Norwegian Seaways Launching March 2016 – Sweden 2+1

Just when all hope appeared lost, Norwegian Seaways names a date for the resumption of ferry services between the UK and Scandinavia.

Also, more air quality alerts in Paris. Another setback for MyFerryLink. Petrol prices rise in Luxembourg.



Says market conditions have changed.

Bergen harbour: photo Eike.

Bergen harbour: photo Eike.

Norwegian Seaways has set a date for the resumption of ferry services between the UK and Scandinavia.

In what is presumably a reference to falling fuel prices, the company says the market conditions have changed. It expects to finalise funding in the spring ahead of a brand launch in September and the start of services – likely between Newcastle, Bergen and Stavanger – the following March.

In a statement via the International Campaign for the Ferry to Norway (ICFN), Norwegian Seaways operations director Paul Woodbury says, ‘In 2014 we had a viable plan. We now have an even more viable plan given the change in market conditions. We have overhauled our business plan and are finalising our strategy with the intent of securing final funding in the spring of this year for launch of a new brand in September 2015 and a new service in March 2016.’

ICFN adds, ‘This latest statement from Norwegian Seaways follows a string of recent positive developments which tend to show that Norwegian Seaways’ cautious and meticulous approach in its efforts to restore the UK – Norway ferry service over the years is about to pay dividends… although the statement is brief, the message it conveys will be welcome news for thousands of travellers across the UK and throughout Scandinavia.’

The final UK-Scandinavia ferry service, operated by DFDS between Harwich and Esbjerg, Denmark, was withdrawn last September. Norwegian Seaways first emerged as a potential operator in November 2013. In the meantime Regina Lines’ proposed replacement Harwich-Esbjerg service has, apparently, failed to get off the ground.

At debate in the Scottish Parliament on ferry links to Scandinavia earlier this month, transport minister Derek Mackay said the government supported the idea but any help is could offer would be ‘limited’.


Sweden: final stretch of 2+1 on the E4 Stockholm-Malmo motorway to be widened. More later.

Sweden: final stretch of ‘ultra safe’ 2+1 on the E4 Stockholm-Malmo motorway to be widened. More later. Photo @DriveEurope.


roundup: FRANCE. Paris air quality observer Airparif says pollutant levels are expected to reach 77/100 tomorrow, well over the threshold of 50/100 which triggers abatement measures. Expect reduced speed limits at the very least. CROSSING THE CHANNEL. The ‘SCOP’ workers co-operative at MyFerryLink had their application for appeal against the recent Eurotunnel II ruling unanimously rejected by the Competition Appeal Tribunal yesterday. The last hope for the Dover-Calais operator, and its employees, is to be sold as a going concern. LUXEMBOURG. The (nationally regulated) price of petrol has actually increased today after months of falls. Unleaded 95 now costs €1.076/l and unleaded 98 €1.14 says Diesel stays the same, at €0.963, for now.


103 thoughts on “Norwegian Seaways Launching March 2016 – Sweden 2+1

  1. Thousands of tourists & goods vehicles want this valuable service restored. Will it happen ? I won’t hold my breath !

  2. I’ve been waiting for this news ever since the service was lost. Roll on March 2016 – when can I book?

  3. At last an alternative to the awful services run by DFDS. Good riddance to them. Best of luck to Norwegian Seaways. We will at last be able to holiday once again in beautiful Norway.

  4. Not been back to Norway since the last ferry in 2008 New/Bergen run as me and my friends take motorcycles over there or did about time this vital trade and holiday tourist route was re instated only thing don’t do it from the south of England 😦 its allways been Newcastle to Bergen and keep it that route looking forward to booking up to go back to Norway ! I hope

  5. Fabulous that this service is hopefully coming back. It’s no secret that Norway has the most beautiful scenery in Europe . I’m frequently in Stavanger but rarely see GB registered vehicles anymore.Cant wait to get some motorcycle tours arranged and show my mates around the fjords & even better with the current exchange rate making a beer affordable!

  6. Good luck to Norwegian Seaways for next spring – we do miss taking our car, Please can we have Harwich or Tilbury — a long way to travel to Newcastle from the south coast.

    • There are people in the north and midlands who want to tour Norway too. Most of the package holidays go from Gatwick or Stanstead so let’s have some service in the north and midlands please

      • 100% agree Vernon – fed up with everything being in the South! I recently went to Poland & had to fly from Stansted – so it took me longer to get to the airport than that actual flight…

  7. This would be a fantastic news! Love travelling in England/Scotland, but from Finland to Scotland through Esbjerg-Harwich is a bit too far south, so we’ve stayed in England instead. I do hope this sees the daylight, we’ll definitely go to Scotland first thing summer 2016!

  8. We will be booking our motorhome on any new direct ferry to Norway! Really missed them for last 8years. Newcastle would be my prefered port but any will do! Just please get it to work.

  9. hope it come off, driven in Norge many times in the past, north up the E6 south down the coastal road .The better driving roads are up in the Arctic circle but to get there from Denmark is just to far of a distance, hope it works out.

  10. I travel to Norway at least once a year and have been since 1981.I hate my current route,Harwich to the Hook of Holland,then a 400 mile trip though Holland and Germany to Kiel.An overnight crossing to Gothenberg (not enough time to catch the Oslo ship) then another 200 miles to Oslo.A 1200 mile round trip.I so want this new route to happen.

  11. I think the following route would provide better access to whole of Scandinavia. Bergen is too isolated on the east coast of Norway. Newcastle-Kristiansand -Gothenburg would be a much better choice. Kristiandsand would give access to the whole of southern & eastern Norway, including Oslo. Ferries would give access to Denmark too. Gothenburg gives access to the whole of Sweden plus Oslo (I used to live in Oslo & regularly chose this route as there were better roads) & Copenhagen. This option I think would be very popular for both tourists & freight.

    • Have been waiting so many years for this to happen,feels really good to think we can go over With Our car,that way we can get round to seeing all Our Familys and that would be great,especially on the Kristiansand to Newcastle,really hope this will happen used to love going over on the boat was really fun,and made you feel you are on holiday the minute you get on Board,hopeing to hear when tickets will be getting sold,

      • afraid not.. had expected to hear more by now but was reassured by a director recently that plans are still underway. they were aiming for march 2016, not been told that date has changed

      • This is the reply i received to my e-mail asking Customer Services if they knew anything.
        It was worth a try!!!

        Re: Newcastle – Bergen ferry [DFDS #708884]‏

        dfds ferry


        Good Afternoon.
        Thank you for your email.
        Apologies but we have no plans to reopen this crossing in the future.
        Kind Regards

        Amy Cramman

        Customer Sales and Service

  12. Hoping for a route from South of England to Norway. Cannot understand why nobody has taken up the route to Denmark either, these ferries were always full. That way I could get to East of Norway easier, but hopeful something will happen soon,

  13. My husband and I have been travelling by ferry to Norway since 1970, 45 years. We are gutted that it is no longer a link to Scandinavia. Please give us some more information.

  14. Fred Olsen used to run a lovely ship the Brammar from Oslo Norway to Hirshalls D.K and then onto Harwich Uk this ship was always full it would be good if this route was restored as well.

  15. Would be great for us in Scotland and north of England to see the old Newcastle to Bergen-Stavanger connection revived but if the UK centre of gravity is nearer Hull, with bigger passenger market, why not go from there? (That’s how we have had to go via Amsterdam and Kiel recently.) Sailing to Hirthals in Denmark and on to Oslo could also widen the market considerably (now that DFDS have stopped UK/Denmark ferries). Would that not help viability? Happy to book on any connection that gets our car… with all our stuff… from UK to Norway!

      • I can’t see the sailing to/from Newcastle happening as they would surely have to be advertising NOW for sailings in March/April 2016?

        This is the reply i received to my e-mail [in May 2015] asking DFDS Customer Services if they knew anything.

        It was worth a try!!!

        Re: Newcastle – Bergen ferry [DFDS #708884]‏

        dfds ferry


        Good Afternoon.
        Thank you for your email.
        Apologies but we have no plans to reopen this crossing in the future.
        Kind Regards

        Amy Cramman

        Customer Sales and Service

  16. has anyone tried contacting Norwegian Seaways directly recently. we are planning a m/c tour early May 16. we really need to get the crossing booked.

  17. Hope fully we do not have another Regina Line type company giving false hopes to the general public ie the Esbjerg to Harwich route to re open.


  18. I have read on another travel forum that P.O out of Hull are looking at the viability of opening a passenger/car ferry route between Hull & Esbjerg as a sectional part of the E20 road route from Shannon in Eire to St Petersburg in Russia all as part of the European trade routes.
    Lets hope they decide to open this route up in the near future.

  19. Any boat out of norway to UK would be a blessing. I used to travel 2/3 each year and miss the route badly. I now need 3 days to complete this journy with my car instead of 1. I’ll soon be too old.

  20. I hope they reinstate any boat link between the UK and the Scandies, some of my family hate to fly and this would be a blessing!

  21. Norway looks stunning and would love this ferry service so me and my motorcycling buddies can plan realistic trips to Norway

  22. Looking forward to the restoration of the Newcastle – Norway ferry service. It will be even more important once we have a regional parliament for the north of England based in Newcastle with the same devolved powers as Scotland. An independent Northern England Region and independent Scotland, while remaining loyal to the British Crown, will want to become members of the Nordic Council. Closer links with Scandinavia will help protect us against the damaging consequences of leaving or remaining within the EU!

  23. Have been travelling to Norway since 1964 on the old ferry and decided to buy a house in Hordaland back in 2005. You can guess how we feel about the lack of a ferry service to anywhere in Norway. We are fortunate in that we can go for the whole summer every year so the extended route is not too big a problem, but our grandchildren have not been able to come because getting there and back takes half of their annual holiday with mum and dad! We literally know dozens of people who would use the service both here and in Norway, every year. Correct me if I am mistaken, but isn’t the CEO of Norwegian Seaways something to do with DFDS? Hopefully someone will eventually re-unite the UK and Scandinavia for the benefit of all.
    Incidentally we regard driving to Harwich from the North of England as onerous as driving from Rotterdam to Southern Denmark, effectively adding two days to our overall journey time for the return journey and using expensive UK fuel to boot!

  24. We want to travel to Norway with our campervan at the end of May this year, 2016. Ferry route details required from UK to either Bergen, Stavanger or other Port.

  25. I thought Norwegien Seaways were going to issue a statement at the end of May to give us an update on there position i.e to re open a route

  26. Nothing’s happening. The route Is sorely missed. Must be a need with all the respondents all over the IN. To get to Norway/Denmark/Sweden these days with a car will entail Amsterdam and no matter how wonderful that is, it adds many days to a journey to Scandinavia. Come on Norway/Sweden/Denmark, get/support this going…………

  27. A young gentleman on another forum has a petition going for a ferry route between Hirshals in Denmark to Harwich in England he has many following him to try and get this route open with another ferry company. Hopefully one of the ferry companies running out of north denmark will take on this route if enough people show there interest in it.

  28. As we are leaving the EU now if a new ferry company now opens up a route to Norway Sweden or Denmark to the Uk we should be able to get our duty free goods again on the ship.
    Which will be a bonus.

  29. I have had a letter from the department of transport dated 16/08/2016 who monitor what goes on with the maritime front in the uk.
    They have confirmed that passenger traffic nationally peaked on all ferry routes from the uk in 1994, but since then passenger traffic has declined at around 1.9% as an average on all routes from the uk to the present day, and 2.7% on east coast routes ,but on the Harwich to Esbjerg route it declined @ 6.8% per year to 2014 and this was the back drop to the closure of the Harwich to Esbjerg route in 2014 they believe .
    So maybe it was also the same case on the other routes to Scandinavia from the uk that they also closed down. They confirmed that since the rise of low cost airlines and the opening of the channel Tunnel this has been the main cause of the decline in all passenger ferry travel.
    So it will be interesting to see if another company would take on another service from Uk to any of the Scandinavian countries in the very near future.

  30. Its now October and still no further news about the Newcastle-Stavanger – Bergen route. Why can’t Scandinavian Seaways issue an update. Its not as if they are frightened of alerting competion as there. Is no competetion.. Come on S S gives us some hope or no hope.

  31. I see the ex DFDS ship Queen of Scandinavia that used to sail Newcastle to Bergen and lately of St Peter Line in the Baltic is now just gone to Moby Lines in Italy based in Genoa.
    This would have been a nice ship to re open a route to Norway or Denmark from the Uk.

    • It looks like no shipping company wants to take on passengers and cars from the UK to any of the Scandinavian countries. what a great pity. It was always part of the holiday experience when travelling there with the children to see the family in Denmark..

  32. Mick- I don’t think this service will ever come into being when outfits like Scandinavian Seaways or whatever there latest name is are capital investors and not shipping companies. An experienced shipping company would have freight contacts , knowledge of available and suitable ships for the route and wouldn’t take over 3 years from onset and still not have anything in place.I really would love this route to open up again, even Newcastle to Kristiansand would be better than via Amsterdam/Rotterdam then a 12 hour drive up to Hirtsalls or Kiel and then over to Norway by another expensive ferry.There are so many freight vessels going from the UK to Scandinavia that the prospect of a ferry making 2 or 3 crossings a week does not seem very attractive to freight companies and passenger traffic alone would never finance the route. Shame really but I think this is the reality.

    • Bob
      what I cannot understand is that shipping companies like DFDS have daily freight runs between UK and Denmark & Sweden why they cannot have cabins for say 100 passengers and run a small restaurant like they do at Premier inns it does not have to be Rolls Royce I suppose they do not want the inter action of passengers and big bulk freight.

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