This event has evolved into a significant meeting point for companies operating in the maritime aspect of the Norwegian cruise industry, fostering a dialogue between public authorities and the cruise sector. The Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) and the Norwegian Coastal Administration (NCA) are the primary organisers of the conference. 

Bringing the entire cruise industry together  

This year's programme covered many relevant topics, attracting a record number of participants from across the businesses and the industry. Attendees included representatives from cruise lines operating in Norway, shipping companies contemplating calls at Norwegian ports, and representatives from cruise operators of smaller expedition cruises. Moreover, there were a number of professionals with an interest and expertise in fields relevant to the participants. 

“It is important that the authorities and the industry work together to address shared challenges. We use this conference to share information and update each other, and together we plan the future of cruise traffic in Norway,” says Frigg Jørgensen, Executive Director of AECO. 

The latest updates on framework 

Topics such as rescue operations, tugboat capacity and environmental preparedness were discussed. BarentsWatch, an innovative governmental information service, presented their free Arctic Info application, a valuable tool for maritime operators in Arctic waters. This year, the police participated for the first time, sharing how they work with border control for cruise traffic port calls.  
“The cruise conference is important to us,” says Truls Andre V. Gabrielsen, Commercial Manager of GAC Norway. 

“GAC assists different kinds of shipping companies. For me, this is an excellent networking opportunity and a useful update on current issues relevant to my work. I share much of the input I receive with customers and employees.” 

“One aspect I value about this conference is the diverse range of speakers who all contribute valuable insights. This time, I particularly appreciated that the police/border control were on the agenda, as we are aware that there will be several new rule changes coming.” 

The NMA and the NCA contributed with briefs on the latest news on topics such as maritime safety, environmental preparedness, a regulatory update and trends on cruise traffic and the pilotage services. The audience also got to hear speakers share their experiences and developments of both large cruise lines and smaller arctic expedition cruises.  

An important meeting place 

“The attendance clearly shows that this is a relevant arena,” says Coastal Director Einar Vik Arset. 

“Norway as a cruise destination is a strong brand, and both the authorities and the industry must take joint responsibility in keeping Norway sustainable and attractive – both in the short and the long term. The framework for the industry must be predictable, and maritime safety must have the highest priority. It is important that the Norwegian Maritime Authority and the Coastal Administration set the agenda together with Cruise Norway and AECO.” 

Director General of Shipping and Navigation, Knut Arild Hareide, agrees: 

“We have everything to gain from having a good dialogue with the cruise industry. It is a large and important industry which has genuinely embraced the importance of the green shift  and risen to the challenge.”  
Frigg Jørgensen from AECO calls for a framework that supports the overall strategy being put in place. 

“There is political will to increase cruise traffic in Norway, but there are also critical voices working against the cruise traffic, addressing challenges that we must and will tackle.” 
Both Cruise Norway and AECO actively contributed to the event.