Points: The top five shore excursions are: The Saltstraumen Maelstrom, Kjerringøy Trading Post, City Sightseeing, Eagle Safari by RIB and Norwegian Aviation Museum Shorex contact: Magic North Ltd., Solveig Henriksen solveig@magicnorth.no




Struck by nature Do you enjoy being blown away by the nature? If so, head for Lofoten.

Photo: CNNS/Erik Joachimsen

Lofoten has been a cruise destination ever since 1889 and the main attraction has been the nature itself. The are few, if any, other places on earth where you can experience majestic mountains rising directly from the sea, as is the case in Lofoten. The Lofoten Islands also have long fishing traditions, which has formed the basis of riches and growth for centuries. The famous Lofoten fishery every winter takes place in an area with an abundance of resources, and the fishermen have learned how to manage this on nature’s terms. They harvest what the nature provides.

Among the products that will be tailor-made for cruise are the glassblower at Vikten, Aaland Farm and Full Steam. “The glassblower’s cabin, the mountain goat farm and the cod liver oil factory represent something unique and will be well adapted for the cruise passengers of the future,” says Solberg, who is also Chairperson of the Lofoten Cruise Network.

The Port of Leknes can moor the largest ships, while the Port of Svolvær has limitations to its capacity. There are also several smaller ports, which can receive expedition ships. “In recent years the cruise traffic has increased significantly, particularly the number of expedition cruises,” says Managing Director of Arctic Guide Service, Remi Solberg. “We are now developing more good shore excursions on the same level as all the other members of CNNS. It is an acknowledgement of the fact that we want to offer a broader range of products which to an ever higher degree is based on our strong culture and beautiful nature.”

Photo: CNNS/Erik Joachimsen

Cruise Port of Lofoten (Leknes & Svolvær) Number of calls 2012 (2013): 103 (90) Unique Selling Points: The fishing villages and alpine landscape, where the sea and mountains meet. Most popular shorex product: The historic fishing village of Nusfjord, Lofotr Viking museum and the lively fishing village of Henningsvær Shorex contact: Arctic Guide Service, Dan Viggo Vårum danviggo@arcticguideservice.no CRUICE NORTH 2013



Next call to a new cruise port


A short voyage north of Lofoten is another cruise port waiting to be discovered. In Vesterålen cruise passengers can choose between a wide range of land and sea-based shorex offers.

Sortland is often referred to as “the Blue City” and not without reason. The majority of houses Vesterålen’s largest trading centre are painted the same blue colour, a symbol of the bond with the sea but also the blue light that characterises the Polar Night from November to January when the sun is below the horizon. Vesterålen has already gained approval as a winter destination (see page 27), but the region has plenty to offer in the summer too. Along the entire coastline are small fishing villages waiting to be discovered.

The Port of Sortland has capacity for the largest cruise ships, as well as large capacity when it comes to buses, guides and shorexes throughout Vesterålen. “A short distance north of Sortland, at Andenes and Stø, is one of the best areas in Europe to see whales. A one-hour boat trip brings you directly to the feeding grounds of the whales, while you gain first-hand knowledge about the stock and species.” You can’t get any closer to the whales...

“You can experience Sami culture and meet people who herd reindeers in this area and hear their story,” says CEO of Discover Arctic, Bengt Jaegtnes. “You can also visit a modern fish farm and gain an insight into the rapidly growing aquaculture industry.”

Cruise port of Vesterålen Number of calls 2012 (2013): 0 (5) Unique Selling Points: “The Blue City” and a surrounding area rich in resources Shorex contact: Discover Arctic, Bengt Jaegtnes bengt@discoverarctic.no




A cultural destination The coastal city of Harstad is the cultural capital of the north, renowned for its annual festival of arts in July. The city is rich in medieval history and trading traditions.

On the Trondenes Peninsula you will find one of Norway’s most beautiful churches, the Trondenes Church. For most people this is more than a church; it is a symbol of tradition and history dating right back to the Viking era and the Middle Ages. You can gain an insight into the cultural heritage of that era at the Trondenes Historical Centre.

With a beautiful location on Norway’s largest island, Hinnøya, and surrounded by a picturesque Arctic coastal landscape, Harstad has much to offer visitors. You will also find a wide variety of companies offering nature-based adventures such as deep-sea fishing from authentic fishing boats or zodiac safaris in Arctic waters.

The area was also significant during World War II. The Germans built the land-based Adolf Guns here, which since the end of the Cold War have been accessible to curious visitors. The guns had a range of over 500 km with a special long range shell weighing over a tonne.

“In winter you can chase the Northern Lights and in summer you can enjoy the Midnight Sun at Nupen, Norway’s most romantic place,” says Gro Dagsvold, Cruise Coordinator at Destination Harstad.

“We want to develop the Trondenes Peninsula into an even better tourist destination,” says Helge Schjølberg, who leads the local cruise network in Harstad. A short bus or boat ride from downtown Harstad brings passengers to Røkenes Farm and Guesthouse. This is an old trading post dating from 1750, which is exceptionally rich in traditions. You will meet the current hosts, represented by Kristian Kulseng, the 10th generation of the Kulseng family to own and run the farm. The hosts serve first-class local cuisine accompanied by stories about the local history.

Cruise port of Harstad Number of calls 2012 (2013): 4 (2) Unique Selling Points: A rich medieval and Viking history Shorex contact: Destination Harstad, Cruise Coordinator, Gro Dagsvold gro@destinationharstad.no




Where two borders meet Narvik is the port of export for iron ore from the Swedish mining city of Kiruna. The ore was also the reason for the strategic importance of Narvik during World War II. These two factors mean that Narvik has intense stories to tell.

The city at the head of the Ofotfjord, near the Swedish border, was Northern Norway’s first industrialised port city. On the Swedish side there is no ice-free port in the north and Narvik was the natural choice when the Swedish mining company LKAB was going to start exporting iron ore by ship. Consequently, a railway line has also been built, which connects Narvik to the rest of the European railway network. A railway journey on the Ofoten Line is one of the most impressive shorex offers Narvik has to offer for cruise. The railway line winds its way along the mountainside offering a beautiful panorama of the mountains and fjord – fully on a level with what the well-known Flåm Railway can offer. “We now have a charter train in place, which makes it far easier to offer train journeys from Narvik to Riksgränsen in Sweden or all the way to the mining city of Kiruna, if the cruise ship is docked for a longer time,” says Grethe Parker at Cruise Narvik.

As the export port already offers capacity for large cargo ships, the port has the natural requirements to handle cruise ships. Local investors want to prepare even better for cruise traffic. “We are now building a cruise quay near the city centre and investments will be made in new tourism products connected to Narvikfjellet (the mountain reached by gondola from the city centre),” says Roger Bergersen, who represents the company Forte Narvik. World War II history is currently exhibited at the Narvik War Memorial Museum. A decision has already been made to build a new, modern museum near the port and city centre. At the same time, work in underway to utilise the entire region in order to give cruise passengers an insight into history that no one hopes will be repeated. “One of the newest offers is Polar Zoo, the world’s northernmost zoological park, which is located just an hour’s drive from Narvik. Visitors can experience the four predators found in our fauna,” concludes Parker enthusiastically.

Cruise port of Narvik Number of calls 2012 (2013): 8 (10) Unique Selling Points: World War II history, The Ofoten Line and Polar Zoo Shorex contact: Cruise Narvik, Grethe Parker post@cruisenarvik.no




The Arctic capital More than 300 km north of the Arctic Circle, at latitude 69 °N, lies the city of Tromsø.

Home to the world’s northernmost university and a population of 70,000, Tromsø is known by many names, including Gateway to the Arctic and Paris of the North.

Tromsø has a rich polar history, which guests may gain a good insight into at the Polar Museum. The Tromsø University Museum is also worth visiting, especially the Sami exhibition.

Tromsø is known primarily as a pulsating city with a vibrant nightlife, sociable and inclusive people and despite being so far north is an extremely urban cruise destination. The city’s growth started in earnest in 1972 when the world’s northernmost university opened here.

The Northern Lights may be experienced here when it is dark, but there are now several places where you may see animated Northern Lights shows even when the sun is shining. The North Norwegian Science Centre at the University of Tromsø and the above-mentioned Polaria both show the Northern Lights in a 360° dome and in panoramic format respectively.

On the shorex side, the city has several popular attractions that can handle a large volume of cruise passengers and which are suitable for adults and families alike. The cable car takes guests up to 421 m above sea for a panoramic view of the distinctive and beautiful landscape where the mountain peaks rise directly from the open sea.

The quays in downtown Tromsø have been improved and have recently been dredged up so that cruise ships with a depth of up to 8,5 m can dock in the city centre. In order to strengthen the host function and the shorex offers that are available, a cruise network is now being established which will contribute to the passengers having an even better experience.

The popular experience centre Polaria screens the panoramic film “Svalbard – Arctic Wilderness”. Polaria provides guests with an impressive insight into Svalbard’s fauna and flora, both above and below water. In the aquarium, visitors can enjoy close-up contact with seal species found near the ice edge and watch their own way of putting on a show for curious onlookers.

Cruise Port of Tromsø Number of calls 2012 (2013): 106 (114) Unique Selling Points: Polar history and the city’s atmosphere Shorex contact: Port of Tromsø, Harriet Willassen hwi@tromso.havn.no




Year-round destination Alta has become known primarily as a winter destination for British cruise lines. Only a handful of cruises call at Alta during the summer.

At the head of the Altafjord, you will discover a small city with beautiful views and short distances to most facilities. It is walking distance between the port and airport and downtown Alta is just a five-minute taxi ride away. The town’s major pride and joy is the Alta Museum, which is based on rock art discovered 60 years ago. The rock art located at the Alta Museum was discovered in the early 1970s. Not only is the museum on the World Heritage List (1985), but in 1993 it was awarded the prestigious title of European Museum of the Year. The slate quarry is another attraction well worth visiting. Alta has a long tradition for quarrying slate in Pæskatun, and the beautiful slates may be found on known and unknown buildings around the world. Guests are invited into the actual production facility and will gain an insight into the history of this industry. If you wish, you will have the opportunity to produce a few slate products yourself.

NORTHERN LIGHTS CATHEDRAL Alta is a paradise for salmon fishermen and the river that runs through the majestic Alta Canyon provides rich salmon stocks for paying angling enthusiasts from around the world. It is also possible to go on a riverboat trip in the distinctive riverboats, operated by the local boatmen. The Sami culture is strong in this region and many of the products that are presented to cruise passengers are based on this minority’s culture and way of life. A popular activity is visiting a Sami siida (camp) and being served traditional Sami food and coffee brewed on an open fire – and chatting with proud representatives of an old culture. The latest news in Alta is the Northern Lights Cathedral, which was opened and consecrated by the bishop on February 10, 2013. The cathedral is built as a gigantic Northern Lights sculpture and further strengthens Alta’s strong position as a place to visit to experience the magical Northern Lights (see page 27). The Northern Lights Cathedral will become Alta’s main church, as well as a solid acquisition to an already well developed yearround destination for tourists of all categories. During 2013 a new Northern Lights attraction will open in the basement of the cathedral.

Cruise Port of Alta Number of calls 2012 (2013): 14 (16) Unique Selling Points: A great winter destination with excellent chances to watch the Northern Lights Shorex contact: North Adventure, Henriette Bismo Eilertsen henriette@northadventure.no





Full of energy Hammerfest is the world’s northernmost city, but is actually much more than that. Located at latitude 70 °N, the keyword is energy.

Hammerfest has a unique and fascinating history, from the period of prosperity when trade with Russia provided good incomes, via World War II that left the city to ruins to the oil and gas adventure the city is now experiencing. In 1981 a significant natural gas field, Snøhvit (Snow White), was discovered off the coast of Hammerfest. In 2007 the first gas was pumped from the seafloor, and the production of liquefied natural gas could start. The gas flame at the production plant has become the symbol of prosperity for a city that has experienced amazing growth in a short space of time.

From 2013 cruise passengers who visit the world’s northernmost city, full of energy, will be offered a new product; a cycle tour with a difference through Hammerfest, while your guide informs about the city’s history and industry. You don’t have to cycle up the hills yourself – the bikes are powered by small electric motors so the guests can genuinely relate to the history...

But it did not start there. The church was built way back in 1684 and Hammerfest gained town status around 100 years later. An important milestone was achieved in 1891 when Hammerfest became the first urban settlement in Norway, and one of the first in Europe, to gain electrical street lighting. This is a common theme in the shore excursions Hammerfest has on offer. At the site of Northern Europe’s first hydro-electric power station visitors may experience Hammerfest’s history of energy at the Energy House.

Photo: CNNS/Erik Joachimsen

The history of the burning to the ground of Finnmark, and subsequent forced evacuation and reconstruction, is expertly presented at The Museum of Reconstruction. “But the most popular attraction is the Polar Bear Society where you may become a member of this unique society,” says the General Manager of Hammerfest Turist, Knut-Arne Iversen.

Cruise Port of Hammerfest Number of calls 2012 (2013): 18 (25) Unique Selling Points: The Polar Bear Society, lots of energy Shorex contact: Hammerfest Turist, Knut-Arne Iversen kai@hammerfest-turist.no




More than a plateau The North Cape is one of the world’s best known tourist attractions.

Most things have been said and written about this giant cliff that forms an uncompromising division between the continent and the open sea. For several centuries, the North Cape was reserved for adventurers and expeditions. Now, more than 240,000 people per year find their way here by vehicle or boat. The majority arrive by cruise ship. The North Cape Hall, at 71°10´21¨, lies on the outermost point of the plateau. In fine weather, you may enjoy panoramic views of the plateau and open sea. If the weather is less favourable the supervideograph North Cape panorama film is a good alternative. It takes you on a journey through the four seasons in a landscape filled with contrasts, light and majestic nature. Less well known is the fact that the local municipality is a major fishing municipality with many vibrant and productive fishing villages. The municipality is also home to the world’s northernmost fishing village. In recent years the offer to cruise passengers has increased. Some passengers have visited the North Cape before and others will experience other aspects of the community.

The company Destination 71° Nord offers a variety of activities from its base in Honningsvåg, the municipal administrative centre. “We offer king crab safaris and ATV safaris (All Terrain Vehicle) for cruise passengers,” says the company’s Manager Daniel Myhre. “We receive our best feedback comes from passengers who join us to catch, hold and taste king crab,” says Myhre, adding that they handled 3500 cruise passengers in 2012. Every self-respecting town in the north has its own ice bar. That also applies to Honningsvåg, where Arctico Ice Bar offers winter year-round, richly illustrated with pictures from the island of Magerøya. Guests can stroll among fantastic ice sculptures and get a drink “in the rocks”. Further out towards the open sea, outside the fishing village of Gjesvær, you may discover one of the largest Atlantic seabird colonies at the Gjesværstappan Nature Reserve. Here, you can have a close-up encounter with a huge abundance of birds that are nesting and hunting for food in the sea. Thousands of cruise passengers equipped with telephoto lenses and binoculars head out each season on Birdsafari’s cruise in search of good photos and beautiful views. It’s just like a BBC documentary, but in reality!

Cruise Port of North Cape Number of calls 2012 (2013): 112 (110) Unique Selling Points: The North Cape Plateau and seabird colonies Shorex contact: Cruise Destination North Cape, Åse Lill Barstad aaselill@northcape.no





Real Arctic Vardø is Norway’s only town in the Polar climate zone.

This outpost in the far northeast of Norway has a fascinating and varied history. It is the oldest fishing village in Norwegian Lapland, a fortress town and was a centre of Pomor trade between Northern Norway and Russia.

and is connected to the rest of the world via an undersea tunnel. Ships may dock either in downtown Vardø or at a quay on the mainland, both of which cater for expedition ships or smaller cruise ships.

However, the most unique feature of Vardø’s history is no doubt the witch hunt that took place in the 17th century. In Norwegian Lapland, about 90 people were found guilty and sentenced to be burned at the stake, mostly in Vardø. The fires were lit at Steilneset, where the cultural trail now leads and where a monument is set up for the memory of innocent victims of witch hunts, most of whom were women. The Steilneset memorial was unveiled by Queen Sonja of Norway on July 23, 2011.

“The destination has so far had a few cruise calls, but we hope through targeted product development and marketing to attract more vessels,” says Port Director Ingolf Eriksen, who is also responsible for boat trips to the island of Hornøya just off the coast of Vardø. The boat departs daily during summer so visitors can visit Norway’s easternmost point, the lighthouse and the seabird colonies. There are many seabird species, including Norway’s only population of Brünnich’s Guillemot.

Vardø has a rich collection of memorials to its polar history, research and fisheries. These include the statue of Fridtjof Nansen to mark his expedition to the North Pole on board the Fram from Vardø, a memorial in honour of Dutch explorer Willem Barents who also set off from Vardø, the memorial plaque to Maximilian Hell’s visit to Vardø and his observation of the Transit of Venus. There are also several statues symbolising the importance of the sea and fishing for the local community and coastal settlements.

“Everything is very compact in Vardø and you are not reliant on buses to reach the various attractions. Guided walking tours can start directly from the ship and involve only a short walk regardless of what you want to experience.” Less than an hour’s drive from Vardø guests may visit the listed fishing village of Hamningberg, which was abandoned in 1965. This 19th century settlement is a well preserved cultural heritage site.

Vardø is known as the Pomor town and the fascinating Pomor Museum is worth visiting. The town is located on a small island

Cruise Port of Vardø Number of calls 2012: 1 Unique Selling Points: Norway’s only town in the Polar climate zone with many experiences on offer just a short distance from the town centre Shorex contact: Port of Vardø, Ingolf Eriksen vardhavn@online.no




To the far north-east



Norway’s easternmost cruise port is situated in Kirkenes, right beside the Russian border. The North Norwegian town is actually situated further east than Istanbul, and it has a completely unique history to share.

Kirkenes was heavily bombed during World War II and apparently only one other town on earth suffered more air attacks than Norway’s observation post to the east. But Kirkenes managed to recover, to a large extent owing to rich deposits of iron ore. Until 1996 this provided much of the basis of existence for Kirkenes. The town is a melting pot of several cultures. As well as the Sami, who first settled here, and people of Norwegian origins, who in time developed the most influence, there are strong elements of both Finnish and Russian culture. This is evident in the street life and even the street signs are bilingual. Kirkenes has many monuments and other memorials from both the war and trade. TURNAROUND PORT - The port’s infrastructure is extremely well developed owing to many years of mining operations and also because the community is an important junction between Norway and Russia. Consequently, there are three quays close to the town centre to choose between.

Kirkenes is the northern terminus for the Hurtigruten (Norwegian Coastal Voyage), which sails along the Norwegian coast from Bergen, and as a result is extremely well prepared to provide good experiences for passengers. At the same time, Hurtigruten places limitations on cruise calls during the middle of the day, as the capacity for buses and guides is occupied. We therefore recommend calls to Kirkenes in the late afternoon or evening. This is of little significance to the passengers as it is light around the clock during summer at these latitudes. To begin with Kirkenes wishes to offer turnaround opportunities for smaller expedition ships wishing to cruise towards Northwest Russia. The Kirkenes region also offers rich opportunities for shorexes based on the Russian border and the town’s multicultural population. In Kirkenes itself there are a host of attractions, primarily linked to the town’s World War II history. Local company Barents Safari offers king crab safaris to the Russian border, where the Russian Orthodox church, Boris Gleb, was built in 1826. The Sami culture and Russian history provide the setting for an excursion that takes guests as close to the border as possible. Here, but no further…

Cruise Port of Kirkenes Number of calls 2012(2013): 6 (8) Unique Selling Points: Proximity to Russia, with an exciting mix of cultures and a vivid history from both World War II and the town’s industry Shorex Contact: Hans Hatle, Barents Safari hhatle@online.no




World’s northernmost cruise destination

Longyearbyen in Svalbard is the world’s northernmost cruise destination – and also one of the most spectacular. Located just below the North Pole, the vulnerable nature, glaciers, polar bears, alluring light and Arctic activities of the Svalbard archipelago offer a truly unique cruise experience.

Spitsbergen, the largest island in the archipelago, was discovered by Dutchman Willem Barents in 1596. Spitsbergen, which means “pointed mountains” in Dutch, has mountains towering 1700 m above sea level, surrounded by glaciers and picturesque fjords. Over the following 300 years, the hunting and trapping of whales, walruses, polar bears and Arctic foxes proved the basis of existence for fortune hunters from across Europe. Coal mining operations became a significant industry in the 20th century and led to the establishment of several permanent communities. Svalbard was also the starting point for expeditions by some of the era’s greatest explorers who set off in search of the Northwest Passage and on the race to be first to the North Pole. The stories about these people are a vivid part of the Longyearbyen experience. The Svalbard Treaty of 1920 recognized Norwegian sovereignty and the majority of Longyearbyen’s current population of 2100 are Norwegian citizens. However, the town has a very international atmosphere with 40 nationalities represented. The primary industries today are mining, research and tourism, and the Longyearbyen population today is characterized by a high proportion of families.

As Norway’s 15th largest cruise destination, Longyearbyen offers a broad range of shorex options. Many guests opt for guided sightseeing walks or bus tours focussing on Svalbard’s history of mining and trapping. Highlights include visiting the Svalbard Museum, winner of the Council of Europe’s Museum Prize for 2008, and the Spitsbergen Airship Museum. For Tourism Manager Ronny Brunvoll, the tough Arctic wilderness is the most spectacular at latitude 78° N. “Visiting husky kennels, fossil hunting, RiB safaris to bird cliffs and dog sledding trips with qualified guides are popular activities,” says Brunvoll. In Longyearbyen, he emphasizes the well developed range of shops, bars and restaurants. “All shopping in Svalbard is Tax Free and alcohol, gold, clothes, shoes and outdoor equipment are popular purchases among our visitors.” “Cruise destination Longyearbyen is working purposely to develop the cruise traffic with focus on sustainable, new experiences and improved onshore logistics. Our ambition is to get cruise lines to stop here for one or two nights, so the passengers have the opportunity to experience both Isfjorden and Longyearbyen, while the cruise line will save on fuel costs by docking,” concludes Brunvoll.

Cruise port of Longyearbyen Number of calls 2012 (2013): 42 (36) Unique Selling Points: The world’s northernmost cruise port, just below the North Pole Shorex contact: Ronny Brunvoll ronny@svalbard.net



Cruise port Longyearbyen, one of the world’s most fascinating destinations


Icefjord Safari

Guides with expertice

Exciting excursions

SPITSBERGEN TRAVEL, YOUR SHORE EXCURSIONS PROVIDER IN SPITSBERGEN Longyearbyen is one of the world’s most fascinating towns. Located at 78 degrees north, it is officially the northernmost town in the world. An unusual, modern and international tax free settlement just 1300km from the North Pole. Longyearbyen welcomes visitors to our slice of the Arctic, a safe haven in the otherwise harsh and wild landscape, where polar bears roam and the elements rule. With our highly knowledgeable and well-trained guides, Spitsbergen Travel has been a vital force in the development of Longyearbyen as a ‘Mecca’ for adventure. Be it hiking or Champagne tasting, a fjord safari in high-powered open boats or a guided visit to the prize-winning Svalbard Museum, Spitsbergen Travel ensure that your guests have the opportunity to experience all this unique town has to offer.

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IN SEARCH OF THE NORTHERN LIGHTS One person’s mad idea back in 2004 has given significant shorex revenue to several ports in the north of Norway - during winter time. What makes cruise lines sail all the way up to latitude 70 °N in the middle of the winter, facing darkness and cold weather? There are lots of other warmer and sunnier places to call during this time of the year. However, in spite of this, all winter cruises are sold out well in advance, so there must be something that triggers the desire to buy a “winter cruise”, or “cooler weather cruises”, as some say.

THANKS TO THE CARIBBEAN All ports in Northern Norway are ice-free during the winter season, and the fjords and coastline are quite calm during the peak season for winter cruising, which is February and March. The powerful Gulf Stream sends warm and swift currents all the way from Florida to the Barents Sea north of Norway. The climate becomes milder than it would be without the streams of heated seawater, and provides the basis for settlement and business that cannot be run on the same latitude elsewhere in the world. But that is not enough. There must be something in addition to this? The answer is: The Northern Lights or “Aurora Borealis”. This natural phenomenon has been a magnet for adventurous tourists in recent years, and the interest has skyrocketed. Visiting the Arctic to chase the Northern Lights has been regarded as “the next thing to do”. And that is exactly what people are doing! The Northern Lights have become the unique selling point for winter cruising in the north. This phenomenon is not that accessible any other places in the world than in the north of Norway. All ports are situated in the “Aurora zone”, where magnetic fields play with the energy from the atmosphere.

WINTER CRUISING IS PROFITABLE Henriette Bismo Eilertsen is the woman who had this crazy winter cruising idea. She has always been very dedicated to her winter cruise idea and, despite the fact that cruise lines thought the idea was beyond limits, several of them are beginning to believe in winter cruising - and even offering itineraries. The first presentations of winter cruising were introduced at Cruise Seatrade at Malta in 2008, and the first calls came already in March 2009 as Saga Ruby moored the Port of Alta, one of the top Northern Lights destinations in the north. Over the years, the number of winter calls has increased. In 2012 six calls were made to Alta in February – March. The sales of shore excursions during winter calls is very good, and far above the figures for ordinary summer cruises. “The passengers are willing to pay more for one shorex, simply be-

cause it is very exotic and because it feels much safer to buy an organized tour when moving around in darkness and coldness. In addition, passengers often have plenty of time since there are several overnight calls. They take the opportunity to buy several shorex products during the calls,” says Bismo Eilertsen of North Adventure. North Adventure sold shore excursions for Euro 855,000 during six different calls in February and March 2012. The average shorex sale per passenger was Euro 210. There were nearly 4000 passengers onboard the ships in 2012, and more than 6850 shore excursions were sold – a formidable shorex sale of 170 percent! “We do not count calls any more. We’re counting days and nights and shorex sales per passenger,” says Bismo Eilertsen. During 2013 Alta will have 10 calls, of which six will be during winter. These calls will stay a total of 22 nights. The next big event, and challenge, for North Adventure will take place in March 2014, when P & O’s Oriana calls twice with a maximum of nearly 2000 passengers. This will be the largest cruise ship to visit Northern Norway in winter. “Fortunately, we do have a wide range of shorex alternatives and capacity to give all the passengers exotic and unique experiences,” concludes Bismo Eilertsen.

RIPPLE EFFECT Effort made by North Adventure in Alta has led to several calls along the coast. So far, Fred Olsen (Boudicca), Saga Cruises (Saga Pearl II), Cruise & Maritime (Discovery and Marco Polo) have completed successful winter itineraries to several ports in Northern Norway. In addition, Amadea (Phönix Reisen) completed their first Christmas Cruise to the North Cape last December, including Bodø and Tromsø on her way along the coast.



Alta has been the preferred final destination, but this has also led to several calls to other ports. Tromsø, Narvik, Harstad and Lofoten have all benefitted from these cruises. “It has been a very positive, ripple effect for several ports, and we owe Alta many thanks for the effort being made,” says Erik Joachimsen, Managing Director of CNNS. The total shorex value of winter cruising for the 2012 season is estimated at approximately Euro 400 000, divided between four different ports. Alta achieved nearly half of the total income since there were more overnight stays and a wide range of shore excursions.

VESTERÅLEN NEXT The next port coming up as a new winter cruise destination is the region of Vesterålen, situated right north of the more famous Lofoten Islands. The Port of Sortland will welcome three calls from Marco Polo in February and March 2013, and is ready to handle four winter calls in 2014. Cooperating partner for the Port of Sortland is Discover Arctic, which takes care of all shore excursions. “Cruise destination Vesterålen is delighted to welcome Marco Polo this winter. Together with our partners we have set up several new shore excursions. Some of them include a close, but very safe, encounter with a reindeer on a genuine Sami farm. We will also have guided tours through the ‘Blue City’ and, of course, a guided bus trip to show our guests the beautiful Vesterålen Island,” says CEO Bengt Jaegtnes of Discover Arctic, a new and very ambitious incoming tour operator to Vesterålen and the Lofoten Islands.

NARVIK The city of Narvik is famous for its World War II history and for shipping iron-ore from Kiruna in Sweden to markets across the world. “Narvik has a lot to offer all year round,” says Grethe Parker of Cruise Narvik. For several years she has been working to develop the destination’s winter excursions. Among the most attractive experiences is Polar Zoo, the world’s northernmost wildlife park, located only an hour’s bus drive from Narvik. Experiencing Arctic wildlife up close and personal is unique, and passengers have the opportunity to enter the socialized wolves’ enclosure and bring this experience even closer. “It’s as close as you can come to wild animals. Everything happens under con-



trolled conditions,” says Cato Haakseth, Managing Director of Polar Zoo. Grethe Parker strongly recommends cruise lines to plan overnight cruises in Narvik. This will allow for new and interesting excursions, making them accessible as the time frame is expanded. Imagine howling for the wolves at Polar Zoo in the dark after closing hours with the Northern Lights as backdrop. “The mining city of Kiruna in Sweden, with a visit to the actual ironore mines, will easily be reachable. It takes three hours from Narvik to Kiruna by railway. Kiruna has an interesting history to tell, as well as an interesting future, as the whole city centre is about to be relocated due to underground mining activity,” she says.

TROMSØ Cruise destination Tromsø has had its share of the winter traffic along the coast. Last year Tromsø had even more calls than Alta, but less overnights. This year Tromsø will start counting the “Alta way”, as Fred Olsen calls three times staying for two nights each time. “The Port of Tromsø has 10 calls that together total more than 14 days in Tromsø. It provides unique opportunities to sell shore excursions virtually day and night, providing a better experience for passengers while providing a good income for the agent, cruise lines and suppliers,” says Harriet Willassen of Port of Tromsø.

WINTER CRUISING ALL ALONG THE COAST Most of the remaining cruise destinations in Northern Norway are now working to be in a position to supply winter adventures under a joint umbrella: Chasing the Northern Lights. The number of calls already scheduled for 2013 and 2014 is increasing, and the number of days is increasing more rapidly than the number of calls. So far the British market has accounted for the winter cruise tourists to Northern Norway, but resources are now being put into the German and American markets too. There are good opportunities to offer exotic winter experiences along the entire coast. From the southernmost port in the CNNS network, Brønnøysund, via the first city north of the Arctic Circle, Bodø, on to the world’s northernmost city, Hammerfest, and right up to towards the Russian border, where Vardø and

Kirkenes form the outermost points in the northeast, good winter shorexes are on offer. “We believe that winter cruise is here to stay and the growth will continue for a few more years. New milestones are steadily being achieved and I’m convinced that larger cruise ships will also head northwards in winter when they hear the experiences of the British cruise lines. Cruise passengers are lining up to buy Northern Lights cruises. This has only just begun and many of the destinations have not yet been tested out for winter cruises,” says Erik Joachimsen of CNNS. More info: All winter cruise destinations are presented in Cruise Norway’s “Winter Wonderland Brochure”, which you can read as an e-book at cruise-norway.no (Search for “Winter Wonderland Brochure”). “The guests praised the hospitality of the Norwegian people and the wonderful Arctic scenery. All of the passengers who returned their questionnaire forms rated the cruise excellent or good.” - Saga Shipping Company after their first cruise to Norway, March 2009.

Facts: Aurora Borealis – The Northern Lights An aurora is a natural light display in the sky, particularly in the Arctic and Antarctic, caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere. In northern latitudes, the effect is known as the aurora borealis (or the Northern Lights), Auroras seen near the magnetic pole may be high overhead, but from farther away, they illuminate the northern horizon as a greenish glow or sometimes a faint red. Discrete auroras often display magnetic field lines or curtain-like structures, and can change within seconds or glow unchanging for hours, most often in fluorescent green.

Winter Shorex offers in Northern Norway: - Chasing the Northern Lights - Dog sledding - Overnight stay in an Ice Hotel - Sami culture - Snowmobile safaris - All Terrain Vehicle Safaris (ATV)

Winter Cruise Calls to Northern Norway 2013: Port/Destination

# Calls

- Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing etc.

# of nights










Vesterålen (Sortland)



- Horse-drawn sleigh ride - Red king crab safaris - White-tail eagle safaris (RiB) - Winter Festival - Polar Zoo - Nature trips / Photo safaris - A wide range of galleries and museums

Cruise lines and cruise ships with winter itineraries: Fred Olsen Cruises: Boudicca Cruise & Maritime: Marco Polo, Discovery

For more information: cnns.no

Saga Cruises: Saga Sapphire Phoenix Reizen: Artania, Albatros Silversea: Silver Cloud



The Northern Sea Route The new sea route to Asia The climate changes in the Arctic are leading to significant shrinking of the sea ice. For ship transport, including cruise, this can create opportunities that are new and undreamed of. The first and only cruise to date via the Northern Sea Route set off in August 2011. In many ways, this can be described as a test cruise. The research vessel “Akademik Shokalskiy”, owned by Russian Hydrometflot in Vladivostok and chartered by Australian Eurora Expeditions, travelled from Murmansk to Vladivostok in the period August-September last year. Senior Advisor Rune Rautio at the Kirkenes-based consultancy company Akvaplan-Niva, who assists with business development, environmental issues and logistics in the High North, says: “There are several challenges associated with cruises via the Northern Sea Route. The vessel must have the ice class 1A or higher it is going to sail the entire distance in the eastern part of the Northern Sea Route. Voyages along the entire route also require escort by Russian ice-breakers, with the associated costs this involves. With the exception of Dudinka, foreign vessels are not currently permitted to call at any of the ports on the Northern Sea Route (NSR) without special permission from Moscow.” Voyages on this route involve a set of requirements, including an electronic application including all necessary documentation to the NSR administration in Moscow and, if the application is successful, the vessel must be inspected and approved for the planned voyage by a representative of the administration. Such an inspection may take place at a western port prior to arrival in Russia or in Murmansk or Arkhangelsk prior to departure. It will be easier to implement cruises concentrated on the western part of the sailing route during the summer months, as such cruises will not have the same requirement concerning ice class and can gain dispensation from the requirement concerning ice-breaker escort. “But remember that it’s a long way to the nearest rescue if something goes wrong, so the icebreaker escort also represents security linked to rescue, salvage oil spill preparedness,” emphasises Rune Rautio. While in the Kara Sea, vessels are automatically under the control of the NSR authority and must report in accordance with the agreement entered into prior to sailing. In autumn 2012, the Prime Minister of Norway, Jens Stoltenberg, visited Japan to promote this sailing route, which can be of major significance for global trade and transport patterns. Norwegian liquefied natural gas (LNG) is now transported to Asia via this new sea route. From Narvik in Northern Norway to Yokohama in Japan, the Northern Sea Route is nearly 15,000 km shorter than the traditional route via the Suez Canal. Commercial shipping companies have adopted this new route far quicker than most people imagined.



“In August this year, the Russian Federal Council passed a new law relating to the Northern Sea Route, which will now be filled with concrete measures as outlined in the legislation. New navigational rules for the route will soon be introduced, which could make traffic and calls along the NSR easier and more flexible,” concludes Rautio.

Arctic cruise East of the North There is little doubt that the wide expanses of Russian sea east of Kirkenes could be attractive in Arctic cruises of the future. Written by Kåre Tannvik, storyteller, Radius Kirkenes”

The area offers everything: polar bears, seals, bird cliffs, indigenous people, enormous churches and “undiscovered” villages. The limitations are in the minds of the leaders at the Kremlin. But there is reason to be optimistic. President Putin has opened the way for the clearing up of military waste in Franz Josef Land and granted permission for some western expedition cruises to visit there in recent years. For several years now commercial cargo ships have been able to travel from Kirkenes all the way to China without encountering problems with ice. It is an enormous area, offering both huge opportunities and challenges. But when Russia has already sold tickets for tourists to travel to outer space, it is extremely realistic for them to allow more western cruise ships into the most interesting areas of the Russian Arctic.

In the 15th century, one of Russia’s largest Russian Orthodox monasteries, the Solovetsky Monastery, was founded in the monastery island of Solovetsky. Photo: Kåre Tannvik

TROPHY EFFECT This is at the point of intersection between the most inaccessible and most exotic imaginable and a sufficiently high trophy factor for it to be of commercial interest. In a single picture it is possible to photograph a polar bear on an ice raft, a Nenet family on an Arctic beach wearing traditional leather clothes while they skin a walrus, or perhaps the unique skyline in the Solovki Islands in the White Sea. Such opportunities will attract thousands of wealthy people from the rich part of the world, so they can return to their homes in New Delhi or New York and show photos to their friends that will confirm they are modern explorers. It is only when the trophy effect becomes strong enough that the market will really take off.

Smaller cruise ships already sail in the waters from Northern Norway through the Barents Sea to the White Sea, like here at “Island Sky” with 100 passengers off the monastery island of Solovki in the summer of 2012. Photo: Thomas Nilsen/BarentsObserver


A Nenet child moves round on the tundra in Northern Russia.

The first “cruise” in the area occurred way back in 1597 when Dutchman Willem Barents sailed up the coast of Novaya Zemlya. This was his third attempt to find the Northwest Passage and sealed his fate. He died the same year off the coast of the island. It was not until 1893 that the area was in the spotlight from a Norwegian perspective, when Fridtjof Nansen headed eastwards in the Arctic vessel Fram. He wanted to prove that there was a natural drift of polar ice and aimed to reach the North Pole. He chose an area to the far east of Novaya Semlya and let the ship freeze in the sea ice. The expedition led to him spending the winter sharing a sleeping bag with Hjalmar Johansen before the pair was extremely lucky to be found by an English explorer.

Reindeer nomads on the tundra in the Nenets Autonomous Area in the north of Russia

These historical events creates the backdrop for the interest in seeking to get as far away as possible from civilisation and with that also forms a basis for the steadily increasing interest in cruise.





In the initial years it is always the expedition cruises that open up areas. These have already sailed in Northwest Russia for a while.

What is the feedback from the customers who have actually sailed in? The most sensational feedback came from an American cruise passenger on a boat that sailed around Svalbard and into the White Sea. He had filmed both polar bears and walruses. But there was one photo that he singled out. From when the boat stopped in the river delta in Dvina and the passengers were taken by zodiac to Lapominka. There were maybe 10 buildings. But this is where the tourists were allowed to visit the local residents for a cup of tea.

In order for this to be of commercial interest for the large cruise lines, the attraction must be stronger than problems associated with getting there. In the meantime the waters north of Russia are only for enthusiasts; for the cruise lines and tour operators which gamble on the Russians sticking to what they promise. That they are actually allowed to launch their zodiacs to visit the place where Barents wintered on the northern tip of Novaya Zemlya. Or that the cruise ship is permitted to sail out of the port in Murmansk even though a marine exercise has just started from Severomorsk that has closed the fjord to civil vessels. Or that the Prime Minister of Russia has personally signed the landing clearance for the monastery island of Solovki. Not the day before, but preferably six months in advance.

The eyes of the KGB officer on board were wide open and wondering. What did the American boat have in mind when it anchored at such a place? There was nothing of interest here! Oh, yes. The tourists really enjoyed themselves and were overjoyed to finally meet people – Russians. But this development is coming. The town of Kirkenes, on the Norwegian side near the Russian border, will become a turnaround port – because Kirkenes is the most predictable place when you want to enter the unpredictable waters.

All of this means that the threshold is too high for western cruise lines and tour operators to choose to sail into Russian waters with customers on board.

A visit to an authentic dacha (cottage) was one of the highlights. Photo: Helge Stærk

Cruise port Kirkenes Unique Selling Points: Arctic Russia Shorex contact: Radius Kirkenes, storyteller Kaare Tannvik, kaare@radius-kirkenes.com



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Cruise Northern Norway & Svalbard (CNNS) Founded: September 20, 2010 Vision: Develop CNNS into an innovative and attractive cruise region Core Business Idea

Cruise Statistics 2012: Port



North Cape






• Develop innovative and unique shorex offers so cruise lines and agents are able to offer the best possible experience to cruise passengers as guests of Northern Norway and Svalbard










• Prepare for turnaround operations by encouraging destinations to develop better facilities at airports and ports in the north and by informing decision makers at cruise lines about the various alternatives
















Remi Solberg (chairman), Åse Lill Barstad, Harriet Willassen, Ingvar Mathisen and Sølvi Kristoffersen







Financial support: Membership fees and Innovation Norway




The CNNS Board of Directors

Managing Director: Erik Joachimsen erik.joachimsen@cnns.no

CNNS Member

Port contact


Shorex contact


Port of Brønnøysund

Sølvi Kristoffersen

Port of Bodø

Ingvar M.Mathisen


Eva Ekroll



Solveig Henriksen

Ports of Lofoten (Leknes and Svolvær)


Viktor Haugan (Leknes) Kjell H. Hanssen (Svolvær)

jo-aam@online.no kjell.hanssen@vagan.kommune.no

Dan Viggo Vårum


Port of Sortland (Vesterålen)

Hugo Næss


Bengt Jaegtnes


Port of Harstad

Ivar Hagenlund


Gro Dagsvold


Port of Narvik

Øistein Kaarbø


Grethe Parker


Port of Tromsø

Harriet Willassen


Harriet Willassen


Port of Alta

Ketil Iki


Henriette B. Eilertsen


Port of Hammerfest

Per-Åge Hansen


Knut Arne Iversen


Port of North Cape & Porsanger

Leif Gustav Prytz Olsen


Åse Lill Barstad


Port of Vardø

Ingolf Eriksen


Ingolf Eriksen


Port of Kirkenes

Eivind Gade Lundlie


Hans Hatle


Port of Longyearbyen

Kjetil Bråten


Ronny Brunvoll


Rica Hotels

Hans Paul Hansen



Iver Holter-Andersen


Northern Norway Tourist Board

John Steve Linløkken


Norwegian Hospitality Association - Northern Norway (NHO Reiseliv Nord-Norge)

Geir Solheim


Thon Hotels



Cruise Northern Norway & Svalbard – Ports and Airports


North Cape







Harstad Vesterålen Svolvær


Leknes Bodø

Wide body airplanes

Medium sized airplanes


CNNS cruise-destination




Your Gateway to Northern Norway & Svalbard Northern Norway and Svalbard offer ultimate cruise opportunities. Our region is powered by breathtaking nature and offers a host of unique opportunities based on nature, culture and activities.

On our website cnns.no you will find information about our shorex project, turnaround opportunities, winter cruise and port information. In addition, you will be able to read news and browse through our extensive photo gallery.

At Cruise Northern Norway & Svalbard (CNNS) we will do our utmost to facilitate the cruise lines and agents to provide an outstanding service for passengers who visit our cruise region.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss joint opportunities in Northern Norway and Svalbard. We will do our outmost to offer your cruise line or agency the best shore excursion opportunities and infrastructure in our cruise region to create unforgettable adventures for your passengers.

We strongly belief that our future success will depend on our ability to constantly improve existing shore excursions and develop new ones.

Kindest regards CNNS also considers that turnaround operations in the northernmost part of Europe is the key to success.

Remi Solberg Chairman

Erik Joachimsen Managing Director

Meet Cruise Northern Norway & Svalbard at Cruise Shipping in Miami, March 11 – 14, 2013, at Booth # 892. All cruise ports in our region will be represented and can answer your questions about port facilities and shorex.

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Cruise North 2013  

Magasin, travel, cruise

Cruise North 2013  

Magasin, travel, cruise

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