The historic cod-fishing and drying town of Kristiansund still looks below the sea for its wealth. Even though the waters are no longer so bountiful, cod-processing remains important. A significant amount of the world's klippfisk (salted cod) is cured around the town, while Mellemværftet, unkempt and chaotic, hangs on as a working boatyard. Kristiansund also plays a significant role in servicing Norway's North Sea oilfields, with its hotels, bars and restaurants catering to off-duty oil workers (with oil worker wages to spend).
The town ranges over three islands; its port and centre was bombed heavily during WWII and rebuilt in uncompromising concrete, although the soul of the old town survives on the island of Innlandet, a quick boat ride over from the harbourfront.
Most people passing through Kristiansund are on their way to or from the wonderful Atlanterhavsveien, the epic road that links together several islands between Kristiansund and Bud.