Hurtigruten - The Costal Express
Hurtigruten was established in 1893 by a government contract to improve physical communications for goods and passengers along Norway's long, jagged coastline. During the first years, it ran between the cities of Trondheim in the South and Hammerfest in the North. Over the years, the service was expanded to run between Bergen and Kirkenes, close the Russian border in the far north-east.
Since many of the fjords are very deep inland, travel over land was very time consuming and sometimes impossible for the lack of roads. An example: Honningsvåg to Kjøllefjord takes 2 hours 15 minutes by ship, and 5 hours and 30 minutes by car on a 400 km narrow road.
Therefore, the government provide financial support to the operator, since the ship service is considered part of the country's infrastructure, thus enabling people to live in faraway places. Today, Hurtigruten runs daily in both directions, servicing 34 ports of call northbound and 33 ports southbound. It takes about 5 days end-to end. The ships run every day in both directions , 365 days a year in every kind of weather.
Over the later years, this sea voyage has become a major cruise destination, and the modern ships have facilities to satisfy most customers.
From a photographic point of view, it is the coast line and the costal communities during both nice and stormy weather to enjoy.
The pictures in the gallery below, are during trips made in February 2008 (Kirkenes - Bergen) and in September 2015 (Bergen - Kirkenes and return).