NEWS: After DFDS pulled out of the sole UK-Scandinavia route earlier this week it emerges there is still a glimmer of hope for Norwegian Seaway’s UK-Norway ferry. Plus, Jaguar’s upcoming celeb-studded Mille Miglia.
STILL HOPE FOR UK-NORWAY FERRY
Norwegian Seaways: ‘Efforts are continuing’.
Updated 7 May with new comments from Norwegian Seaways, see below.
Update: on 21 January 2015, Norwegian Seaways announced it will launch a UK-Norway ferry service in March 2016. See more here.
On Monday this week we asked DFDS Seaways whether it would consider re-starting its ferry route between the UK and Norway.
Ironically, a day later the company announced it was pulling out of its Harwich-Esbjerg, Denmark route in September – the last remaining scheduled ferry between the UK and Scandinavia – blaming, among other things, new EU emission rules.
Late last year, news that a new company, Norwegian Seaways, was gearing up to run a ferry between Newcastle, Bergen and Stavanger drew a strong and consistent response from readers – it is still one of the most popular stories on @DriveEurope – and huge disappointment when it seemed the plans were coming to nothing, at least for summer 2014.
However, intriguing tweets this week from Paul Woodbury, operations director at Norwegian Seaways, show that the company has certainly not given up on the idea.
After tweeting on Tuesday that, ‘Esbjerg cancellation further fuels the argument for UK/Norway ferry. There is demand. It’s about effective marketing & tight control on cost,’ Woodbury told an industry colleague this morning that, while there was no news at the moment, ‘Efforts are continuing.’
It is understood that Norwegian Seaways’ original plan was not sufficiently supported by local authorities in Norway. Meanwhile, a UK-Norway ferry route was identified as an ‘immediate priority’ in a recent review by Lord Adonis and has the full backing of the UK’s North East Local Enterprise Partnership.
After the Harwich-Esbjerg route finishes in September, to reach Scandinavia UK drivers must either bag one of the limited spaces on board DFDS freight routes to Gothenburg/Brevik, or drive via the Low Countries and Germany.
While hopes of the Norwegian Seaways route must still be regarded as slim, there seems to be more chance of it happening than any new DFDS ferries between the UK and Scandinavia.
UPDATE 7 MAY 2014: In a tweet sent from the ‘north east’ (UK) last night (6 May 2014), Norwegian Seaways’ operations director Paul Woodbury said, ‘Norwegian Seaways took a cautious step closer to reality today. A way still to go, but market confidence is clearly changing for the better.’