Extra ferry may end Helgeland chaos

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Embarrassed politicians in Nordland County finally came up with the millions needed to charter in an extra ferry this week, after several days of kilometer-long lines of cars trying to travel among the islands of the Helgeland coast.

Officials had hoped Norwegian tourists would make up for the lack of foreign tourists in Norway, but when they showed up by carload, the local ferry system was woefully unprepared. Some tourists have waited as long as 15 hours for a ferry, and lines were long getting to and from Lofoten as well.

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported Monday that Nordland County found an extra ferry in Trondheim that can take 105 cars and will be put into service on the particularly busy line between Tjøtta and Forvik. “That will improve capcacity considerably,” local politician Bent-Joacim Bentzen of the Center Party told NRK. “We hope this will solve the challenges we’re having here in Helgeland.”

Bentzen admitted it was “very positive that so many people want to visit Helgeland this year,” but claimed the huge increase in visitors was unexpected. “Now we have done absolutely all we can,” he added. “There will always be queues when so many people travel.”

newsinenglish.no staff