The Norwegian Ministry of Transportation and Communications is to split the Norwegian coastal express service between Havila and Hurtigruten.
Tenders have been awarded to both companies to run the daily service between Bergen and Kirkenes from 2021 to 2030.
The current Hurtigruten tender runs until the end of 2019, with an option to operate until the start of the new contracts, according to local Norwegian media reports.
Hurtigruten will operate seven ships and Havila four. The two shipping companies will call at the same ports on the 11-day service, but on different days.
According to the reports, the state has agreed to pay NOK788 mill annually to support the operation. By comparison, from 2012 to 2015, the amount paid by the state to operate the coastal services increased from NOK618.8 to NOK754.6 mill per year.
Offshore services company, Havila will build the four new ships, while Hurtigruten will operate ships already in the fleet.
In addition to the coastal route, Hurtigruten operates expedition cruises to the Arctic, which will continue, the local media reports said.