How can I explain Hurtigruten? If I say it is the Norwegian Coastal Express service you will ask ‘and why do I need to know that’, if I say it has been sailing around the coast of Norway since 1893 you may say ‘so what?’ but if I say is has been called ‘the most beautiful voyage in the world’ that might give you a clue as to why you should investigate further – so let me explain.
I love ships, I love cruises and I love Hurtigruten, but Hurtigruten is not a cruise in the accepted sense. No Captain’s cocktail party, no dressing up and the best footwear is a good pair of walking boots and some comfy socks. Hurtigruten translates as ‘fast route’ and my first clue to just how important it is to Norwegians emerged when I bought a map shortly before our trip – and there on a standard map was the Hurtigruten route marked in red all the way along the coast from Bergen to the very top of Norway at Kirkenes.