imo 5255777

Suspend service march 2012 -  Renovated start service in 2015 again

Registered Owner: M/S Nordstjernen AS  - Beneficial owner: Vestland Marine Sp. -Poland since 2014 - Operator: Hurtigruten ASA- Norway- or Vestland Classic  Cruises - Norway/Poland

Entered service: 1956 - Refits:1980/1995/2003/2012/13/2015 - Gross tonnage: 2.191 - Pass. cap. lower beds: 149 - All berths: 336 - Passenger decks: 4 - Length: 88,78  m. - Beam: 12,64 m. - Draught: 4,5 m. - Main drive: 1 diesel engine make MAK - Type 8M453 AK  8 cyl. - total output 2640 kW. (The original B&W diesel replaced in 1983) - Propulsion: Kamewa Controllable pitch propeller - Service speed: 13 knots - Max. speed: 16 knots - Built:Blohm und Voss - Germany - Yard no. 787 - Classification: DNV/GL- Flag: Norway.

Sisterships: Ragnvald Jarl (1956- until present) - Finmarken (1956) (now preserved as a museum ship at the Hurtigruten Museum at Stokmarknes)

Nordstjernen was mainly used for the Hurtigruten coastal service and for cruises to the Svalbard archipel. She was extensively refitted in 1980. From 2010 to 2012 she operated continuously on the Hurtigruten coastal service. In March 2012, she was withdrawn from the coastal service. Hurtigruten was using her for Svalbard cruises in the summer of 2012. In November 2012, the ship was bought by Vestland Rederi AS. In connection with the sale, she was protected as a national heritage by the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage. Nordstjernen's new home port is Bergen, as it was with her original owner Bergen Steamship Company (Det Bergenske Dampskibsselskab, BDS). From the end of 2012 to July 2013, she underwent an extensive restoration in Gdansk, Poland, which was subsidized with 2,5 million Norwegian krones by Riksantikvaren. After coming back to Norway and taking part in the Fjordsteam festival in Bergen in the first days of August 2013. The new owner intends to market her as a hotel ship, charter and explorer cruises.
Her new program of Explorer voyages will call at Longyearbyen, Barentsburg, the research town of Ny-Ålesund and the entire northwestern coast of Spitsbergen. The NORDSTJERNEN will visit such places as Magdalenefjord, Moffen and Liefdefjorden, and sail as far north as 80 degrees latitude (less than 700 miles from the North Pole) on two different itineraries departing from the settlement of Longyearbyen on Mondays and Thursdays between June 11 and August 24, 2015. Hurtigruten is also offering multi-day pre- and post-trip opportunities.

Bergen Line ordered ”Nordstjernen”as an urgent replacement for the company’s former flagship, also called “Nordstjernen”, built in 1937 and lost after grounding in Raftsundet in September 1954. The order for a new passenger, mail and cargo vessel was placed at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg, which only recently recovered from the heavy war damage inflicted during the air raids in the last months of the second world war. Restrictions on shipbuilding in Germany were only lifted in 1953, and the yard was eager to gain international orders and to rebuild their reputation. They could guarantee a quick delivery in spring 1956, and this fitted Bergen Line’s requirements very well.

The contract was signed in December 1954, and construction work on hull number 787 started immediately. There were some delays due to material shortage, and the keel wasn’t laid before summer 1955. After that, good progress was made and the ship was launched on October 26th, 1955 into the river Elbe.

The ship’s interior layout was kept simple. All public rooms were on the same deck – the first class section forward with a comfortable lounge, the entrance hall and the dining room, and the second-class section with cafeteria and another lounge aft. The decoration was of a particularly high standard, contributed by the famous Norwegian artist Paul Rene Gauguin. Almost all artwork is still in place and can be appreciated to this day.

January 1979 saw major changes to the traditional Hurtigruten operation. Bergen Line announced their withdrawal from the service after 85 years. Their part of the operation, including the four ships employed in it, were sold to Troms Fylkes Dampskipsselskap, a nothern Norwegian local shipping company. “Nordstjernen” received the house colours of the new company and the homeport was changed to Tromsø. But otherwise, there were few changes for “Nordstjernen” as she continued the Hurtigruten service for her new owners.

The early 1980s saw a new generation of Hurtigrute vessels entering service, much bigger ships with ro/ro loading facilities. This was the time when the classic ships from the 1950s and 60s began to look a bit outdated. Some of the earlier vessels were already retired and replaced by the newbuilts. “Nordstjernen”continued on Hurtigrutenuntil it was decided that she would receive a major upgrade to make her fit for further service.

This was performed during the winter 1982-83 at the Bergen shipyard of Mjellem & Karlsen. First of all, her ageing main engine was removed and replaced with a new MaK diesel engine. On March 23rd, 1983, the modernised “Nordstjernen” left on her first Hurtigruten voyage. The modifications were considered very successful, and the new, more powerful engine increased her maximum speed to almost 19 knots. In November 2012 the vessel was delivered to new owners and is now operated by Vestland Marine who intend to use the vessel for classical voyages under the Vestland Classic brand. At the same time the vessel was protected by Norwegian Cultural Heritage.

Almost at the same time, the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage protected “Nordstjernen”as an outstanding example of 1950s ship design, with many technical and design features reaching back as long as the 1930.

During the first half of 2013, she received a thorough refit on a shipyard in Gdańsk, Poland. Her hull was sandblasted and she got a new coat of paint, and the old Bergen Line funnel colours were applied again. Also, her homeport was changed back to Bergen. On July 29th she left Gdansk for Bergen to be presented to the public at the “Fjordsteam 2013” festival. From 2014, exciting coastal voyages all over northern Europe are planned by Vestland Classic.

              Passenger space ratio all berths: 6.52

febr.24-2007 Coastal Express vessel Nordstjernen was towed into Florø in Western Norway after a dramatic engine failure early late last night. The vessel was heading for the rocks when naval vessel Mjølner, in the area to assist the German minesweeper Grömitz, got a line on board and pulled the vessel into open water. A Norwegianrescue vessel later took the Nordstjernen in tow to Florø. When the vessel was drifting without power she hit the bottom at least once.

                                                                                            1956 - 2006
Troms Fylkes Dampskibsselskap ASA  - Images above original TFDS livery.

2006 - 2012
 In Hurtigruten livery deleted in 2012 from coastal route 

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