Hurtigruten Planning Huge Year-Long Norwegian Coastal Express Celebration in 2023

Hurtigruten celebrates the Norwegian Coastal Express’ 130-year anniversary with special on-board experiences and curated anniversary menu for the year-long celebration in 2023. Plus Hurtigruten offers a “Northern Lights Guarantee”

Hurtigruten’s Norwegian Coastal Express ship the MS Nordlys will help celebrate the 130th Anniversary. Photo – Hurtigruten

Tromsø, Norway: March 4, 2021Hurtigruten is planning a big year-long celebration in 2023. The reason? To celebrate the 130-year Anniversary of the historic Norwegian Coastal Express. To this day, it remains a lifeline for residents of coastal Norway, and the experience is on the bucket list of many intrepid travelers.

A Brief History

On July 2, 1893, Captain Richard With took the helm of the steamer DS Vesteraalen and set sail into history. That day, Captain With commanded the very first sailing of the Norwegian Coastal Express. Since that historic day, 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.

The steamer DS Vesteraalen, the first Hurtigruten ship which began the Norwegian Coastal Express in 1893 with Captain Richard With at the helm. Photo – Hurtigruten

“We will celebrate the iconic Coastal Express’ first 130 years by honoring those who sailed before us, the coastal communities they served, and 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.

Hurtigruten Norway CEO Hedda Felin. Photo – Hurtigruten

Bookings are Now Open

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 merchandise will also be available in the on-board shop, and other special celebrations will be announced later.

Green Technology Hurtigruten is a Leader in the Maritime Industry

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.

Hurtigruten’s Coastal Express continues to carry important cargo and goods to and from local communities and businesses to 34 ports of call. Passengers on Winter voyages are guaranteed to see the Northern Lights. Photo – Hurtigruten

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.