august 8 - 15. august 2023
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 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!
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.
Travel - Svolvær
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 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
Sailing wise, our trips are not very difficult, and you are always welcome to join us! Our trips attract both people who have never sailed before, as well as experienced sailors. If you are a beginner, we will turn you into a seaman/woman as soon as possible. If you are experienced, you will be given more responsibility and greater challenges so that you can learn new things along the way. We usually sail along the coast in protected waters, and we often have the opportunity to choose either more or less exposed routes, depending on the weather. The weather Gods decide, so you must be prepared for both windless conditions and sailing in harsher weather!
As with all activities, there is plenty of specialized equipment and clothing for sailing. 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. What you need is something waterproof and windproof on the outside, and layered clothing underneath. Some jackets may not be waterproof enough, or might not perform well in saltwater, so you might want to consider purchasing or renting a set of “oilskins” from us to use on the wettest days. Even in summer it can be cold at sea, so bring both swimwear and warm clothing. 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. A morning swim in the sea is also 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. On most trips we sail multiple boats in a fleet, with 7-9 people onboard each boat.
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.