Cruise tourists are flocking to Norway and the West Coast like never before. Last year, Norway had around 3400 cruise calls with 4.7 million day visits, marking a growth of around twenty percent compared to 2019, according to figures from Cruise Norway.
Bergen had 337 cruise calls last year with approximately 630,000 passengers, which is at about the same level as in 2019. The trend continues this year, with around 327 calls and 688,000 passengers expected.
"The trend this year is a slightly fewer number of ships than last year but more passengers. That means many large ships are coming to Bergen with room for more passengers," says cruise coordinator Frode Sagmo at the Port of Bergen.
In the time after the COVID-19 pandemic, shipping companies were cautious about filling up the ships. They are no longer cautious, and the ships that arrive are full.
Another trend in Bergen is that the city receives more turnaround calls, meaning the cruise starts or ends in Bergen.
"Cruise tourists often stay in the city before or after the cruise. This is good for the city because cruise tourists leave more money in the city when they stay here a bit longer" says Frode Sagmo.
In 2024, the goal is for 50 percent of the cruise ships visiting Bergen to shut off their diesel engines and connect to the shore power facilities in the port.
By 2026, it is expected that all cruise ships will be on shore power while in port. Bergen has Europe's largest shore power facility for cruise ships, and three ships can connect to the facility simultaneously.
To achieve these goals, the Port of Bergen has introduced the following bonus scheme:
20 percent discount if the ship connects to shore power.
All ships are evaluated for emissions while in the port. Ships connected to shore power receive a discount, while ships that pollute significantly may face an increase in port fees.
Many cruise tourists want to visit Bergen and the West Coast of Norway
Bergen and the West Coast of Norway experienced a significant influx of cruise tourists last year, and the trend continues this year as well.