Safe travel with the ferries in Hirtshals

After three months of border closures, the ferry companies at the Port of Hirtshals are experiencing an increasing demand from Danes and Norwegians who are eager to travel. Last Monday, it was again possible to travel to and from Denmark as a tourist - and the ferry companies have worked hard to be ready to welcome the many passengers.

Besides lorries and trailers, there has not been a lot of activity from cars or passengers in the recent months - neither on the ferries nor on the terminals in Hirtshals. However, this changed from the moment when the Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen announced that the borders to selected countries would reopen from Monday, 15 June 2020. Afterwards, the three ferry companies at the Port of Hirtshals Fjord Line, Color Line and Smyril Line began to receive passenger bookings again.

Color Line, Fjord Line and Smyril Line ferries at the port

At Fjord Line, they are very satisfied with the recent number of bookings. They indicate that the Danes and Norwegians would like to exchange country this summer. Therefore, the shipping company already started with daily services to Kristiansand, Bergen and Stavanger with the ferries "Bergensfjord" and "Stavangerfjord" on 15 June. Fjord Line has furthermore called for extra backup in the form of "Oslofjord" which will service the daily route between Hirtshals and Langesund. Normally, "Oslofjord" sails between Norway and Sweden, but due to the closed borders to Sweden, the shipping company can draw on its capacity. This timetable is valid until the end of June after which the usual summer timetable will apply.

- We are happy to welcome our passengers aboard again and have introduced extra measures so that everyone can feel safe. We have, among other things, set up distance markers, hand sanitisers, guides, etc. On the large ferries it will also be possible to order room service if the passengers do not want to leave their cabin, says Claus Riis, Managing Director of Fjord Line Danmark.

Traffic at one of the ferry terminals

Smyril Line has also experienced a contagious effect from the border openings. After Mette Frederiksen's speech, the shipping company had a big boom in bookings especially to Iceland, but at the same time they also expect that the number of bookings to the Faroe Islands will increase over the coming period. Therefore, "Norröna" started up normal service with passengers earlier this week, and already by the end of June the regular summer service with two weekly departures will begin.

Not least Color Line has experienced a positive development in terms of bookings both to Denmark but also to Norway. They see a readiness to travel which was already evident after 28 May, when border openings were mentioned for the first time. On the other hand, Color Line can also see that the 6-day requirement puts a damper on everything.

- Many of our Norwegian passengers travel for shorter periods of time but several times throughout the year. Therefore, the 6 days mostly meet the demand of Germans and tourists who come to stay in local holiday homes which of course is a shame, Managing Director at Color Line Henrik Renneberg states.

In order to ensure that their guests have a good and safe crossing, Color Line has made different initiatives on their ferries concerning cleaning, stations with hand disinfection, fewer passengers, etc. In this connection, the company has made an information site called "Safe Travel" which can be found on their website.

Traffic at Color Line's terminal