In June of 2021 I boarded Hurtigruten’s MS Polarlys to travel from Trondheim to Bergen, a journey that was technically a coastal ferry service, but also felt a lot like a cruise. Many older Norwegians had been fully vaccinated by this point, and I felt fairly safe in the quiet hallways and lounges. Everyone wore masks indoors, and a tablet-like device on a stand scanned our body temperature as we entered the buffet area. Hand sanitizer was stocked at all the major passageways. During the daytime, most travelers sat outside in the sun or stayed in their cabins.
    My photographs from this trip highlight the empty space of the usually-crowded interiors and exteriors. Some of this is my own bias, approaching the journey as a statement on the affects of the pandemic on the cruise industry. But the overall message remains consistant with the feeling I had the entire time: loneliness and isolation.
    Hurtigruten struggled through the first year of the pandemic, with a large outbreak on MS Roald Amundsen in July of 2020 crippling their reputation and forcing them to temporarily suspend the normal ferry service along the Norwegian coast. Later in 2021, they will give up about a third of their ferry contracts to a new competitor, Havila (an offshore supply company with four new hybrid battery/LNG ferries under construction). Norway’s stricter environmental regulations will force Hurtigruten to comply by modifying or selling off their older vessels, including MS Polarlys, in the near future.