Harstad is a port town in Troms county, and the 3rd-largest in Northern Norway. It is located on Hinnoya Island (Vesteralen Islands). Villages included in the Harstad municipality are Fauskevag, Elgsnes, Gausvik, Grotavær, Lundenes, Kasfjord, Sorvika, and Nergarden.
The city hosts the week-long Festival of North Norway in June, every year. Harstad University College, with nearly 1,100 students, has a foreign exchange program with students from all over the world. The Harstad hospital is part of the University Hospital of North Norway.
Harstad is home port for Anna Rogde, the oldest sailing schooner in the world, also known as the sailing queen of Norway. The Church of Norway features five parishes within the municipality of Harstad. It's part of Trondenes deanery in Diocese of Nord-Halogaland.
Harstad cruise terminal
Harstad is one of the ferry ports along the "Express Route" - Norway's Government subsidized "Norwegian Coastal Express". This is a regularly scheduled passenger and cargo shipping service in Norway. The "ferry and cruise" itinerary is between two turnaround ports - Bergen (southmost) and Kirkenes (northmost). It connects a total of 34 ports, which are Norwegian communities without any road or air access.
Since January 2021, Norway's coastal ferry service is operated by two companies - Hurtigruten (7 ships) and Havila Shipping (4 ships)..Norwegian Government's annual subsidy for the ferry service is around USD 100 million.
The list of all ports along the northboaund "Norwegian Coastal Express" itinerary includes Bergen (turnaround port), Alesund, Floro, Geiranger (Stranda), Maloy (Vagsoy), Molde, Torvik (Heroy, Leinoya Island), Kristiansund, Rorvik (Vikna), Trondheim, Bodo, Bronnoysund (Bronnoy), Nesna, Ornes (Meloy), Sandnessjoen (Alstahaug), Stamsund (Vestvagoy Island), Svolvaer (Vagan, Austvagoya Island), Trollfjorden (Hadsel), Finnsnes (Lenvik), Harstad (Hinnoya Island), Risoyhamn (Andoy Island), Skjervoy, Sortland (Langoya Island), Stokmarknes (Hadseloya Island), Tromso, Berlevag, Hammerfest, Honningsvag (Mageroya Island, Nordkapp / North Cape), Kjollefjord (Lebesby), Mehamn (Gamvik), Oksfjord (Loppa), Batsfjord, Vardo (Vardoya Island), Kirkenes (turnaround port).