Britain and Norway are once again set to be connected by ferry following progress in a joint Stavanger and Bergen tourist industry initiative.
Following considerable financial backing, Norwegian and UK investors are now working at establishing a shipping line, and have hired in personnel to bring about reinstating the Newcastle-western Norway route, which stopped in 2008.
The DFDS Seaways-operated ship served Bergen, Stavanger, Haugesund, and Newcastle. Western Norway lost the equivalent of approximately 300,000 overnight stays in the first year following the move, according to Statistics Norway (SSB) figures.
Region Stavanger head of tourism Ståle Brandshaug told Aftenbladet, “We have set up an interim company. The board is engaged in drawing up a detailed opportunity analysis which will be presented to several shipping companies.”
“Amongst other things, it will describe route requirements, sailing times, and the size of the ship,” he added.
It is believed the vessel will have the capacity for 200 to 300 cars, between 600 and 800 passengers, as well as up to 100 cargo units.
“Stakeholders have sunk capital into the new company, with the aim of either renting or purchasing a ship for the new route to and from the UK,” Ole Warberg, director of tourism in Bergen and head of the company’s interim board, said to Bergens Tidende.
In 2010, Shetlanders petitioned the Scottish government to resume the ferry link tying them to Norway for economic and cultural reasons.
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