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Holland Norway Lines suspends all future crossings

Holland Norway Lines suspends all future crossings
The MS Romantika ferry will remain in Emden, Germany, indefinitely. Photo: Holland Norway Lines

The Holland Norway ferry line, which last summer restarted car ferries between Kristianstad and The Netherlands has filed for restructuring and indefinitely suspended all future crossings.

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The company's MS Romantika ferry is currently docked indefinitely in Emden, Germany, leaving some passengers stranded and putting one of the most practical ways of taking a car from Norway to the UK, France or Germany in question.  

"We deeply apologize to those directly affected. This has not been our preferred scenario. We have worked very hard in recent weeks to put a solution in place," the company's managing director, Morten Aggvin, told Norway's public broadcaster NRK

The company was started in 2022 by former Stena Lines executive Bart Cunnen and his childhood friend Patrick America, but quickly ran in trouble after it lost its berth at Eemshaven and had to dock at Emden in Germany instead.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about the new ferry route between Norway and The Netherlands

In a statement on its website, the company said that being forced to shift berth had come with "many cancellations and extra costs but also with a significant impact on future bookings". 

This, it said, had put the company under financial pressure, meaning it "needs more time to make up for the financial losses incurred early this year". 

On Wednesday, it announced that it had formally applied for a "suspension of payments" - the first stage of bankruptcy protection in The Netherlands.  A court in The Netherlands will now appoint an administrator who will decide whether the company is a viable business or should be wound down.  

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Aggvin told NRK is was currently hard to say whether the company, and the route, had a future.

"Unfortunately, that will have consequences for some, which we should of course have done without."

But the company in a Q&A for passengers said it still hoped that further sailings might be possible. 

"Not all sailings are cancelled at this stage. The by Dutch law appointed administrator will try to
find a short-term solution for Holland Norway Lines that might secure its future sailings. As soon as there is more information on sailings the coming weeks and months, we will post it on the website and contact our passengers directly by e-mail." 

The company said that people who had already bought tickets might be able to get a refund from their credit card provider or through their travel insurance. 

Passengers who had hoped to get a return trip to Norway and who are currently in Germany or The Netherlands would have to arrange alternative transportation, it said.  

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