Has anyone else heard that large cruise ships will not be allowed to go through the Norwegian Fjords. The reason is that they want to preserve and protect the environment. Ships this year have been requested to go slower (which has meant many itin changes). By 2014 only expedition type of vessels will only be permitted.
Its one of my favourite places - I think that I may have to do it next year and get it in before the ban.
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No more Norwegian Fjords by 2014
Is this not something to do with the building of a new bridge across one of the Fjords.
"A new bridge being constructed across Norway's second-longest fjord will restrict cruise ship access to some of the country's more remote and picturesque ports of call.While smaller vessels will still be able to travel the 179 km (110 miles) length of Hardangerfjord, towns like Eiderford will become off-limits to some of the bigger ships which have been venturing into the fjords in recent years.
Costa Fortuna, for example, has cancelled calls from 2013; at its highest point the ship is 62 metres above the waterline, while the new Hardangerfjord bridge will have an average clearance of only 55 metres
More details can be seen on this link.
New bridge will limit cruise access to Norway's second-longest fjord - Captain Greybeard - Travel Advice - Mirror.co.uk
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I find this very hard to believe. A lot of money is made all-round from cruise ships.
Alaska is a very environmentally fragile area but still has very big ships visit it. However there are restrictions on pollution, but newer bigger ships are actually cleaner than older/smaller ones. There are also speed limits. In addition the ships can plug into the Alaskan ‘national grid’ for electricity, when in port, and turn of their generators reducing pollution. Oh, and ships pay some sort of environmental tax, per passenger, to the Alaskan authorities.
I don't doubt that Norway will come up with their own set of rules and possibly tax?
Just got back from fjord cruise on Queen Elizabeth. The captain informed us that large ships would not be allowed to visit Spitzbergen in the future but didn't mention restrictions to any of the fjords we visited. We assumed it was to do with the scientific research taking place in Spitzbergen and possibly passenger not abiding by the rules when visiting. Despite being told several times before we left the ship not to leave the designated path we saw several passengers walking on the restricted area. They were quickly told to return to the path but it really is unbelievable the way some people flaunt the rules.
9th July 2012, 08:38 PM #5Deck Hand Member
- Join Date
- Oct 2009
We have just returned from visiting Ulvik and Osa down Hardangerfjord . We passed under the bridge which still awaits its deck although they do have the peirs joined across at the top . We were on Ryndam , not the biggest of ships ...it did not look as though it would pass under the bridge on completion ....but it did pass unde rthe one on Lysefjord so who can say .
We did though sail much slower than in the past ...but that may have been becasue the anchor was accidentlly deployed just after passing under the bridge construction . the anchor did not reach bottom and the capstan motor was not powerful enough to haul it up with all the weight of the anchor and chain on . So the captain had to put the ship front on to the fjord wall to find some shallower water and ground the anchor . The vibrations caused by the anchor grounding had to be seen to be believed !
It took two hours to sort out but the bars remained open and the view was terrific !
Yet another rumour without the full facts?
Haven't heard this one but as cruise ships get bigger ( taller and greater draft) there will be places made inaccessible by bridges ( even Sidney Harbour Bridge!) and the depth of water available.
I had not even heard of this rumour or this particular fjord as a key cruise destination anyway - is it only for Costa?
We have just returned from an excellent fjord cruise on Caribbean Princess ( not exactly small) up fjords to "ports" which included Gerainger / Hellesyt and Flam .
Yes care is needed ( thats what the pilot is onboard for) - as much for successfully avoiding relatively low power lines crossing fjords and the end underwater terminal moraine as for any bridges ( The Bergen one looked fairly tight on Princess - about 15m clearance) and there are some at Tromso and Stavanger which may be limited to the smaller ships
. I am suree the timing of the itineraries of these ships is also very tide dependent
I heard of no indication of future limitations of cruising , nor was there any sign of particularly very slow progress - the smaller Hurtigruten ships and Fiordi ferry transports were positively batting around.
With many places like Flam and Nordkapp having new docking areas I doubt that there wll be any blanket ban - simply sensible restrictions to avoid environmental damage - I suspect Venice is more likley to ban large ships than Norway
.I was surprised how many of these places that Caribbean Princess docked rather than tendered ( as was on the itinerary). It is easy to forget that , after crossing the relatively shallow terminal moraine , the fjords are extremely deep - nearly as deep and the surrounding mountains are high.
If some form of restrictions come in , there are plenty of smaller ships to try - Azamara,Regent (and others) which should be able to get to the smaller ports
Their have been discussions on restrictions of cruises to Svalbard / Spitzbergen - probably for the same reasons as they are discussing limitations in visits to Antarctica .
Still get in there and enjoy before it dissappears forever
10th July 2012, 01:35 PM #7Deck Hand Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2012
We went to Fjords in May, we were on the Ventura. One of our stops were Skjolden, they informed us we were the first large ship to visit. They had made a brand new quay for such ships. The band played and we were on Norwegian TV.
Just thought I'd add this to the conversation.
10th July 2012, 03:06 PM #8Ship's Cat Member
- Join Date
- May 2012
I have just returned from a wonderful trip to the Norwegian Fjords which included a surprise visit to Magdalene Fjord 40 miles north of Ny-Alysund on Spitszbergun which we were only able to visit in the Queen Elizabeth because it was a calm day and we were also lucky enough to have very good visibility. The Commedore only told us we could go there on the actual day we went although he had mentioned we might have a surprise the previous day. After we had left he told us that none of the Queens would be going there again as only the smaller ships would be allowed presumably for ecological reasons. It was the highlight of my trip and I can not thank the Commodore enough for giving us That spectacular experience. There were several occasions on the trip where it was explained we had to go very close in to the rocks to avoid power lines over the Fjords etc and That bridge coming out of Bergen seemed jolly close. We had exceptional calm seas on our trip, it must be very difficult when the wind is up in those narrow passages . They are fantastic at their job though and I was very impressed. I was surprised how close in we went but I knew we had the pilots on board during these times and I can see how .they must be utterly professional to avoid another Costa. I am so glad I was not put off by that disaster. Thanks everyone on QE
10th July 2012, 05:36 PM #9Leading Seaman Member
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- Jan 2012
As a regular land-based visitor to the Fjords, smaller ships such as Hurtigruten and Fred Olsen are absolutely in place, but the large modern ships blot out the beautiful scenery by their sheer size. If a smaller ship gets on the wrong side of one of these behemoths in Geiranger Fjord for example there will be no view of the village and passes from their deck at all.
Then there is the problem of passing room when a behemoth travels along a fjord - someone has to stop to let the other past.
The large ships may be statistically cleaner per passenger mile, but in absolute terms they emit more total pollution per voyage into a fjord.
10th July 2012, 07:13 PM #10Ship's Cat Member
- Join Date
- May 2012
I hear what you are saying but it is quite a different reason for not having the big ships. During our 2 week cruise we only saw two smaller cruise ships and they were going in/ out of the Fjords as we came in. Very good timing as we were hitting open seas. The locals won't agree with you I am sure it appears to be an Importent income for them and my goodness it is expensive for visitors. The Queen Elizabeth manourvere d in the most gentle way it was unbelievable. The little speed boats that the locals came out in to chase around the ship seemed to be making more wash and they had very little consideration for the speed they were doing.