Braekke has been the port’s district manager for the past three years looking after ferries and cargo. Prior to that she spent 18 years as freight and terminal manager for Color Line.
Austad has been spending the past few weeks passing on her cruise knowledge and contacts list to Braekke and together the pair have visited Rostock and Hamburg to meet German operators and are planning a trip to meet US cruise line executives the last week of May.
Braekke said she will continue Austad’s tradition of personal visits to the US and German lines every two years in addition to representing the Port of Oslo at key cruise events and through membership in Cruise Norway, Cruise Europe and Cruise Baltic as well as the Oslo Cruise Network and Visit Oslo marketing initiatives.
Oslo expects 132 cruise calls this year compared to 159 in 2013. At the recent Cruise Europe meeting in Riga, Braekke’s first public encounter with the cruise sector, she told Seatrade Insider she is excited by the challenges that lie ahead.
‘Cruising’s a dynamic sector that is prone to change quickly and I am looking forward to following developments and being prepared to meet them.’
She believes Oslo has the potential to earn more turnaround business.
‘Our four dedicated cruise berths are close to the international airport which has direct air connections to over 170 destinations,’ Braekke said.
This year Holland America Line’s Eurodam will operate a full turnaround on June 9, whilst Royal Caribbean International’s Legend of the Seas will undertake six partial turnarounds this summer. Passengers and luggage are handled using tented structures at Filipstad berth.
‘Whilst the temporary tent solution we have been using for handling turnarounds is workable I would love to see one of the quayside warehouses rebuilt as a permanent cruise terminal,’ Austad said as her parting vision for Oslo’s future cruise business.
Discussions are ongoing and the topic will be no doubt be amongst the agenda items Braekke is getting to grips with in her new role.