Strike hits Norwegian cruise calls

Strike hits Norwegian cruise calls

Cruise ships are being turned away from ports in Norway due to a strike by drivers of pilot boats.

A number of vessels have been forced to miss calls at all Norwegian ports including Oslo.

Ships requiring compulsory pilots are not being permitted to berth at most of Norway's ports as the number of striking boat pilots increased from 42 to 103 as part of a row over pay.

Cruise lines are looking at contingency plans, with P&O Cruises’ Arcadia cancelling a call in Stavanger today and replacing it with Zeebrugge tomorrow (Saturday).

Ships affected by the dispute in the past week include Royal Caribbean International’s Vision of the Seas, which was diverted from Olso to Gothernburg.

Emerald Princess was turned away and headed to its next port in Aarhus, Denmark.

Star Clippers’ Star Flyer and Holland America Line’s Rotterdam are among those to have been affected.

The Norwegian Coastal Administration said: “At this stage, it is the drivers of the pilot boats that have been brought out on strike.

“The consequence of this is that the Norwegian Coastal Administration cannot transfer pilots to and from vessels.

“Those affected by the strike are therefore those vessels that are subject to compulsory pilotage.”

Most of the administration's pilot boat stations closed from Wednesday morning.

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