Our documentation shows that the ships has entered two world heritage fjords with sulphur values far beyond the legal limit values,

...said Bjørn Pedersen, Head of Department of Legislation and International Relations in the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA).

On 1st March, new environmental requirements for emissions and discharges in the world heritage fjords the Nærøyfjord, Aurlandsfjord, Geirangerfjord, Sunnylvsfjord and Tafjord entered into force. This was the first violation fine by NMA under the new rules.

On 16 April, the NMA received notes of concern about smoke emissions from the Bahamas-registered cruise ship, which was berthed in Flåm.

An inspection onboard at Geiranger the next day identified the sulphur content of the ship’s fuel to be 0.17 %, while the maximum allowed sulphur content in fjords is 0.10 %.

Tracking of the vessel's AIS signal shows that the vessel made ports of call at both Eidfjord and Flåm in the days preceding the port of call at Geiranger.

Both of these ports are located within the North Sea ECA. The ship came to Eidfjord from Tilbury in the UK, where it left port on 13 April.

NMA is planning to focus on inspections, particularly of cruise ships, in the world heritage fjords. Even though many cruise ship companies have invested in new, modern ships, older cruise ships are still visiting the world heritage fjords.

We will have an increased presence in the world heritage fjords in the months to come, and our focus will be on making sure that the new environmental requirements are met,

..says Alf Tore Sørheim, Head of Department of Operative Supervision.

The NMA has also invested in sensors which can be attached to a drone to detect sulphur exhaust gases.