Ferry Business - Autumn/Winter 2017

International Cruise & Ferry Review Ferry Business INTERVIEW 76 inking Norway with Denmark and Sweden, Fjord Line has expanded rapidly in recent years, largely because of investment in quality tonnage and the expansion of passenger and cargo services. The company, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2018, has grown from its fledgling days in 1993 and currently employs around 600 people. Of these employees, 430 work at sea year-round, and 170 work onshore in Bergen, Stavanger, Egersund, Langesund, Kristiansand, and Sandefjord in Norway, as well as Hirtshals in Denmark and Strömstad in Sweden. In 2013 and 2014, Fjord Line made its biggest investments – two 170-metre-long flagship vessels named Stavangerfjord and Bergensfjord, which were the first and biggest cruise ferries in the world to be driven solely by gas. Built at the Fosen Yard in Rissa, Norway, the ferries have BV12PG engines that do not use oil for pilot injection so they emit 98% less nitrogen oxide, 23% less carbon dioxide and zero sulphur oxides, compared to vessels of a similar size. This enabled Stavangerfjord and Bergensfjord to take the two top positions in the World Ports Climate Initiative’s Environmental Ship Index. Since making these big investments, Fjord Line has recorded growth in all areas. For example, passenger numbers hit more than one million passengers on the four routes in Norway, Sweden and Denmark by September 2016 – an entire month earlier than the year before. “Our result before tax improved by over NOK200 million (US$252 million),” says Rickard Ternblom, CEO of Fjord Line, who joined in 2015. “A total of 1,224,045 guests chose Fjord Line during 2016 – an improvement of 10% compared to 2015. For the second year in a row we welcomed over one million guests onboard our four ships. 2016 was an important year for Fjord Line. We moved on from years characterised by heavy Setting high ferry standards in Scandinavia Rikard Ternblom explains to Justin Merrigan how Fjord Line is building on its recent successes to remain a serious player in Scandinavia’s cruise ferry sector ”A total of 1,224,045 guests chose Fjord Line during 2016 – an improvement of 10% compared to 2015”