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Update on the England - Norway ferry service - February 2015

22 February 2015
DFDS stopped their ferry service between Newcastle in England and Stavanger, Haugesund and Bergen in Norway at the end of August 2008.
Since then there has been no ferry service between the UK and Norway. In 2013 and 2014 there have been rumours - but as of now nothing is settled so there will probably be nothing in 2015 either.
At the end of September 2014 DFDS closed the route between Harwich and Esbjerg - the last ferry service between the UK and Scandinavia. At the moment it is not clear whether this is just another bad sign for ferry services or whether it could improve the chances of a future new service.
Part of the problem - apart from falling passenger numbers - is that the old ferries were old and did not meet new rules for sulphur emissions. Anyone who has seen one of these old vessels firing up its engines will understand from the black cloud above that this is not the most clean or modern technology.
The new vessels introduced in recent years - by Stena line, Color Line and Fjordline - do meet the new regulations.

Please contact us if you have questions or comments.

There is now no ferry service between Norway and England

STILL going nowhere fast

In the last 2 or 3 years there has been interest from businesses and communities in both the west coast of Norway and north-east England to find a solution. In 2013 most of the attention was on a british-based company called Norwegian Seaways, but there was no conclusion - Bergens Tidende said that the situation was confused. Since then it has been very quiet.

There is now a group of people in the UK, calling themselves ICFN (International Campaign for the Ferry to Norway) promoting the idea of bringing back a ferry service, and liaising with Norwegian Seaways. Their website is

We get a lot of enquiries about this ferry but at the moment we can only suggest that you make other plans - see below.

Current alternatives

There are two remaining alternatives now if you are coming from the UK:
1. Stena line to Hook of Holland and second ferry to Norway
Stena line have 2 sailings every day between Harwich and Hook of Holland. These are short ferry crossings and are cheaper than the Esbjerg crossing used to be. This is a long drive though - 10 hours or more - via Hamberg and traffic congestion to Hirtshals in northern Denmark where you can get ferries to Stavanger and Bergen with Fjordline or take one of the new Colorline Superspeed ferries to either Kristiansand or Larvik. Take this option particularly if you want to combine a trip to Norway with one or more other countries in Europe.

2. Fly to Norway and rent a car
Of course it can be an advantage to have your own car with you - especially if you will bring camping equipment or other bulky items with you - but it is worth checking out the deals on offer from the airlines and car hire companies. It is no coincidence that the "low fares" airlines are growing while ferry services have been withdrawn.

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