The ship was originally built in 1907 at the Eriksberg shipyard in Gothenburg for Styrsöbolaget – a company that operated services in the Gothenburg archipelago – and was named DS Styrsö.
In 1992 the ship was reconditioned at the Knardalstrand shipyard for scheduled service on the Telemark Canal. In 2009/10 the ship underwent full restoration by shipbuilder Geir Røvik at the Hansen & Arntsen shipyard and the Fjærholmen shipyard in Tønsberg, returning to scheduled service on the canal in June 2010.
M/S Henrik Ibsen has undergone a complete make-over and is now an outstanding example of a luxury day-tour cruise ship that is more than 100 years old.
The ship is 100 feet long and 21 feet wide with a draught of approx. 8 feet. She has a gross tonnage of approx. 200 and is currently registered to carry 100 passengers. In connection with the restoration, the shipping company reduced the number of passengers from 220 to 95 to allow plenty of room for everyone on board, whether in the restaurant or on deck.
The Agatha Christie-inspired interiors feature original English antiques from the late 19th century and red plush sofas, crystal chandeliers, mahogany and brass fittings, etc. In 1952 the original steam engine was replaced with the current historic B&W Alpha 406 Flo 360 hp engine.
All the decks, the wheelhouse and cabins have been restored or replaced, and all the technical plant, electrics and safety equipment are state-of-the-art, although we have gone to great lengths to preserve the historical features and feel on board.