County commissioner Florian Martensen-Larsen is seen giving a speech at the port's inauguration in 1967. Florian Martensen-Larsen has written the book Hanstholm Havn: A depiction of the port's history through 1000 years (1992).


The history of Port of Hanstholm dates back to 1917, when it was decided to build a port in Hanstholm. However, it ended up taking a long number of years before the port became a reality. This is not only due to divided opinions about whether it was possible to build a port in Hanstholm, but also to the fact that the Second World War brought the port construction to a standstill. But the years passed, and with a great will for Hanstholm, the port became a reality in 1967. Businesses engaged in fishing flourished, and the town of Hanstholm grew in record time.

Highlights in the port’s history


After several years of debate, Rigsdagen passes a law on the construction of two ports in Hanstholm and Hirtshals respectively. At this time, the parish of Hanstholm (Hansted) houses around 260 inhabitants - populated by fish farmers and frequented by bathers in the summer.


Under the leadership of engineer Jørgen Fibiger, the construction of Port of Hanstholm begins in the 1920s. The construction is time-consuming and after Fibiger's death in 1936, the German occupation of Denmark leads to the evacuation of Hanstholm as a strong link in the Germans' western fortress. The local population evacuates the town, and the port construction comes to a complete standstill.

In 1951 a committee decides not to finish the port construction due to complicated current and sanding conditions, which leads to a year-long discussion about whether the port should be built. In 1955, Kai Lindberg, a newly appointed Minister of Transport, chooses to set up a committee to reconsider the port. A large scientific experiment with material migration conditions is carried out by Professor Lundgren at the Technical University of Denmark.


A committee concludes that Hanstholm is suitable for a port. This is due to the fact that Professor Lundgren's studies have shown that a small adjustment to the original construction project will cause that the port will not be filled with sand. In 1960, the Danish Parliament passes the final construction act on the construction of the Port of Hanstholm.


The port construction is started. The terrain is leveled, and soon buildings begin to appear on the port area. Large breakwater caissons are produced with huge quantities of concrete, and a large crane helps the caissons into place, one by one. Divers help prepare castings on the seabed, and finally the large caissons are filled with concrete and sand.

The western breakwater was partly built by Fibiger before the Second World War, but after the war and many stagnant years is in a bad condition. Therefore, a wave screen filled with concrete is added - a solid screen against the greedy sea. Throughout the 1960s, a major construction work is carried out, building breakwaters, quays, basins and roads.


The Port of Hanstholm is inaugurated on 8 September 1967 after a construction period of seven years. People flock to the celebration, and the port's fishing boats are decorated with flags. King Frederik IX conducts the official inauguration in the port's newly built auction hall with a ring on a new auction bell. The first auction hall is completed in the early spring of 1967 as one of the first buildings on the port. 

However, the port is not completely finished, as the weather conditions challenge the final construction. The port is not completed until 16 June 1968, when the last caisson of the eastern breakwater is in place.


Port of Hanstholm is a success, and the need for extra space quickly arise. And as the port celebrates its 10th anniversary in 1977, a traffic basin is inaugurated. Her Majesty the Queen inaugurates the new basin, accompanied by local representatives. 

At the same time, a new community is on its way in Hanstholm, where major construction work transform former fields into detached housing estates. The population is growing rapidly, in parallel with the development of the port. The population is increasing from around 260 in 1901 to 1,700 in 1970.


With the addition of the new traffic basin, Port of Hanstholm has gained good facilities for receiving ferries, and the first ferry route is a reality in 1979 with sailing to Kristiansand in Norway. Meanwhile, the number of inhabitants in Hanstholm has increased sharply, and in 1980 the town has 2,490 inhabitants. Hanstholm is a new and attractive town, where many people seek the opportunities created by the port.


Port of Hanstholm is a busy and active fishing port, now being home to around 150 fishing boats - a lot of smaller wooden cutters, but also larger steel trawlers. At the same time, the ferry activity increases as the shipping company Smyril Line opens a ferry route in 1983 to the Faroe Islands, Norway, Iceland and the Shetland Islands.


Port of Hanstholm celebrates its 20th anniversary, and the level of activity calles for yet another expansion due to the large trawlers with greater draft. Therefore, a new basin with 7.5 meters of water is added, and the water depth in basins and port entrance is increased.


A needed expansion of the port's auction facilities is completed. Port of Hanstholm is a great success and can boast of being Denmark's largest fishing port in terms of value of fish landed by Danish and international vessels.


Fjord Line opens a ferry route between Hanstholm, Egernsund, Haugesund and Bergen. With several ferry connections, Hanstholm is a central gateway for the North Atlantic area.


Port of Hanstholm celebrates its 30th anniversary, and a new welding basin is inaugurated.


In both 2005 and 2008, Port of Hanstholm expands its auction facilities, and during the same period, Master Ferries opens a route between Hanstholm and Kristiansand in Norway in 2006. At the same time, several quays are rebuilt, and the port entrance is deepened from 7,5 to 9 meters of water. In 2007, the port turns 40.

Due to a high level of activity and a strong position within the fishery, in 2009 work is being initiated towards a major port expansion. However, the plan is later put on hold.

After many years of ferry operation, Hanstholm's function as a ferry port ends in 2010. Smyril Line which operates the last remaining ferry route from Hanstholm, decides to move its activity to Hirtshals. In 2010/2011, local forces are trying to start a ferry from Hanstholm to Norway titled 'Thy Ferries', but without success.


In 2016, a new analysis work is initiated for a possible port expansion, speeding things up. As the Port of Hanstholm can celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2017, an upcoming port expansion is also a reality. In November 2017 the first sod for a major port expansion is taken.


A major port expansion (2017-2020) has future-proofed the facilities with new breakwaters, a new basin, 130,000 square meters of hinterland area, 350-meter quay, and increased depth at the port entrance. Furthermore, the port is added an extra area of 30,000 square meters of hinterland with 140 meters quay, working as a working area during the expansion. At the same period, the port's auction facilities are expanded with the addition of an extra hall and five logistics locks, which ensure state-of-the-art cooling facilities for handling a rising amount of fresh fish in an unbroken cold chain.


The port expansion is inaugurated with the participation of Her Majesty the Queen, who marks the inauguration ringing the same auction bell that her father, King Frederik IX, inaugurated the port with in 1967. The inauguration takes place in the port's newly built auction hall.