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Home* News and Stories → Lon­gye­ar­by­en: The most expen­si­ve port in the world?

Lon­gye­ar­by­en: The most expen­si­ve port in the world?

From 2019, lar­ge crui­se ships will have to pay twice as high har­bour fees in the port of Lon­gye­ar­by­en than they did this year. A few days ago, Longyearbyen’s har­bour mas­ter Kje­til Brå­ten announ­ced that the pri­ce increase is a tool to regu­la­te mass tou­rism and at the same time to gene­ra­te hig­her inco­me. He would even like Lon­gye­ar­by­en to beco­me “the most expen­si­ve port in the world” due to its remo­te loca­ti­on and the extra­or­di­na­ry ope­ra­ting cos­ts. Ship tou­rism to Spits­ber­gen is on the rise: in 2016, 75,000 crui­se pas­sen­gers went ashore in Lon­gye­ar­by­en, com­pared to 15,000 in 2010.

The har­bour fee Lon­gye­ar­by­en will in the future be based on the size of the ship. Ships with more than 100,000 gross regis­tered tons will have to pay twice as much, name­ly 1.68 NOK (about 0.17 Euro) ins­tead of 0.84 NOK per ton. In addi­ti­on, the port will char­ge a fee of NOK 25 (approx. 2.60 Euro) per pas­sen­ger ins­tead of NOK 23.

Antigua vs cruise ship

Big ships, small ships: SV Anti­gua ver­sus a crui­se ship

This will affect, for exam­p­le, the crui­se liner MSC Pre­zio­sa, which, accor­ding to its own home­page, delights its 3,500 pas­sen­gers with stair­ca­ses deco­ra­ted with “Swa­rov­ski dia­monds”. MSC Pre­zio­sa has announ­ced its arri­val in Lon­gye­ar­by­en in 2019 and will then have to pay a total of 940.000 NOK (around 96,000 euros) more than in 2018.

Smal­ler boats will also be affec­ted by the hig­her fees. But sin­ce the fee depends on the size of the boats the pri­ce increase is hig­hest for the lar­ge crui­se ships. In addi­ti­on, pre­fe­rence will be given to ships who­se pas­sen­gers sup­port the local eco­no­my on their shore lea­ves.

Howe­ver, har­bour mas­ter Kje­til Brå­ten belie­ves that the lar­ge luxu­ry ships will not neces­s­a­ri­ly be deter­red by the hig­her fees. This is not the pri­ma­ry goal. Accor­ding to Brå­ten, it is rather a ques­ti­on of fin­ding a balan­ce bet­ween regu­la­ting mass tou­rism and gene­ra­ting the inco­me nee­ded to deve­lop the port infra­struc­tu­re and pro­mo­te the local eco­no­my.

Who knows, per­haps MSC Pre­zio­sa will have to scratch a few dia­monds from the rai­ling to pay the port dues in Lon­gye­ar­by­en?

Inte­res­t­ing side note: Accor­ding to a sur­vey among­st 739 rea­ders con­duc­ted by the local news­pa­per Sval­bard­pos­ten, 60 per­cent agree with the state­ment that Lon­gye­ar­by­en should no lon­ger accept crui­se ships at all.

Source: Sval­bard­pos­ten



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last modification: 2018-12-04 · copyright: Rolf Stange