Cruise-ferry for Groningse Eemshaven to Norwegian Kristiansand

1 November 2021

In April 2022, a new shipping route opens between Norway and the Netherlands. A cruise ferry with room for 1,500 passengers and 350 cars will operate the stretch between Kristiansand and Eemshaven three times a week.

The initiators of Holland Norway Lines (HNL) are experienced parties in the logistics and shipping industry. Bart Cunnen (CEO) en Patrick America (CFO) – both shareholders of HNL- started with the initiative more than one year ago and in the meantime they teamed up with a group of very experienced managers and shareholders from the industry. The initiative is based on thorough market research in Norway and the Netherlands. The route offers new possibilities to reach the Netherlands and Europe in a simple and comfortable way. HNL makes both regions stronger and connects the Netherlands with Norway and fits within the vision for sustainable tourism.


We bring Europe closer to Kristiansand and southern Norway. After a comfortable sea voyage and a good night's sleep, you are suddenly just a few hours by train or car away from a number of exciting European destinations, says Bart Cunnen, CEO of Holland Norway Lines.

Bart Cunnen, CEO of Holland Norway Lines

In the Eemshaven port in Groningen (Beatrixhaven) on a location of 6-8 ha, a special roro-quay will be constructed. Besides this, there will be an office for the employees who will handle the departures and arrivals of various trips. The expectation is that this new cruise ferry line will initially provide 50 new jobs, with a possible extension to 100 jobs.
The cruise ferry ship MS Romantika that will sail on the Eemshaven-Kristiansand route, is equipped with sustainable techniques and systems. The ship will not only carry passengers, but also cars (including campers/caravans) and trucks. Three times a week the MS Romantika departs from Kristiansand at 3:00 PM and arrives – after a comfortable night on board – at 9:00 AM in Eemshaven. There is also a return trip to Norway, which also departs 3 times a week. The ship has a variety of restaurants, cafes, (tax-free) shops and entertainment. HNL/the vessel also offers opportunities for companies to transport cargo from and to the Netherlands and Norway in a safe and fast way. 

The initiative Holland Norway Lines is realized with the support of Groningen Seaports, the Northern Development Agency (NOM), the province of Groningen and the municipality Hogeland.

We are very happy to present this news. We have been working for a long time to expand our ferry offer and hope it will be well received with a new destination, says Mathias Bernander, marketing manager in Port of Kristiansand.

The port of Kristiansand already has two ferry companies, Fjord Line and Color Line, which sail between Kristiansand and Hirtshals, in Denmark.

Holland Norway Lines has entered into a long-term agreement with Tallink Grupp for the rental of the cruise ferry Romantika. The modernized ship has 700 cabins and will carry up to 1500 passengers and 350 cars on each crossing. 

On board, passengers can choose between five restaurants and five bars, in addition to shopping in the tax-free shop, getting treatment in the spa, going to the sauna or watching a show in the large theater hall. Romantika also has a conference department with room for several hundred people.

We will also recruit Norwegian personnel, both on the ship and on land in Kristiansand, says Cunnen.

The sailings will take 18 hours, departing from Kristiansand every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 15:00 and arrival in Eemshaven at 09.00 the next day. From Eemshaven, the ship sails every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 1500, arriving in Kristiansand at 09.00 the next day.

The port of Kristiansand is well prepared to receive a new ferry on a new line. In Eemshaven, local and regional authorities, together with Holland Norway Lines, have contributed millions to build the necessary infrastructure for the new investment. It is expected that Holland Norway Lines will create 50 new jobs in the first phase and 100 new jobs in the long term. The company will have an office in the port of Kristiansand.

The first sailing from Kristiansand to Eemshaven is Friday 8 April, at the beginning of the Easter holidays. Round-trip ticket for two people in the same cabin, will cost from 2200 kroner (NOK) per person without a car, and from 2500 kroner (NOK) per person with a car.

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