august 2 - 9. august 2022
Join us for an exciting sailing trip through Sommarøy, Senja, Vesterålen and Lofoten to Svolvær. This will be an eventful and active holiday, where we start in arctic nature and end in alpine Lofoten further south. This is a trip for you who want to explore the magnificent scenery in this area and experience the rich bird- and wildlife close by. For many, the hike to the peak Møysalen has been the highlight of this trip.
We start the journey by sailing south from Tromsø, through Rystraumen, and then to Sommarøy where we anchor in a natural harbor between the sandy beaches. From Sommarøy we sail the “outside” of Senja to idyllic Hamn in Bergfjord. After a good dinner and unhurried pleasures in the harbor of Hamn we sail toward the tip of Andøya. The area outside Andenes is known for its good opportunities to see whales, with the ocean floor rising from 1000 to 100 meter. We continue sailing south on the west side of Andøya, an incredibly scenic stretch. At Bleik we visit bird nesting cliffs and explore the unique cultural landscape. Hopefully the cozy, local pub has open doors for us when arrive this year as well. From Bleik we sail inshore past Stave and then towards and in between the Vesterålen islands.
We sail further into the fjords on Hinnøya and towards the top of Vesterålen's highest mountain; Møysalen. The majestic towering mountain of 1252 meter above sea level has a great view to both the Lofoten mountains and Vesterålen, and this hike is considered by many as the best mountain hike in northern Norway. And to many of our participants it has also proved to be the highlight of this trip. The trip ends with a regatta the last day through the Lofoten wall to Svolvær, with a fine dinner on land, this last night.
By having a sailboat as a mobile base for land explorations, we get close to nature, wildlife, local culture and the locals living in the areas we land. During the trip we combine sailing with as much other fun as possible, such as hiking, fishing, kayaking, good food and a bonfire ashore once in a while.
All our planned activities along the way are optional. If you prefer to take a break in the boat and write poems or do yoga, or do nothing at all, that's what you will do.
In the summertime we sail together several of our boats in a fleet. Read more about our boats here.
Like on all our tours, you learn to sail along the way, and you will get both challenges and feelings of achievement- and friends for life!.
What a wonderful way to vacation! I really appreciated spending time with people i got to know during the trip, and SailNorway made everyone feel included. My highlight of the trip must've been our stop at Summer Island (Sommerøya) ; The weather was nice, we had time to cook a nice meal, and enjoy a beautiful evening on the beach.
Day 1: Trip start at 16.00 from “Paris of the north” Tromsø
Check-in and we go through the program and safety procedures onboard. In the evening we make dinner, get to know the boat and crew, and prepare for sail. If we are ready and the wind is good, we might start sailing this night already.
Day 2: Sail to Sommarøya
We start the trip by sailing southwest from Tromsø, through Rystraumen, and then to Sommarøy; an idyllic small island community outside Kvaløya in Troms. At Sommarøya we stretch our legs before we anchor in a natural harbor between the sandy beaches. Here are many scenic little beaches and lagoons to discover.
Day 3: Senja and the harbor of Hamn
From Sommarøy we sail towards Hamn on Senja where we’ll moor up for the night. In the afternoon you can go for a walk or a paddle around Hamn. This evening we have dinner at the restaurant in Hamn, and we might jump in the sauna and hot tub before dinner!
Day 4: Whale and sea bird safari on Andøya
Around noon times we set course further south, and north of Andenes the seabed rises from 1000 to 100 meters and here are good chances of seeing whales. We continue sailing south on the west side of Andøya to Bleik, where the island rises straight up from the ocean behind the long and unique beaches. At Bleik we can surf, paddle or swim and we can go hike through the cultural landscape. At Bleik, they also have a very nice and cozy local pub that stays open a few nights every summer, hopefully they keep open for us.
Day 5: Full day sailing towards Hinnøya and Lonkanfjorden
After a morning bath on one of northern Norway's most scenic beaches, we visit Jakobine café; one of the best and most enjoyable cafes in all of northern Norway, with a wide selection of very good cakes! Then, a little bit later this day, we set course further south and sail towards Vesterålen. Depending on the wind and conditions, we will sleep in a natural harbor this night and try to get as far south as possible. In the evening we prepare for a summit hike to Møysalen next morning. The summit is part of the Møysalen National Park, founded in 2003.
Day 6: Summit hike to Møysalen
If the weather permits, we will start climbing Møysalen in the morning; perhaps the most beautiful mountain hike in northern Norway. With its 1262 meters above sea level, the towering mountain is by far the highest in Lofoten and Vesterålen. We split into two or three groups, and the hike takes 8-12 hours, depending on the pace. Back in the boats in the evening and depending on the wind and conditions we make a decision on whether we should stay the night on anchor or continue sailing a short stretch.
Day 7: Regatta to Svolvær
In the morning we get ready for regatta and racing the other boats in this final stretch through the Lofoten wall and towards Svolvær. This will be a day full of sailing where we train on trimming the sails and handling of the boat. In Svolvær we go out for dinner and continue the night sharing tall tales.
Day 8: Breakfast and departure
Thank you for a great, eventful and engaging trip! From the "Center of Lofoten"; Svolvær, the roads and possibilities are still many for those who want to continue exploring.
The program may change according to weather and conditions, but it gives an indication of how we spend the days. We start every day with a good breakfast and make a packed lunch before we go ashore. Some of the days we eat dinner right away after getting back to the boat, other days we just eat a snack at the beach, and then sail on before we make a later dinner. Some days, we spend time fishing, and time to look around. If the weather should be in disfavor of a trip on land, then we spend the day sailing or do something else fun.
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 going to the eastern part of Norway, but if you have time to travel slowly we recommend that. Taking Hurtigruten south from Tromsø to Bodø and train from there is one option.
So, if you have time then take the “Nordlandsbanen” train line to Bodø and the express boat (catamaran) or Hurtigruta (coastal express ferry) from Bodø to Lofoten. But Lofoten is far away for many, and most people end up flying. Then Svolvær is the nearest airport, or you can also fly to Leknes. Flights to Svolvær or Leknes are mostly with a connection in Bodø, and are possible to book through Widerøe, SAS and Norwegian. You can also fly directly from Oslo to and from Harstad/Evenes airport, and then take a bus from there to Lofoten and Henningsvær/Svolvær.
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.
Mountain hikes and alpine/backcountry trips involves a certain risk, as does sailing. However, we as an operator, and our skippers and guides, do everything we can to minimize the risk in a professional manner. Everyone gains on this and we have no one to lose. Feel free to contact us to discuss risk.
Level of this trip
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. During the trip, we also often sail by a good restaurant or two where we stop and eat. 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. If you want to stay a night on shore under the starry sky or in your own tent, then of course you can do it! Any accommodation before and after the trip must be arranged on its own. If you have any doubts about where to stay, we are 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. It might not always be possible to shower every day, but mostly every other day we are either in a harbor with enough fresh water or we sail through a place where we can borrow showers or even better, take a sauna.
What kind of people join this trip - and how many are we on board?
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. The number of participants varies from trip to trip. If we get many participants, we will expand with more boats and skippers. On most trips we sail more boats in a fleet, with 7-9 people onboard each boat.
ECO, 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.
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?