Russia won’t let Hurtigruten sail

Russian authorities have spoiled some exclusive Arctic cruise plans for passengers on board one of the Norwegian shipping line Hurtigruten‘s newest vessels, the MS Spitsbergen. After initially seeming to welcome more cruise traffic in Russian waters, the Russians have suddenly denied the vessel entry. “We’d had a good dialogue with Russian authorities for a long […]

Nordland tourists unimpressed by Provence

Norwegian tourism promoters have long been trying to get more Norwegians to spend their summer holidays at home in Norway. A group of tourists from Northern Norway may well do so next year, after being so disturbed after a holiday in Provence that one of them felt compelled to write about it in the local […]

Vega shares its world heritage

A modern landmark aimed at sharing the cultural heritage of a particularly beautiful part of Norway opened this summer on the main island of Vega. The UN granted World Heritage status to the Vega Archipelago 15 years ago, but only now does the public have a place to learn more about the islands’ history and […]

Tourism heats up in the north

Norway’s Arctic regions are experiencing another boom in tourism this summer. Hotels in the coastal city of Harstad, for example, can report occupancy rates of between 85- and 90 percent. Many cite spillover effects from the tourist magnet of nearby Lofoten. “Lofoten tourism spills over on Harstad, when we steadily more often hear that Lofoten […]

Toilet trouble torments tourists

They don’t like having to squat behind trees or rocks, and have been chided for doing so, but tourists in Norway often don’t have much choice. A lack of public lavatories at tourist attractions is causing problems again this summer, and reigniting debate over whether a tourist tax would help.  The situation is acute at popular […]

Motor homes roll over roads, ferries

They’re everywhere this summer, the large recreational vehicles (RVs) known as bobiler in Norwegian. Never before have there been more of them rolling around Norway,  but their popularity is not shared by many others on road trips in Norway when they slow down traffic, block views at scenic vista points and take up lots of […]

‘Code of Conduct’ for Lofoten tourists

UPDATED: “Welcome to Lofoten,” but follow some rules, read signs and brochures now greeting tourists who flock to the scenic archipelago in Northern Norway during the summer months. Residents and officials have resorted to issuing a “Code of Conduct” in several languages after growing weary of tourists’ garbage, illegal camping, invasion of private property and even […]

State agency sorry for its fake news

The new chief executive of the state-owned and funded Innovation Norway, which promotes business development and tourism in Norway, responded to charges on Wednesday that the entire agency should be ashamed of itself. Håkon Haugli, a former politician who took over at the agency last month, says he’s “extremely sorry” its tourism division spread what […]

Tourism promoters fooled the world

State-funded Norwegian tourism promoters mounted what may be their most dubiously successful campaign ever. A northern island that supposedly wanted to stop time grabbed lots of media attention around the world, but now it may cost lots of international credibility. Time ran out this week for the campaign launched by Innovasjon Norge (Innovation Norway), which promotes Norwegian […]

North Cape battle polarizes community

A major hotel chain backed by the slimmest possible majority of local politicians won last week’s battle over control of the North Cape. The war is far from over, however, after heated debate over land rights has polarized the local community. “The people are split,” declared Kjell Walter Sivertsen of the Labour Party after the […]