May 26, 2018 - Norway is serious about environmental protection in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites Geirangerfjord and Næroyfjord. Norway's parliament is setting an example. From 2026, only emission-free ships will be allowed to call at the two fjords.
Due to its climatic conditions, Norway is not influenced by mass tourism. Nevertheless, it is important to protect the sensitive Norwegian fjord landscapes. The booming cruise tourism is already causing environmental pollution. Storting, Norway's parliament, is countering this with resolution 672.
View of Geiranger
The resolution obliges shipping companies to only enter the World Heritage waters with emission-free ships from 2026. That doesn't mean that cruise lines can sit back and relax until 2026. The shipping companies are obliged to adapt the pollutant emissions of the ships entering the Geiranger and Næroyfjord to the environmental conditions. The law aims to reduce CO2 emissions in Norway by 2030 percent by 40.
With the measure, the country is undoubtedly putting pressure on the cruise lines. Norway prides itself on being one step ahead in environmentally friendly marine propulsion systems. Norwegian shipping companies work in island and fjord transport within Norway with ships that run emission-free with liquefied natural gas (LNG). Two ferries commuting between Denmark and Norway are also fueled with LNG. The world's first electric ferry even operates on the Sognefjord. Their batteries are charged during lay times.
MS Astor in the Geirangerfjord
As far as postal ship traffic is concerned, the Norwegian shipping company Havila expects that some of its ships will operate emission-free traffic as early as 2021. In just a few years, Havila ships will be providing scheduled services along the Norwegian coast together with Hurtigruten. The requirement to use emission-free cruise ships on the Geiranger and Næroyfjords from 2026 will automatically benefit the entire fjord coast of Norway.