Cruise

Norway’s slow TV puts Hurtigruten’s Svalbard expedition in the spotlight

Have you ever dreamed of taking part in an expedition to the High Arctic?

From 31 January, TV viewers worldwide can watch a real-time web stream of a Hurtigruten expedition ship’s voyage in the waters surrounding Svalbard, an Arctic archipelago midway between Norway and the North Pole.

Svalbard: minute by minute will follow the nine-day, five-hour journey of the MS Spitsbergen through the use of a multi-camera, free to watch broadcast from Norway’s national broadcaster NRK.  

“Through 17 cameras, an abundance of history, stories and information, all accompanied by Norwegian and Sámi music, we are offering viewers from all over the world a close to reality experience of the actual voyage,” NRK project lead Thomas Hellum said in a statement.

“This is the closest and most sustainable way you could possibly get to the real deal.”

Image: (Hurtigruten/NRK)

The location of the broadcast – thought to be NRK’s most ambitious to date – was reportedly chosen to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Svalbard Treaty, which recognises Norway’s sovereignty of the archipelago of Svalbard.

It marks the second time Hurtigruten has been the host of a slow TV production from NRK, following its 2011 broadcast which showcased a 134-hour long sailing along the Norwegian coast, with more than three million viewers from 110 different countries tuning in to watch at the time.

“The viewers will find themselves surrounded by … jaw-dropping scenery, fascinating local communities, and exceptional wildlife including polar bears, whales, walruses, birds, and several other arctic animals observed from a non-interfering distance,” Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam said.

The cruise company’s history in Svalbard is just about as long as its own history, with founding father Richard With establishing an expedition route between Svalbard and Hammerfest as early as 1896.

According to Hurtigruten, the slow TV event promises to offer “beautiful immersion” in one of the world’ most remote and fascinating regions. “It doesn’t get slower than this,” a spokesperson told Travel Weekly.

Viewers can watch Hurtigruten expedition ship MS Spitsbergen’s voyage here.

Featured image: Magdalenefjorden (Hurtigruten/Lise Dreistel)

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