Record ratings for Norway coastal cruiser live broadcast

A Norwegian public television programme that allows viewers to enjoy a 134-hour fjord cruise live from their homes scored record ratings and sent the ship company's share price soaring Monday.

Last weekend, some 2.5 million Norwegians - or roughly half the Scandinavian country's population - tuned in to NRK2 to follow the channel's self-proclaimed "longest TV programme in the world."

The show broadcasts live from the MS NordNorge, one of the Hurtigruten company's coastal cruisers sailing from the southwestern city of Bergen and up the coast through the spectacular fjords to its northernmost point, with frequent stops along the way.

The coastal voyage is considered one of the world's most beautiful cruises.

NRK2 said the idea allowed it to grab record ratings with 35 percent of market share at the weekend, compared with its 6.0 percent from the previous weekend.

The Hurtigruten company's share price soared 13.58 percent Monday afternoon on an Oslo stock exchange down 0.73 percent.

The journey was also streamed live at http://www.nrk.no/hurtigruten, with some 54 percent of web viewings by Norwegians, 7.0 percent by Danes and 4.0 percent each by people from Germany, Britain, France and the United States, NRK said.

The ship is set to arrive Wednesday in Kirkenes, a small town past Norway's northernmost point at the border with Russia, where the sun does not set in summer.

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