februar 21 - 27. februar 2022
Our wintertime photography sails have been very popular, so bring you woolen underwear and get ready for new photo tours this winter! The most special about these trips is all the magical light and the teeming life in the sea, which gives us the craziest #nofilter experiences hour after hour. On this trip we sail a whole week from the “Paris of the North” Tromsø, via Senja, Andøya and Lofoten, to Bodø.
This is a trip for you who want to take the most “badass” pictures, of Norway’s rawest nature, during the harshest season. And for you who want to sail through Northern Norway in the very special winter light with your camera always ready. While the batteries are charging under deck you will be sailing and learning how to sail, along the way. Winter sailing in the north is a unique experience and by combining it with photography we maximize our use of the day. We are always ready to take the best pictures at the perfect time, completely free of street lights or other light pollution.
This week we sail from Tromsø and spend one week southbound along the coast to Bodø. On the way we will explore the areas of Senja, Andøya, Lofoten and Steigen. We hope to find northern lights, and will definitely learn more about sailing and photography, as well as the areas we sail through.
Our experienced skipper will take care of the sailing instruction and navigation, while adventure photographer Thomas Eckhoff will lead the photo expedition with lots of content, both professionally and socially.
Thomas is an inspiring photographer with a varied background and long experience, and we know he will share his best tricks for capturing good memories and impressions. Thomas sees social media and the web as an exciting continuation of his career now that paper has been almost wiped out as a media platform. He has made a great career on Instagram where his account has more than 45k followers. He has worked with influencers and clients on Instagram both in Norway and abroad, developed photo workshops, and collaborated with various businesses.
There are no photo prerequisites on this trip. Whether you are a professional or amateur means nothing. Just by sailing with other photo enthusiasts you will probably learn a lot. You don’t need to know how to sail to participate either, and you will learn alot about sailing along the way. This is a perfect chance for you who want to test out winter sailing, learn more about night time navigation, sail under different wind- and weather and always with your camera ready! If you only have a phone camera and just want to join an unforgettable trip and sail during the arctic winter, you are very welcome on board as well!
On this trip we will use our sailing boats Humla and Bien. Pictures and more information about these boats (which are all similar sister boats) can be found here.
The whole trip was a truly great experience! It was awesome to go without knowing anybody, and meet such a lovely group of people. The skippers were incredibly skillful, and they always smiled. For me, never having been north of Trondheim, it was really special to experience this raw landscape, the northern lights and to get so close on to the whales. SailNorway delivered a great and raw experience, which I will carry with me for the rest of my life!
Day 1: Arrival and sail towards Sommarøy
Welcome aboard! We meet at the dock in Tromsø at 16:00, settle in the sailboat and get to know each other. Before we hoist sails we get familiar with the boat and go through safety instructions on board. We check the latest weather forecast to see if the conditions allow us to sail around Kvaløya, or we take the inner route to Senja and Sommarøy. On the way we will train on handling the boat, man-overboard and other emergency situations. We make dinner along the way.
Day 2: Landfall on Sommarøy and sail to Hamn in Senja
We’ll spend this morning on Sommarøy before we set sail around the outside of Senja, towards Hamn in Bergsfjorden. Hamn, as the name suggests, is a picturesque harbour where we will spend the night. Here we have the opportunity for a hot tub and sauna, and a swim in the sea, for those who are interested. We plan to eat dinner at the restaurant in Hamn this evening. Whether we make it around the outside of Senja depends on weather and wave conditions. The alternative is to go the inner route towards Harstad.
Day 3: From Senja via Andøya to Vesterålen
After breakfast we hoist our sails again, and set our course towards Vesterålen. Now we will pass by an area where we could possibly meet some whales, so keep your eyes open! We will pass by Risøyhamn, with its many blinking lanterns and lighthouses, and after we continue to a remote anchorage, or to the harbour in Sortland if the weather calls for us to spend the night moored.
Day 4: Full sailing day through Raftsundet, to Lofoten and Trollfjorden
Our route continues past Stokmarknes and into Lofoten through Raftsundet. Here we will spend some time in the fjords, especially Trollfjorden which is spectacular and well worth a visit, with its alpine peaks and granite walls that plunge into the sea. This will be a full sailing day where we cover more than 50 nautical miles. Underway there will be more photography and sail training. For the night we anchor in a calm bay in Raftsundet or Trollfjorden, if the ice is not too thick.
Day 5: The Lofoten Fishery in Svolvær
There is plenty of activity in Lofoten during this time, when the yearly Lofoten-fishing is taking place. So before we cross Vestfjorden we must pass by Svolvær, pay the local bakery a visit, and do some sightseeing. In the afternoon we sail out to Skrova if we feel like, or we drink some beers with the fishermen at the harbor pub. Maybe we are also able to catch our own fish for dinner today?
Day 6: Across the “Vestfjorden” from Svolvær to Steigen
Today we will cross the mythical “Vestfjorden”! With a short landfall on Skrova, or just straight across to Nordskot in Steigen. Here the famous Norwegian polar explorers, Børge Ousland and Randi Skaug each have their own island. Since we know them both we aim to visit at least one of them to stretch our legs, maybe they have fired up the sauna? Tonight we aim to have a photo session indoors with a screen and projector so we can look at each other's photos and practice a little editing.
Day 7: Morning sail to Bodø and goodbye for now!
Early this last morning we set our course further south to our last stop; Bodø. We eat breakfast and lunch underway, and will arrive in time to tidy, pack, and clean the boat before the trip ends at 16:00 latest. We’ll dock in the middle of the harbor, within walking distance to both the train station and the airport. Thanks for a great winter trip in the north!
Changes to the program
The program should be seen as a starting point that we adapt to weather and conditions. We also reserve the right to constantly improve our itineraries. On board with us we always have a dinghy for beach landings and small expeditions, we have fishing gear for the cod, and gear to hike or make a bonfires on the beach - we are ready for adventure! Are you?
Travel - in general
Sometimes we have to fly, but not always. If you have the luxury of time, we always encourage to travel as environmentally friendly as possible. Traveling slowly also gives another start to a holiday. Cycling, taking the train or driving a car together are good alternatives! Feel free to add some extra time before and after, since up in the north weather that can sometimes change your plans…
Getting to or from Tromsø, the fastest option is flying if you are coming from the southern part of Norway, but if you have time to travel slowly we recommend that. Taking Hurtigruten to Tromsø from Bodø and train to Bodø is a good option.
The north-Norwegian train line "Nordlandsbanen" goes all the way to Bodø from Oslo and Trondheim. Another "slow" and great way to get to Bodø is with Hurtigruten from Bergen or Trondheim. However, if time consuption force you to fly there are several arrivals in Bodø every day from Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim etc. check out SAS, Norwegian or Wideroe.
Safety and risk - in general
We take safety seriously and on our trips we train on handling different situations that can occur at sea. On board the boat and trips, everyone must know what to do in potentially dangerous situations. For us it is important that you as a guest and participant is trained quickly enough to be a participating crew, not a passenger. It contributes to learning, sense of achievement and increased safety for all. This is also why our trips are considered to be sailing courses, you are trained to be one of the crew members on board.
Level of this trip
This is a trip for all those who are interested in photography, or nature. Or both! Sailing wise, our trips are not difficult, and you are always welcome to join us! We have with us both people who have never sailed before and experienced sailors. However, you must be prepared for everything from no wind to sailing in harsh weather. If you are a beginner, we will try to make you a seaman/woman as soon as possible. If you are experienced you will be given responsibility and greater challenges.
In Northern Norway and the Arctics we must be prepared for all seasons, often during a single day. It’s a part of the experience; it’s wild, beautiful and raw – in all aspects, also with regards to weather. Prepare for the contrasts! For us the most important thing is to enjoy the ride and the sailing. Use what you have, borrow if you can, and invest in something new if you must. In good time before departure we will send you a detailed recommended packing list for this trip.
Food and cooking
On our trips everyone contributes to the operation of the boat, so as long as you have not booked one of our trips with a designated chef, all take their turns in the galley during the trip. Skippers and guides assist as much as they can along the way. In advance of the trip, we set up a menu and shop what is needed. We try to offer good menus with healthy and “boat friendly” food. If you have allergies or preferences let us know in the registration form, and we will take that into account. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
What we expect from you
We want you to take part in the routines onboard the sailboat, whether it is sailing, docking, navigating, looking for whales and icebergs, washing up, cooking, clean the boat or contribute in other ways when required. Our trips require a little effort from all participants - and you should be open to contribute and open up a bit socially. We have many different people with us on our trips, and most people go very well together. Our experience is that doing things with others out in nature, and not least do things with new people with different personalities than one might be used to, is what creates the best, most interesting and memorable stories :)
Life on board and accommodation
Life on board a sailboat is social and pleasant, but for some it can be perceived as quite intimate and crowded, which is important to be prepared for. On our trips everyone participates in the operation of the sailboat and everyone is considered crew. We would like to get to know you well and hope that you will get to know everyone else on the sailboat as soon as possible. It requires some patience, generosity and an open mind to thrive, but the new acquaintances and completely raw nature experiences are quickly what will take your focus as soon as you become comfortable with life at sea.
Accommodation on the boat is part of the fun. The accommodation is generally in shared cabins, some of which have a double bed and some have a bunk bed solution. The distribution is quite a puzzle, but we do believe we are quite good at it. Let us know if you have any special needs or reservations.Any accommodation before and after the trip must be arranged on its own. If you have any doubts about where to stay, we’re happy to give you some recommendations.
On the boat we have a lot of heat and a lot of good food, but not always abundance of fresh water.
What kind of people join this trip?
Many come alone, some travel as couples, some travel as a group of friends. The common denominator for everyone is that these are fun and committed people you become friends with almost no matter what. Sharing grand experiences creates strong ties! Many people wonder about the age composition of our trips, but that is not so important to us. It doesn't matter if you are young or old as long as you want to go on a trip and intend to do your part so that you and the rest of the crew will have a good trip together.
Environment and sustainability
Both sailing and hiking/alpine/backcountry trips are environmentally friendly activities and we sail as much as we can and use the engine as little as possible. We encourage crew and participants to travel as environmentally-friendly as possible, and we use local ingredients and resources as far as possible. We also have our own trips where we collect litter and clean ocean trash from beaches.
Philosophically we often say that sailing is an exercise in sustainability; we move with the wind and we have limitations on things like water, diesel, electricity and food. In order to run sustainable - knowledge, patience, agility and hard work are required. The same applies to almost everything you try to do in a sustainable way.