Norwegian tourism officials are crediting Disney’s animated film Frozen for jump-starting travel to the Scandinavian country. According to Innovation Norway, tourism has jumped 37% in the first quarter of 2014 (year on year with 2013), a fact confirmed by Visit Norway spokesman, Harald Hansen, who says that that the number of U.S. visitors to Norway alone has spiked since the film’s release last November with tour operators seeing a 40% increase in sales already this year (versus the same time period last year).
The popular film, which has already grossed nearly $1.3 billion in worldwide box-office sales, features two spunky princesses—Anna and Elsa —from the fictional, but Norwegian-inspired land of Arendelle. “Frozen” art director Michael Giaimo has spoken at length about his 2011 research trip to Norway, noting that he paid particular attention to the country’s majestic fjords, medieval “stave” churches and traditional folk art, to aid the film’s aesthetic planning process. He also became entranced by Bergen, a coastal city known for its picturesque views, fresh fish markets, gabled row houses and overall historic charm.
Furthermore, the name of “Arendelle,” according to the Disney Wiki, was derived from the Norwegian town of Arendal, whereas the kingdom’s look was inspired by the scenic Naeroyfjord, a branch of Norway’s longest fjord that was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005. A breathtaking natural wonder, Naeroyfjord features crystalline rock walls, glacial lakes, waterfalls, gigantic glaciers, and steep mountains, all of which should be seen in person —”Frozen” fan or not.
For fans who want a deeper view into Nordic natural wonders and culture, Celebrity Cruises’ Norwegian Fjord cruises take passengers to a numbers of Nordic ports that shine a light into this inimitable alpine world (reindeer and snowman companions optional).