The Norwegian Hurtigruten cruise line has a long and amazing history:
In 1891, August Kriegsman Gran, the national steamship advisor, came up with the idea of providing an express boat service between Trondheim and Hammerfest. Vesteraalens Dampskibsselskab, a relatively young steamship company based in Stokmarknes, took up the challenge. For some time, Captain Richard With and his pilots had been keeping accurate notes on courses, speeds and times taken to sail the route and felt that the service would be viable. A compass and a clock were the only navigational aids necessary in the Polar Night. In 1893, the government entered into a 4-year contract with Vesteraalens Dampskibsselskab, providing the company with the backing for a weekly sailing between Trondheim and Hammerfest during the summer and, Trondheim and Tromso during the winter. There were nine ports of call on the route.