The first Norröna entered service between the Faroe Islands and Denmark in 1983. The acquisition of Norröna broke new ground in Faroese international passenger sailing. She entered the service of the newly founded Smyril Line, which had been established by private entrepreneurs the foregoing year. The vessel, which was built in 1973, was previously named Gustav Vasa and registered in Sweden. Before her launch in the Faroe Islands, she was refitted and modernised at the Flensburg ship wharf. In her day she was considered modern, a ship fit for her times. Norröna took 1050 passengers and 250 cars. This means that she was considerably larger and better equipped than the vessels, which had previously connected the Faroe Islands to the world. Initially she only sailed to the Faroe Islands in summer. However, freight shipping demand grew and by 1998 Norröna was sailing between the Faroe Islands and Denmark year-round. During summer seasons she would sail between Iceland, Faroe Islands, Shetland Islands, Norway and Denmark until 2003, when a purpose-built Norröna took over.