Havila Holding’s investments in tourism all started when the company set its sights westward bound. The company now has operations on shore, at sea and even in the air.
There were so many opportunities, and they had to be taken. And this is how the company embarked on tourism.
From his days as a fisherman, Per Sævik had contacts on the Faeroe Islands – people with the same values and principles as himself and with the same good eye for opportunities. This gave birth to a collaboration involving fisheries and offshore operations, then later a joint investment in a hotel in Torshavn. The opportunity to invest in Smyril Line also materialised in the Faeroe Islands. Smyril Line has ships carrying passengers and cargo between Iceland, the Faeroe Islands and the rest of Europe.
Passenger transport and hotels were the key elements of the Group's investments in tourism.
The acquisition of Fjord1 opened the door not only to everyday ferry services on Norwegian fjords, but also travel for tourists. The acquisition of Fjord1 also included co-ownership for Havila Holding in Fjord Tours and The Fjords, businesses involved in tourist traffic on Norwegian fjords. The acquisition also included co-ownership in the airline Widerøe.
In their home town of Fosnavåg, Havila is one of the businesses involved in the construction of Thon Hotel Fosnavåg. Investments continued with the acquisition of two hotels, one in Østra and the other in Hornindal, so that Havila Hotels could welcome guests to hotel accommodation and experiences in the mountains, by the fjord and on the coast.
Thon Hotel Fosnavåg is located on the quay in Fosnavåg harbour. The hotel has 115 rooms, conference and meeting rooms and a restaurant with views of the harbour and boat traffic. The hotel is located in the same building as a multi-storey car park, concert hall and cinema.
Hotell Ivar Aasen is located in the centre of Ørsta, on the innermost shores of the fjord and surrounded by the lofty peaks of the Sunnmøre mountains. The hotel has 72 rooms, conference rooms and meeting rooms and Symra restaurant.
Hotell Raftevold is located in Hornindal on the banks of the Hornindalsvatnet lake, the deepest lake in Europe. The hotel has 44 rooms, conference rooms and meeting rooms and its own restaurant, Dølen Eteri.
When the Sævik family took the huge step from fisheries to offshore operations, their knowledge of the sea and of ship operations was important capital. The same was true when Havila Holding took their most recent and – to date – largest step within the travel industry, with Kystruten or the coastal route.
Havila Kystruten is the name of the company founded to operate four of the ships sailing the traditional coastal route between Bergen and Kirkenes, starting in 2021. This route remains a part of daily life for those who live on the coast of Norway, although an increasing number of passengers travel from all over the world to experience the salty winds, naked coastal cliffs and purity of the landscape along the coast.
Havila Kystruten’s ships will be the most eco-friendly ships sailing these waters. Equipped with the world’s largest battery package, they can sail with zero emissions through vulnerable areas, such as the World Heritage area for the Geirangerfjord. The ships can cater for close to 500 passengers.