Norway’s only paddle-wheel steamer, Skibladner, and 77 other historic vessels have secured up to NOK 60 million (USD 7.5 million) in funding from preservation agency Riksantikvaren.
Skibladner, known as the “White Swan” on Norway’s largest lake, Mjøsa, will receive NOK 1.69 million in the latest round of appropriations from the agency. The vessel, which sailed its maiden voyage in Norway in 1856, still plies the lake every summer, taking tourists on excursions from its base in Gjøvik across the lake to Hamar and, as water levels in the lake rise, as far north as Lillehammer and south to Eidsvoll.
The vessel once was an important mode of transportation and carried post at a time when there were few if any train lines, bridges or roads. Now it’s mostly a tourist attraction and is laid up during winter at Gjøvik.
News bureau NTB reported that the biggest chunk of state funding, NOK 3.1 million, was allocated to the old liner ship Sandnes, that sailed between Stavanger/Sandnes and Bergen. Many of the other historic ships receiving financial aid are based along the west coast of Norway.