It was a step closer to normality on Wednesday 15th of July, when Colour Line reopened its ferry route between Kiel, Germany and Oslo, Norway. The ferry had been running for a while, but only as a two day cruise experience, with travellers being unable to disembark the ship during the journey.
We were among the first as we left Oslo on the 16th of July.
The ferry operates as before, with some new measures to maintain passengers safety onboard. The cleaning routine is enhanced, there’s antibacterial gel available all over the ship and there was a staggered check out, when returning to your vehicle.
There is also a one meter social distancing rule in place. In order to facilitate this, Color Line has reduced the number of passengers onboard. It was noticeably calmer when we traveled, as in no-one inhabiting our neighbour cabins as well as it was easy to find available chairs on the sundeck and securing a table for dinner and breakfast.
As Norwegians living in London we’ve been travelling a lot between the two countries, mostly by flying. However, in the current situation, we chose to travel by car, as a road trip. By choosing Colorline between Oslo and Kiel we shortened our drive by approximately 600 miles.
Instead of endless motorways, we were able to park the car, do a little bit of tax free shopping, enjoy a fantastic seafood meal (with a cheeky glas of wine!) and end the perfect day with the sunset over open sea.
I must add the 3-star cabin was sufficient for a one night stay and the mattress was absolutely fine for a good nights sleep. You end up being well rested the next day and after a wholesome breakfast you’re ready to continue the 10 hour drive to Calais.
It was announced back in March that Colorline had to temporarily lay off nearly 2,000 employees after canceling regular passenger services. It’s of course fantastic news that the route has been reopened! All the staff we met, from checking in our car, to finding our cabin, dining out and shopping were visibly happy to be back at work.
It was a genuine good atmosphere amongst staff and travellers alike, making the crossing even more enjoyable. A pleasure indeed, hence my reason to share our experience with you here on the blog. However, it didn’t stop me from thinking…
If only the there could have been a ferry crossing between the UK and Scandinavia!