We feel truly humbled by all the love locals and guests are inspired to express about our ships on social media. Eva Rendal lives on the coast and is a regular poster dear to our hearts.
Each of us have our daily routines; a morning coffee, a walk with the dog, a quick workout. For Eva Rendal, a key part of her schedule involves greeting and filming the Hurtigruten Coastal Express ships that pass her house near Ørnes at 6:30am and 10am several times a week.
“I’ve felt a close relationship with The Coastal Express since I was a child. My father worked on one of the ships - MS Vesterålen - in the 1970s. The ships are like part of my family,” Eva tells us with a smile.
Likes and chocolate
Eva has filmed almost all of our ships passing her home for the last seven years, posting them on Instagram and on dedicated Facebook groups. Her photos and short videos of our ships have grown ever popular, both locally and in the worldwide online community.
“There are loads of likes and comments, from people all over the world,” says Eva, pleased. Eva herself has become somewhat of a local Coastal Express celebrity. “Because I stand on my balcony, waving, some passengers that know about my films stand on deck and they wave back at me,” she exclaims. “Quite often, they also post their own pictures of me, taken from the ship!”
Eva’s most memorable greeting didn’t come from Facebook though. A German couple who had travelled with The Coastal Express when it sailed past her house later came back to the Ørnes area on a camping trip. They remembered Eva’s house and decided to stop by. Unfortunately, she wasn’t at home, but when she returned, there was a lovely greeting card and a box of chocolates waiting for her on the doorstep.
“Whenever I’ve not been there on the balcony because of maybe travelling somewhere, people immediately get in touch asking if I'm ok and why I was missing. So, whenever I’m not there, I get my mother to stand in for me so people don’t worry.” Eva looks visibly touched by the care shown by the online community she is part of.
“When I started with these daily films, I did it for myself, to help me cope with a diagnosis to do with a chronic disability. But it’s become a little phenomenon that everyone seems to enjoy. When I go to the local grocery store, people come by with a grin and a quick comment about my posts. Even journalists have come to my door.”
Saying hello back
Our Captains and crew on our ships also know Eva well. They make it a point to salute her with the ship’s horn, whistle, or lights as they pass her balcony. It’s a personal hello to her which she often captures on her videos.
Eva is also an avid contributor on Hurtigruten Insiders, a fan-run Facebook group dedicated to The Coastal Express. When she found out on the group that one of our ships from the Hurtigruten Expeditions fleet was sailing on a separate trip nearby, she put up a post inviting it to “swing by” her house.
“My husband and I really didn’t expect anything, but suddenly it came through Meløysundet, made a turn right outside our house, blew the whistle, and gave us a really good view. It was such a nice gesture,” Eva says happily. “So, the next time it came by, we raised the flag all the way to the top to greet it back.”
From all of us at The Coastal Express, thank you Eva and all our fans. You help us love what we do even more.