Published: 22.09.23

Many cruiseguests to Bergen this summer

Many cruiseguests to Bergen this summer
The peak season for cruise visits to Bergen is over for this year, and this year many cruise ships have found their way to Bergen.

In the summer months of June, July, and August, the city received 182 cruise arrivals and approximately 330,000 passengers. This is roughly the same number as the peak years of 2018 and 2019, before the pandemic.

"Bergen is still a highly popular city to visit among both cruise companies and cruise tourists," says port director Michal Forland.

Looking at the year as a whole, Bergen will have 340 incoming cruise ships and around 570,000 passengers. This is approximately the same passenger volume as in 2018 and 2019.

Staying below the limit of 8,000 passengers

As one of the few cruise cities in Europe, Bergen has set limits on the maximum number of ships and passengers that can visit the city in one day.

In 2018, the city council adopted a goal of limiting cruise traffic to a maximum of three ships and 8,000 passengers per day. In 2021, this was adjusted to a maximum of four ships, but one of the ships must use power from the shore power facilities at the dock. The passenger count remains the same at 8,000.

"This year, we have never exceeded the limit for either the number of ships or passengers. In fact, it turns out that on many days with cruise ships in the city, we are well below 8,000 passengers," Forland explains.

More ships are turning off their diesel engines at the dock

Before the season began, the Port of Bergen had a goal that 30 percent of all cruise arrivals should use power from the shore power facilities in the harbor. Bergen has the largest shore power facility in Europe for cruise ships, and three ships can connect to the facility simultaneously. So far, only 23 percent of the arrivals have connected to the shore power facility.

"We are not entirely satisfied that less than 30 percent of the ships have used the shore power facilities this year," says Michal Forland.

"We have had some very good days where all cruise ships have been on shore power, but looking at the year as a whole, we would have liked to see a somewhat higher percentage. From next year, we expect at least half of the cruise arrivals to connect to shore power. This is something we are clear about with the cruise companies," Forland emphasizes.

Towards the next season, a smaller facility will be built at Tollbodkaien, which will allow smaller cruise ships to connect to shore power during their port stay.

All ships on shore power by 2026

From 2026, there will be a requirement that all cruise ships visiting Bergen must be able to use power from the shore power facilities in the port. This is one of Port of Bergen's criteria when shipping companies book dock space for their cruise ships.

"Our stick is that ships cannot reserve a spot here if they cannot use shore power. Our carrot is that the cruise tourists who come here get to experience docking without diesel emissions and get to experience one of the world's most beautiful cities," concludes Forland.

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