Environmental issues

On the initiative of Innovation Norway, Horwath Consulting has written a memo on the most important environmental aspects to be considered in the further developement of the cruise industry in Norway.


Development of Cruise Tourism and environmental issues



Cruise Tourism to Northern Europe and Norway has developed considerably the last few years, and further growth is expected. There are both possibilities and challenges attached to cruise tourism.

Considerable growth over short time is due to many new operators entering the market. Not only are cruises to Norway on the increase, likewise the number of Norwegians choosing a cruise for their holiday. The general increase in interest for Cruise Tourism is also noticeable in media coverage.

Increasing growth and focus on Cruise Tourism has also brought about a growing awareness of environmental issues and concerns associated with the industry:

  • Pollution
  • Queues/congestion of tourists (and others), so-called “people congestion”

Queues/congestion of tourists is seen as an increasing problem in some of the wellknown destinations in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. In this respect Norway has little mass tourism and is largely protected from congestion (or this can be avoided with a little planning).

Pollution is increasingly frequently coming on the agenda due to the environmental debate surrounding global warming. Cruise ships, like all other forms of sea transportation, abide to international regulations covering pollution, regulations which gradually have been tightened.

Pollution from cruise ships is high on the agenda in Norway in connection with the government’s introduction of the so-called NOx-fee from 2007, which gives cruise ship operators considerably higher expenses for travelling in Norwegian waters.



The intention of this report is to:

  • provide an overview of the status of environmental issues concerning Cruise Tourism
  • provide an overview of the different types of pollution and their possible consequences
  • analyse environmental concerns within the context of the importance of Cruise Tourism for Norway
  • briefly mention the consequences of relevant steps for the benefit of the environmental , especially the consequence of the NOx-fee.


Cruise Tourism to Norway

– brief on its development and importance


In many respects the cruise industry is its own specialist area on the side of the rest of the travel industry. Specialist knowledge of the cruise industry is limited in Norway. For many years the cruise industry has had a higher growth rate than the rest of the travel industry. There are about 270 cruise ships in the world, with about 250,000 beds (lower berths).

Cruise ships are increasing in size and there are currently approximately 35 ships being built or on order, (delivery due before 2010). These will take 2, 600 passengers in average. Capacity is also increasing because other cruise ships are being extended. The new building programme together with the extension of other ships mean there will be enough capacity to handle predicted growth – an annual increase of about 8% over the next few years.

A survey carried out by the European Cruise Council (ECC), February 2007, calculates cruise consumer spending in Europe to approximately Є 8.3 million (figure from 2005).


Norway an important cruise destination

Norway comes 7th in line in Europe measured in terms of cruise consumption (ECC survey) with consumption at 2.3 million Norwegian crowns (Є 276 million). Norway had approximately 370,000 cruise passengers in 2006. These made over 1.5 million calls of port. Almost 60% of the passengers were in Bergen, whilst ca. 56% were in Oslo.

In contrast to the majority of other European countries Norway has over 30 active cruise harbours. Most countries only have one or at most a few harbours where cruise ships pay a visit. An estimated 1,500 calls of port were made in Norway in 2006. There has been a marked increase in the number of cruise ships visiting Norway. Since 1997 the number of passengers

Development of Norway’s 10 largest harbours

In the above 3-year period the number of passengers in the 10 largest harbours has increased by 41%, the number of ship arrivals by approximately 12% and the average size of the ship increased by ca. 26%.


Briefly on the industry’s significance

The ECC survey referred to above estimates the cruise industry’s consumer spending in Norway to ca. 2.3 billion Norwegian crowns. It is thought that ships’, crews’ and passengers’ consumer spending in Norway together represents 2/3 of consumer spending in Norway – i.e. amounts to 1.5 billion Norwegian crowns. There has been further growth from 2005 to 2006.

Horwath Consulting has made two further detailed surveys about the significance of the cruise industry in collaboration with TØI; in spring 2006 a report “The significance of Cruise Tourism to the North Cape”, (figures from 2005) and in December 2006 the report “The significance of Cruise Tourism for Oslo”. The North Cape report evaluated the importance of the order of the calls of port to and from the North Cape for the 106 cruise ships involved. Amalgamated consumer spending for the cruise

The economic effect of Cruise Tourism in Oslo in 2006 was calculated to approximately 256 million Norwegian crowns.

To this one can add the effect of cruises to Bergen and the fjords (in addition to the cruises which are calculated into the North Cape cruises). No exact calculations have been made for this, but a rough approximation for this would be 640 million Norwegian crowns, bringing the total spending in Norway to approximately 1.5 billion Norwegian crowns (2005).

Both the North Cape and the Oslo analyses have estimated the financial losses due to (a harbour) lacking accessibility. This information can easily be used for calculating the effects of discontinuation as a consequence of for example increasing fees. See paragraph 4.2.3 below about NOx-fees.

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Downloadable Reports

  • Priser og forretningsvilkår 2015

    Priser og forretningsvilkår for Oslo Havn KF fra 1. januar 2015
  • Market Review 2013 CRUISE BALTIC

    The cruise business in the Baltic Sea has seen a year with positive growth rates in 2012 – overall passenger numbers, calls and turnarounds have all increased.
  • Future Port Development in Oslo

    In mid-December 2010 a group from the Oslo Municipality, fronted by the PBE group (Agency for Planning and Building Services), along with participants from the Port of Oslo and Visit Oslo, released a report on the future demand for cruise quays in Oslo.
  • Development of the Cruise Industry

    On the initiative of Innovation Norway, Horwath Consulting has written a memo on the most important environmental aspects to be considered in the further developement of the cruise industry in Norway.