Cruise Norway has reported 2,296 booked cruise calls for, up from 2,066 this year which was also a new record. The number of visiting passengers is expected to exceed 3 million.

The marketing organization, representing Norwegian destinations, reported that 2,573,335 passengers visited 41 different destinations in 2012. This was a 23 percent increase in the number of calls and a 26 percent increase in visitors over 2011.

The organization also noted that cruise tourism is becoming a year-round activity in Norway. This year there have only been two months with no cruise calls. The season started in February with several winter cruises, the last call of the summer season took place in mid-October, and the year will be rounded off with a Christmas cruise to Oslo. Moreover, for the first time, a German line is sailing a Christmas cruise to the West and North of Norway.

Said Wenche Nygaard Eeg, managing director of Cruise Norway: “We are very pleased to report that vast majority of the cruise destinations in Norway have recorded growth this year. Among Norway’s top 17 ports, only Oslo experienced a decline, and this was due to the cancellation of 10 calls because of a pilot strike last summer.

The most popular port this year was Bergen with 446,906 passengers, followed by Geirangerfjorden with 312,136, Oslo, 300,000 and Stavanger with 277,000.  Spitzbergen’s Longyear ranked 15th with 36,000 passengers and 17th  among 41 destinations was Hammerfest, the northernmost city in Europe, with 18,713 passengers.

Not counting multiple calls, the number of individual cruise passengers visiting Norway was 588,000 in 2012 with 164,000 originating in Germany, 154,000 in the UK, 57,000 from the U.S., 38,000 from France, 34,000 from Italy, 23,000 from Spain, 22,000 from the Netherlands and 96,000 from other countries.

This year also marked the 20th anniversary of Cruise Norway which launched a new graphic profile and logo to further develop its branding.

In a prepared statement, Cruise Norway stated that its “vision is to contribute to the perception of Norway as the world’s best nature-based cruise destination. Our new logo seeks to evoke associations with cruise vacations – the sea – nature – mountains – fjords and the Northern Lights.”