januar 30 - 5. februar 2023
Our wintertime photography sailing trips have been very popular, so bring your woolen underwear and get ready for new photo tours this winter! The most special thing about these trips is all the magical light and the teeming life in the sea, which gives offer 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 Vesterålen, to the capital of Lofoten; Svolvær.
This is a trip for those of you who want to take the most “badass” pictures of Norway’s rawest nature, during the harshest season. For those of 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 learning how to sail underway. 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.
During this trip we sail from Tromsø and spend one week southbound along the coast, all the way 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 fun and interesting content.
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 shots. 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 photography knowledge prerequisites on this trip. Whether you are a professional or amateur means nothing. Just by sailing with other photo enthusiasts you will learn a lot. You don’t need to know how to sail to participate either, as you will learn alot about sailing along the way. This is a perfect chance for those of you who want to test out winter sailing, learn more about nighttime navigation, sail under different wind- and weather conditions, and always have 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 aboard 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 our sails we get familiar with the boat and go through safety instructions on board. We check the latest weather forecast and plan the route for the week, before we cast of towards Senja and Sommarøy. On the way we will train on boat-handling, man-overboard drills and other emergency situations
Day 2: Kayak in Sommarøy and sailing to Hamn on Senja
Sommarøy is also a mecca for paddling kayaks, and Sommarøy Adventure would love to take us out on the water around this beautiful archipelago this morning. After lunsj we sail further on the outside of Senja, a beautiful area! Well docked in Hamn, we are greeted by a hot bathtub and sauna for those who want, and we plan to have dinner in the restaurant in Hamn. Whether we can sail on the outside of Senja is due to weather and sea-state. Alternatively we will sail on the inside of Senja towards Harstad.
Day 3: From Senja via Andøya to Vesterålen
After breakfast we hoist our sails again, and set our course towards Vesterålen. We will hopefully be able to sail on the outside of Andøya, and thus pass by an area where we could possibly meet some whales. Keep a sharp lookout for movement and blows in the sea! We will have a full sailing day today, with our course set for Stø in Vesterålen, and cover more than 50nm. Well ashore we will prepare our tripods on the dock and hope for a great aurora-show tonight!
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 another full sailing day and 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: To the whaling-island of Skrova
We hopefully wake up in Trollfjorden for a calm morning. Who jumps in for the morning swim first! From here we sail out to Skrova, the whaler island in the middle of Vestfjorden. Here there are usually not snow all year, so we could have the opportunity to do an evening hike with our head torches to Høgskrova this afternoon. If the restaurant and pub of Heimskrova are open, this is the perfect place to try out whale on your plate for dinner! :)
Day 6: The Lofoten Fishery in Henningsvær
There is plenty of activity in Lofoten during this time, when the yearly Lofoten-fishing is taking place. So we will sail to the middle of the action with an armada of fishing boats around us in Henningsværstraumen and try our “Haill” (North Norwegian fishing luck). With the boat hopefully filled with the Skrei-cod we find a harbour spot in Henningsvær and prepare ourselves a feast meal with the freshest cod you’ll ever taste onboard!
Dag 7: Seil to Svolvær and goodbye for now!
Last day offer the sail from Henningsvær to Svolvær. We leave with enough time to possibly stop in Kabelvåg on the way, and reach Svolvær with enough time to tidy, pack, and clean the boat before the trip ends at 16:00 at the latest. Thanks for a great winter trip in the north!
The program should be seen as a rough itinerary that we can adapt to the weather and conditions. We also reserve the right to change and improve our itineraries. We will have a dinghy for beach trips and small expeditions, fishing gear for cod, and gear to hike or make bonfires on the beach on all our trips - we are ready for adventure! Are you?
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!
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.
The Nordlandsbanen train line goes all the way to Bodø, and can be taken overnight from Trondheim or Oslo. This is a great way to travel and a beautiful journey from southern Norway. For timetables and prices see www.vy.no. If you live along the coast, the speed ferries or Hurtigruta are possible options either northbound or southbound. Another option is a flight to Bodø, and there are some reasonable tickets.
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 crewmembers on board. Feel free to contact us to discuss risk.
Level of this trip
This is a trip for all photography and nature lovers! In terms of sailing, this trip is not very difficult, but sailing in the winter gives an extra challenging dimension to it all. You must also be prepared for both calm winds and sailing in harsher weather. If you are a beginner, we want to make you a seaman/woman as soon as possible, and if you are experienced, you will quickly get responsibilities and greater challenges.
As with all activities, there is plenty of specialized equipment and clothing for sailing. If you do not have any of this, you can use regular hiking/skiing/mountain clothing. What you need is something waterproof and windproof on the outside, and warm, layered with clothes underneath. For winter sailing, the most important thing to remember is to have enough air in between the layers of clothing. So bring spacious clothes and shoes, preferably a couple sizes too large, and plenty of wool! 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 of 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.
Environment and sustainability
In general sailing is an environmentally friendly activity,, 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.