Hurtigruten to the North Cape
The traditional mail ships that sail the western coast of Norway are called Hurtigruten. Since 1983, 34 places have been connected by water. The cities of Trondheim, Bodø, Tromsø and Hammerfest are on the approximately 2700 km long route. Kirkenes is the last place on the so-called Reichsstraße number 1, here the Hurtigruten turn and drive the route back.
From supply boat to cruise steamer
The routes were once developed to better serve the towns and are still considered to be an important part of basic services. In the last few decades, the route has increasingly emerged as a travel route. The boats offer a level of comfort similar to that of cruise ships, especially the new boats have been adapted to the needs of the passengers. However, the Hurtigruten have by no means lost the character of a mail ship. The supply of the localities is still the main focus of the ships, some of the ports are only approached briefly and sometimes also at night. But that is exactly what attracts many of the passengers and the trip is now offered as a study trip with excursions to the towns and the sights.
Originality and nature
Many of the passengers travel with the Hurtigruten, as you can marvel at the many different coastal landscapes of Norway. The ships operate all year round, weather-related changes in the timetable may occur at short notice. In summer the long, bright nights beckon, in winter you can admire the northern lights. Spring and autumn are particularly beautiful times of the year for a trip by mail ship. In spring the entire landscape blooms, in autumn it turns red and yellow, this play of colors is particularly beautiful to look at. On the trip you will pass many places worth seeing, the list mainly includes Lofoten and the North Cape as well as countless fjords, sounds, cities and small towns.
The Vikingskiphuset in Oslo, Norway is an archaeological museum with a focus on the Norwegian Viking Age. It is located on the Bygdøy peninsula in the Oslofjord and houses the world’s most important collection of Viking ships and archaeological finds from the Viking Age. Although there is also a Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, which has more individual ships on display, the ships in Oslo are absolutely unique from an archaeological point of view and an important part of any study trip dealing with the Viking Age.
The ships of the Vikingskiphuset
In the last century several richly furnished ship graves from the Viking Age were found in Norway. The ships, some of which were specially made for the funerals, are now on display in Vikingskiphuset. The largest and most magnificent example is the Oseberg ship, which served as a death ship for two women and was probably never at sea. The museum also houses the Gokstad ship and the Tune ship.
Due to the special soil conditions at the burial places in southern Norway, the wooden ships are very well preserved, so that they reveal a lot of information about the shipbuilding of the Vikings. The museum also provides information about the role of ships in Norwegian society during the Viking Age and the ritual significance of ship graves.
Other attractions of the museum
All the ship graves contained rich grave goods, which are also in excellent condition and exhibited in the museum, including furniture, carriages and jewelry. They allow the visitor to experience the life of the upper class during the Viking Age.
The Vikingskiphuset also houses a rich collection of archaeological finds from the Viking Age cemetery in Borre. These finds were so artistically decorated that their own style, the Borre style, was named after them.
Visitor information for the museum
The museum is open all year round. There is a combination ticket for Vikingskiphuset and the associated Oslo Historical Museum, which allows you to visit both museums for the price of one. The signage in the museum is in Norwegian and English, and the staff speaks English and partly German.
Because excavations always bring new finds from the Viking Age to light, a new Viking Museum is to be built near the Vikingskiphuset in the next few years.