All Aboard: MS Finnmarken

MS Finnmarken follows in the wake of some of the most loved Hurtigruten ships and is the third ship of its name. DS Finmarken (with only one 'n') was built in 1912 and MS Finnmarken followed in 1956. This original MS Finnmarken was radical at its time for the way in which the engines were fitted – she caused quite a splash and many negative comments.

After 37 years of service, she was retired but she continues to draw attention, as she is now an integral part of the Hurtigruten Museum at Stokmarknes. MS Finnmarken (1956) is the largest land-based museum exhibit in Norway and many visitors enjoy exploring her unique interiors when they visit the museum.

The Millennium generation cruise ships

The newest MS Finnmarken was launched in 2002 as the first of the new 'Millennium' ships to come into operation. She is the longest of the Coastal Express fleet in operation with 40% more deck space than any other previous ship.

Although MS Finnmarken has many cruising comforts, she is still a working ship and carries cargo, mail, cars and daytrippers between ports, stopping regularly along the route.

A little bit of luxury

Guests aboard the MS Finnmarken can enjoy comfortable accommodation with a splash of luxury all the way up the coast of Norway. She is the only ship to be fitted with both a swimming pool and jacuzzi on the outdoor deck, and guests can enjoy soaking in the tub while watching stunning landscapes float by.

The stand out feature of the MS Finnmarken is her revolutionary bow offering guests the ability to walk right out to the tip. A bar and lounge onboard are perfectly appointed, offering viewing areas to look out at the beautiful coastal surrounds. Every year, guests are treated to the magical Northern Lights as the ship crosses into the Arctic Circle in winter. There are also several excursions on offer, such as exhilarating dog-sledding near Tromsø and snowmobiling underneath the beauty of the Aurora Borealis.

The food onboard is outstanding – fresh produce picked up daily along the way and then transformed into delectable dishes as a part of the Norway Coastal Kitchen. Often the fish served for dinner was caught that very morning and delivered straight into the chef's eager hands, while the cloudberries decorating your dessert have been handpicked in Finnmark.

Not just a cruise ship

Similar to the MS Midnatsol, MS Finnmarken has the capabilities to be adapted into an emergency hospital ship. With ten days notice, she can become totally self-sufficient and operational, accommodating up to 200 casualties. MS Finnmarken also acted as an accommodation ship off the coast of Western Australia from 2009 to 2011 in connection with the development of the Gorgon Oil and Gas Field.

MS Finnmarken is one of the best ways to see the beautiful coast of Norway and all the natural wonders that come with it.