Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2024

192 NORTHERN EUROPE: REPORT Lofoten is exploring how it can extend the cruise season and make operations more environmentally sustainable Members of Cruise Network Northern Norway and Svalbard are investing in building new infrastructure, developing shore excursions and increasing sustainability in Northern Norway Members of Cruise Network Northern Norway and Svalbard are expanding their shore excursion offerings to help guests explore this region. Some of the new options in Brønnøysund include hiking and biking at Torghatten mountain, kayaking in the Helgeland archipelago, meeting a ‘modern Viking’, and visiting a local’s home for coffee. The destination, which has two ports with cruise piers, hopes these excursions will encourage cruise operators to stay longer, or overnight. Meanwhile, both Nordkapp and nearby Port of Sapmi are developing multiple experiences to enable guests to fully immerse themselves in the local Sami culture, for example by meeting reindeer and husky puppies, going dog sledding, and joining families in their lávvu (tents) to learn about their way of life and partake in the traditional coffee time ritual. The two ports are primarily targeting the expedition market, and Nordkapp, which will soon install a new tender pier, aims to increase winter calls too. Similarly, Bodø will be celebrating Sami culture and offering hundreds of other cultural activities to mark its status as the 2024 European Capital of Culture. The port, Visit Bodø and other key stakeholders are also developing the city’s future cruise tourism strategy to identify new shore excursion opportunities and necessary infrastructure developments to drive future growth. Narvik is developing shore excursions that immerse cruise visitors in local life. One notable excursion is the new ‘food and story’ walk, where a guide will take guests to restaurants and cafes to sample local dishes and share the history of the town. It will continue to evolve its shore excursion offering and make other investments to attract more turnaround and overnight calls. Another destination focused on establishing itself as a turnaround port is Kirkenes, which is ideally positioned for cruise lines wanting to start or end An abundance of adventures Photo: Adobe Stock/ilker