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Hurtigruten's Norwegian Coastal Voyage along the scenic coast and fjords of Norway has often been praised as being one of the most beautiful voyages in the world. Each day of your voyage will yield unforgettable memories of natural beauty as you discover a coastline with an ever changing personality with a new revelation around every headland.

You become part of the Hurtigruten tradition as you board your ship. The service was founded 120 years ago as a way of ferrying passengers and supplies between the isolated communities along the rugged coastline. The Coastal Voyage route remains close to its origins, skirting the picturesque coastline of Norway whilst encountering some of its last wildernesses.

 

We invite you to experience for yourself, that touch of pure "Norwegian Magic" which combines stunning and magnificent scenery, a haven of wildlife, tradition & culture and most of all, a warm welcome which will leave you with a lasting impression.

 

HURTIGRUTEN - A VOYAGE LIKE NO OTHER

Right to the heart of Norway and its people, the Norwegian Coastal Voyage of Hurtigruten, as it's known locally, carries passengers, mail and supplies to over 30 ports along the Norwegian Coastline, most never visited by commercial cruise liners.

With daily departures, the Hurtigruten journey begins in Bergen and travels north across the Arctic Circle and beyond as it meanders through the dramatic splendours of the Norwegian coast. As you weave in and out of narrow inlets, you will sail along some of the world's most beautiful coastline, nearly always in sight of land, and discover what makes this voyage unique.

 

Many of the ports of call are tranquil hamlets on tiny islands whose inhabitants depend for their very existence on the Hurtigruten ships to bring the communities essential supplies and reunite families and friends.

 

Each Hurtigruten ship has a distinct style and character and no two journeys will ever be the same as the changing seasons, climate, flora and fauna, local people you meet and the friendly English speaking crew, make each Hurtigruten voyage a different experience.

 

Like-minded people from across the world come to enjoy the magnificent scenery and informal atmosphere on board. many take the opportunity to sail in summer during the period of the midnight sun, when the sun flirts with the horizon before curving skyward, bathing the glorious scenery in perpetual daylight.

 

As you board your Hurtigruten ship you can be proud that you are part of a tradition that has spanned three centuries. It is this commitment to a proud tradition that has made Hurtigruten an essential part of Norwegian life.

 

THE HURTIGRUTEN STORY

When seasoned Norwegian Sea Captain Richard With came up with the idea of starting a year-round steam ship service to link northern and southern Norway, the local Governor asked his associates, "Is this captain a dreamer, or can it be done?"

 

It was the late 19th century, and though the Industrial Revolution had brought all kinds of comforts and technologies to Oslo and the ports of the south, the region beyond Bergen was still seen as a remote wilderness hemmed in by dramatic landscapes.

 

Richard With's proposal for a service in daylight hours, from Trondheim to Hammerfest on a weekly basis, bringing mail, passengers and cargo was audacious enough, but he went further, claiming that in time, he would be able to sail this distance both day and night, both summer and winter. This was unheard of, as the first complete map of the Norwegian coast had yet to be made, and no pilot could possibly know all the topographical challenges.

 

The rugged landscape north of Bergen had for centuries only been accessible from the sea. From before the time of the Vikings, ships had sailed along the coast, exploiting the channels and harbours - kept free of ice by the Gulf Stream - in search of the best fishing grounds.

 

The route became a lively trading channel, as boats burdened first with dried fish and later flour, syrup and sugar provided isolated communities with commerce and provisions. The delivery of mail was the initial reason for the establishment of what was then known as the Coastal Express.

 

For ninety years, the Coastal Express was the most important communication link between north and south. It is from these times that the name Hurtigruten dates, translated as 'fast route', this was quite literally the quickest route to north Norway. Each ship had its own post office, its own stamp and its own post officer on board - indeed it was only in 1983 that mail delivery was transferred to planes and vehicles. Up until then, the Coastal Express was simply the most reliable of the alternatives, known for arriving on time all year round, regardless of weather conditions.

 

This symbiosis between the ships and the people may well account for the affection many Norwegians have for the route. Ask a coastal resident to tell you about Hurtigruten and they sometimes become emotional. The history and tradition of the route, and the epic endeavour of the captains and crews who have helped steer so many coastal communities into the modern age, have never been regarded with anything but admiration.