Cruise Norway is forecasting 2011 cruise calls and up to 3 million passengers (counted uniquely for each call) in 2012 for a 30 percent increase over 2011. The season starts February 20 with six winter cruises from the UK, making a total of 40 calls in Norwegian ports.

This year, Bergen will have the most calls with 334; followed by Oslo, 176; Stavanger, 166; Nordkapp, 111; and Tromso, 108.

The biggest increase is coming from Royal Caribbean which will be calling 123 times in 2012, compared to 34 times in 2011.

Costa, however, has pulled a ship out of the market, cancelling six fjord and two Spitzbergen cruises, for a total of 40 calls.

In 2011, 151,000 of the passengers were Germans, while 115,000 were from the UK, as the second single largest market; followed by 46,000 from the U.S. The average ship carried 1,326 passengers.

This summer, both Oslo and Trondheim will serve as turnaround ports: Royal Caribbean will sail from Oslo, sourcing some passengers in Norway, and Pullmantur will be sailing from Trondheim, with Spanish passengers.