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What you need to know about the new ferry route between Norway and the Netherlands

Later this week Holland Norway Lines will launch a new route between Kristiansand and Groningen. Here's what you need to know about the new travel link.

The new route will run between Kristiansand and Groningen. Pictured is a ferry near Drøbak.
Here's what you need to know about the ferry route between Norway and the Netherlands. Pictured is a ferry in Drøbak. Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

Holland Norway Lines will run a new route between Kristiansand, southern Norway, and Eemshaven, Groningen, the Netherlands, three days a week from Friday, April 8th 2022, the beginning of the Easter holidays in Norway. 

“We are bringing Europe closer to Kristiansand and southern Norway,” Bart Cunnen, managing director of Holland Norway Lines, said in a press release

The route will provide a new option for those who want to travel between western and northern Europe without flying. 

The ferry will take 18 hours, departing from Kristiansand at 3pm on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

For trips into Norway, services leave the Netherlands at 3pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. One way trips for two travellers departing from Kristiansand currently start from €150 for a standard ticket or €210 for the same number of passengers but with a car and a flexible ticket. You can take a look at the tickets here

The route will shorten travel times for those who want to drive between the UK and Norway. Since 2008 there has not been a direct ferry link between the two countries. 

Eemshaven is also just a two-hour drive from Amsterdam, six hours from Berlin and seven from Paris. 

Holland Lines Norway has chartered the cruise ferry Romantika from the Tallink Grupp for the route. 

The Romantika has 700 cabins and a capacity for 1,500 passengers and 350 cars. The boat was previously used on the Riga-Stockholm route. 

“Romantika will be among the leading cruise ferries operating in Norwegian waters. We look forward to showing the ship in Kristiansand,” managing director Cunnen said. 

Synnøve Elisabeth Aabrekk, general manager of USUS, a business cluster for cultural and tourism companies in southern Norway, said that the new route could boost tourism in the area. 

“There is a lot of focus on the European market. And with this route, we believe more people from the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, and France will be able to discover southern Norway,” Aabrekk told public broadcaster NRK.

Kristiansand is a popular destination for tourists due to its beaches, summer weather, zoo and theme park. 

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STRIKES

Fresh strike threat could ground flights from Norway

Aircraft technicians in Norway working for SAS, Norwegian, and Widerøe could strike, causing disruption for air traffic at the start of the summer holidays if mediation talks fail.

Fresh strike threat could ground flights from Norway

Beginning later this week, the union representing aircraft technicians at SAS, Norwegian, and Widerøe (Norsk Flyteknikerorganisasjonand) and the branch of the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) responsible for the aviation industry, will have mediation talks on a collective bargaining agreement.

If an agreement isn’t agreed, 30 aircraft technicians will be taken out on strike – with more workers being taken out until an agreement is reached.

“The will to strike is great. If it is not resolved quickly, it is natural to register more,” Jan Skogseth, head of the union, told travel news publication Flysmart 24.

The strike could begin at midnight on Friday, disrupting air travel at the start of the school holidays in Norway. The strike could take aircraft out of rotation as there will be less staff to carry out essential maintenance on planes.

“The number of workers being taken out may sound low, but considering that there is already a shortage of aircraft technicians, a tight summer program at the same time as the holidays, it can quickly have a big impact when we have around 480 aircraft technicians in Norway in total,” Skogseth said.

However, he said that the strike would not affect flights that are critical to life and health. In 2022, the Norwegian government ordered an aircraft technician strike to an end after a strike escalation threatened to ground air ambulances.

When the Norwegian government orders a strike to end, a state body decides the outcome of the collective bargaining agreement and terms, such as wages.

Norway has seen several potential strikes averted in recent weeks. Both a pilot’s strike that would have affected Norwegian and an Avinor staff strike was resolved during mediation or mediation overtime.

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