Port of Hanstholm's history dates back to 1917, when it was first decided to build a port in Hanstholm. However, “a lot of water flowed by Hanstholm" in the following years before the port was inaugurated in 1967.

Port of Hanstholm is Denmark’s youngest port and built with the motto “Working together for Hanstholm”. Nobody thought that it would succeed – only Hanstholm itself. But in 1977 it was clear that Hanstholm had "closed" the mouth of skeptics, and Hanstholm Port was a successful and busy workplace.

Subsequently, the outside world has experienced that Port of Hanstholm is paramount for development - not only in the local area around Hanstholm, but also in Thisted Municipality and throughout the entire region.

Cutter from Hanstholm to Marselisborg Castle

When Port of Hanstholm celebrated its first 10 years on 8 September 1977, 126 fishing boats were registered with Hanstholm as their home port. Boat number 126 was launched on that very day, but even though it was registered in Hanstholm, its base would be Marselisborg Palace and its crew would be the royal princes, Frederik and Joachim. As thanks for ringing the bell in the auction hall and her warm wishes for the future on the anniversary day, the port’s Fishermen’s Association presented young Queen Margrethe with a gift from Hanstholm - a model T1 trawler dubbed “Margrethe II”.

Central location and high activity level

Besides being Denmark’s largest fish market, Port of Hanstholm was also a significant ferry port from the 1980s until 2010, as ferry companies benefitted from Hanstholm’s location as Denmark’s closest to Norway and Atlantic destinations.

Port of Hanstholm has a location that makes the port important in Denmark’s and the EU’s efforts to shift as much goods transport as possible from road routes to sea routes. And given the large volumes of fish and high traffic, it is only natural that an array of businesses in goods and services of various kinds have bloomed in Hanstholm during the years: Fish sorting, fish auction, processing and export activities involving fish, goods, transport, cold stores and services of various kinds – electronics, welding, refrigeration, floating dock and trawl. You find it all in Hanstholm (*see addresses, etc. elsewhere on this website). Regular user surveys show that Hanstholm is excellent when it comes to service.

Hanstholm - a town connected to nature

Hanstholm is "the port", and the port creates local more than 2,300 people jobs in Thisted Municipality of which approx. 1,000 persons are directly employed at the port and approx. 1,300 in secondary industries. In addition, Hanstholm is a place where people live and go on vacation. There is space for fresh air, the roaring North Sea and unspoiled nature. Hanstholm houses residential areas, good shopping opportunities, the "gate" to Denmark's first natural park, National Park Thy, and the opportunity to visit e.g. the fish auction and the canon exhibitions. In Hanstholm, there are good opportunities for accommodation, wellness and conference, and Hanstholm is the place where anglers from around over the world go fishing on "The Yellow Reef".

The port is currently expanding (2017-2020) - giving Port of Hanstholm even more to offer in the future.

Important dates in the port’s history



Port of Hanstholm completes the expansion project.


Port of Hanstholm celebrates its 50th anniversary.
The port expansion becomes a reality and the first sod is turned.


An analysis of a port expansion is initiated.


A new sea packing facility is set up and prepared for use.


Work on a new development plan for a port expansion is conducted, which is then postponed.


The refrigerated auction hall opens.


Celebration of the 40th anniversary.


Master Ferries begins ferry service with Mastercat from Hanstholm to Kristianssand.
Renovation of wharfs and an increase in the port's water depth to 9 m.


The seafood centre with the unbroken cold chain phase 2 opens.


30-year anniversary and inauguration of the turning basin.


Fjord Line opens a route serving Hanstholm - Egernsund - Haugesund - Bergen


20-year anniversary celebrated and basin 3 inaugurated.


Smyril Line opens a ferry route servicing Hanstholm, the Faroe Islands, Bergen, Iceland and the Shetland Islands.


Establishment of the first ferry route between Kristiansand and Hanstholm.


10-year anniversary celebrated and basin 2 inaugurated.


Port of Hanstholm is inaugurated after seven years of construction.


A new committee is formed - declaring that Hanstholm is suitable for the construction of a port.
Model experiments conducted by Professor Lundgren from the Technical University of Denmark.


A committee for public works concludes that Hanstholm is highly unsuitable for the construction of a port.


A number of attempts are made to build a western breakwater – but it was not possible to withstand the strong waves using technology of the time.


A decision is taken to build a port in Hanstholm.