The Norwegian contract for the operation of the Bergen – Kirkeness coastal service has been announced. Hurtigruten will have to share it with Havila.
Eleven ships are needed for the eleven-day Bergen – Kirkeness – Bergen service. Hurtigruten will get 4+3 slots, and Havila 4.
No longer having a monopoly could be a good thing. For Hurtigruten it means they will be able to sail four ships in a more cruise-like concept. They will be able to drop the uninteresting ports of call, which they had to call at by virtue of their contract. It will allow for more and better excursions. It is a logic continuation of what Hurtigruten already started to change the last couple of years, with more focus on destination-driven activities and excursions.
For the customer the competition will probably mean lower prices.
For the environment it will be beneficial too, due to stricter requirements, with a 25% reduction in CO2 emissions. Therefore Hurtigruten will have to adapt some of the older ships.
Shipowner Per Sævik (Havila Holding AS) will now have to order four newbuildings for the subsidiary Havila Kystruten AS.
The new configuration starts on 1 January 2021.
Hurtigruten AS is owned by Silk Bidco AS, whose main shareholder is the London-based investment company TDR Capital.
Rendering: Havila Kystruten