april 18 - 23. april 2023
Ski and Sail Lyngen & Finnmark is an adventure for those of you who want to sail to the foot of a mountain, prepare your skis and skins on the beach, ascend and then ski down the purest, powdery hills Norway can offer. Ski and Sail is a trip for those of you who enjoy challenges and want to experience something unique, wild, raw and beautiful – whether you’re experienced or a beginner.
This trip starts in Alta, and finishes in Tromsø, meaning we will have 5 full days of skiing in the areas of Altafjorden, Øksfjord peninsula, Kvænangen, Kågen and the Lyngen alps; a beautiful and exciting area with many choices for ascending peaks and sailing.
The ski tours 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 ski tour we set sail for the next port and prepare ourselves for the following day. The luxury of having a ski guide onboard means that we can optimize our time in the mountains and ascend new hills with hopefully good snow every 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 muscle pain and tiredness can wait until we get back home:)
We also have a northbound trip in the same area the week before, which starts in Tromsø, and finishes in Alta.
For most of our Ski and Sail trips we sail two boats together, with each boat having their own ski guide. The number of boats during our trip depends on the number of participants. If we have enough participants for two boats we also have more flexibility to divide the group according to skill level and experience amongst the participants.
The boats we will be using for Ski and Sail Lyngen and Finnmark are Humla/Bien and Nirvana, 50 ft. and 44 ft. boats, respectively. 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 our Ski & Sail Finnmark and Lyngen trip we did in 2018 click here.
For more articles and information about Ski and Sail, check out our blog here.
An amazing week full of adventure and fun in one of the most beautiful places on the planet!
Day 1: Ship o’hoi - let’s meet and set sails!
Welcome on board! We will meet in Alta harbor at 16:00, get settled into the boat and get to know each other. Before we set sail, we’ll walk you through safety routines on board, and get familiar with the boat. Before it’s too late in the evening we cast off towards a natural harbor where we spend the night at anchor. We eat dinner on our way, but be prepared for eating quite late.
Day 2 - 3: Skitouring the fjords surrounding Øksfjordjøkelen
The great peninsula surrounding the Øksfjord-glacier is a usually-inaccessible eldorado for ski tours, but with a boat we will be able to sail into the fjords to access these peaks and remote terrain, and maybe we will even climb the glacier! If the skipper is in a good mood, maybe she will let you off in one fjord and pick you up in the next!
Day 4 - 5: Nordleangen / Kågen or Arnøya
The northern tip of Lyngen peninsula is the perfect starting point for many of the summits in the Lyngen alps and for the surrounding islands. We will wake up either by Arnøya or Store Kågtind. Both peaks have amazing locations and give beautiful views over the entire Lyngen area. Once the trip of the day is done, we will cook dinner and continue sailing west. We will dock for the night at a suitable location.
Day 6: Final Summit, and thank you for the trip!
This last morning we head of to one of the peaks just north of Troms. We have great options here on Ringvassøya or Reinøya, or maybe even Ullstinden (1093m) will be the last peak we ski. After some good hours in the mountains, we set sail towards Tromsø, and we will be packed out, have tidied up the boat and be docked in Tromsø latest at 16.00. Thanks for a wonderful experience 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!
Travel - Alta
Check out SAS, Norwegian or Widerøe for flights to and from Alta. If you are planning to travel from a city in the north or want to extend your journey by a day or more, then Hurtigruta (coastal express ferry) has departures going north and south every day. You can definitely also take the train to Bodø and the continue by ferry, or drive a car all the way. Traveling slowly gives a different dimension to your vacation than flying over all the beautiful places our country has to offer, and it helps save the environment.
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.