For travelers seeking the Norwegian Coastal Voyage (or Hurtigruten) the dramatic landscapes of the western coastline and the majestic fjords, this has become The Nordic Company’s most popular choice for cruising in all of Norway! You have 1,250 miles to travel and the opportunity to touch the lifestyle of the Sami people, Experience the North Cape and Discover traditional fishing villages.
By the time your journey is over, you will have seen the sweep of Norwegian history from the Vikings to modern times.
Stretching from Bergen to Kirkenes, well above the Arctic Circle, the Norwegian Coastal Voyage and coastal steamers remain truly “working” ships as they arrive at the many ports of call along the coast. They are known as Hurtigruten (English: Coast Express) in Norway. The fleet ranges from traditional midgeneration vessels to modern millennium-class ships. Whatever your choice, the experience is absolutely sensational, and the memories will last a lifetime.
Hurtigruten traces its origins more than 100 years back; it was established in 1893 by government contract to improve communications along Norway's long, jagged coastline. Originally, only one shipping company, Vesteraalens Dampskibsselskab, was willing to take on the job of sailing the then poorly charted waters; the Norwegian Coastal Voyage was especially difficult during the long, dark winters. Hurtigruten, which roughly translates as "the express route," was a substantial breakthrough for communities along its path. Mail from central Norway to Hammerfest that had taken three weeks in the summer (and up to five months in winter) now could be delivered in a mere seven days. At times, the vessels were called Mail Boats.
Encouraged by Vesteraalens' early success, several other shipping companies obtained concessions on the route, and the Hurtigruten (Norwegian Coastal Voyage) service expanded to the current round trip between Bergen in the southwest and Kirkenes in the far northeast. A fleet of 11 ships ensured that each of the 34 ports was visited twice daily; once by "Nordgående" (Northbound) and once by "Sørgående" (Southbound).
Beginning in the 1980s, the role of Hurtigruten changed; operating subsidies were gradually phased out, and the operators put more emphasis on tourism. New, bigger and more luxurious ships were introduced, with attention given to jacuzzis, bars, restaurants and other comforts. However, Hurtigruten still serves important passenger and cargo needs, and operates 365 days a year. The Norwegian Coastal Voyage is called the “World's Most Beautiful Voyage.”
The last two independent shipping companies, Ofoten og Vesteraalens Dampskibsselskab (OVDS) and Troms Fylkes Dampskibsselskap (TFDS) merged on March 1, 2006, and became the Hurtigruten Group. Besides the traditional Norwegian Coastal Voyage, the new company also operates ferries and high-speed regional express ships in Norway.
Ship List for Norwegian Coast Voyage:
- MS Fram
- MS Midnatsol
- MS Trollfjord
- MS Finnmarken
- MS Nordnorge
- MS Polarlys
- MS Nordkapp
- MS Nordlys
- MS Richard With
- MS Kong Harald
- MS Vesterålen
- MS Narvik
- MS Lofoten
- MS Nordstjernen
- MS Lyngen
The older Finnmarken built in 1956, is a public museum for tourists in Stokmarknes, the birthplace of Hurtigruten. It is used to show how the Hurtigruten have been used over the years.
In the sequence of the Norwegian Coastal Voyage northerly passage, the cities visited are:
- (Geiranger) - (only summer)
Enjoy our exciting Norwegian Coastal Voyage packages!