Smyril Line adds a new direct shipping route to and from Rotterdam in the Netherlands

2nd of November 2021

Our freight vessel M/V Akranes will be servicing a new route between Thorlakshøfn, in Iceland´s West coast, Tórshavn and Rotterdam in the Netherlands. 

Akranes will depart from Iceland Wednesday evenings and the Faroe Islands Thursday evenings and sail direct to Rotterdam. It will dock in Rotterdam Saturday afternoons and depart again on Saturday evenings bound directly for Iceland, which she will call Wednesday mornings. 

Akranes´ new route gives Icelandic and Faroese exporters new export options with departures Wednesday evenings from Iceland and Thursday evenings from Tórshavn direct to Europe. This connection also adds a wealth of opportunities to access markets near and far. 

The direct link creates exciting prospects for Icelandic importers, who can now receive mid-week deliveries from Europe in the Reykjavík area. 

Akranes’ first planned departure from Rotterdam is on 20th November 2021. 

M/V Akranes was built in 1998 at the UMOE Sterkoder in Norway. The ship is 138 m long and 23 m wide. Smyril Line purchased the vessel in December 2019.

The year in review for Smyril Line

7th May 2021

The Smyril Line Group has held its annual general meeting. The results for 2020 showed a surplus of 7,8 million DKK. This is considerably lower than previous estimates. The lower surplus is a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bearing this in mind, the Board of Directors and Group Management are satisfied with the overall result. Smyril Line will not allocate dividend for 2020.

2020 was a difficult year for the tourist industry. Smyril Line was also affected by this. The downturn has been significant. Fewer tickets were sold for passenger transport with Norröna, and there were fewer stays at Hotel Brandan and Hotel Hafnia than anticipated. In total, Smyril Line’s turnover for tourist activities decreased by approximately 170 million DKK.

Norröna went through a major refurbishment during the winter 2020/2021. 50 additional cabins were added, and the old cabins were updated. A new café was built on the top deck. Other repairs and changes were also made. For example, a new lounge with sofas and chairs was added.

Norröna was added to the fleet in 2003. Back then, people’s expectations were not the same as today. As such, the shipping company deems it necessary to keep up with the times and fulfil the demands of passengers travelling with Norröna.

Smyril Line believes that opportunities are good in the Faroese tourist industry, but the current situation with the COVID-19 restrictions makes the work difficult. Nobody knows exactly what to expect within this particular industry. 

Smyril Line’s cargo transport activities have not been impacted by the pandemic and went according to plan in 2020. In addition to Norröna, Smyril Line has five freight vessels in its fleet: Eystnes, Hvítanes, Akranes, Mykines and Mistral. Smyril Line has been renting Mistral.

Cargo transport activities increased in 2020. The route between the Netherlands and Norway, served by the freight vessel Akranes, was added to Smyril Line’s route network. Akranes sails weekly between Rotterdam in the Netherlands and Tananger, Bergen, Trondheim, Rørvik and Hitra in Norway.

The total number of personnel working for the company is approximately 500. The majority are Faroese.

The prospects for Smyril Line are good. Cargo transport activities are expected to remain steady, and the outlook for an increase in tourist activities is positive. The demand for the Faroe Islands and Iceland as holiday destinations is increasing. As such, the Group has taken the necessary steps to accommodate an increase in demands within the tourist industry by expanding the total capacity of Norröna and the hotels.

Norröna gets a facelift

28th September 2020

On Saturday the 19th December Norröna will dock at the Fayard Ship Repair Yard in Munkebo, where she will stay there until 4th March 2021. Two days later on 6th March, Norröna will plough out of Hirtshals again headed for the Faroe Islands.

The new Norröna first arrived in April 2003. Since joining the Faroese fleet, Norröna has undergone rolling refurbishments. However, the time has come for major renewals to future-proof Norröna, the only passenger ship with a regular route in the North Atlantic.

‘We need more cabins and much improved outdoor facilities,’ says Rúni Vang Poulsen, CEO of Smyril Line. ‘So we will be expanding with about 50 cabins,’ the CEO adds. The new cabins will be double rooms.

The ship decks will also be revamped with a new outdoor café-bar and facilities to take in the Atlantic Ocean. A raft of other upgrades will also be revealed in spring, including a brand new lounge area with sofas and easy chairs for passengers to relax and simply enjoy the crossing. 

‘Times have changed since Norröna joined the fleet seventeen years ago. And our customer’s expectations have changed with them. It is crucial that we stay on trend and meet our passengers’ demands,’ Rúni Vang Poulsen says.

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