Norway will get more connections with the Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) with new modes of travel that will be launched in 2022. With the expanded network, travellers can opt for a quick flight or for a slower mode of travel, a ferry ride.
By air, people would be able to travel from Brussels to Oslo via Norwegian airline Flyr, which will be possible from May 2022 and will fly four times a week. The ferry trip will be on a Holland Norway Line passenger-and-car ferry from Eemshaven in the north of The Netherlands to Kristiansand in Norway. This route will be launching in April 2022.
Market and Travel Trade Specialist from Visit Norway, Ingunn Sakshaug said that the reason for the increasing means of travel is because Norwegians love travelling. Travelling by air makes sense as Norway is a long country, although families also enjoy travelling by ferry as that cuts down on driving time. She mentioned as well how ferries are time and cost-saving solutions for truck drivers who transport goods along the European continent.
Ingunn also stated that travelling with aeroplanes is getting more sustainable with new technology and new aeroplanes. With Norway being so far north and train connections not being optimal, flying is still the most effective means of travel. However, the movement flyskam (literally translating to ‘flight shame’), has been rising in Norway after starting in Sweden. It is a social movement discouraging travel by aviation because of the impact this has on the environment. Regardless, air travel is still the most popular means of travelling to and within Norway.
With the trend towards sustainable travel, taking a ferry would seem less polluting than a plane ride. However, a quick calculation on myclimate.org shows us the opposite. A cruise for one day would emit more than a short two-hour flight to the north. Marie-Lou Gregoire, press officer from the Holland America Line, ensures us that climate neutrality is something the company is working on. ‘We are working closely with an office that focuses on making our ferry journeys sustainable. The ferry that will be sailing to Norway next year will be one with special filters to decrease its emissions. Furthermore, we are looking into a ferry that works on hydrogen.’
Norway is increasing the means of reaching it and trying to do so as sustainably as possible for a country so far north and with such a large surface area. The decision of which mode of transport travellers would choose is dependent on how long they plan to go, what they want to do and where they want to go. Visit Norway hopes for travellers to make sustainable choices getting to Norway, but also within the country itself.
Text: Danica Van der Merwe and Renske Van Hoof
Final editor: Andrei Stiru
Images: © Renske Van Hoof and Holland Norway Line