januar 8 - 14. januar 2024
Our winter trips are a great chance to kick-start the sailing year. So bring your woolen long johns (a little Norwegian secret to staying warm in the winter!) and get ready for this raw and honest trip during the arctic winter! The most special thing about these trips in the winter season is all the magical light and the teeming life in the sea, which offer us the craziest #nofilter experiences all day long. We sail a full week from Bodø, via Steigen, to the capital of Lofoten; Svolvær.
This is a trip for those of you who want to sail along the rawest and most alpine coastline of Norway during the harshest time of year, looking for spectacular views and northern lights. Winter sailing offers beautiful light and colours, and on the boat we are far from street lights and other forms of light pollution. Hopefully the dancing northern lights will join us on our trip!
We sail from Bodø, spend one week along the coast northbound to Svolvær, and explore the areas of Steigen and Lofoten underway On the way we will search northern lights, and hope to sail under the blazing auroras by night. You will also learn a lot about sailing, the sea, and the areas we sail through. This is a variant of our classic and ery poular "Best of Lofoten"-trip, but this time we sail in winter. This gives, if possible, almost an even more memorable adventure, where the variations in weather and light in wintertime set the scene for spectacular views and raw nature experiences!
On this trip we try to spend a day playing with the orcas and humpback whales which gather every year along the coast of Troms, where they feed on the herring that comes into the fjords. For many years we’ve found the whales around the fjords outside of Kvaløya, but in recent years they have gathered further north, around Skjærvøy. The weather forecast for the week, and location of the herring, will determine if we set course for northern Troms, or search for the whales outside Senja instead.
As on all our trips you don’t need to know how to sail to participate, and you will learn alot about sailing along the way. If you are a skilled sailor you will be challenged and trusted, and if you are a beginner you will learn a lot. This is a perfect chance for those of you who want to test out winter sailing, learn more about nighttime navigation, and sail under the different wind- and weather conditions the winter season offers. If you only want to join an unforgettable trip and sail during the arctic winter, you are very welcome aboard as well!
Our experienced skipper will make sure you get a safe and memorable experience, and our co-skipper will contribute with knowledge about the areas we sail through and the sea. As part of our crew you get the chance to try out all aspects of sailing: at the helm, hoisting the sails, making food under sail, navigating, taking a morning swim, gutting fish, serving “anchor drinks”, tying knots etc.; the complete sailing experience!
Our winter sailing adventure with SailNorway contained everything from spectacular sailing outside Senja, hard and fantastic tacking along steep mountain walls, on anchor under the glimmering night sky, northern lights-photography and an including friendship among all the different people onboard, totally unique!
Day 1: Arrival and sail towards Steigen
Welcome aboard! We meet on the docks in Bodø at 16:00, get settled in the sailboat and get to know each other. Before we hoist sails we'll become familiar with the boat, equipment and safety routines onboard. When ready, we set course northwards heading for Steigen where we find a sheltered natural bay. Underway we practice boat handling, "man-overboard" drills, and other emergency situations.
Day 2: Sailing day to Nordskot
We wake up our first day on the adventure! Who dares take the first morning swim? After breakfast we sail the remaining distance to Nordskot. Here the two Norwegian polar explorers, Børge Ousland and Randi Skaug, each have their own little islands, and we hope to stretch our legs on at least one of them. We stay the night here in Nordskot with the opportunity with sauna and a refreshing swim in the sea for those that didn't dare this morning.
Day 3: Kayak in Nordskot and sail to Engeløya
If the weather allows, we have the opportunity this morning to try out our paddling skills in kayaks around the magnificent little archipelago around Nordskot with its stunning azure blue sea and white beaches. After lunch we hoist sails again furtern north into the heart of Steigen, and find ourselfs a suitable harbour for the night around Engeløya. Hopefully we have a clear night and can make our tripods ready on the dock for the nights aurora-show!
Day 4: Via Tranøy lighthouse and across Vestfjorden!
The lighthouse at Tranøy, at the inner part of Vestfjorden, have been an iconic landmark and navigational aid for seafarers in Vestfjorden through the years. We sail past it, and depending on the weather conditions, we aim to take a trip on land to the lighthouse itself with its panoramic view across to the Lofoten-wall. The route furhter goes across Vestfjorden past Risvær and the evening/night will be spent into Raftsundet towards Trollfjorden! This will be a full sailing day, with more than 40nm covered!
Day 5: Trollfjorden and beach landing on Storemolla
We take an easy morning as we wake up in the magical Trollfjord, with its towering mountains and peaks. We explore this fjord and the scenic area of Raftsundet with our cameras ready, before we sail in the direction of Storemolla and one of our favorite anchorages. We pray for a clear night and make ourselves a real bonfire on the beach, with dinner on the fire, and hopefully the northern lights blazing across the sky!
Day 6: Sail to Skorva, hike to Høgskrova and the night in Henningsvær
We have now been onboard for almost a week, and we really start to get our sailing skills in place! This day we start with a smal sail to Skrova, the whaling-island out in Vestfjorden. Here there are often no snow even on the smal peaks on the islands, and we willl have the chance to do a smal hike here to Høgskrova. Towards the afternoon we again cast off towards Henningsvær, where we will eat a dinner on land and celebrate a well spent week!
Day 7: Last sail to Svolvær and goodbye for now!
The last day of your adventure offers the last sail on Vestfjorden. Maybe this is the day where we will get visited by the orcas? We sail from Henningsvær with enough time, so that we possibly can do a stop in Kabelvåg on our way to Svolvær. In Kabelvåg we find both the aquarium, museum, gallery and especially the Lofoten Cathedral. We reach Svolvær after lunch with enough time to pack, clean and tidy ourselfs out of the boat by 16.00 latest. Thanks for a wonderful week and exciting experience together!
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?
You only pay 6000NOK when booking the trip, the rest of the payment are due 60 days before departure.
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 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.
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
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?
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.