A ferry service between the Netherlands and Norway has been declared bankrupt, stranding an unknown number of passengers.
RTV Noord reports that Holland Norway Lines, which suspended operations last week, has now been declared bankrupt by a court. No serious candidate emerged to take over the company, which blamed its financial difficulties on a period in January when it lost its fixed space at Eemshaven harbour.
The company’s single ferry, the MS Romantika, carried some 1,500 passengers each way three times a week between the Netherlands or Germany and Kristiansand in Norway. The service switched to use a harbour in the German Cuxhaven and has been going from Emden in Germany since June, although its managers had said they wanted to use Eemshaven again in future.
The company’s website has not been updated from a statement put out last Thursday, although Dutch media report that staff in the Netherlands and Norway have been informed.
It is thought that people who have bought a future ferry trip are likely to lose their money, unless it is covered by insurance, and travellers will have to find other means to return home. The ship, which is in Emden in Germany, will not be taking any more passengers.
Holland Norway Lines told the Dutch broadcaster that it “deeply regretted” the bankruptcy and thanked everyone concerned “for their support and understanding in this difficult period.”
Last week, Dutch consumer experts advised people to check the terms of their travel insurance and see whether they could access support from the non-profit guarantee foundation, Stichting Garantiefonds Reisgelden. Only one subsidiary of Holland Norway Lines is a member of the fund.
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