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The World’s most beautiful voyage captured on film

The sea journey along the fjord-indented coastline of Norway is one of the world’s most incredible voyages and is quite rightly claimed to be the most beautiful on earth.

(Know a better one? Then please tell us about it!)

The ships that have been plying this seaway since 1893 are the iconic red, black and white steamers of the Hurtigruten line – hurtig ruten or the ‘fast route’ – which have been providing an essential link between the port of Bergen in the south and the remote communities beyond the Arctic Circle, all the way round the northernmost point of Norway to the Russian border.

They run all year round, regardless of weather – a welcome sight and vital lifeline for the many inhabited islands and isolated coastal settlements which can be cut off from the rest of the country for extended periods during the winter.

Towns like Svolvær on the spectacularly beautiful Lofoten Islands and Berlevåg and Sollia on the dramatic North Cape rely on these boats for supplies – as do the many tourists who now use these increasingly comfortable ships to reach their holiday destinations.

But what’s the voyage really like? Watch this video by clicking on this image (right) and you’ll have to agree that it was 15-minutes well spent as the cameras take you past breathtaking scenery to the haunting music of Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt (what else?).

Ah yes, but what’s it like in winter?” I hear you cry. Well, assuredly the seas can be rougher in winter – far more dramatic, yet this only adds to the sense of adventure and excitement as your sturdy ship makes easy headway through the waves – after all, they were built for these conditions, as this next video clearly shows. Myriad mountainous islands shelter these elegant ships as they make their way south through the narrow channels of the Lofotens Archipelago, to safely reach welcoming ports like Svolvær.

Such is Norway’s love for its ferries that songwriter Tore Sivertsen has composed a love song for Hurtigruten, entitled ‘Beautiful Voyage’ – a heartfelt tribute to their outstanding – and longstanding – service to Norway. You can watch his video by clicking on his album cover.

Let’s face it – how many other transport companies can claim such an accolade – and I don’t mean ‘The National Express’ song, Divine Comedy’s – shall we say – ‘ironic’ look at Britain’s favourite coach company?

So if you want to see the very best of Norway’s coast, then pack your sea legs; don your sou’wester and all aboard one of the Hurtigruten fleet (see below) which ranges from the state-of-the-art MS Fram (built in 2007) to the historic MS Lofoten (built in 1964).

In fact, if you are excited by the idea of travelling on Hurtigruten next year, you’d better start thinking about booking now! Berths fill very quickly, even so far in advance – so don’t miss out.  Our Norwegian Highlights holiday (Lofotens-Bergen-Flåm-Oslo) is now priced for 2014 – have a look and give us a call if this sounds like your kind of adventure:

Meet the fleet:

MS Fråm (2007, pictured right); MS Midnatsol (2003);
MS Trollfjord (2002); MS Finnmarken (2002);
MS Nordnorge (1997); MS Nordkapp (1996);
MS Polarlys (1996, above); MS Nordlys (1994);
MS Richard With (1993); MS Kong Harald (1993);
MS Vestervalen (1983); and MS Lofoten (1964).

Hurtigruten may take the 'fast route' north – but it's a wonderfully relaxing way to travel...  
Posted: 17/09/2013 12:58:20 by | with 0 comments
Filed under: heritage, islands, journey, lifestyle, Norway, opinions, photography, slow, transport


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