We look for traces of the development of the Hurtigruten and visit the Hurtigruten Museum Stokmarknes on Vesterålen.

The Hurtigruten Museum Stokmarknes on Vesterålen

Anyone who knows Norway also knows about the old line of mail ships and today’s Hurtigruten. And even those who are very critical of the current hype and gigantism of the crusaders cannot escape the fascination of the Hurtigruten. It is the same with us. The Hurtigruten are a pleasant change from the floating social buildings. We immerse ourselves in the history of the Hurtigruten and visit the Hurtigruten Museum in Stokmarknes, a small village on Vesterålen, north of the Lofoten.

As long as I go to Norway, I love the mail ships, the Hurtigruten along the Norwegian coast. Once founded to also supply remote regions with mail and goods and to allow people a certain degree of mobility, the focus has now changed due to the expansion of the road network and the numerous airports. The Hurtigruten have developed from a liner service to a tourist attraction without betraying their roots.

And so it is somehow part of us to immerse ourselves in the history of the Hurtigruten when we get a little closer to Norway want to get to know. We can also visit the Hurtigruten Museum on Vesterålen, in the small village of Stokmarknes.

What Stokmarknes has to do with the Hurtigruten Museum

The term “Stokmarknes” actually means something like “forest and logging ground” in old Norwegian. So it has nothing to do with the sea. And yet it was here, in Stokmarknes, that the first mail line was built in 1891. In 1893, the official liner service started. Until 1988, the Vesteraalens Dampskipselskap shipping company founded by Richard With was at home here, from which today’s Hurtigruten emerged.

The Hurtigruten are now known and loved around the world. This is shown by the guests from numerous nations who insist on experiencing this not necessarily cheaper trip along the Norwegian coast with the Hurtigruten once in a lifetime. There are also trips to Antarctica, via the notorious Northwest Passage or to Greenland.

As a result, the Hurtigruten shipping company has decided to tell its lively and exciting story in its own Hurtigruten museum. And that at the place where it was founded, here in Stokmarknes. For the 100th anniversary in 1993, the Hurtigruten Museum opened in the former administration building of the Vesteraalens Dampskipselskap shipping company. But the history of the Hurtigruten is too extensive to not give it enough space. The Hurtigruten Museum opened its doors on July 4th, 1999 in the new building.

The Hurtigruten Museum and the Finnmarken

Hurtigruten you can touch, that is what you can experience above all in the Hurtigruten ship “Finnmarken” docked in front of the museum. The Finnmarken was put into service in 1956 and retired in 1993 after almost 40 years of loyal service. From the waterfront, she stands in the shadow of her successors right in front of the Hurtigruten Museum and is connected to the exhibition rooms by a bridge.

Unfortunately, the ravages of time are gnawing at this wonderful Hurtigruten ship “Finnmarken “. So it was reconsidered and there were or are considerations of scrapping it and replacing it with another ship. Perhaps a glass hall would be an alternative to an expensive restoration. The Finn brands as donation boats on all Hurtigruten lines would perhaps be a beneficial contribution to the preservation of this unique and emotional maritime monument.

Stokmarknes on Vesterålen

Stokmarknes on Vesterålen is almost a big place by regional standards. And above all a very international place. It belongs to the Hadsel commune and is located on the island of the same name. On the one hand, Stokmarknes is the home port and landing stage of the Hurtigruten, but there are also fish processing companies here. And so it happens that you meet people from 25 nations in this 3,200 soul place. Stokmarknes has everything a small town has to offer, including the Hurtigruten Museum.

From Stokmarknes to Lofoten and back

The location of the port and the proximity to Lofoten allow you to travel with the Hurtigruten through the famous and very narrow Trollfjord to the capital of Lofoten, to Svolvær, and to come back here within a day.

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