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The city-ship tunnel should provide more safety.

18 January 2021

It is a project of immense proportions: a tunnel for cruise ships is soon to be built in Norway. The 37-meter high and almost 27-meter wide colossus is to be built so that the large ships can travel more safely in the waters of Norway.

Construction is scheduled to begin in late 2021.

Stad Ship Tunnel: The world's first tunnel for cruise ships

Norway is a popular route for ships of all kinds. Especially cruise ships with thousands of curious tourists very often head for this destination. But the sea areas in the North Sea are considered one of the most dangerous in the world. Up to now, all ships had to cross the risky sea area Stadhavet at the Norwegian west coast directly in order to get further. Due to the strong and quite dangerous current including wind, some ships have already capsized. The luxury cruise ship "Viking Sky" got into distress about 2019. Over 1,300 passengers were in danger after a serious engine failure. The ship drifted straight towards sharp rocky mountains - several people on board were also injured.

In order to make the captains and passengers feel as comfortable and safe as possible when travelling in the future, a tunnel is now to be built to facilitate the passage of cruise ships through this area. But also freighters and Hurtigruten ships should fit through the new Stad ship tunnel without any problems. The tunnel will measure 37 metres in height and 26.5 metres in width. On a length of approximately 1.7 kilometres, ships will then be able to cross the Stad peninsula as a safe sea passage. In addition, the travel time will be reduced considerably - the ships will save several hours. This is because instead of having to sail around the peninsula, the route leads right across the country. The Moldefjord and the Vanylvsford are to be connected. A ship travelling at a speed of 15 kilometres per hour would therefore only need around ten minutes to cross the tunnel.

330 million euros for construction start

The plan to implement this project has been in place for several years. In 2017, the Norwegian parliament also approved it. Now the government has included tunnel construction in the budget for 2021 - so there is nothing standing in the way of starting construction. This is also reported by the Norwegian Maritime Authority Kystverket on its homepage. Tunnel construction is scheduled to begin at the end of the year and will then take about four years. So far, Norway has released 330 million euros in funding for the major project. According to experts, however, the costs may rise even further, as the tunnel construction is a very complex and lengthy project.

Technicians are said to face a great challenge. Because the size, the depth and additionally the extraordinary location of the tunnel is nothing ordinary. It is estimated that about 7.5 million tons of rock will have to be removed and stored elsewhere for the construction.

Picture Credits: Katja Fuhlert / Pixabay, Enrique Lopez Garre / Pixabay

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