Norwegian Seaways: No News Is Not Bad News – Eurotunnel Carries 88% of all Pets

No news is not bad news for Norwegian Seaways’ proposed UK-Norway ferry link.

Also, a photo competition from DFDS. A first look at Jaguar’s new compact sports saloon. Eurotunnel says it carries an overwhelming majority of pets taken to the Continent, trucks will be barred from the A35 Basel border over the weekend, the EU selects the major transport projects for funding this year, Bulgarian truckers threaten to blockade Sofia, and a boy was stung by a scorpion on a Norway-bound ferry.

GIBRALTAR FRONTIER WATCH: up to 60mins delay at midnight, estimated 45mins at 13:40CET, up to 60mins since.

CALAIS TRUCKS MIGRANT’S PETITION: 2,947 signatures since 15.7. See @Justice4Trucker.



Hopes still alive for UK-Scandinavia ferry link.

Bergen harbour: photo Eike.

Bergen harbour: photo Eike.

Nine months after it was first published, our story on the proposed Norwegian Seaways ferry route between Newcastle and Norway continues to be one of our most read and commented on.

That might have a lot to do with DFDS withdrawing from the Harwich-Esbjerg route – the last remaining ferry link between the UK and Scandinavia – at the end of September.

Coach operators, hauliers, tour organisers, private drivers and expats are all keen – desperate in some cases – to see a route return.

With no news recently, the concern was that the idea had been quietly forgotten. However, while there is still nothing specific to report we can at least tell you that the route is still on the cards.

A short message from Norwegians seaways operations director Paul Woodbury last night confirmed that the project ‘remains active’, and that when there is something to say we will be among the first to know.

In the meantime, our message to you is that if you want to see this route return, keep the comments coming. By definition, the more the merrier. Not just to encourage Norwegian Seaways but to help convince all the other agencies involved that this route is viable.

Fingers crossed, the next time Norwegian Seaways gets a mention on @DriveEurope it will be with the good news we have all been waiting for.

Read the background here.

Thanks for the comments everybody: keep them coming. If you weren’t aware, Regina Line says it will start a new service Harwich-Esbjerg (Denmark) at Easter 2015. See more. 

UPDATE: a new group campaigning for the restoration of the Norway ferry launches on Thursday 16 October at


A montage of all the photos submitted so far for the DFDS Summer Photo Competition. Win a free ferry crossing and a £250 Amazon voucher. Submit photos at #DFDS by 14 September.

A montage of all the pictures entered so far for the DFDS Summer Photo Competition. Win a free ferry crossing and a £250 Amazon voucher. Submit snaps at #DFDSPhotos, by 14 September.


roundup: EUROTUNNEL says it has carried 88% of all pets transported under the UK Pet Passport Scheme so far this year. Pets travel inside owner’s cars. Meanwhile, last week’s great school getaway saw a record week for the fixed link operator – 49,500 cars, campers, motorbikes and coaches used the service, up 3% on the same time in 2013. FRANCE-SWITZERLAND. The Swiss border from the A35 autoroute near Basel will be closed to trucks from 31.7-4.8, 22:00-05:00 for the Swiss national day celebrations reports @TrackerinfoEU, see more here. EUROPE. €14m to upgrade the link between Dover and Calais, €15m for studies on a new Storstrom bridge in Denmark – on the E55/E47 Copenhagen-Rodby ferry route – and €10m towards pollution-abatement tech on cross-Channel ferries ahead of next year’s new low sulphur regulations. All among the winners in this year’s round of EU TEN-T funding announced today, for improvements to the strategic transport networks around Europe. More on this soon. LUXEMBOURG. An attempted car-jacking at a rural junction in southern Luxembourg last night. The driver escaped after injuring one of the attackers. BULGARIA. Truckers are threatening to block all exits from capital Sofia on Friday unless new restrictions on the movement of 12t+ vehicles – Friday 6-9pm and Sunday 2-8pm – are cancelled. NORWAY. A boy says he was stung by a scorpion on the Fjord Line Hirtshals-Kristiansand, Denmark-Norway ferry last night. His claim was apparently backed up by several witnesses. The boat briefly returned to harbour. No major injuries were reported.


A first look at Jaguar's imminent XE compact sports saloon, to be launched at a high-profile, star studded in London on 8 September.

Can Jaguar’s imminent XE compact sports saloon really cut it against established rivals like the Mercedes C-Class, BMW 3-series and Audi’s A4? Clever new technology like All Surface Progress Control suggest it might. Based on sister company Land Rover’s off-road traction control systems, ASPC works like a low speed cruise control to optimise grip in slippery conditions says the company. It will be mighty useful in the winter, and certainly whets the appetite; Jaguar is due to make three more new tech announcements ahead of the car’s high-profile, star studded launch in London on 8 September for which ubercool Celine-clad crooner Emeli Sande, above, is crowd-composing a new theme tune. Pictured alongside, for the first time, is the XE S with 340bhp apparently. Other versions will dip under the 100g/km CO2 barrier. The range kicks off at £29,000 says Autocar; £25,000 says The Sunday Times.


54 thoughts on “Norwegian Seaways: No News Is Not Bad News – Eurotunnel Carries 88% of all Pets


  2. I have been going on holiday to Norway by ferry since I was a student 35 years ago. The loss of a route from Britain to Norway was a tragedy. I have struggled with the long route via Denmark since 2008 now that has gone. PLEASE BRING BACK A DIRECT FERRY TO NORWAY. So many people want this route and the Norwegians miss us visiting their amazing country.

  3. I’ve taken my motorbike over to Denmark – then continued across and up to Sweden, Finland and Norway – twice over the past four years. A month or two back I was in the early stages of planning next year’s springtime getaway when a visit to DFDS’s website confirmed they’d not be running Harwich – Esbjerg beyond the end of this September.
    So I just hope Norwegian Seaways do make a go of it, because the alternative for anyone wanting to head to Norway from the UK, for example, will be a monotonously long haul (approx’ 630 miles) from the Hook of Holland through Germany and up to the northern tip of Denmark to Hirtshals to catch a ferry up to Kristiansand.
    I understand the concerns of some that with a monopoly on the route Norwegian Seaways fares could be high (higher than DFDS’s?).
    But do you know what: faced with the extra 630 (bum-numbing) miles in each direction that I’d face on my motorbike, and the fact that on disembarkation I’d already be in Norway (hence saving fuel and en-route overnight accommodation costs), I could actually stomach a small increase from the existing DFDS fares.
    So, please, please, please can we have a direct UK-Norway service for next year?

  4. Ah, thanks for that news. As you say…”all is not lost yet”. That doubles the possibility of SOMETHING happening!! Cheers

  5. We just got back from a 3 week road trip to the East coast of Sweden. We usually fly as my wife’s parents live there so we visit every Summer. Gutted to find out on the way out that the Harwich – Esbjerg ferry route is to be scrapped. We really enjoyed the experience of driving across some beautiful scenic countryside. Are you listening Norwegian Seaways?

  6. Can’t wait to be able to take our motorhome to Norway and onwards to the Northern Cape. Cruise ships are not the answer for independently minded travellers.

  7. Desperate for this service to resume. Lugging camping gear and outdoor activity equipment on an aircraft is not an option and the length of drive from the Hook of Holland cannot be described as family friendly. Big chunk of your holiday used up before you get anywhere. My parents use the freighter option regularly, out of nessecaty and would not describe it as suitable for families.

    • It seems the England/Norway boat debate is as strong as ever. The long route is fine for those who have the time, and is no doubt fantastically scenic. The main reason for going to Bergen is to visit loved ones, who have as it happens, always enjoyed spending their money in Newcastle on many shopping trips. It is sorely missed both sides of the water. The Color Line boats weren’t really cruise ships; they were pretty basic, but sure people wouldn’t mind a return to basic if it did the job!
      Roald Dahl used the route often as a child visiting relatives and mentioned The Leda in one of his books!
      They call it “The England Boat” in Bergen and all long for it as much as we do!
      Just a word to Norwegian Seaways: A plea not to publicise the reinstatement of the route until you are absolutely certain the financing is in place and it is much further down the line as regards planning. The newspaper article last year, whose sensational headline described in detail a luxury liner, what it would be equipped with, the capacity it would hold and even an estimated start up time etc was a huge mistake. It let down a vast amount of people from both countries when it all came to nothing. We are waiting and look forward to good news. Mange Takk.

  8. I want to register strong support for the proposed route from the UK to Bergen. Being half Norwegian, I spent the first 35 years of my life travelling this route at least once a year, but often two or even three times a year. Since the route ended several years ago, we have struggled with some flights and some lengthy trips via Esbjerg. With this route also terminating this September, we will find it increasingly challenging to travel to Norway with our car. My parents and brother and his family are in the same situation.
    If this route was ressurected we would all use it regularly and feel it is a desperately needed service.

    • We are in the same position Anna, being half Norwegian and strong links with Bergen. Any suggestions on what we can do?

  9. As a family, we are extremely keen to see the return of this service. We would be regular users throughout the year as half of us live in the North of England and the other half in Bergen. We can’t carry the things we want to take by plane and our other DFDS option is about to end. Good luck with the funding, we know how difficult and complex this will be to achieve but please don’t give up Norwegian Seaways!

  10. We have been travelling to Norway for many years now and have just returned after driving the 630 miles each way from Holland to Hirtshalls again. We had to take this route because the ferry from Harwich to Esbjerg was either fully booked on the days we wanted to travel or DFDS could only offer the very expensive cabins. We normally make the journey two to three times each year and I have to agree that to spend around a week to get to and from Norway is not only extremely tiring but also, overall, makes the trip so much more expensive with the extra costs involved. To revert to using a ferry from Newcastle to Stavanger/Bergen would be fantastic for my family and I will ‘watch this space’ in the hope that a positive, favourable announcement will eventually be made.

  11. It would be so good to see a ferry to Norway next year. We visit most years, but loosing the esjberg ferry is the last straw. Going via Amsterdam would add around 1500 miles to the round trip, Newcastle – Bergen would probably save the same amount!
    I’ll be ipbooking as soon as the route is available!

  12. I’ll add my tuppenceworth. Over the last 3 decades, I have used these North Sea crossings many times. Norway was always the preferential holiday destination, but occasionally we used the Newcastle-Gothenburg or Harwich-Gothenburg route for a change of destination eg Sweden or Finland. When the services reduced to Harwich – Esbjerg we persevered. But not if Harwich – Hoek is our only option …. the drive between Hoek and Scandinavia takes too big a time-bite out of our precious 2 week holiday allocation.
    Please please please restore a UK-Norway route.
    I have been fretting over this ever since DFDS announced their withdrawal, but only today found my way to this web-page. There will be many thousands of others in UK who would consider going to Norway but haven’t stumbled across this web page.

    • Have been thinking more on this. Whilst one must recognise the traditionally strong links between Newcastle and Bergen, a ferry might be more viable if it can travel to a more southern Norwegian port, or perhaps even Hirtshals. That might generate more freight traffic and make a ferry operation less reliant on the short holiday season. Might also be more enticing for those who want to head for Sweden and beyond, whilst still being within reach of Bergen and the Western fjords?

  13. My late wife was Norwegian and I have been travelling back and forth between UK and Norway since 1964. My son and his family now live in Norway, but now that I am retired I don’t mind the 630 mile trip via the Hook. I quite enjoy spending a night or two each way in a German village gasthof. However, I would love Norwegian Seaways to start-up, or, at a pinch, Regina Line. It would make life a lot easier for me and my family. Incidentally, why does it have to be Newcastle -Bergen/Stavanger? The Harwich – Kristiansand route was ideal for us, and the Fred Olsen ship Braemar was the best ship ever on the UK – Norway run. But, come on Noregian Seaways lets have some positive action.


    • Thanks for that Frank, take your point about the Harwich-Kristiansand route, would be good for us too. However, some good news today: the Norwegian Seaways chap is actually in Stavanger today for a ‘a final effort to fund & ultimately re-establish a UK/Norway ferry link.’ More news soon as we have it.

      • Certainly sounds more positive than Regina Line. I’m always suspicious of companies that don’t provide their address or contact number …anyone can provide an email address!
        I emailed Regina Line for more info …no response as yet. Can’t wait to hit those Norwegian fjords again 😦

  14. We need a direct ferry route from the UK to Scandinavia. we travel back and forth between our properties in Scotland and Northern Sweden and a direct back to Norwway would make things so much more simple. Even better if you have the sense to have dedicated animal cabin onboard like most other routes to southern Sweden.

  15. Finally, the Ferry to Norway Campaign is live. Lets hope we can pull together enough demand for the Newcastle – Bergen – Stavanger ferry to make it a reality. The comments here on DriveEurope are echoed across the internet. It’s just a case of funneling all of that interest into one place and presenting the evidence to both current and potential investors, and of course the UK and Norwegian governments. The form for gathering and collating interest in the ferry service is now available for use and I will be working on articles to promote the Campaign. It will not be forgotten that the comments here were the catalyst for the campaign. Lets hope we succeed.


      • Brilliant news; well done Trevor and Andy. When I contacted the Bergens Tidende and the Newcastle newspapers, their polite comment was that they couldn’t be involved, which is understandable but disappointing. So an online campaign is fantastic as there was no other way to turn for we general public as it were! Many thanks. I will alert my Norwegian relatives also who will undoubtedly wish to include their names. Kjempeflott! as the Norwegians say!

      • You’re too kind Debra :-), I’ll be creating a Norwegian version of the web site and any help I can get with translation would be hugely …HUGELY appreciated. It will be Awesome indeed on that first sailing, I can’t wait to do the north-south tour 🙂 !

  16. Very very excited about the prospect of a UK to Norway ferry crossing again. My partners sister lives in Stavanger with her husband and kids and keeps pleading with us to visit! Do I really have to lose the best part of a week travelling across europe to visit??!! In this modern world, you just don’t expect to have to do things the long way round anymore. Reading these comments, I am realising there are a lot of families connected to Norway like myself, so this simply is something that has to work and will work as so many people will use the route again to justify the cost! I want to contact Vilma and tell her to comment on the Norwegian site for more support that end…could I please have a website to go to? Thanks for all your support andcoverage on this!! David, Norwich

  17. As an expat I desperately miss the link from Denmark to the UK, a link via Norway sounds fantastic as I love driving through that beautiful country.

  18. I am sure that regina line was a big publicity stunt and was never going to start a service uk/dk… I have emailed and msg’d numerous times without reply..they are not responding out of embarrassment …

  19. We have travelled between England and Sweden via Norway since 1959 airplane is not the best way. Please bring boat back.

  20. A service between the UK and Bergen needs to be restored …. So many more people know about this beautiful place and country than they did thirty to forty years ago. I first travelled there to work in 1970 on the ‘Leda’ with lots of other young girls from Newcastle and hope to arrange a reunion if I can find any of them. Jacci McShane (nee Rudling)

    • Your hopes echo ours, Jacci. The good old Leda! It’s all gone quiet for the moment; lets’ hope no news really is good news and you get your reunion!

      • Blimey!! How certain is this, I wonder? For some reason, I didn’t get that posting I my emails.
        That’s amazing! We will just have to assume they’re right, won’t we? Keep the faith and it will happen! Thanks Andy! :))))))

      • I don’t think they would have said it unless they were reasonably sure. There has been lots going on in the background. But i won’t properly believe it until i’m onboard 🙂 cheers

    • Nope.
      Still the only way is harwich to hoek of holland and drive 700 miles through holland germany and denmark then another ferry to Norway

      • There is a dfds freight only route, Immingham to Gothenburg…..
        I use this every year for my motorhome, then fly from Manchester to Copenhagen, and train to Gothenburg (for me easier the indirect flights – depends where you fly from). I’d much rather a passenger ferry, but this route is better than Newcastle – Amsterdam and the drive all the way to Scandinavia! Easiest to call dfds at Immingham and speak to the team there, I usually talk
        To a lady called Kim who is most helpful!

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