A cruise discount card for passengers exploring on their own is available so far on cruises to Stavanger, Bergen, Flaam, Eidfjord, Skjolden, Olden, Geiranger, Aalesund and Aandalnes. Known as the Cruise Pass, the card is available for NOK 175 for adults and NOK 80 for children, and offers discounts at participating venues ranging from 40 percent at museums to 25 percent at local restaurants, 20 percent at retail stores, 20 percent for various activities, and 10 percent for car rentals.  

Introduced by Wenche Nygaard Eeg and Cruise and Travel Management Advisors in Norway, she said that the card benefits the cruise lines too by increasing their profitability on guests going ashore independently; increased guest satisfaction; contributing to a stronger cruise product by competing with what she called pirate operators; and the pass can be branded with cruise lines’ logos. Cruise lines earn a sales commission on each card.

She said that each year around 600,000 cruise passengers visit Norway of which about 32 percent pre-book shore excursions, “which means that the remaining 400,000, representing 1.7 million day visits, offer scope for greater on shore consumption.”

The pass will not compete with onboard shore ex sales, according to Nygaard Eeg, who described it as a supplementary product.

During a four to five week test period, the pass will be sold on 11 cruises.

Plans call for increasing the number of vendors gradually at all relevant destinations in Norway throughout 2016.