Color Line is the biggest shipping company in Norway and one of the biggest in Europe who offer European short sea shipping. The Color Line shipping company operates seven ships on four international routes between Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Germany, with cruising on the Oslo-Kiel route, transport on the routes from Larvik and Kristiansand to Hirtshals and transport and shopping on the Sandefjord-Strømstad route. In addition to passenger and goods transport, Color Line operates conferences and exhibitions, hotel operation, restaurants, shops, entertainment and tour production.
Color Line employs about 2,300 people (full-time equivalents) in four countries and is currently the only shipping line in international passenger and goods traffic with scheduled services to and from Norway, with ships on the Norwegian shipping register, and with its head office in Norway.
Color Line transports almost four million passengers, about 900,000 cars and about 180,000 trailers (12 m) a year, which corresponds to more than 20 per cent of the annual goods traffic on the road route across Svinesund (2016).
‘Color Line’s vision is to be Europe’s best cruise and passenger ferry company’Color Line
Sea transport has a high priority in the work of achieving national and international climate goals. Color Line’s environmental strategy influences the company’s initiatives. The company has adopted the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association’s vision of zero emissions of damaging substances to the air or water. This obliges the company to contribute to the development of an eco-friendly maritime sector.
Color Line’s vision is to be at the forefront in introducing new, climate-friendly technology on board the ships and in the ports the ships call at. For example, Color Line now has shore power systems in all four ports in Norway that the company uses for scheduled services, and in Kiel, Germany. The total reduction from the use of these systems amounts to 10,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. There is also a significant reduction in NOx, SOx and noise. The company has invested in scrubber systems on board, to satisfy the emission requirements for sulphur and other substances.
In June 2019, Color Line launched the world’s biggest plug-in hybrid ship between Sandefjord and Strømstad.
Digitalisation and new technology
In recent years, the company has invested more than NOK 500 million in new technology, cost-effectiveness and product development. Among other things, Color Line has installed a new digital booking and check-in platform with automatic check-in. The company has also installed Wi-Fi networks on board all its ships. The technology is continuously developed to ensure efficiency and increase customer satisfaction.
Growth in tourism is expected to be 80 per cent on a global basis by 2030 (UNWTO) and the trend for Norwegian tourism is above this level. In the last years, Norway has recorded a great increase in both foreign and domestic tourism. According to the research project REISEPOL, a potential growth in value creation of over 70 per cent. For the Color Line shipping company tourism a focus area for and plays a key role as both transporter and tour operator.
Almost 600,000 foreign tourists a year travel to Norway with Color Line. In Norway, this represents about 3.5 million bed nights on shore and the company’s international guests represent 8 per cent of the total international tourist consumption in Norway. According to analysis company Horwath, this represents a total spend of almost NOK 3.6 billion. This means that for every krone spent on board by international guests, 5 kroner are spent on shore in Norway. If we include the total knock-on effects the total is 11 kroner, which means that Color Line plays a highly important role for Norwegian tourism.
Color Group AS
The Color Group AS is the parent company of Color Line AS and is wholly owned by O.N. Sunde AS, a Norwegian limited company with a Norwegian head office. In 2016 the group had a turnover of NOK 4.9 billion and achieved an operating profit (EBITDA) of approximately NOK 1.1 billion.
A changing society
Read about Color Line’s contribution to increased productivity, reorganisation and innovation.
Color Line's history
Color Line has performed considerable fleet renewals in recent years.