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Bergen and several other Norwegian ports halt cruise shore visits

Article-Bergen and several other Norwegian ports halt cruise shore visits

Passengers aren't allowed ashore in Bergen. The exception: lines in regular service, including Hurtigruten
Some of Norway's busiest cruise ports are suspending shore visits by passengers due to the coronavirus pandemic. Hurtigruten is exempted in some ports.

The policy is in place for Bergen, where cruise ships can dock and take on provisions, but passengers must remain on board. Bergen Municipality took the decision Wednesday, with immediate effect.

Hurtigruten, Fjord Line continue normal operations

Robert Rastad, kommunaldirektør (township clerk), said the measure is to limit the risk of coronavirus spreading.

Operators calling Bergen in regularly scheduled traffic are allowed to continue embarking and disembarking. These include Hurtigruten and the ferry operator Fjord Line. Both continue normal operations and are conducting passenger turnarounds at Bergen.

The first impacted cruise ship is AIDAaura, which was underway from Trondheim to Bergen on Thursday morning, and scheduled to call around noon. The next cruise call was to take place in five days.

Bodø, Oslo, Stavanger, Ålesund

According to Norwegian radio station NRK, the ports of Bodø, Oslo and Stavanger are implementing regulations in line with Bergen's. NRK noted the ban on shore visits also applies to the crew.

Late Wednesday Ålesund suspended shore visits until May 1. At Ålesund, Hurtigruten passengers traveling in transit are not allowed to go ashore, while liner passengers traveling to or from the port are permitted to embark or disembark.

No general ban

Currently there is no general ban on cruise ship passenger shore visits in Norway, although some politicians are asking for it. Ports take decisions individually, and several important destinations such as Flåm have said they are continuing to follow the situation. The same goes Haugesund, which continues to welcome passengers.

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