Greenland still attractive despite regulations

Visit Greenland, Greenland Arctic Circle, Royal Arctic Logistics and Blue Water attended the Seatrade Europe Cruise and River Cruise Convention which was held in Hamburg between 8th and 11th September 2015.

The major shipping companies generally welcomed the new cruise tax which has again encouraged shipping companies with large ships to consider Greenland as a suitable cruise destination in the future. Greenland and the Arctic are still very attractive, but stricter regulations governing navigation in the Arctic also brings limitations.

Greenland and the Arctic are still very attractive, but stricter regulations governing navigation in the Arctic also brings limitations.

Some shipping companies mentioned Greenland as a major asset and are planning ambitious programmes for the coming years.

Larger event in the following years

The convention Interest in the Arctic and Greenland remains good. Some shipping companies mentioned Greenland as a major asset and are planning ambitious programmes for the coming years.

It was also gratifying that meetings were held with a number of new shipping companies that are not currently sailing to Greenland but now have it on their radar.

Mixed reactions to proposed new regulations for navigation in Greenland

Visit Greenland attended the convention eager to learn how shipping companies would react to the new maritime safety regulations that have been announced and the upcoming Polar Code.

Feedback from the companies was generally positive about the Polar Code, which is the same for all polar waters, being used as a basis for the regulations. An announcement has been made about some tightening in the national regulations for navigation in relation to the Polar Code.

This includes a minimum requirement for ice class for ships carrying more than 250 passengers in parts of Greenlandic waters. It was clear that such a requirement would mean that some shipping companies might cease to navigate in these areas - but also that other shipping companies welcomed the tighter regulations, since they will make these areas more exclusive.

Feedback from the companies was generally positive about the Polar Code, which is the same for all polar waters, being used as a basis for the regulations.

Two very large companies stated that the change means that they are now seriously considering calling in on Greenland on their way across the Atlantic.

Tax changes are generally welcomed

Some companies expressed concern over the proposed compulsory pilotage for ships carrying more than 250 passengers, since this requirement is likely to entail substantial additional costs. Shipping companies that have sailed in Greenland for many years indicated a strong desire to see the possibility of experienced captains qualifying for a pilotage exemption certificate. A similar such scheme already operates in Svalbard and other places.

The abolition of the passenger tax and the introduction of a port tax were welcomed, especially by shipping companies with very large ships. Two very large companies stated that the change means that they are now seriously considering calling in on Greenland on their way across the Atlantic.

Better infrastructure

“Unfortunately, we found that some customers with smaller ships ended up paying more than they did before the tax change. The result is that in future they will plan their voyages with fewer calls. This is a great pity, but for most ships the new charges mean fewer costs and hopefully more ships to Greenland in the coming years,” said Gorm Diernisse from Royal Arctic Logistics.

The new port in Nuuk, which will create a passenger area free of cranes and containers, was received very positively. Proposals to improve infrastructure in Kangerlussuaq, which is an important passenger transit port , were also very well received. We will only know the effect of these measures once they are in place, but the fact that work is underway to improve port conditions in Greenland is an important signal.

The new port in Nuuk, which will create a passenger area free of cranes and containers, was received very positively.

“We may be competitors, but we are showing that we have a mutual interest in raising Greenland’s profile and attracting more shipping companies.”

A joint Greenland stand – a good, positive signal

The Greenland participants agreed that the joint Greenland stand sent out an important and powerful signal to the industry that we are working together to promote Greenland as a cruise destination.

“We may be competitors, but we are showing that we have a mutual interest in raising Greenland’s profile and attracting more shipping companies. This is important for business and for Greenland,” said Kenneth Skovbjerg Pedersen from Blue Water Greenland.

For information regarding this article, please contact Mads-Daniel Skifte or Anders la Cour Vahl on cruise@greenland.com