No ferry to Norway this summer


Plans to revive the direct UK-Norway ferry link are on hold for the time being.

Update 7 MAY 2014: Norwegian Seaways has not given up on the idea of a UK – Norway ferry. See the latest here.

Update 30 Juy 2014: see the latest on Norwegian Seaways.


Bergen Harbour, Norway.

Bergen Harbour, Norway. Photo Per Nybo/Bergen Tourist Board. See

Norwegian Seaways will not launch its UK-Norway ferry service in time for summer 2014.

Judging by the response to our original story in November, that will come as bad news for a lot of people.

The plan had been to run a ferry between Newcastle, Bergen and Stavanger, re-establishing the direct ferry link between the UK and Norway that ended in 2008.

Norwegian Seaways chief operating officer Paul Woodbury told @DriveEurope by email last night, ‘We remain fully committed to the process and continue to work closely with the North East Local Enterprise Partnership and other authorities and organisation both sides of the North Sea. Raising the full capital required for a quality, compliant and sustainable ferry operation is the loadstar and whilst we are pleased to have made progress to date, until fully funded it would be inappropriate to comment further.’

However he did add, ‘I acknowledge the comments made on your website and thank you and your followers for the ongoing and positive support.’

Since DFDS withdrew from the Norway route in 2008 there has been only one direct, scheduled service between the UK and Scandinavia: DFDS Harwich to Esbjerg, Denmark.

Limited passenger places are available on DFDS Freight ships between Tilbury/Immingham-Gothenburg/Brevik. Otherwise, to reach Norway, drivers are forced to catch another ferry from northern Denmark, or cross into Sweden via the Oresund Link.


53 thoughts on “No ferry to Norway this summer

  1. The Newcastle to Norway ferry was a great loss for companies, visitors, skiers and also football fans. We only went once on the Harwich to Esbjerg and it worked out expensive with having to use two ferries and extra road mileage. Plus it was a lot extra mileage travelling to Harwich as well. We hope you get the new ferry up and running soon you do not realise how much this means to a lot of people. If you asked businesses, tourism and transport firms and the public that would use this service they would more than likely contribute to get their ferry back. I will never go on a DFDS ferry again on principal because what they did to the Norwegian people and the ferry staff was shameful. Finding out in the newspaper and the staff with a letter was disgusting.

  2. Am frankly amazed Hurtigruten appears unwilling/unable extend its schedule to include Newcastle. There are thousands of Brits wishing travel to Norway with their cars/campervans also for the ski season – but there is nothing on offer.
    What is there not to like about this proposal ? It is an acknowledged fact that the former vessels were too large for the volume, however the modern coastal ships should prove perfect for tourists as well as commercial traffic- wake up !!

  3. A blow – will keep our fingers crossed for 2015. Really do not want to drive south from Scotland to harwich then back north to norway. Still if that’s the only way will do it to get back to Norge.

    • I know how you feel Andy
      They should have at least kept the summer ferry from scrabstar to bergan going, Im sure it would have been quids in now. I would much prefer to drive over to bergan and down through bonnie Scotland than through Europe and southern england. Getting stuck on the A1 just about makes me suicidal after such a long trip and its almost a certianty!

  4. As a northern lass living in norway I bloody hate the drive all the way through sweden across denmark germany and holland to end up at harwich and have to drive all the way up to north yorkshire. Yes planes are cheaper but I cant do my yearly shop to take with me on a plane! Im a single mum to a 3 year old who has taken the journey with me twice. Without really stopping it is 23 hours from oslo to the hook of holand. Thats the absolute fastest way to do it because if you take two ferrys you save on the driving but loose an extra day each way.
    They need to hurry up and fix this problem I will be one of the first on. Why cant they sell shares? Im sure there would be enough people willing to pay £30 to make it up to £300000 which is what they said is lacking in funds. I would be first waving my money to save myself from the killer treck !

  5. I really hope some company starts a Norway service soon. I would use every year for sure or more. It was a great loss to loose the old service. Anywhere from Hull Northwards to top of scotland wold be of use to me. It really should be compulsory for island states to have services linking with other countries. This kind of infrastructure should be supported by all governments and local authorities even when funding is short. I do not see why a company like Hurtegruten cannot do a service across here. It must be viable and just needs some ambition.. I went on Hurtegruten both ways for my honeymoon about ten years ago. Norway is so special. Why doesn’t the Norwegian government and UK governments try and encourage it????

    Please keep me updated on any news..

  6. Ooooh noooo !! Not again postponed !! Have they thought about people who, coming from Belgium, have friends to visit both in Scotland and upper Sweden ? Every year, we have to tell our kids we can’t go !!! I HATE the current “fly or die” situation.

      • A small Danish company are taking over the Harwich-Esbjerg route. Regina Line will take bookings from 1st October 2014 for sailings from Spring 2015, but they’ll need support from the travelling public to keep it going. Any publicity you can offer would be good. They’re also much cheaper than DFDS!!!!

  7. I have taken the freight ship and it is very expensive plus your board the boat after midnight… Nice onboard and OK food.

      • The DFDS freight ship runs twice a week from Immingham to Brevik (nr Sandefjord) and I thought the prices were not too unreasonable. There are only 6 cabins on board though so this cannot replace a passenger service. The service departs at 5am and once a week goes via Gothenburg. It’s not a quick option at 24 hours for the direct sailing.

        Any idea if Norwegian Seaways DO start a service when it might be? 2015? I’m trying to sort out getting cars to and from Norway in June 2015 for a tour and it really affects my planning on whether I start from Oslo or Bergen/Stavanger. ( )

      • I don’t have anymore details I’m afraid, they have always played their cards quite close to their chest. If you use twitter follow @PaulDWoodbury, he’s the op director Norwegian Seaways.

  8. I have just read on your site about the stopping of the Esberj route. This really puts our plans in disarray. My wife and I have already booked a Hertigruten trip from Bergen to Kirkenes in 2015. We plan to put our motorbike on the ferry and then ride back down through Norway.
    A Newcastle to Bergen route would be even better if it exists by then but otherwise we have a very long ride across country to get to Bergen. I would love a UK to Norway route and would it use quite often. Norway is one of the loveliest Scandinavian countries with loads to see. I would really like to take my bike back there for more trips but if I have to go via the low countries I would not be able to get enough time off to make it worthwhile.

    • These freight ships are not much use as there is no guarantee of a place until the day of departure.. I received the following email:
      Good Morning

      For Norway and Sweden we do have a few limited passenger spaces. We only place on standby once allocation has been reached.

      Best Regards / Med venling hilsen

      Kim Shaw

      Shipping Coordinator

      Customer Operations Services Department

      Good Morning

      It is very sad regarding the Harwich-Esbjerg route. Unfortunately we only accept passengers on the Immingham-Esbjerg on a standby basis only. You would not be informed of any space until lunch time on the day of shipment. We only take children over the age of 5 years. I have attached a copy of the prices.

      Best Regards / Med venling hilsen

      Kim Shaw

      Shipping Coordinator

      Customer Operations Services Department

  9. Disappointed 😦 I lived in Norway 25 years ago and I was really looking forward to take the family across this year. Please please please make it happen!!!

  10. My family and I have travelled to Norway by ferry many, many times throughout the last 30 years. Although we do not particularly enjoy taking two ferries and driving through Denmark; when booking our trip this year, we were devastated to hear that DFDS will discontinue their route from Harwich to Esbjerg from 29th September. This means that, unless the better route from Newcastle to Stavanger/Bergen is re-instated, we will no longer be able to travel to Norway!!

    Please Mr Woodbury, do your utmost to introduce a new ferry – I can promise you; I will use it every year until I cannot travel any more and my son will use it as long as he is able.

  11. Help! Daughter and family moved to Bergen for the foreseeable future, and I hate flying….
    We would use a direct ferry two or three times a year….

    • Fingers crossed, nobody’s said it isn’t happening yet. The new Regina Line Harwich-Denmark looks like it is going ahead next spring, so that will get you half way there… 🙂

  12. Since there has been no news at all, I’m loosing hope this will ever happen, but next year my daughter turns 5 and can go on the cargo ferry from immingham to brevik which is something for us to look forward to at least.

    • People in the know assure me the project is still very much live… I’ve heard different things about the freight ferries UK-Norway – difficult to arrange; you cannot book in advance, etc – I would be really interested to hear how you get on, thanks Andy

      • Here we are; New Year’s eve and still no real news about either of the proposed ferries! Is it going to happen? If so, surely an announcement needs to be made very soon to capture as many bookings as possible; especially for sailings from Newcastle?

        We will be going to Norway on at least three occasions during 2015. I have to say that I do not like driving from Hook of Holland to Hirtshalls. Furthermore; when I did a trial booking with Fjordline for the ferry from Hirtshalls to Bergen a couple of days ago, I only had the choice of three cabins, so they must be almost fully booked for the dates I chose.

        Please keep up the pressure – it would be a fantastic start to the New Year to hear that we could sail to Bergen from Newcastle in 2015!

        Many thanks. Bruce.

  13. With the vast wealth that Norway has , it would small change for the Norge government to help , They are getting soooooo much $ash PROFIT from us , buying oil & gas from them !

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