Four million cruise passengers are expected to visit Norway during 2022 on more cruise ships than ever before.
Fears that the pandemic would put people off traveling by cruise ship seem to have disappeared, at least in Scandinavia. The figures from Cruise Norway show that 500 more port calls are registered this year than in 2019, the last full year with no pandemic-related travel restrictions.
A ban on cruise calls was one of the first travel restrictions to be introduced by the Norwegian government in March 2020. But with all travel restrictions removed earlier this year, the cruise season is already well underway in Norway.
Demand for Norway is high year-round
Norway is an attractive destination for cruise ships year round. While the summer is peak season especially around the Norwegian fjords, the fall and winter also attract more adventurous tourists hoping to see the northern lights and enjoy shore activities such as dog sledding.
There was a lot of hope in the industry for a post-pandemic boom, especially as Lonely Planet named Norway as one of the best countries to travel to in 2022.
Demand for cruises also received a boost because of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, which saw many Baltic Sea cruises canceled or rerouted. Some of those ships have been put to use in Norway and Scandinavia, increasing the available capacity.
Bergen most popular port
Many Norwegian ports are already full for the summer season, so smaller ports are set to receive a boost.
Norway’s second biggest city Bergen is known as the “gateway to the fjords” and is set to receive 290 cruise ships this year, more than any other port. The Anthem of the Seas was a recent visitor to Bergen. The world’s 19th largest cruise ship was just small enough to clear the Askøy bridge, which prevents the world’s largest cruise ships from visiting Bergen when in Norway.
Ålesund, Stavanger and Tromsø remain the next most popular ports, before the tiny fjord villages of Olden and Geiranger. All of them are more popular than Norway’s capital city Oslo, which ranks seventh according to the figures from the Norwegian Coastal Administration.