Tanker market turns for the worse

Just a week after tanker ship owners were raking in enormous profits by chartering their vessels for oil storage, the market has suddenly turned against them as demand for oil continues to fall. Share prices in Norwegian companies like Nordic American Tankers (NAT) and Frontline have plunged since hitting new highs just last Monday. “The […]

Hurtigruten demands crisis aid

Norway’s venerable coastal voyage line Hurtigruten, now mostly a cruiseline, was sailing full steam ahead until the Corona virus crisis forced most of its vessels into lay-up and cut off revenue. Now it doesn’t qualify for the emergency aid offered by the government, because its credit rating has been severely downgraded. “It’s a paradox that we, […]

Plastic pellet spill tied to container ship

Weeks after millions of small white plastic pellets started washing up on the shoreline of the Oslo Fjord, the source of the spill has likely been identified: a container on board a ship that sprung a leak. “We view it as highly probable that a damaged container spilled the pellets during a voyage,” Ole Sævild […]

Cruise ‘visionary’ dies at age 90

Norwegian shipowner Arne Wilhelmsen, one of the founders of the large international Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL), died over the Easter holiday weekend with much of the cruise industry he helped form in turmoil. Wilhelmsen was 90, and among the last of the shipping pioneers who nurtured a cruise industry that’s currently in crisis because […]

Stena’s ferry to Denmark shut down

Stena Line of Sweden has permanently shut down its passenger- and ferry service between Oslo and Fredrikshavn in Denmark, after more the 40 years of operation. All employees on board plus Stena’s roughly 30 staff members in Oslo are losing their jobs. “We calculated that we’d miss the high season this summer (because of Corona […]

Hurtigruten halts most all sailings

Norway’s famed coastal voyage line known as Hurtigruten has taken 14 of its 16 vessels out of service and cut its weekly sailings between Bergen and Kirkenes to a minimum. An additional 2,600 employees have been laid off, with the shipping line citing “an extraordinary crisis.” Just two weeks after Hurtigruten’s chief executive Daniel Skjeldam […]

Operators cancel cruises and ferries

Color Line has cancelled its cruise-ferry service between Oslo and Kiel, Germany for the next two weeks, the company announced on Friday. The decision was made the day after Norwegian authorities imposed strict preventive measures against the spread of the Corona virus, including detailed screening of passengers arriving from abroad. The move come just hours […]

Media struggle with shipowner’s suicide

NEWS ANALYSIS: The death last week of Norwegian shipowner Wilhelm Wilhelmsen continues to stir interest, not least after it became known that he took his own life. Norwegian media outlets have a long tradition of not reporting suicides, however, and have thus remained mostly mum even as questions swirl about what will happen to the […]

Shipowner dies amid family feud

UPDATED: One of Norway’s last remaining family-controlled shipping companies lost its patriarch Wilhelm Wilhelmsen over the weekend, just as a power struggle within the Wilhelmsen family was spilling over into the media. The conflict, brewing for the past few years, was launched by family members who want more control over their own fortunes, and went public […]

UD repatriates as Corona costs rise

Norway’s foreign ministry (Utenriksdepartementet, UD) has decided to help bring Norwegians home from isolated areas of China, cooperating with other European countries in an effort to hinder the spread of the potentially fatal Corona virus. The virus is already taking a financial toll on tourism, the Oslo Stock Exchange and, not least, Norway’s already-weak currency, […]