Norwegian Seaways stays positive in funding efforts
A new ferry route between Newcastle and both Bergen and Stavanger is looking increasingly likely, although contrary to press reports no firm date has yet been announced.
Late last week reports surfaced in Norway about the new service starting on 14 April 2014, despite there being no firm financial backing or a boat to show to reporters.
New route announcements happen a lot in the ferry industry. The company behind the would-be service, UK-based Norwegian Seaways, stresses that a start date has not yet been set.
“At this stage we are not in a position to announce a commencement of service. The reports in the Norwegian press are inaccurate and in no way reflect an official statement from Norwegian Seaways,” Paul Woodbury, Norwegian Seaways’ COO tells DriveEurope via email.
But there are reasons to take Norwegian Seaways’ intentions seriously. Funding negotiations have been described as “positive” – a decision is due within the next two months – and prominent British politician Lord Adonis has defined a direct ferry link with Norway as an “immediate priority”.
Both Norway and Sweden have consular representation in Newcastle, as do Iceland, Germany, France, Italy and Belgium.
[pictured: Millennium Bridge, Newcastle; photo by Lindsey Armstrong]