Bjørnefjorden's queen - a fully restored veteran
MS Midthordland is a worthy representative of a type of boat that was common a short time ago: the Fjord bus.
It was a bit of a sight when the armada of gray and black fjord boats every Saturday afternoon stood out Vågen, full of goods and people, and competed to get out into Byfjorden first! Now Midthordland is left alone as the last of its kind. In return, she is like new, fully restored and ready for new assignments.
Midthordland is equipped with two comfortable lounges and plenty of deck space to move around. The aft deck is partially covered, and forms cozy seating areas for those who want to enjoy the view and feel the wind shaking their hair at the same time. Midthordland is ideal for all kinds of excursions for larger companies.
There is great reason to thank the zealots for their idealism and courage. This is what has given the result that today can be experienced every time Bjørnefjordens Dronning visits her home villages.
- Length: 125.6 photo
- Width: 19.8 Fig
- Depth: 7.2 pic
- Hull: Cruiser hedges in steel
- Main machine: 6syl. 2tev Wichmann 6AD diesel engine
- Performance: 400 bhk
Tonnage: 182 brt
- 1947-1971 Midthordland
- 1971-1971 Midland
1976-1987 St. Lucy
1987-1994 Sunrise II
- 1994-today Midthordland
The boat's history
Midthordland is launched
In 1945, the Midhordlan Steamship Company ordered a new boat for local cruising. The boat was constructed by ship designer Knud E. Hansen in Copenhagen with a slim steel hull and lightweight aluminum superstructure.
In December 1947, Sjøbussen Midthordland arrived in Bjørnefjorden, and great expectations in the region were met. She was pretty, comfortable and reliable. The boat went on a local route service between Bergen-Os and Tysnes together with the chartered local route boat "Aakrafjord". Occasionally it also went on tours with tourists from the hotels in Godøysund and Solstrand.
The sinking in Samnanger
On 30 January 1949, Midthordland drifted ashore at Sundvor in Samanger during a departure in a storm. She capsized and sank in shallow water.
Fortunately, however, Midthordland's history did not end here. In February 1949, she was lifted and towed to Amsterdam for repair. On June 10, 1949, she was already back in regular service.
New owner and new suit
On 1 January 1962, the ownership company Det Midthordlandske Dampskibsselskab merged with the Bergen - based transport group Hardanger Sunnhordlandske Dampskipsselskap ASA.
She was painted in new colors, but still continued in the same route.
New route on Kvinnherad
In 1966, HSD rearranged the boats and set the older local route boat Eidfjord to Bergen-Os-Tysnes. Midthordland then took over the Kvinnheradruten as it went until it went into storage on Marineholmen in Bergen.
The time in Sweden
On 13 June 1970, Midthordland went into storage at Marineholmen in Bergen. On March 11, 1971, the boat was sold to the Swedish company Ljungsvik & Carlsson AB, which renamed the boat Midland, to operate a route between Sweden and Denmark. This did not happen, and the boat was therefore put up for sale again.
In the summer of the same year, the boat was sold to the Swedish company Skagerak Kryss AB, which renamed the boat Marina, and put her on trips in the archipelago in Bohuslän. This company went bankrupt on January 10, 1973 and the boat was taken over by creditor Forsikringsselskapet Dovre in Oslo.
The time in England
The boat was sold in May 1976 to Torbay Sea Cruises in Brixham, England. Here the boat was renamed again Midland, but was soon sold to S. M. Ali and renamed St. Lucy. Later that year, the boat was sold to F.J. Pither & D. Latto and moved to St. Catherine's Dock in London and used as a floating demonstration center for workplace safety measures.
Return to Norway
In April 1987, the boat was sold to Per Fagerlid-Olsen AS and renamed Sunrise II. Even though the boat had not come all the way home, it was now back in Norway and went charter trips in the Oslo Fjord.
In 1991, the boat went ashore in Drøbak after the steering wheel smoked. The boat was repaired and continued in operation.
A long-awaited homecoming
For many, Midthordland had been a symbol of quality of life, and many had a dream that the boat would once again be seen on our fjord. The dream never let go, and thanks to enthusiasts, the boat was bought by the Midthordlands Dampskibsselskab Foundation in 1994, and was again renamed Midthordland.
Recognized as worthy of the National Antiquarian
As the first post-war vessel, Midhordland was recognized as worthy of protection by the National Heritage Board. In addition to highlighting the historical importance of Midthordland, the recognition from the state has ensured that she has received a grant so that the zealots who operate the boat have been able to preserve history for the future.
Following the repurchase of Midhordland, funds from the National Heritage Board, donors and countless hours of hard work from enthusiastic enthusiasts have contributed to the boat being restored and returned to its original standard, as it was when it was owned by Det Midthordlandske Dampskibsselskab. Among other things, she has received:
- New masters.
- Believe copies of MDS's old shipping label on the chimney.
- New Caterpillar diesel engine (The old engine given away to the Norwegian Motor Museum)
- General restoration and reversal of the standard.
A trip back in history
Today, it can be difficult to understand the impact of boats that Midthordland had on the local villages they linked together in their time. Still, it feels as if you are going on a small time travel when you board the boat where you get to experience what it was like to travel between the villages in the post-war period.