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New navigation aids enables 24/7 access in and out of Haugesund

Position of new light buoys in the entrance to the port of Haugesund
Norwegian port of Haugesund is receiving new navigation aids in the approach channel at the harbour entrance to enable cruise ships of a any length to manouevre in and out 24 hours a day.

Currently pilotage regulations restrict passenger vessels over 210mtr in length from sailing these waters during the dark.

The Norwegian Coastal Administration is planning to position three new light buoys, as well as relight current navigational leading lights this spring, commented local pilot Svein Egil Monsen.

'This will enable us to immediately remove the daylight requirement in these waters, except for tonnage of a specifically challenging character, such  offshore installations, rigs, etc.,' Vigleik Dueland, director of tourism and cruise development Destination Haugesund told Seatrade Cruise News.

Haugesund, located between Stavanger and Bergen,  is growing in stature as a cruise destination. 16 ships will visit in 2016 including maiden calls from Pacific Princess, AIDAvita and AIDAaura and traffic is set to increase to at least 30 calls next year.

'In recent years, our increasing commitment to facilitating cruise ship calls prompted us review the navigation restrictions,' he added. The new approach lighting opens up the possibility for cruise lines to stay longer in port and also come earlier in the season. 'As the port is ice-free year-round winter calls could be an option also', said Dueland.

'The establishment of the new navigation aids will not alter visibility restrictions as listed in the Maritime Traffic regulations, which is enforced by the Vessel Traffic Service centre,' he added.