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By the anniversary year of 2023, MS Kong Harald will be converted to a modern hybrid ship, cutting CO2 emissions by 25 per cent. Here from the Lofoten islands in Northern Norway.  Photo: Stian Klo / Hurtigruten Norway
By the anniversary year of 2023, MS Kong Harald will be converted to a modern hybrid ship, cutting CO2 emissions by 25 per cent. Here from the Lofoten islands in Northern Norway. Photo: Stian Klo / Hurtigruten Norway

Press release -

Hurtigruten celebrates the Norwegian Coastal Express’ 130-year anniversary with special on-board experiences

Hurtigruten Norway and the Norwegian Coastal Express celebrates 130 years with a special historic anniversary menu and a year-long celebration in 2023.

On 2 July 1893, Captain Richard With and the steamer DS Vesteraalen set sail on the very first sailing of the Norwegian Coastal Express. Ever since, we have been the original coastal voyage – a unique way to experience the Norwegian coast up close, just as generations of Norwegians have done before us.

“We will celebrate the iconic Coastal Express’ first 130 years by honoring those that sailed before us and the coastal communities they served, and which we still serve today. We will bring together the modern and the traditional in this year-long celebration, with newly upgraded hybrid ships, anniversary menus and historical lectures and excursions”, Hurtigruten Norway CEO Hedda Felin said.


DS Vesteraalen was the first ship to set sail in the Norwegian Coastal Express in 1893.

Voyages in the 2023 and 2024 season, both short getaways and full 12-day round trips, are now open for booking.

“We are proud to operate a legacy journey with such strong traditions. 2023 marks our 130th year of bringing international travelers and local passengers together on board the Coastal Express, all while we carry important cargo and goods to and from local communities and businesses in our 34 ports of call”, Felin said.

Special menu

On the 10th night of the round trip, on the southbound leg between Brønnøysund and Rørvik, the main restaurant on board will serve a special five course meal. The anniversary menu brings together classic Norwegian home cooking, the staples that have been served on board for 130 years, with modern Norwegian cuisine. As with all food on board, the anniversary menu will be sourced with fresh local ingredients delivered to the ship en route.

The onboard program will also include special lectures in 2023 about Hurtigruten’s 130 years history, and the special relationship between the iconic ships and the local communities in the 34 ports we call at between Bergen and Kirkenes.

Special and limited edition merchandize will also be available in the on-board shop, and other special celebrations will be announced later.

Hurtigruten Norway CEO Hedda Felin. Photo: Espen Mills / Hurtigruten Norway

Green technology

In 2023 guests can also experience the Norwegian coast on board one of our newly upgraded ships, including three hybrid ships powered by brand new low emissions engines and large battery packs.

MS Richard With, named after Hurtigruten’s founder, is currently in yard for a technical makeover. The ship will emerge as a modern hybrid ship with large battery packs and brand-new engines this summer. In 2023, MS Kong Harald and MS Nordlys will follow as hybrid ships.

All seven coastal ships will also be fitted with modern technology and green upgrades that will cut CO2 emissions by 25 percent and NOx emissions by a massive 80 percent, including shore power connectivity and the use of biofuel.

What to look forward to on the Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Express:

  • Norway’s Coastal Kitchen: A voyage with us is also about experiencing authentic local cuisine. Calling at 34 ports creates opportunities to have fresh ingredients delivered to the ships every day. Our chefs are collaborating with more than 50 local suppliers along the coast, giving our guests a true taste of Norway.
  • Local knowledge: With our long experience operating the Coastal Express, we offer local knowledge and local partners that are unmatched on the Norwegian Coast. All our ships have experienced on-board guides that hold lectures and organize activities.
  • Excursions: For the new season, we offer more than 70 optional shore excursions between Bergen in the south to Kirkenes in the north, including emission free excursions with electrical catamarans and tour buses.
  • Bergen Lounge: Our guests will start the journey in style at our comfortable lounge in Bergen. Here they will get a taste of Norway’s Coastal Kitchen, they can book excursions and relax in comfortable surroundings ahead of their big adventure.
  • Northern Lights Promise: Winter is peak Northern Lights season in Norway and sailing with us – often far away from light pollution – provides some of the best possibilities to view this celestial lightshow. We are so confident the Northern Lights will make an appearance on your 12- or 11-day voyage if you travel in the Northern Lights season, that if they do not appear, we will give you another 6 or 7-day trip North or South free of charge.

Hurtigruten Group - World leader in exploration travel

Hurtigruten Norway is part of Hurtigruten Group, the world’s leading adventure travel group, offering unique experiences in the most spectacular areas on the planet. The Group aims to raise and set new standards for the entire travel industry, offering authentic local experiences while leaving a footprint to be proud of.

After the ongoing green upgrade of the Hurtigruten Norway fleet, the Group will have six hybrid vessels. Hurtigruten Group stopped using heavy fuel oil more than a decade ago and were the first expedition cruise company to ban non-essential single-use plastic throughout our entire operation.

Press contacts

Hurtigruten Norway Press Duty Phone

Hurtigruten Norway Press Duty Phone

Press contact Hurtigruten Norwegian Coastal Express +4748027700

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Building on 125 years of Norwegian pioneering heritage, Hurtigruten is today the world's largest expedition cruise company.

Hurtigruten’s rapidly growing fleet of custom-build expedition ships takes modern-day adventure travellers to the world’s most spectacular destinations on our Planet - from the High North to Antarctica in the south.

Being the world leader in exploration travel comes with a great responsibility. Hurtigruten is enhancing destinations and runs an responsible, sustainable global operation. Read more about Hurtigruten's sustainability efforts here.

Hurtigruten introduced the world’s first hybrid battery powered cruise ships, the MS Roald Amundsen this summer. In 2020 she is followed by sister ship MS Fridtjof Nansen.

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