april 3 - 10. april 2023
Ski and Sail is an adventure for those of you who want to spend the Easter holidays sailing to the mountains, starting at the water’s edge, and skiing among the snow-peaked mountains of the Lofoten, Vesterålen and Senja areas, on our way to the Paris of the north; Tromsø! A trip for those of you who like challenges and being out in nature, and who wants to experience something unique, wild, raw and beautiful.
The ascensions we complete during our trips will be planned in plenary, according to the skill level of the group, weather, and conditions in general. After our daily ascensions we set sail for the next port and prepare ourselves for the following day. This is an active trip with full focus on the experiences this wild nature has to offer, whether it’s behind the wheel or with skis strapped on your feet. The luxury of having a ski guide onboard also means we want to maximize our time in the mountains and ascend new hills every day. The mussel pain and tiredness can wait until we get back home:)
The boat we will be using for this trip Ski and Sail is a Bavaria 50 style. These boats have good comfort and enough space for 6-7 participants + ski guide and skipper. Read more about our boats here.
To see a film clip from a Ski & Sail trip we did in 2018 click here.
For more articles and information about Ski and Sail, check out our blog here.
A fantastic nature experience!
Day 1: Meeting on the dock in Svolvær
We meet in the harbour in Svolvær at 16:00 and get settled into the boat and get to know each other. Before we set sails, we will walk you through safety routines while on board, and get familiar with the boat. Before it is too late in the evening we cast off towards a natural harbor where we spend the night at anchor. We eat supper on our way, but probably quite late, so we recommend you to eat dinner before meeting, if possible.
Day 2: Skiing in Trollfjorden/Raftsundet
After early breakfast we go ashore with the dinghy. Together with the ski guide we will make a final decision on where to ski depending on weather, snow conditions and wind. There are many opportunities in Raftsundet, on both sides. This being our first day of skiing we start off more easily. In the afternoon we sail further to our next destination, and we now decide if we go up Raftsundet and on the west-side of Hinnøya, or set our route on the south and east side of Hinnøya through Tjeldsund.
Day 3-4: Vesterålen; the hidden Lofoten
Hinnøya is Norway’s largest island, and we do have an almost infinite amount of possible mountains to choose from for our ski tours! This area is also way less crowded than the popular Lofoten area, but just as good for skiing! After the days in the mountains we come back onboard, rest and eat a little before heading further north to the next destination.
Day 5: Full sailing day from Vesterålen to Senja
During the week we will probably use one full day to really get the chance to hoist our sails and feel the natural forces in the wind pulling us forward! We have flexibility in which day this would be and put it mostly to a day with less optimal conditions in the mountains. Maybe we can reach as far as 50-60nm in one day! If we are lucky we might as well catch ourselves our own fish for dinner tonight!
Day 6 - 7: Skiing in the fjords on Senja!
Senja is a true wonderland for skiing-enthusiast and mountain-lovers! We could have spent our whole week her, and hopefully we will have okey weather so we can sail on the outside of Senja. This is where we find the great peaks in the many fjords of this island. When we have sailed all the way to “yttersida” of Senja, we have to visit the smal village of Hamn in Bergsfjord, where we find a good restaurant for a dinner on land. And even better; sauna and jacuzzi for sore skiing legs!
Day 8: Last skiing and thanks for now!
Last day we will wake up at Kvaløya or in Malangen, where we want to reach a small last ski tour before we head to our last stop; Tromsø. We will arrive in Tromsø with enough time to pack, tidy and clean ourselves out of the boat before we say goodbye at 16.00 latest. Thanks for a wonderful week together!
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. On some days we will eat dinner right away after skiing, while on other days we will have a light meal when we come back to the boat, and then sail on before having a late dinner. Some days, we spend time fishing, or exploring the area. If the weather is really not in favor of skiing, we can spend the day sailing or doing something else fun.
Deposit and payment
You pay a 6000NOK deposit when you book the trip, and the rest of the payment is due 60 days before the trip begins.
Travel - in general
Sometimes we have to fly, but not always. If you have the luxury of time, we always encourage you to travel as environmentally friendly as possible. Traveling slowly also allows you to start your holiday in a special way. Cycling, taking the train, or driving a car together can be good options! Feel free to add some extra time before and after your trip, since up north the weather can be unpredictable and might affect your plans!
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.
Travel - Tromsø
The fastest option for getting to or from Tromsø is to fly. But if you have time to travel slowly we recommend doing that instead. Taking Hurtigruten south from Tromsø to Bodø and train from there is one option.
What exactly is Ski & Sail?
Ski & Sail is a trip concept where we sail to the feet of the mountains and start the ski trip by the edge of the water. By boat we can move from place to place, and choose mountain sides and areas based on weather and conditions. Ski & Sail is something Italian and French skiers have done in Norway since the 90s, and something Norwegians so far have only started to discover the joys of. SailNorway has arranged Ski & Sail trips in Helgeland, Steigen, Lofoten Islands, Lyngen, Finnmark, and on Svalbard for many years, and we dare say that we know many of the very best places along the coast. Skiing & Sailing is really cool!
Level of this trip - medium
On this trip we require some experience with randonnee/alpine touring/backcountry skiing. You should have skied or snowboarded before, and been on backcountry/touring trips. Regardless, we will set up the trip based on the experience of the group, so that everyone has a great experience. On most of our Ski & Sail trips, we sail two or more boats in tandem, with one ski guide per boat. This depends on the number of participants we have signed up, but it allows us to split up into groups based on the participants’ prior experience. If you have a lot of experience and on skis, you will still find the opportunity to challenge and enjoy yourself on the trip.
If you are wondering if this trip is a good fit for you, feel free to contact us so that we can help you find the tour that best fits your wishes and needs - whether you are a beginner or are very experienced.
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 a boat and on trips, everyone must know what to do in potentially dangerous situations. For us it is important that you as a guest and participant are trained quickly enough to be a participant - not a passenger. It contributes to learning, a sense of achievement, and increased safety for all. It's also why our trips are considered to be sailing courses: you are trained to be one of the crew members on board. Feel free to contact us to discuss risk.
Safety and risk - Ski & Sail
We have the same mindset when it comes to skiing and alpine/backcountry trips. The first day of skiing we train on search and rescue techniques and the use of avalanche equipment. Many elements determine the safety of an alpine/backcountry trip. Good planning, humbleness in relation to weather and avalanche risk, and a good group dynamic are important. It is also crucial that you follow the guide's instructions in the mountains to ensure safety. Skitouring and alpine/backcountry skiing involve a certain risk, as does sailing. However, we at SailNorway, and our skippers and ski guides, do everything we can to minimize the risk in a professional manner.
We work with locally knowledgeable ski guides and plan the trips based on the latest available local reports and forecasts. If we are in a place without snow, we sail to where the snow is! With the sailboat we are flexible with regards to finding the best snow, meaning that we may sometimes go somewhere that is not mentioned in the program or a place that we might not have tested in advance ourselves. This adds to the excitement!
Equipment for ski touring and backcountry skiing is required for this trip, that means avalanche/ski backpack with beacon, probe and shovel, and touring skis (or splitboard) with skins and ski crampons. We have a few sets of avalanche equipment that can be hired through us if you let us know beforehand, and ski equipment can be rented through our partners. Crampons, climbing axes and harnesses / ropes are not required on our trips. We do not expect you to buy lots of new equipment to join any of our trips, so, use what you have, borrow what you need from a friend, try to purchase used equipment, and if you have to invest in new equipment - buy quality items that will last. We will send you a detailed recommended packing list in good time before departure.
Food and cooking
On our trips you will be part of the crew onboard and get the chance to participate in all aspects of the running of the sailboat. This includes the cooking, where everyone is taking turns in the galley! Skippers and guides assist as much as they can along the way. Before the trip we set up a menu and purchase what is needed. We offer good menus with healthy “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 often sail by a good restaurant or two where we stop and eat.
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, cleaning the boat, or contributing in other ways when required. Our trips require a little work from the participants - and you must be open to contribute and open up a bit socially. We have many different people with us on our trips, and most people get along very well. Our experience is that doing things with others out in nature, and not least doing 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 one should 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 boat as soon as possible. It requires some patience, generosity, and an open mind to thrive, but the new acquaintances and completely raw nature experiences 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 of which have bunk beds. Figuring out who sleeps where can be a bit of a puzzle, but we do believe we’ve gotten quite good at it. Let us know if you have any special needs or reservations. You must arrange any accommodation before and after the trip on your own. If you have any doubts about where to stay, we’re happy to give you some recommendations.
We have plenty of heating and good food on the boat, but not always abundance of fresh water. This means it will not be possible to shower every day, but more or less every other day we are either in a harbor with fresh water or we sail through a place where we can borrow showers or enjoy a sauna. And a morning swim in the sea is always available all year round!
What kind of people join this trip - and how many will we be on board?
Many come alone, some travel as couples, and others travel as a group of friends. The common denominator for everyone is that these are fun and interesting people you will become friends with almost no matter what. Sharing grand experiences creates strong ties! Many people wonder about the age composition of our trips, but this isn’t 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 in making this a great trip for everyone. The number of participants varies from trip to trip. If we have many participants, we will expand with more boats and skippers. For Ski & Sail we are usually 1-2 boats with 7-9 people onboard each boat.
Environment and sustainability
Both sailing and 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 much as we can. We also run 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 sustainably, knowledge, patience, flexibility, and hard work are required. The same can be said about many other things that one tries to do in a sustainable way.
Minimum number of registered participants
We need a minimum of 5 registered participants to run this trip. We are able to tell pretty early on whether a trip will be confirmed or not. If we have to cancel, you will get reimbursed or offered to join another trip. Since we need a certain number of registered participants to confirm a trip, please do not book your travel (flights, ferry, train, bus etc.) before we have confirmed your trip.