Stokmarknes is a small town in the Vesterålen region, and is the administration centre of Hadsel municipality.
The town itself has only 3200 inhabitants. The municipality is located on 4 islands:
Hadseløya, Austvågøy, Langøya og Hinnøya. 75% of the 8000 inhabitants are living in Hadseløya.
This is the home of the Norwegian Hurtigruten, and that is the reason why the Hurtigruten Museum is situated here.
Here you can walk through a modern museum, and also get inside the old, hurtigruten ship M/S Finnmarken build in 1956, which now forever has landed in Stokmarknes.
The museum is connected to the Hurtigruten House, with a beautiful interior in ship style.
This is one of many amazing paintings with motives from the Hurtigruten history and ships. You see an early ship "Richard With" in the harbour. Absolutely worth a visit.
The airport Skagen was opened in 1972, and is operated by the flight company Widerøe.
The length of the runway only allows smaller airplanes to be used. The most common one today is Dash-8, which takes about 40 passengers.
About 100.000 passengers are transported over Stokmarknes Airport Skagen each year.
The most important area of industry in the municipality is at Børøya, connected to the centre of Stokmarknes with a bridge.
About 500 persons from 25 different nations are working together here, mainly in fish production. The local newspaper "Vesteraalens Avis" is produced here, and is the oldest newspaper in the county Nordland.
As early as in 1891, the idea of a steamship express route between Trondheim and Hammerfest was created.
The plan was transport of mail, cargo and passengers, but most people concidered it to be impossible.
At that time there were only 28 lighthouses at the sea north of Trondheim, and sailing at that time in the rough weather regions, with snow, strong winds and winter darkness was a tough task.
Two steamship companies said no to even try, but at last the little steamship company "Vesteraalen Dampskipsselskap" took the challenge, and captain Richard With had for a long period made logs of course, speed and time that prepared the sailing.
At first there was signed a 4 year contract that made the agreement for one weekly sailing, with 9 ports of call.The first sailing started with the ship" Vesteraalen", on July 2. in 1893, and was a revolution in coastal transportation.
Before this trip, a letter sent from Trondheim to Hammerfest took 3 weeks in the summertime, and as much as 5 months in the winter. Now this was reduced to only 7 days, both summer and winter.
Source: Wikipedia and hurtigruten.no