Oslo is Norway's largest seaport (located on Aker River / at Oslofjord ’s entrance) and also country's capital and largest city with population around 670,000 (metro around 1,59 million).
The city is Norway's governmental and economic center, and also serves as country's main hub of commerce, banking, shipping trade, maritime industries. Here are headquartered nearly 2000 large companies within the maritime sector. Some of these are the world's largest shipbrokers, insurance brokers, passenger and cargo shipping companies. The city also houses numerous cultural facilities, historical buildings, museums, art galleries, recreational parks (Frogner, Bygdoy, Ekebergparken, St Hanshaugen, Toyen), annual festivals.
The metro area contributes around 1/4 of Norway's GDP and generates over 1/4 of country's tax revenues. In 2018, Oslo City was ranked 5th in the list of world's top 10 most expensive cities - following Singapore, Paris, Zurich, Hong Kong, and followed by Geneva, Seoul (Port Incheon), Copenhagen, Tel Aviv (Port Haifa) and Sydney NSW.
Oslo Airport is an international airport connecting the city to 26 domestic and 151 international airports. In 2017, the airport served over 27 million passengers, ranking it Scandinavia's 2nd-busiest (after Copenhagen) and Europe's 19th-busiest. The airport is located in Gardermoen - approx 35 km (22 ml) northeast from downtown. It is connected to downtown via Gardermoen Line (high-speed trains). The city is also served by Torp Airport (Sandefjord), located approx 119 km (74 mi) to the south of downtown.
The seaport is Norway's principal (and largest) cargo and ferry port, handling weekly between 50-70 ship calls. Around 1/2 of country's population lives less than 3-hour drive from the seaport, which is located at short distance to city's main railway and road connections.
Port Oslo is the main contributor to city's economy, being ranked as Norway's largest general cargo and containership port, as well as country's main passenger shipping (ferry) gateway. The seaport handles annually around 6000 vessels, with total cargo volume around 6 million tons and passenger shipping volume nearly 7 million. The port authority company is "Port of Oslo KF".
At its modern terminals, the port can handle all types of cargo ships with draft up to 11 m (36 ft) as max quay water depth. The seaport has total land area 1,26 km2 (0,48 ml2) and total quay length 9922 m (32550 ft). Pilotage (pilot assistance) is mandatory for all vessels.
Currently, the port handles 3 daily ferry arrivals with all 21 weekly crossings between Norway and Denmark (Copenhagen, Frederikshavn) and Germany (Kiel). Regularly scheduled cruiseferries connect Oslo with Kiel (Color Line, 7 weekly crossings, travel time 20 hours), with Copenhagen (DFDS Seaways, 7 weekly crossings, time 17 hours) and with Frederikshavn (Stena Line, 7 weekly crossings, time 9 hours).
Officially inaugurated on January 8, 2019, Port Oslo now offers shoreside power supply to berthed vessels. The first ship that received shore-to-ship power was Stena Saga. The technology allows docked vessels to shut down their diesel engines and plug into city's electricity grid (via pierside electrical hookups), thus reducing bad emissions by up to 95%. The expected annual diesel fuel savings are over 1400 tons - the annual CO2 emissions equivalent of 1300 cars.
For FY2018 (fiscal year), Port Oslo reported a record volume of TEU-containers (238,000, or 14% increase over 2017) handled at YILPort Oslo terminal - Norway's newest and most modern. Half of country's population lives within 3-hours drive from the seaport, and ~80% of all containerized goods enter Norway through Oslo.
Oslo cruise port
Oslo is one of the Hurtigruten ports along the "Express Route" (Norwegian Coastal Express). This is a regularly scheduled ferry and cruise itinerary in Norway, between the turnaround ports Bergen (southmost) and Kirkenes (northmost).
In 2011 (port's record year) were handled 170 ship calls and 312,000 passengers. In 2013, the cruise port handled over 300,000 passengers from 146 different nations. Cruises to Oslo are divided in two main types of itineraries - Baltic Sea and Norwegian Fjords.
In 2017, the port had scheduled a total of 102 ship calls (compared to 81 calls in 2016) and handled around 155,000 passengers. In 2017, most berth bookings were made by AIDA Cruises (22 calls) and TUI Cruises (8 calls).
Oslo cruise terminal
In Port Oslo cruise ships dock on Akershus Fortress sides. There are 4 piers – Sondre Akershus (length 235 m), Vippetangen (230 m), Revierkaia (300 m) and Filipstad (350 m). In the cruise terminal area passenger amenities include coffee shop, tourist info office (city tours, free maps), souvenir shops, currency exchange, free Wi-Fi, Internet, taxi ranks.
Downtown is within easy walking distance. The airport is 50 km (30 ml) from the terminal. Most tourist attractions are close to the terminal. Public transportation system offers bus service. Buses depart from the terminal every 30 min.
To reach Bygdoy peninsula (home to Kon-Tiki, Fram museums and Viking Ships) take the ferry (at Pier 3) - travel time is 10-15 min.
Oslo tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
- Opera House: it was inaugurated in 2008. it is an architectural masterpiece. It is made of white marble and looks like a massive ice sheet. It has angular slabs resembling giant ski slopes. The construction cost was $700 millions. It is the home of the Norwegian Ballet and Norwegian National Opera.
- Holmenkollen: famous ski jump area. It dates from the end of 19 century. The area was renovated for the Winter Olympic Games in 1952. It is 357 meter above sea level. The ski jump tower is 60 meter higher. Also you can visit the ski museum, which is the world’s oldest. Holmokollen is located in the Marka region. It is open for visitors through all the year.
- Vigeland Sculpture Park: it is in the western part of Oslo, in the Fronger Park. Discover over 200 sculptures by Gustav Vigeland.
- Oseberg Viking Ship Museum: on display are three of the world’s famous Viking ships. They are over 1,100 -year old.
- National Museum of Art: collections of Norwegian and International art and 1893 paintings. It is located on Universtetsgaten, in adjacent to the Oslo University on Universtetsgaten.
- Munch Museum: museum devoted to Edvard Munch, famous painter and pioneer of Expressionism.
- Akershus Fortress: or Akershus Castle, built by King Hakon V in the 14th century to serve as a royal residence. It was rebuilt by King Christian IV in the 17th century.
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