Talk about your TV marathons: In Norway, as the dark nights draw in, entertainment is all about ‘slow TV’. Slow TV has been around since 2009 when Norwegian broadcaster NRK made a film in real time, several hours long, about a train journey over the mountains between Oslo and Bergen. Norwegians were riveted to their screens. Seriously.
But it was a follow up program on Hurtigruten, documenting every second of a Bergen to Kirkenes journey on Nordnorge (five solid days and nights of viewing) which really thrust slow TV into the mainstream.
It was a huge hit in 2011 – 3.2 million television viewers watched parts of the trip, and hundreds of people went to see the ship in various ports. Norway’s royal family even got involved as Queen Sonja waved from the deck of the royal yacht, as the two ships crossed paths (if you have nearly 135 hours to spare, you can watch the full stream on NRK’s website). Lengthy programs on fishing, a wood fire burning and knitting followed, and a U.S. production company has bought the rights to bring the format over here.
Can’t wait until then? With another winter upon us, we have something for you, even if you’re a long way from the fjords. Opportunities to spend hours watching a ship putter around the Caribbean or the Mediterranean are already available – and have been so for some time.
Pretty well all cruise ships have a webcam mounted on the bridge so you can travel vicariously on your favorite vessel, watching as it edges in and out of port, or sitting there for hours in the dark looking at a black screen as it makes an ocean passage by night.
The marvelous website kroooz-cams.com is the slow TV viewer’s dream, with links to the webcams of several cruise ships and ports.
Within minutes, I’ve visited Costa Luminosa as it approaches Lisbon; Oasis of the Seas, somewhere in the Caribbean (I can confirm that the Christmas decorations are up in the Royal Promenade); and Crystal Serenity docked in Cadiz on what looks like a lovely, sunny morning (by the way, if you’re really struggling to get to sleep, Crystal Serenity even has a webcam in its internet room).
Slow TV? Sorry, Norwegians, but you just weren’t quick enough off the mark.