130 years in coastal traffic

The steamer vesteraalen and the crew when they arrived Hammerfest after the first tour on the coastal route.

Since then, many different shipping companies have sailed the very same the coastal route. However, it has become longer, with more departures. Havila Voyages is proud to carry on this 130-year-old tradition on Norway's most significant coastal route with our new, more Eco-friendly cruise ships.

The route for mail and passengers

In the year of 1838, the first paddle steamer steamed between Trondheim and the city of Tromsø. The new nation, Norway,  saw it as the government's task to connect the country with steamship routes for mail and passengers. 

In the middle of the 19th century, this was changed so that the route could be operated by private companies. They received state subsidies, the same way it's done today.

Faster and better with new technology

In July 1893, captain Richard With, a ship owner and CEO of Vesteraalens Dampskibsselskab, set out on his first express voyage from Trondheim to Hammerfest. He had been compiling detailes about the route to be sailed, and he promised to reduce sailing times significantly more than what the government required. By combining the latest technology and important navigation notes made by the Norwegian lodesman Anders Nikolai Holte (1849-1937), he could even sail in the dark. Thus, Richard With could spend roughly the same amount of time on the route between Trondheim and Hammerfest in 1893 as we do today, almost 130 years later.

Captain and founder of the coastal route, Mr. Richard With. Photo from Hurtigrutemuseet Museum Nord

The new coastal route became a success, and more ships were needed. Several shipping companies got involved, and at one stage, there were four different shipping companies sailing the route. Over the years, the coastal route was  extended, and from 1908 it ran the entire stretch between Bergen and Kirkenes.

The coastal route has had over 60 different ports of call. Today there are 34 ports on the world's most beautiful sea voyage.

During the 130-year-old history of the coastal route , many different shipping companies have served the people living on the Norwegian coast . Over time, the route has also become a popular attraction among the many travelers who want to experience the beautiful coastal voyage of Norway.

The steamer Vesteraalen on its very first tour on the coastal route i 1893. Photo from Hurtigrutemuseet Museum Nord

Many shipping companies

The coastal route has been in operation for over a century, and many shipping companies have served the people living on the Norwegian coast and then the many travelers who want to experience our beautiful coastal voyage.