Havila Voyages

History, Review, Itineraries, Ships, Deck Plans, News

Havila Voyages cruise line logo

Havila Voyages fleet

Review of Havila Voyages

Havila Voyages (website) is a new cruise travel brand and subsidiary fully-owned by the Norwegian company Havila Shipping ASA (Havila Kystruten AS/shipowner, 2003-founded, headquartered in Fosnavag, Norway). As of 2021, Havila Shipping owns and operates 23 marine vessels, including 10x PSV (Platform Supply Vessels, serving offshore oil- and gas platforms), 6x AHTS (Anchor Handling Tug Supply vessels, mainly built for oil rigs), 2x ERRV (Emergency Response and Rescue Vessels, for attending offshore installations), 4x OSCV (Offshore Subsea Construction Vessels, serving the offshore oil and gas industry, as well as wind farms), 4x cruiseferries (for the Norwegian Coastal Express service).

Havila's newbuilds include 5 maritime support vessels and 4 cruise ships (LNG-powered hybrid ferries with alternative battery power). Havila Kystruten's main market is Northern Europe (Baltic/North Sea) and the Asia Pacific region.

  • The OSCVs are equipped with larger cranes, helipads, dynamic positioning systems.
  • The North Sea-based AHTS have power output between 9-18,6 MW (12K-25000 HP) each.
  • The PSVs serve offshore installations, providing them with goods, water, drilling mud, chemicals, other materials.
  • The ERRVs are rescue and recovery boats providing security services for oil installations (oil spills, fire protection, etc).
  • Some vessels are also available for bareboat chartering (hiring without administration or technical maintenance).

All Havila vessels are Norway-flagged and most are registered in Bergen.

Havila Kystruten is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange (since 2005) and is currently led by the company's founders - the brothers Njal Saevik (Havila Shipping ASA's CEO) and Per Saevik (Havila Holding's Chairman).

Havila Kystruten AS' CEO is Bent Martini. Havila Voyages' CEO is Arild Myrvoll.

Havila Voayges' competitor on the Norwegian coastal cruiseferry market is Hurtigruten.

Havila Voyages logo (CruiseMapper)

In April 2023, Havila Voyages obtained the required licenses (from Ireland's Central Bank) to finance its coastal fleet and release the security held by the original financing partner GTLK (EU-sanctioned due to the Russia-Ukraine war). The necessary financing was secured in June-July by raising EUR 305M from HPS Investment Partners LLC (2007-founded, NYC-headquartered American investment firm). Additionally, Havila Voyages' principal owners and investors raised EUR 65M in additional equity, and Havila Holding AS provided a loan of EUR 20M. This allowed the delivery (in August) of the second pair of ferries Polaris and Pollux from Turkey's Tersan Shipyard.

The HAVILA cruise brand

Originally, Havila Voyages (trademarked brand) planned to start Norwegian coastal operations in January 2021. However, due to the COVID crisis, the service was rescheduled to commence in 2021-Q2 (by May). Eventually, the brand's inauguration was postponed for 2021-Q4, with the Maiden Voyage (Havila Capella from Bergen) scheduled for December 1st.

On March 23, 2018, Norway's Ministry of Transportation and Communications split the "Norwegian Coastal Express" ferry service funding between Hurtigruten and Havila Kystruten.

The Bergen-Kirkenes-Bergen route and its 34 ports are served year-round by a total of 11x vessels, of which 7x Hurtigruten and 4x Havila newbuilds. Hurtigruten operates this service since 1893.

The Norwegian Government's annual subsidy for this regularly scheduled ferry service is NOK 788 million (~EUR 77M / ~USD 92M). The Government's ferry contracts are fixed (for a 10-year period) and secure a minimum annual revenue of NOK 285 million (~EUR 28M/ ~USD 33M).

In late December 2018 was announced that Enova (Norwegian government agency) provides NOK 88 million (USD 10,1M) as financial support for Havila Kystruten's newbuilds (or NOK 22M per vessel).

In mid-September 2022, Havila Kystruten signed term sheets with lenders for the cruise fleet's refinancing and set dates for the start of operations for Pollux and Polaris. The financing totaled USD-EUR 370 million (GBP 325M), covering payment to Turkey's Tersan Shipyard (on the delivery of both vessels) as well as redemption of existing debt to GTLK (Russia's largest leasing company) related to fleet's all four vessels.

In October 2023, Matthew Valentine (Havila Voyages' Head of Sales for UK, USA, Canada, Australia and Europe) announced that ~12% of the company's revenue comes from North Americans. To increase its cruise shipping business, Havila introduced in 2023 the "Northern Lights promise" (October 1st through March 31st) that guaranteed a free one-way cruise (northbound or southbound coastal itinerary) if during the voyage they don't see the aurora borealis.

In May 2024, Matthew Valentine was promoted to Head Of Global Sales, reporting directly to the company's CSO/Chief Sales Officer (Johanna Hansli).

Targeting international tourists, Havila also plans to introduce hop-on/hop-off cruises (Norwegian coastal voyages+land stays) as well as B2Bs/back-to-back cruises on which tourists disembark a Havila ship, spend a few days ashore, and then board another Havila ship to continue their Norwegian vacation.

HAVILA's cruise ship technology

Havila Shipping ordered 4x new cruiseferries (Havyard 923-class/sisterships) designed specifically for the "Norwegian Coastal Express" service.

The ships are LNG-powered hybrids (alternative battery power) and with passenger capacity 640 (179 cabins). The design was by "Havyard Ship Technology AS" (subsidiary of Havyard Group ASA) - a Norwegian maritime company established in 2000, owns Loland Verft in Leirvik Norway).

The shipbuilding cost was ~EUR 200 million (~USD 230M) per unit. Shipbuilders were Barreras Shipyard in Vigo Spain (for Capella and Castor) and Tersan Shipyard in Yalova Turkey (for Polaris and Pollux).

Rolls-Royce Marine was contracted to provide newbuilds' power plants and propulsion units. The equipment includes 2x dual-fuel engines, 4x Bergen gas engines (two 9-cylinder, plus two 6-cylinder, all IMO Tier 3 compliant), 2x LNG tanks (with bunkering systems), 2x LNG fuel systems, control and safety systems. The propulsion system is also Rolls-Royce manufactured and includes 2x Azipull thrusters (with Permanent Magnet drive motors), stabilizers (Neptune 200), tunnel thrusters (allowing slimmer hull shape, better energy efficiency low noise-vibration levels). LNG fuel systems are separate, custom-designed, and serve both machine rooms (front and aft).

In late-February 2019, Havila Shipping contracted Rolls-Royce Commercial Marine to install its EMS (Energy Management System) on 9x Havila vessels, including 4x AHTS (anchor-handling tug supply), 4x PSV (platform supply) and 1x RRV (rescue and recovery). Rolls-Royce's EMS (introduced in November 2017) allows the crew to monitor in real-time fuel consumption and make changes to reduce it, resulting in up to 20% annual fuel savings.

Also in late-February 2019, the Candian stock-listed company Corvus Energy (headquartered in Richmond, BC) signed a contract with NES (Norwegian Electric Systems) for delivery and installation of the world's largest ship battery-package ESS (Energy Storage System / air-cooled system with patented single-cell thermal isolation). Orca ESS (battery pack) has capacity 6,1 MWh (megawatt-hours) - or double the capacity of the currently largest battery-packed/electric ferries. Batteries allow ~4 hours of running solely on electric power, and the system is combined with hybrid gas-electric propulsion. The powerplant consists of 4x LNG-powered marine engines (per vessel) with combined output 7,76 MW.

In early-April 2019, Havila Kystruten and the Norwegian company Kongsberg Maritime signed a 10-year contract (NOK 150 million / USD 17,6M) for "Power-by-the-Hour" service for the new vessels. This is a new Kongsberg-provided service introduced in 2017 with NorLines (Norwegian coastal shipping and logistics company).

  • By this agreement, the shipowner Havila handed to Kongsberg (vessel equipment's supplier) all the responsibility for service planning and performance.
  • The shipowner pays a fixed charge per hour of operation per vessel.
  • Kongsberg monitors in real-time the equipment from land-based control centers (collecting data from shipboard sensors) where engineers can remotely access the equipment and carry out services or send out service staff to assist.
  • The "Power-by-the-Hour" package also includes the ship's planned drydock/wetdock maintenance.
  • Kongsberg's equipment package included the propulsion system (Azipull thrusters with Permanent Magnet drive motor), tunnel thrusters, stabilizers, and LNG systems (including four Rolls Royce-made Bergen C26-33L gas engines).

Company changes

In July 2021, Havila Kystruten successfully completed a private placement of new shares (17,65 to 19,65 million) at NOK 25,50 (EUR 2,5 / USD 2,97) for gross proceeds NOK 500 million (EUR 48,97M / USD 58,16M).

  • The July 2021 private stock shares sale was managed by two Oslo-based brokerage and investment firms (Fearnley Securities, SpareBank 1 Markets).
  • Of all the NOK 500M shares, NOK 232,5M were purchased by 5 investors - Paladin Asset Management (NOK 82,5M/3,23M stocks), Nordea Investment Management (NOK 50M/1,96M stocks), Farvatn Capital (NOK 50M/1,96M stocks), Verdipapirfondet Fondsfinans Norge (NOK 25M/0,98M Stocks), MP Pensjon PK (NOK 25M/0,98M stocks).
  • Havila Kystruten entered into customary arrangements with these investors to restrict their ability to issue, sell or dispose of the shares (for 12 months/through July 2022) without the prior written consent of the company's managers.
  • Havila Kystruten remains privately owned, with the majority stakeholder (through Havila Holding) being the Saevik family.

Since July 28, 2021, Havila is listed on Euronext NV (operating the stock exchanges in London, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Milan, Dublin, Lisbon, Oslo). The company also planned for listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

In June 2022, DNV (Hovik Norway-based ship registrar and classification society) awarded HAV Group ASA approval for a high-capacity, hydrogen-based power system for cruise ships, thus allowing the company to enter the system's final design stage. The technology uses liquefied hydrogen (onboard storage) in combination with fuel cells. The technology was developed by the Norwegian company HAV Hydrogen AS (as part of its FreeCO2ast project/budgeted NOK 95 million (~EUR 9,4 M / ~USD 10,1M). When completed, the hydrogen energy system will be retrofitted on two Havila cruiseferries (Capella and Castor).

(Coronavirus crisis) passenger shipping pause 2020-2021

Despite the global Coronavirus crisis, Hurtigruten didn't suspend its Norwegian Coastal fleet's passenger shipping (ferry) operations but boarding was allowed only for passengers who haven't been outside Norway at least 14 days prior departure.

In mid-October 2020 was canceled the 2020-2021 Antarctica cruise program (October-March) which affected Hurtigruten Expedition's ships Fridtjof Nansen, Roald Amundsen, Spitsbergen, Fram. Hurtigruten currently plans to restart Norwegian Coastal cruises with all its 7 ships in July 2021.

On May 11, 2020, Hurtigruten announced plans to "gradually restart" the Norwegian ferry services (on the Norwegian Coastal Express Route / Bergen-Kirkenes) in mid-June. The first was scheduled for MS Otto Sverdrup (fka Finnmarken) leaving on June 16th out of Bergen. With Otto Sverdrup, Hurtigruten became the world's first cruise company to resume operations. Two cruiseferries (Richard With, Vesteralen) remained operational but passenger-free, transporting only goods (including medical supplies and provisions) to Norwegian destinations affected by travel restrictions.

Itinerary of Havila Voyages

Havila Voyages operates four same-designed cruiseferries - the sisterships Havila Capella (2021), Havila Castor (2022), Havila Polaris (2023) and Havila Pollux (2023).

The following itinerary map shows the Norwegian Coastal Express (ferry route) operated by Hurtigruten and Havila Kystruten (since 2021).

Havila-Hurtigruten ferry route (Norwegian Coastal Express cruise ship itinerary map)

The next table shows the 11-night / 12-day "Classic Norwegian Coastal Voyage" roundtrip from Bergen.

  • The 12-day "Round Voyage"/roundtrip prices (in 2021) started at ~GBP 950 (~EUR 1120 / USD 1280) per person with double occupancy.
  • The 7-day "Voyage North" itinerary (Bergen to Kirkenes) prices started at ~GBP 660 pp (~EUR 780 / USD 890).
  • The 6-day "Voyage South" itinerary (Kirkenes to Bergen) prices started at ~GBP 570 pp (~EUR 680 / USD 770).
Date / TimePortLand Tours/Excursions
Day 1Bergen (embarkation)
  • Best of Bergen (electric bus tour)
  • Norway in a nutshell
  • Bergen sailboat tour

Floro, Maloy (Vagsoy Island), Torvik (Leinoya Island), Alesund, Geiranger/Hjorundfjorden, Alesund, Molde


Day 2Alesund (Morning), Geiranger (tender port)
  • Geiranger and Trollstigen
  • E-biking in Norangsdalen
  • paddling Hjorundfjord
  • Guided fjord walk
  • Hiking to a mountain farm
  • Art nouveau walk
  • Atlanterhavsparken Aquarium
  • Kayaking
  • Hiking at Sukkertoppen
  • Fishing Adventure
Day 3Kristiansund, Trondheim (Morning), Rovik
  • Trondheim and Nidaros by vintage tram
  • Trondheim city walk
  • Trondheim city cycling

Bronnoysund, Sandnessjoen, Nesna, Ornes, Bodo, Stamsund, Svolvaer

Day 4Ornes (Morning)
  • Moose, Svartisen and Saltstraumen
Day 4Bodo (Afternoon)
  • Experience Bodo and Saltstraumen
  • Taste the arctic outdoor
  • RIB-safari to Saltstraumen and the sea eagles
Day 4Stamsund, Vestvagoy Island, Lofoten
  • Feast with the Viking chieftain
  • Meet the people of Lofoten
Day 4Svolvaer, Austvagoya Island, Lofoten
  • Brewery visit and beer tasting

Stokmarknes (Hadseloya Island), Sortland (Langoya Island), Risoyhamn (Andoya Island), Harstad (Hinnoya Island, Lofoten), Finnsnes (access to Senja island), Tromso, Skjervoy

Day 5Tromso (Morning)
  • Capital of the Arctic
  • Dog sledding and huskies
  • Visit 300 huskies
  • Reindeer sledding and Sami visit
  • City walk tour
DAY 6Hammerfest, Havoysund (Havoya Island), Honningsvag, Kjollefjord, Mehamn, Berlevag-
Day 6Honningsvag, Mageroya Island (Morning)
  • The North Cape plateau
  • North Cape ATV Summer Safari
  • North Cape ATV Winter Safari
  • King crab experience
  • Arctic snowshoeing and ice fishing
  • North Cape birdwatching
Day 6Kjollefjord (Afternoon)
  • Visiting a Sami family
  • Autumn visit to the Sami
  • Snowmobiling in the Polar Night
DAY 7Batsfjord, Vardo (Vardoya Island), Vadso, Kirkenes-
Day 7Kirkenes
  • Snowhotel
  • King crab with a snowmobile on the frozen fjord
  • Arctic dog sledding
  • Arctic Snowmobile safari
  • The Russian border
  • King crab fishing /RIB boat tour
DAY 8Mehamn, Kjollefjord, Honningsvag, Havoysund, Hammerfest, Oksfjord, Skjervoy, Tromsoas listed per port above
DAY 9Finnsnes/Senja Island, Harstad, Risoyhamn, Sortland, Stokmarknes, Svolvaer, Stamsundas listed per port above
DAY 10Bodo, Ornes, Sandnessjoen, Bronnoysund, Rorvikas listed per port above
DAY 11Trondheim, Kristiansund, Molde, Alesundas listed per port above
Day 12Torvik, Maloy, Floro, Bergen (debarkation)as listed per port above


Havila Voyages related cruise news