The cruise season is lasting increasingly longer as more ships visit Northern Norway to experience the Northern Lights and winter. This is a major contributor to the good growth in a number of destinations in the region.
Northern Norway and Svalbard received 425 calls in 2014 (2013: 400 calls), while the number of arriving passengers increased to 413,000 (2013: 390,000). In terms of both the number of calls and passengers, the cruise traffic increased by 6 percent from 2013 to 2014. Compared to 2010, the number of arriving passengers this year is up by 43 percent. The trend shows that the German market has experienced the strongest growth.
“At a time when other cruise regions are experiencing decline, it’s very pleasing that the northernmost part of Norway is managing to resist. Our cruise ports are working closely together to achieve results for the network, and this has proven to be a good strategy,” says the Managing Director of Cruise Northern Norway and Svalbard (CNNS), Erik Joachimsen.
We hope that this trend will continues and that more cruise lines will discover the qualities of cruising in Northern Norway and Svalbard
“A full 37 percent of paying guests at the North Cape Hall come by cruise ship to Honningsvåg, which is more than twice the number that come by Hurtigruten. Cruise traffic has become a very important source of income for many companies at the 13 ports that make up the CNNS network.”
This year’s winner is Alta, which increased its number of calls by 81 percent and the number of arriving passengers by 175 percent. Overall, the other smaller cruise ports have increased more than the larger ones. The focus on winter cruises has provided good results for Alta and, as a consequence, also for a number of other ports.
As a whole, Norway experienced a decline of 11 percent, with 2,982,000 arriving passengers in 2014 compared to 2,679,000 in 2013. “This means that for the first time in many years Northern Norway and Svalbard has taken market shares in Norway. We hope that this trend will continues and that more cruise lines will discover the qualities of cruising in Northern Norway and Svalbard. Prolonged low oil prices and favourable exchange rates are factors that normally go in our favour, so there’s reason to be optimistic about the future,” concludes Erik Joachimsen.