New bridge will limit cruise access to Norway’s second-longest fjord

//New bridge will limit cruise access to Norway’s second-longest fjord

sp2.jpgA new bridge being constructed across Norway’s second-longest fjord will restrict cruise ship access to some of the country’s more remote and picturesque ports of call.
While smaller vessels such as Saga Pearl 2 (above) will still be able to travel the 179 km (110 miles) length of Hardangerfjord, towns like Eidfjord will become off-limits to some of the bigger ships which have been venturing into the fjords in recent years.
Costa Fortuna, for example, has cancelled calls from 2013; at its highest point the ship is 62 metres above the waterline, while the new Hardangerfjord bridge will have an average clearance of only 55 metres.
The picture below shows construction of the bridge’s towers in 2010, when I visited Eidfjord on Saga Pearl II; the picture alongside shows the progress made by this summer. Work will begin next year on the roadway to be slung across the fjord.
The bridge, which will replace a ferry service on the shortest road route between Oslo and Bergen, will have a span of 1,310 metres, 30 metres longer than the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
Hardangerfjord was one of the first places in Norway to welcome mass tourism, and operator Thomas Cook was organising cruise departures from London as early as 1875. The region contains thousands of acres of fruit orchards and a number of fish farms. Almost at the head of the fjord, the town of Eidfjord provides access to the spectacular Vøringsfossen waterfall and the Hardangervidda, which is Europe’s largest wilderness mountain plateau. It is the second-longest fjord in Norway (behind Sognefjord) and the third largest in the world. Its four ports – Eidfjord, Jondal, Rosendal and Ulvik, received 74 calls and 86,000 passengers in 2011 and expects 82 ship visits next year. But the number will fall to 73 in 2013, and passenger numbers will be restricted by the size of the vessels.

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:58+00:00 30 November 2011|Cruise Destinations|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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