Norwegian politician mounts naked protest against cruise ships

Demonstrations against cruise ships are nothing new in Europe. In fact they’ve become a regular part of life in places like Venice, where passengers are routinely greeted by flairs and banners telling them to go home.

Now the anti-cruise ship sentiment appears to be catching on in Norway, where one disgruntled politician has taken to flashing cruise passengers to express his ire.   

Svein Ingvald Opdal, a 71-year-old politician from Norway’s Green Party, was photographed exposing himself to a cruise ship in the village of Olden, where he had become incensed at the number of tourists being disgorged by the vessels.

Norwegian fjords are an increasingly popular destination for cruises

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“We arrived at Olden earlier on Wednesday and we immediately came upon three major cruises ships,” he told state broadcaster NRK. “We later realised there were 11,000 [cruise ship visitors] in total, and I’m not all that thrilled about these big cruise ships.”

So rather than lighting a flair or waving a banner a la Venice, Opdal decided to strip naked and strike a pose at the next vessel that cruised into town.

The politician’s wife took the photograph, but was apparently too embarrassed to post it on social media, so he shared it with his 460 followers on Instagram instead.

According to Opdal the protest was “a spontaneous act that I did mostly for fun”. However, don’t expect nude demonstrations to catch on in Olden, where the average winter temperature struggles to break above zero.   

While Opdal’s naked protest was nothing more than a light-hearted stunt, it is part of growing backlash against mass tourism – particularly cruises – which is sweeping the continent.

Already this summer protests have taken place in Mallorca, Barcelona and Dubrovnik, as destinations struggle to strike a balance between the needs of local residents and a thriving tourist industry.

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