Six acquisitions in six months
for travel organization Nordic

Press Release
Londerzeel, Belgium, May 7, 2024

Nordic acquires Dutch-speaking travel organization Norske, becoming the market leader in the sale of Hurtigruten sea voyages in the Netherlands

In less than six months, Nordic, part of the Nordic Collection group, marks its sixth acquisition with the integration of the Norway specialist Norske. This strategic move strengthens Nordic’s position as the market leader in the sale of Hurtigruten sea voyages in the Netherlands.

Nordic strenghtens market position

Both Nordic and Norske share a long history of cooperation with Hurtigruten, known for its iconic sea voyages along the Norwegian coast and the polar regions. “This acquisition is a natural step for us to join forces and further accelerate our growth in the Dutch market,” said Maarten Raes, CEO and founder of Nordic. “With a combined turnover of 130 million euros in tour operating activities and 15 million euros in hotels, we strengthen our leading position in the tourism sector.”

“Norway was where it all started for Nordic. From 1980 to 2012, it was our only destination and Norway is still deeply woven into the DNA of Nordic. The acquisition of Norske, the Norwegian specialist of the Netherlands, fits perfectly within the vision of our brand,” Raes added.

The acquisition is part of Nordic’s strategy to continue growing in the Belgian, Dutch, German, and French markets, where they focus not only on organic growth but also on acquiring companies with a very clear match, such as the recent acquisitions of Askja Reizen, Go North Iceland, VNC Asia Travel, Nord Espaces, and Beyond Borders. “Not only in terms of products but also in terms of values and visions,” explains Maarten Raes.

Norske employees to retain their jobs

Currently, about twenty employees work at Norske. They will retain their jobs and join the new organization. Owners Dick and Annemarie Van Kooi will leave the organization after a short transition period. Hugo van Drie, Director of Nordic Netherlands, will take over the daily management of Norske and will focus on integration in the coming months.

“Over the years, Nordic and Norske have maintained strong relations. Together with Dick and Annemarie, I will ensure a smooth transition. I am confident that Nordic, along with the Norske team, will be able to offer the most exquisite array of sea journeys to our customers in the Dutch market,” declares Van Drie. “This acquisition not only strengthens our market position but also marks an exciting new phase of collaboration, where we build on our shared expertise and passion for creating unique travel experiences.”

“The commonalities between Nordic and Norske are significant. Besides the same specialization, the Norske team also has years of experience and knowledge. I myself am happy to have worked for and with Norske for nearly 29 years and am pleased with the takeover by Nordic, whose owner I have known for many years and with whom I have always had extremely pleasant contact. I am fully confident that Norske is in very good hands with Nordic,” concludes Van Kooi.

Unlike Nordic, Norske also sold their travels through a selection of travel agencies. Nordic will continue this cooperation in the future.

About Nordic

Nordic, part of Nordic Collection, is the market leader in Belgium for Scandinavia trips and offers a wide range of authentic travel experiences in Scandinavia and beyond. With more than 100 passionate employees, Nordic is active in the Belgian, Dutch, French, and German markets, focused on offering unforgettable nature trips.

About Nordic Collection

Nordic Collection is the organization behind twelve renowned travel brands, including Nordic. Nordic was founded in 2008 by CEO Maarten Raes under the name ‘Nordic Info’. Since then, the company has seen significant growth and has added various brands to its portfolio under the umbrella name ‘Nordic Collection’. Nordic Collection now includes twelve brands with destinations worldwide: Nordic, Galtic, Atacama, MyHimalaya, Canada Travel Designers, Wild Alaska, Beyond Borders, FLY and BiKE, Askja Reizen, VNC Asia Travel, Nord Espaces, and Norske.

About Norske

Norske Turist Service BV, better known as Norske, was founded in 1953 in Amsterdam as a travel organization focusing on Scandinavia. In 1986, the company moved to Heemstede and increasingly focused on Norway as a holiday destination. In 1992, Norske was appointed General Agent for Hurtigruten in the Netherlands. Today, Norske remains a Hurtigruten Agent, with a significant turnover in both their journeys along the Norwegian coast and Expedition trips with Hurtigruten to destinations such as Antarctica, Greenland, the Galapagos Islands, Svalbard, etc.

About Hurtigruten

Hurtigruten is the name of the shipping company that has connected the south and north of Norway since 1893. Originally, the ships facilitated the smooth delivery of mail and goods. Now, they primarily transport passengers, but the routine of daily loading and unloading has been preserved, giving the journey an authentic experience. The classic Hurtigruten sea voyage takes you from Bergen to Kirkenes and back in 12 days, with various stops along the Norwegian coast.