Cruise Northern Norway & Svalbard

18 Jul Regulations governing cruise traffic in Norwegian waters

Norwegian Directorate of Customs and Excise Our ref.: 13/66107 l Sheet no.:333
Department of Customs, VAT and Movement of Goods Our date: 17.06.13 l Your date: 13.06.13
Customs and VAT Section Your ref.:Wenche Nygård Eeg
Translated from the official Norwegian letter to English June 2013, by Cruise Norway AS

Regulations governing cruise traffic in Norwegian waters

We refer to your email of June 13 2013 concerning the above. You state that the request relates solely to passengers on cruise ships in Norway and who will proceed to an international port, or the international port is part of a cruise that also includes Norwegian ports. Purely domestic traffic within Norwegian customs territory is therefore not deemed to be covered by your request.


16 Jul Cruise industry introduces new regulations in Svalbard

AECO (Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators) introduces 11 new site-specific guidelines for selected sites in Svalbard. It is primarily localities in Eastern Svalbard that are subject to special regulations in regard to landing-operations from cruise vessels.

AECO, which is an international association for expedition cruise operators in the Arctic, has received NOK 900.000 in funding from Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund to develop the site specific guidelines. With the latest 11 guidelines altogether 20 site specific guidelines for Svalbard has been published. AECO-members have committed themselves to use these guidelines in connection with landings of passengers at the sites.


16 Jul Cruise industry introduces vessel tracking in the Arctic

As a step to increase ship safety in Arctic waters, cruise operators that are members of AECO (Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators) is introducing a satellite based vessel tracking scheme for vessels associated with the association. The scheme is called ”AECO Vessel Tracking System”

AECO has decided to require members to participate in a vessel tracking system. This regards members operating SOLAS-vessels (passenger vessel of certain size). Today AECO launched the system and approximately 20 vessels with operations in Arctic waters are connected to it. These vessels and their operators can at any time easy log onto a website and get information about the other vessels, including name, position, course and speed.


22 May Heavy Oil and Traffic Prohibition

In 2009 the Norwegian government introduced new regulations that prohibit the use of heavy oils on vessels sailing within the three largest national parks on Svalbard. A general traffic prohibition has also been introduced, at eight protected cultural heritage sites.

The objective of these restrictions is to avoid major pollution from heavy bunker oil in the event of an accident at sea and to limit the environmental damage caused if it should occur. In 2007, a corresponding prohibition of heavy oils was introduced, in protected areas on the eastern side of Svalbard.

This new regulation will mean that heavy bunker oil will be prohibited within most of Svalbard’s territorial waters.



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.


4 Mar Cruise North Magazine














CNNS`own magazine, Cruise North, is beeing published this week, as an insert to Seatrade Cruise Review. Please have a sneak peek here.

22 Feb CNNS-members in Miami

The following CNNS destinations will be represented at Cruise Shipping Miami 2013:

  • Brønnøysund (port manager Sølvi Kristoffersen)
  • Bodø Solveig Henriksen, port manager Ingvar M. Mathisen and Tom Cato Karlsen)
  • Narvik (Grethe Parker)
  • Harstad (port manager Ivar Hagenlund and Jan Erik Kristoffersen)
  • Lofoten (Remi Solberg og mayor Eivind Holst)
  • Tromsø (port manager Halvar Pettersen and Harriet Willassen)
  • North Cape (Åse Lill Barstad)
  • Longyearbyen/Svalbard (port manager Kjetil Bråten og Håkon Engebu)

Visit CNNS at stand # 829 (Cruise Norway).

Prior to the trade fair, CNNS will launch a new cruise magazine with wide international distribution. Articles in our new magazine will focus on turnaround opportunities, new destinations and itineraries east of the North Cape.

Click here to view a list of our members and click here to view a detailed description of each of the ports.

If you would like to meet to discuss the planning of new sailing routes or turnaround operations, please do not hesitate to contact the Managing Director of CNNS, Erik Joachimsen. He will also send you contact details for the above mentioned CNNS-members upon request.

20 Feb 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.

(Editorial from CNNS` Cruise North Magazine, March 2013)

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 380,000 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’ activities occur in close collaboration with Norway’s spearhead in the market; Cruise Norway.


20 Feb 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.

Text copyright: CNNS / Erik Joachimsen

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 at 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.


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.


14 Feb Cruise more important for North Cape

The figures for 2012 from the North Cape Hall clearly show the importance of cruise traffic for the North Cape and consequently also for Northern Norway and Svalbard. Since 2008 cruise has represented the largest market share in terms of visitors to the Hall, and this is set to increase in 2013.

A total of 34 percent of the guests at the world’s northernmost mainland point last year were passengers from cruise ships calling at Honningsvåg. In comparison, Hurtigruten accounted for 22 percent, as did tour groups, while independent travellers comprised the remaining 20 percent of the traffic.

Germany is the country that overall has the most visitors to the North Cape plateau, with 41,6 % (101,000 visitors). The United Kingdom comes second with 9,5 %, followed by France (7,1 %), Italy (6,9 %) and Norway (5,8 %).

Of the 121,000 cruise passengers that called at Honningsvåg, 83,000 travelled out to the North Cape plateau. Tourism Manager of Nordkapp Reiseliv AS, Åse Lill Barstad, is pleased about the growth in cruise traffic, but also thinks the North Cape should actively seek to get more visitors. “We see that some other destinations in Norway are growing more rapidly than us, so we need to strengthen the marketing of North Cape as a cruise destination and also develop new products. We are working to make the North Cape plateau and the rest of the destination even more attractive for our guests,” says Barstad.