MS Hamen: Haunting Ghost Ship Of The Norwegian Fjords – Design You Trust — Design Daily Since 2007

MS Hamen: Haunting Ghost Ship Of The Norwegian Fjords


The Scandinavian Peninsula is one of the most breathtaking landscapes of Northern Europe, and the Norwegian fjords, carved out by millions of years of coastal erosion, are among the most mysterious and naturally beautiful features of the region. History abounds in these narrow, steep-sided inlets, which wind like great arteries around the coastlines of Norway and neighbouring Sweden, concealing the secrets of years gone by. It was on the Swedish side of one of those countless fjords that the then 60-year-old hulk of the cargo ship MS Hamen rusted quietly beneath the tree-lined cliffs, before finally being rescued.

h/t: urbanghostsmedia. All photographs © by AndreasS.


This impressive series of images depicts the abandoned ship as it was in 2012. The rusting ghost vessel was documented by Norwegian photographer AndreasS, whose compelling website is a must-visit resource for those interested in urban exploration and the rich history that surrounds many derelict places and objects.


The cargo ship MS Hamen was built in 1948 by S. P. Austin and Son of Wear Dock Yard, Sunderland, one of northern England’s major industrial centres once described as “the largest shipbuilding town in the world”. But like the historic UK port city itself, which fell on hard times as traditional industries dwindled, the 1980s saw the freighter withdrawn from service and ultimately abandoned in the narrow, isolated inlet.


The ravages of time and the elements had left the rusting innards of the MS Hamen in a state of advancing decay. Yet a number of the abandoned ghost ship’s empty cabins and recreation areas sat eerily intact. Mattresses remained on beds while chairs and tables stoid where their last crew left them, all covered by a thick layer of dust and crumbling paintwork.


Elsewhere, in the bowels of the abandoned ship, the cavernous cargo hold lay empty, its skeletal steel walls contrasting with its grimy floor blanketed by muck and debris.


The ghost ship, hull number 394, was named ‘Pompey Power’ when it was delivered to British Electricity Authority back in January 1949. For more than a decade the coal freighter plied the choppy coastal waters of the North Sea between northern England and the maritime city of Portsmouth, on the south coast.


The 242 ft vessel was sold to a Norwegian company in 1960 and renamed ‘Tandik’ before changing hands once again in 1963 and acquiring the name that its rusting superstructure still bore in its abandonment: Hamen. That same year, the ship’s ageing steam engine was replaced by a diesel propulsion system, which continued to power MS Hamen until its removal from service in 1984.


The decade that followed wasn’t kind to the decommissioned cargo vessel, which soon took on the appearance of a ghost ship moored in the remote surroundings of the fjord. Having been purchased by a Swedish company in 1996, MS Hamen was eventually acquired by the Norwegian Ship Preservation Association in 2004 and, at last, her future looked secure.


By January 2013 an exterior restoration of the ailing vessel had begun in the seaport of Hirtshals, Denmark. The makeover is captured spectacularly in the video below, proving that even thoroughly decrepit craft can be brought back from the brink. Unlike many of the abandoned ships featured on Urban Ghosts to date, the former ghost ship MS Hamen’s fate was a positive one.

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