The Port of Bergen has announced that it expecting to publish record numbers for this cruise season despite a pilots’ strike in June causing the loss of five ship calls.
In total the port has welcomed 321 ships, which totals 446,406 passengers – a huge boost to the local economy and a year-on-year rise of 21.9 % for ship calls and 27.5% for passenger numbers.
The season, which started in February, also saw 13 maiden calls and an interesting trend in demographic increases with a huge increase in US and European passenger numbers.
Overall Bergen saw a 115% rise in Spanish tourists, 40% from France and 35% from Benelux.
Helen Hovland, marketing manager at the Port of Bergen, stated that it was a trend which they fully expected to continue. “We are actively working for Bergen to be a year-round cruise port. Furthermore, we envisage that Bergen can be a turnaround port for ships and passengers, or maybe a homeport for cruise ships.”
Bookings for next year are also looking strong – with 329 ships currently scheduled to call at Bergen next year, meaning approximately 475,000 passengers. The terminal will also be available for turnarounds after Fjord Line moves two ferries away from the area.
“We then have the opportunity to take passengers through the terminal for check-in, passport control and customs checks,” she explained.
“The Port of Bergen Port Authority and Cruise Destination Bergen work actively with decision makers in the cruise companies for the cruise ships to visit Bergen. We want longer seasons, and that the vessels are distributed smoothly in relation to the berth capacity we have in Bergen.”