Fjord Line to build two new cruise ferries at Bergen Group Fosen

Fjord Line - New Cruise Ship

Fjord Line - New Cruise Ship

Fjord Line has signed a contract with Bergen Group Fosen to build two new cruise ferries. The ships will be delivered in March and October 2012 respectively. Fjord Line will thus be able to offer daily departures on the service between Bergen, Stavanger and Hirtshals.

“We have for a long time been in the market for used tonnage as a supplement to MS Bergenfjord, but the assessment concluded that construction of two new vessels will give us the best competitive edge on the service between Western Norway and Denmark. Bergen Group Fosen has been selected as the supplier based on the shipyard’s proven expertise in constructing large cruise ships suited for our waters,” says CEO of Fjord Line Group, Ingvald Fardal.

The contract between Fjord Line Danmark AS and Bergen Group Fosen AS was signed in Bergen tuesday evening and has a total value of Euro 103 million for each ship. The contract is subject to approval from financial institutions and from the board of directors of both companies. – We are in positive discussions with our banks, GIEK (Guarantee Institute for Export Credits) and Eksportfinans regarding loans and guarantees, and hope to have all the formalities in place by the end of March, says Ingvald Fardal.

Can carry 1,500 passengers

Both of the vessels will have a deadweight of 4000 tons, and a total length of 170 meters, as compared to the length of The “Trollfjord”, which is 135 meters. Both of the ultra modern ships will offer approximately 300 cabins, of which a large proportion will be suites, and will be able to accommodate approximately 1,500 passengers. The vessels will have capacity to carry 600 cars in the “roll-on-roll-of” cargo bay, or a lower number in combination with larger trucks and cargo.

The ships will offer restaurants, cafes, duty free shops and well-equipped facilities for meetings, functions and conferences. The ships design is by Bergen Group Ship design and Bergen Group Fosen. Mr. Finn Falkum Hansen has been the architect of the ships. He has also designed two of the ships in the coastal service “Hurtigruten”; The “Trollfjord” and The “Midnatsol”. Fjord Line’s new cruise ferries will be equipped with fuel-efficient engines and environmentally harmful emissions to air and water will be minimal.

Securing high level of activity at Bergen Group Fosen

“We are very pleased to have been chosen as the supplier of the two new cruise ferries to Fjord Line. Both for the Bergen Group and for our 250 employees at Fosen, this is a great recognition of our long and extensive experience in both ship design and shipbuilding. The agreement is also a clear confirmation of Bergen Group’s competitiveness in a demanding international shipbuilding market, ” says CEO Pål Engebretsen.

He said that the hull will be constructed at Bergen Group’s Polish partner, Stocznia Gdansk, while the final assembly and finish of the vessels will take place in the docks of the shipyard at Fosen. The contract with Fjord Line will ensure full employment at Bergen Group Fosen from late 2010 until October 2012. In addition, the projects will generate essential orders and supplies for approximately twenty regional and national contractors.

Building for a growing market between Western Norway and the EU

Fjord Line’s current passenger ferry, MS Bergenfjord, was built at the Fosen yard in 1993 as is The “Trollfjord” and The “Midnatsol”. The large cruise ship “The World” was delivered from Fosen in 2002. In recent years, the yard has built The “Stena Traveler” and The “Stena Trader” for the Swedish shipping company Stena, in addition to a wide range of offshore vessels.

“Fjord Line’s ambition is to grow in the market for ferryservices for passengers and freight between Norway and the EU. Our analysis suggests that we will see a large part of that growth on the service between Western Norway and Denmark. The “MS Bergensfjord” will be phased out of the service when both of the new cruise ferries have been delivered and put into operation,” says Ingvald Fardal.

As result of the increased capacity on the service between Western Norway and Denmark, Fjord Line will need to increase the number of staff working onboard the vessels from the present daily of 120, to approximately 250.

Southern “extention” of a prestigious cruise

Fjord Line’s chairman, Peter Frølich, emphasizes that is has been a longstanding priority of the company to operate two cruise ferries on the service between Western Norway and Denmark. He believes this will be of great significance for the tourist traffic from EU-countries to the West Coast.

“With two modern and well-equipped cruise ferries passengers are guaranteed both efficient and environmentally sound transport, in addition to being offered everything a great sea voyage should provide of service and comfort. Fjord Line in many ways provides a southern extension of the prestigious cruise offered by “Hurtigruten” from Bergen and northwards. Therefore today’s conclusion of the agreement on the two new ships is of great importance both to our employees as well as to the passengers, We further believe that our two vessels will be warmly welcomed by industry in general and the tourism industry of the West Country in particular,” says Fjord Line’s chairman.

Facts about Fjord Line

Fjord Line is a modern shipping company which provides safe and comfortable transport between Norway and the European continent. The company operates the MS Bergensfjord with routes between Bergen, Stavanger and Hirtshals, and the HSC Fjord Cat with the express route between Kristiansand and Hirtshals. In addition to passenger transport, Fjord line operates cargo transport through its cargo division in Norway and Denmark.

Fjord Line was established in 1993. The company has approximately 245 employees, of which about 85 working in departments in Bergen, Stavanger, Egersund, Norway and Hirtshals, and about 160 on the company’s two ships. Ingvald Fardal has served as Managing Director since 2007.

Source: Fjord Line

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