Nordfjordeid’s first year in business is a Success

Port of Nordfjordeid

Nordfjordeid’s first year ‘in business’ has been a success, according to Eli Forde Aarskog, marketing manager Seawalk Nordfjord, Port of Nordfjordeid.

The first call (of 19 this year) came from AIDA Cruises’ AIDAperla on May 21 when the 28 degree temperature encouraged some passengers to swim in the Sagaparken fjord close to the port. Also close by are the Sagastad Viking Centre, the church and the old street.

Aarskog commented: “The hard and good work ahead of May 21 gave results. All the positive locals, shop owners, investors and the local municipality together have created an adventure in the history of cruise in the fjord district. The locals were not only keen to come and see the ship but also did their utmost to be good and friendly hosts.”

Nordfjordeid is situated in the middle of the fjord, only 30nm from the coast. A big range of activities and attractions are within easy reach. Even when there are 3,000 visitors on one day, there are no queues. Families can visit the many playgrounds and a climbing park for free.

“The focus [interest] on people pollution and climate connected to the cruise industry, you also find in Nordfjordeid. The policy here is only one ship per day. This is a good strategy building up a cruise destination. The local municipality, the investors and others are also planning to invest in green shorepower from 2021-2022. This is a ‘must’ these days,” said Aarskog.

Every ship calling is supplied with a programme in the appropriate language for the CruiseDay. Aarskog explained: “The list of interesting things to do tempted the cruise passengers to go ashore. Many of the ships are reporting that 100% of the passengers went ashore, either on an excursion or by their own. This is amazing!”

The SeaWalk was operated up to 100% as it should be. “The team operating it was very well prepared and enjoyed their work at the port. The local group preparing the cruise destination, had been very thorough in their planning throughout the winter and spring”.

This included: organising parking places for buses; logistics; garbage challenges; toilets; free wifi; streamed camera at Sagastad and the port; workshop for shop-owners focusing on creditcards, cash and taxfree; local information; information about the calls; the nationalities; cultural aspects. In addition the church and tourist information will be open when a ship is in town. A new map with information has been created for the visitors and first calls will be greeted by the mayer with a salute and music. There is also a radio programme broadcast directly from port.

There are many and popular excursions for those wanting to go it alone, for example visiting the Norwegian Fjord Horse Center and riding to a high viewpoint nearby, kayaking on the fjord and shopping for locally designed products at BergArtPopular. A home visit to
Skarhaug with local guide was a success, being sold out almost every CruiseDay.
Popular excursions by bus included Briksdal Glacier; Loen Skylift; Nordfjord Folkmuseum and Hjortefarmen deer farm.

Next year there will be more activities and excursions available including RIB and fishing trips on the fjord and more focus on Selja Kloster and Hyenfjorden with a chance to row Viking ships. Aarskog said: “We will improve and have more tourist information, more and better marked routes, bikes to hire and a brand new training and climbing centre [will be in place] only two minutes walk from the pier.

In 2020 call numbers will more than double to 38 and for 2021 there are more than 60 calls booked so far.

(Cruise Europe)