Trade and Media partners Celebrate Wideroe Airlines launch in the Norwegian Embassy
Marian (Travelbiz) attended the Norwegian Ambassador’s Residence in Dublin where Her Excellency Mari Skare hosted a reception for trade and press to celebrate the launch of the new direct Wideroe flight from Dublin to Bergen and to present information on Bergen, Fjord Norway and Northern Norway, all easily accessed from Bergen.
Ambassador Skare welcomed everyone and said how delighted she is that Wideroe have chosen Dublin Bergen as their newest route as she feels the Irish have much in common with the Norwegians.
The evening began with entertainment from singer Sharon Gaynor accompanied by musician Tove Kragset who told me she had flown in from Bergen for the occasion. Ambassador Skare took great pleasure in introducing a very special guest, double Eurovision winning songwriter Brendan Graham. Brendan told us that he first visited Oslo in 1996 when his entry, The Voice, won. This was the beginning of his ongoing collaboration with Norwegian musicians and he went on to tell the fascinating story of how this led to him writing ‘You Raise Me Up’ – but that’s a story for another day! Sharon then rounded up the entertainment by singing that very song.
We then enjoyed a delicious buffet of typical Norwegian fare before getting down to the serious business of the evening.
Kristin Gaustad (Sales & Marketing Manager Leisure Wideroe Airlines) gave some background on the airline which was founded in 1934 making it the oldest in Norway and one of the oldest in the world. They will fly twice weekly on Thursday and Sunday from Dublin direct to Bergen, the heart of the fjords.
Lynn Kjos Falkenberg (Senior Communication Manager Visit Bergen) gave a comprehensive insight into all that Bergen has to offer on a year round basis, the Christmas Market is a must with the world’s largest gingerbread town. It is a compact city with everything within walking distance, including the sea and the mountains. This City of Seven Mountains is a former European City of Culture with rich art and cultural offerings and hosts a number of music festivals. Bergen offers both fun dining and fine dining in abundance including two Michelin star restaurants. To slake your thirst there are local craft beers, cider and award-winning local gin.
Marianne Johnsen (Director of Sales Fjord Norway), the official Tourist Board of the Fjords, gave us a great insight into the extent and beauty of the fjords and the variety of packages available for visiting this area, including sustainable package tours using public transportation. They have several tools in place to support the travel trade in selling the fjords including The Travel Planner App.
Kristoffer Furstenberg (Chief Communications Officer Fjord Norway) elaborated on the unique and unusual accommodation options available from sky lodges and tree houses suspended in the air to lighthouses!
Jan Roger Eriksen (Head of Travel Trade Northern Norway Tourist Board) introduced us to the regions of Northern Norway and Svalbard. Amongst the many attractions are the Arctic Summer with Midnight Sun Season from May to July and the Arctic Winter Season and Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) from December to March. Avail of the opportunity to meet the Sami (the indigenous reindeer-herding people) and experience their unique culture.