Saturday, 15 February 2014

Happy 50th, MS Lofoten!


It's not often you hear about a ship celebrating its 50th birthday, but that will definitely be the case up in Norway in March, when Norwegian coastal specialists Hurtigruten will be saluting the half-century mark of the oldest and smallest ship in the fleet - the popular vintage vessel MS Lofoten

The ship made its maiden voyage from Bergen with Hurtigruten on March 5, 1964, and its birthday will be celebrated with a range of activities on board, including celebratory meals, special anniversary stamps and fishing directly from the ship, as well as special booking offers for those wishing to join in the celebrations.

By it’s 50th birthday, the Lofoten will have travelled almost three million nautical miles, transported 1.25 million passengers and docked over 75,000 times in the Hurtigruten ports. The smallest and oldest of the line's ships has been protected by a preservation order since 2011 and its traditional charm and unique character have earned it a large community of fans among passengers.

The anniversary voyage, setting out from Bergen on March 2, will be the prelude to the festivities. Numerous well-wishers and visitors are expected in the larger Hurtigruten ports, while traditional Norwegian dancing and music will also mark the occasion.

A host of other activities will also be available on board during the anniversary voyage and throughout 2014, including an exhibition of photos of the ship over the past 50 years, while passengers will also learn fascinating facts about this vintage vessel and the history of Hurtigruten in lively lectures. On the southbound route, passengers can even try their luck at fishing directly from MS Lofoten’s weather deck.

Anyone born in 1964 and therefore sharing a 50th birthday year with the ship will have a special reason to book during 2014, as they will travel at half-price when accompanied by another passenger. Other available offers include a free excursion for those booking selected cabin types.

Hurtigruten, is on a special quest for personal memories, stories, anecdotes and photos that passengers, enthusiasts or former crew members have collected about the ship. Those who submit their memories to mslofoten@hurtigruten.com by February 28 will be entered into a draw to win a Hurtigruten voyage from Bergen to Kirkenes for two people including flights.

A ‘Classic Voyage North’ from Bergen to Kirkenes, departing on MS Lofoten on April 4 costs from £834 per person, based on two sharing an inside cabin on full board basis. Flights and transfers are available for an additional cost.

More info: call 0208 846 2666 or visit www.hurtigruten.co.uk.

The new edition of World of Cruising is now out, and you can see the digital version online on our home page at www.worldofcruising.co.uk. To subscribe at our special offer rate for 2014, see this link.