Ice threatens shipping on the Oslo Fjord

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Local authorities have had to call in a fleet of ice breakers for the first time in 15 years, in order to keep shipping lanes open along the Norwegian coast.

Hardest hit are island communities around Hvaler and coastal areas as far south as Grimstad, while ferries and local shipping also have been disrupted between Asker and Oslo and in the narrow straits at Drøbak.

The ice breakers were pressed into service to keep at least one main lane open in the fjord. Ice has formed along the coast all the way to Copenhagen and even the large cruise ferries for Color Line, which runs between Oslo and Kiel in Germany, and DFDS, which runs between Oslo and Copenhagen, have met ice on the fjord.

The commuter ferry from Asker to Oslo has been cancelled several times because it can’t get through the ice. Milder temperatures and some wind last week eased some of the trouble, but there were reports of ice as thick as 40 centimeters several places.

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