07-Jul-2007 -- Every day of the year, whatever the weather, eleven ships will call at their 35 stops from Bergen in the south to Kirkenes in the north, and the same stops again southbound. Since 1893 it has been, and still is, an important means of transportation for local people, tourists and cargo. Hurtigruten is first and foremost a scheduled service. But it is also part of the coastal culture. For people along the coast it is an institution priding itself of reliability and trust.
The journey from Bergen to Kirkenes or the other way round is so spectacular that many tourists now take it as a cruise.
I was travelling on M/S Polarlys (11.000 tons, 737 passengers) from Honningsvåg to Kjøllefjord when I saw from my road map that the ship might pass close to this confluence point. Keeping an eye on my GPS out on deck I realized after a while that we probably would miss it by a nautical mile or so.
The weather was nice, the sea calm with a slight breeze and I finally approached the reception with a request for a visit to the bridge. After a few minutes of explanations I was allowed up to tell them about the new hobby of a retired bureaucrat. The Chief Mate checked the course and saw we would miss the confluence point. We were still about an hour's sailing from Kjøllefjord. He was most forthcoming, ordered a change of course, and half an hour later we passed the confluence point.
The roof over the bridge was so wide that my GPS was not able to get a proper registration of the position. I therefore photographed the GPS screen of the ship.