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Bergen's cruise port (photo: Cruise Norway)

Bergen aims for more cruise turnarounds

There are a number of reasons why Bergen is doing all it can to raise turnarounds and overnights.

Bergen is welcoming 329 cruise calls this year, 28 of which are turnarounds, a number the city’s cruise developers say will rise to 33 in 2019, Cruise Industry News reports.

The calls this year will bring 653,110 passengers in total, up by more than 100,000 from 2017, and there are also 15 inaugural visits. The passenger figures may decline slightly next year, but it’s the turnarounds that the port sees as the most important.

Turnarounds are when passengers start or end their cruises in the city, with passengers often spending an extra day and night on land, which benefits the city’s tourism with spending on sightseeing, hotels, restaurants and shopping.

Bergen’s turnaround numbers compare, for example, to 73 last year in Stockholm.

“Overnight turnaround calls are important for the port and the city as it brings good business to the city and hotels,” Sandra Diana Bratland, head of cruise development in Bergen, confirms to Cruise Industry News.

“We are therefore particularly glad to see number of turnaround calls increase year by year.”

She adds: “Bergen is committed to keeping the city a good place to live in, do business in and to visit and as such, [and we] are working to find good ways to balance cruise and other incoming tourism.”

Ships berth within walking distance of the city centre, with full-day excursions available to Hardanger to experience Norway’s fjords. Other popular destinations are short sailing distances away, Bratland stresses.

Port limitations
As for her own port’s drawbacks, she says that “we have a limited number of berths available and we are in the favourable position that we receive so many requests for berths that we sometimes have to say no and suggest other available dates.”

Because of this, she expects to see around the same number of calls in 2023 as Bergen has today, something that makes boosting the number of turnarounds so important.

“It is our wish that any increase in the number of calls should come in the shoulder and off season. Cruising in Norway in the winter has become more and more popular over the years and Bergen has a lot to offer outside of the hectic summer season.”

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