120 years of coastal voyages
The coastline between Bergen and Kirkenes is over 1,490 miles long, and in the 19th Century almost all of it was home to rich fishing grounds. The maritime maps were unreliable and there were only a few lighthouses, especially in the north. This important seaway was lined with perilous reefs, small islands and narrow inlets, and it was essential that a safe trade route be established to link the southern and northern regions of Norway.
When the Norwegian government decided to create a connection between the north and the south, Richard With and his friend Anders Holthe took on the challenge of thoroughly mapping the seas along the coastline. In 1893, Captain Richard Withs steamer, DS Vesteraalen, was brought into regular service along the coast of Norway, and Hurtigruten was established. The service offered several weekly departures, first from Trondheim to Hammerfest and later from Bergen to Kirkenes in only seven days. He called this important connection Hurtigruten (the fast route).
120 years later, we still carry freight and passengers. Our captains use their extensive maritime expertise to ensure that guests and goods are safely carried from port to port. Today, as then, the Hurtigruten ships are a part of Norwegian coastal life. One of the fleets 11 ships departs Bergen daily, sailing to Kirkenes and back in 12 days at an average speed of 15 knots.
When will we welcome you on board Hurtigruten?