The shipping company (management and operating company) Sverre  Farstad & Co was founded in Ålesund in 1956.

The shipping company’s first vessel M/S “Farland” was delivered from Haugesund Mek. Verksted AS. The vessel was launched on 24 November 1959 and named by Mrs. Margaret Farstad.
Farstad’s first two supply vessels, the AHTS’s “Stad Sea” and “Stad Scots­man”, were both named at Ulstein Hatlø AS. These were also the first UT 704 designs delivered.

In 1986 the company Farstad Shipping AS was established to carry out the chartering and marketing functions, and manage the financial fleet pool of Farstad’s 10 supply vessels and one vessel on order. All the names of the Farstad vessels were changed and they received the prefix “Far” instead of “Stad”. The large white “F” was introduced for use on the vessels’ red hulls.

The same year Farstad purchased most of Wilhelmsen’s offshore fleet.
In 1987, the OSE-listed company Herness Shipping Company AS of Oslo (in principle controlled by Sunnmørsbanken) became Far Shipping AS.

In 1989 Farstad purchased ten vessels, eight of these from Seaforth Maritime of Aberdeen and two from DnC. The fleet became the largest one in the North Sea.

In connection with Loch Offshore taking over the operation of the newly acquired Seaforth vessels, Farstad acquired 75% of the company’s shares, and the name was changed to Farstad UK Ltd.

Far Shipping AS became Farstad Shipping AS – a fully integrated shipping company in 1993 and Sverre A. Farstad (Andy) took over as Managing Director the same year.

Farstad Shipping AS in Ålesund was certified pursuant to the requirements of ISO 9002 (quality certificates for vessels and offices). In addition to this, ISM/SEP (safety certification) was obtained. Such certification was expected to strengthen the company’s future competitiveness.

In 1993 the company P/R International Offshore Services ANS (IOS) was established as a jointly owned (50/50) company with Farstad and P&O Australia as participants.

In 1999 Terje J. K. Andersen took over as Managing Director after Sverre A. Farstad, who became the Chairman of the Board.

The same year, a new joint venture company Brazil Offshore Services (BOS) was established in Macaé, Brazil. The company was owned 50/50 with the Brazilian company Petroserv SA, and would carry out the operation, local crewing and marketing of the vessels in Brazil.

Farstad established a wholly owned management company in Melbourne, Australia in 2003 – Farstad Shipping (Indian Pacific) Pty Ltd. (FSIP) with representation in Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines and Perth (Western Australia). On 1st July 2003, Farstad acquired P&O’s 50% stake in IOS and became the sole owner of the IOS fleet of 18 vessels.

Farstad established the 100% owned Farstad Shipping Pte. Ltd in Singapore in 2005 – a vessel owning company which starte operations by owning and operating four vessels in south east Asia.

Karl­Johan Bakken became the new Managing Director of Farstad Shipping ASA after Terje J. K. Andersen, who retired in 2006.

In the period from 1990 until 2010 the company ordered in total 47 vessels, whereof  41 were built or are under construction at Norwegian yards, representing a total investment of approx. NOK 11.5 billion.

Farstad’s Global Integrated Management System (the ISM-code, the ISPS code, the ISO 9001: 2000 Quality Standard and the ISO 14001: 2004 Environmental Standard) was certified by Det Norske Veritas against the International Safety Management Code, ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 14001:2004, in January 2006.

During 2006, Farstad contracted eight newbuildings. One of these is the deepwater pipeline trenching/construction vessel Far Samson. The vessel was initiated by Farstad Shipping, and realised by Rolls-Royce in close cooperation with Farstad Shipping.
The yard number 704 at STX Europe Langsten was named Far Samson, by the godmother Katrine Farstad (14 years old), daughter of  Sverre A. Farstad, and granddaughter of Margaret, who named the company’s first vessel.

Farstad Shipping’s strategy is to be a long-term major supplier of large, modern offshore service vessels to the oil industry worldwide. The company will maintain a long-term chartering profile. The company’s fleet consists of 53 vessels: 24 PSV, 28 AHTS and 1 CSV vessels. Farstad Supply AS has 4 newbuildings for delivery within June 2010, all built at Norwegian yards. Altogether, 150 employees in Aalesund, Aberdeen, Melbourne, Singapore and Macae manage the company’s activities. At the moment, 19 vessels are stationed in the North Sea, 11 in Brazil, 4 in the Far East, 18 in Australia and 1 in West Africa. The number of sailors is approx. 1,500.