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Pullmantur to repeat Northern Norway turnarounds in 2016

Pullmantur to repeat Northern Norway turnarounds in 2016
Following this year’s successful turnarounds in Northern Norway, Pullmantur has decided to repeat the operation in the northernmost part of Europe next year.

Port of Narvik has already received bookings for another three turnaround operations in 2016, meaning 11,000 passengers will go on cruises and fly via Evenes Airport, which can handle wide-body aircraft.

Given the success of this year’s three turnaround operations, Cruise Narvik is gearing up to win more turnaround business. 'We have already started to market ourselves as that', says Grethe Parker from Cruise Narvik. 'The cruise market is large, but at the same time small and easy to follow. People have noticed that we have delivered well this year and we want to continue the positive effect by striking while the iron is hot,' she adds.

Whilst the option of a SeaWalk floating pier at Lakselv for North Cape turnarounds has been widely discussed, it remains unclear whether the solution will be financed and come to fruiton.

However, there are strong indications that turnaround operations in Lakselv will be performed regardless of this. A turnaround was successfully implemented this season without the SeaWalk, reports Cruise Northern Norway and Svalbard's md Erik Joachimsen, but according to what CNNS has heard he said, efforts are underway to get this in place well ahead of the 2016 season.

In other Northern Norwegian port news, the government is investing NOK60m to improve the efficiency of the seaward approach to the Port of Tromsø. This measure will particularly benefit cruise traffic as it will allow all large ships to sail through the strait of Kvalsundet north of Tromsø, notes Joachimsen.

This route is currently only available to smaller ships and the largest ships are required to sail far north of Tromsø before starting the actual approach to Tromsø. When the shipping lane is expanded, it will be 150mtr wide and 12mtr deep. This will mean that even the largest cruise ships will be able to take advantage of this shorter approach leading to significant savings in both time and fuel consumption.

The total cost of the project will be NOK73m. 'This is not a project that will be completed in the space of a year. It will take time. Consequently, the funding will come in several stages,' the State Secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Tom Cato Karlsen, explained to the local newspaper in Tromsø. 'The detour currently used by the larger ships takes a lot of time. We are talking about 85 nautical miles. Cruise traffic is very important to Tromsø so heavy investment is being made to facilitate cruise tourism,' he added.