All eyes on Hurtigruten

MS Nordnorge

MS Nordnorge

More than 2.5 million people tuned into NRK to watch the MS Nordnorge sail from Bergen to Kirkenes

Staff Compilation

Norwegian American Weekly

Are you worn out by a fast-paced life but lack a vacation budget? Take a five-day cruise along Norway’s scenic fjords, all free and streamed live on Norwegian public television.

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) decided to broadcast the entire six-day voyage – that’s 8,040 minutes straight – of the Hurtigruten MS Nordnorge as its 670 passengers and crew steam north along Norway’s jagged coastline.

The show “Minutt for minutt” (Minute by Minute) has captivated viewers, and poll number show that over 2.5 million people in Norway tuned in to watch the show. Many watched the show outside of Norway through NRK’s website http://www.nrk.no/hurtigruten.

“I don’t think we’ve managed to digest just how much this has captivated viewers,” NRK’s Rune Møklebust, the project manager for NRK’s broadcast.

The publicity has been a boon for Hurtigruten: Share prices went soaring at the time of press.

The coverage started on June 16 and included all on-board announcements and views from 11 cameras focusing on the spectacular fjords, boat traffic around the ship, officers on the bridge and the  passengers strolling the decks and taking in the scenery.

“It is slow, it is very slow,” said Møklebust. “It is the opposite to everything else on TV — that’s why it stands out and why, apparently, people want to watch.”

The coastal voyage, which starts in Bergen and ends in Kirkenes, is considered one of the world’s most beautiful cruises.

“This is Norway at its absolute best,” Stoltenberg wrote in a message over Twitter during the weekend.

Møklebust said the idea for the cruise livecast came after the success of his previous minute-by-minute coverage from a train making a seven-hour trip between Oslo and Bergen, which was viewed at least in part by 1.2 million people in 2009.

“That night we realized just how much people wanted to see TV like this and we started thinking about what would be the ultimate Norwegian voyage,” he said. “For many Norwegians, this is the most important trip of their lives… which tells the story of their coastline and shows its fantastic scenery.”

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