Arctic Norway

Sailing in northern Norway, above the Arctic Circle is a unique and special adventure. Arctic Norway is a magical yacht charter destination in one of the most beautiful sailing destinations in the world. With embarkation options in Bodø, Svolvaer,  Tromsø, the Lofoten Islands and North Cape “The Arctic Norway”  is the perfect starting point for polar expeditions as well as shorter and more relaxing charters. It is possible to combine your sailing charter with skiing, climbing, trekking and other activities.

Arctic Norway reaches from the Lofoten peninsula to North Cape as the most northern point of Europe. Lyngen is a skier’s paradise with hundreds of mountains to climb or ski. Arctic Norway consists of thousands of islands, sheltered fjords, open seas and steep mountains. The perfect adventure trip for sailing, skiing, hiking, wildlife observation, climbing, fishing and more!

Expeditions are also available by arrangement at certain times in the year to the remote and truly incredible Svalbard and Spitsbergen.

Bodo, Svolvaer, Tromso,  Lyngen, Lofoten Islands and North Cape are all very interesting places and generally experienced groups will enjoy the stunning surroundings. High quality and comfortable boats are available, specially equipped for sailing in arctic waters. Local people love the sea and are open minded and respect and appreciate other sea farers. You will always find guidance and help if required.

Bodo, Svolvaer, Tromso, Lyngen, Lofoten Islands, North Cape

Many people visit this area to experience the Land of the Midnight Sun during the summer, where daylight extends through the polar night, or the magical Northern Lights – Aurora Borealis - during the winter. The magnificent untouched countryside, with impressive snow and ice peaked mountainous backdrops, fascinating coastal attractions and interesting local cultures such as the Sami people bring adventurers and visitors from far and wide to enjoy the art, culture, history and wildlife this area has to offer.

Visit immense natural glaciers and caves, see birds such as sea eagles, cormorants, guillemots, puffins, and kittiwakes. In the water you may be lucky enough to see whales, seals and otters. The Arctic Circle is associated with the cold, ice and snow, however the climate can be very different in this area with the warmth of the Gulf Stream and the bright summer season accelerating life in the north as it flourishes in the Midnight Sun. Summer temperatures may reach 20-30 degrees, allowing you to enjoy a refreshing swim in the lakes or sea.

The shift between green lowland landscapes and steep mountain formations out at sea provides one of the most beautiful experiences that Mother Nature has to offer. There is an aura of history stretching all the way back to the Vikings Age, this combined with the wildlife culture and first rate attractions make the Lofoten Islands an incredible charter destination.

Sail through this majestic setting with no other boats as far as the eye can see, and go ashore on islands and beaches that are completely uninhabited. Small fishing villages and towns with quaint harbours are dotted throughout the area offering passing yachts a berth for the night or a chance to stock up on provisions.

Sail & Ski: During March, April and May you may enjoy a week of ski and sail adventure in Northern Norway.  Sail in the fjords of the Lyngen Archipelago, start skiing from the snow covered beaches and climb summits with amazing views. Enjoy the freedom in untouched powder-snow and off-piste back to your yacht. The area offers a variety of possibilities and challenges so you will always find your summit to conquer that fits your personal ambitions and fit.

Sail & Trek: A unique combination of travelling by sea, walking the mountains and at the same time experiencing rich bird and animal life. Stay and travel in comfortable yachts to the outskirts, start at a hideaway bay and walk through impressive mountains and magical surroundings. Combine trekking and sailing and choose routes according to your personal ambitions and fitness. Ideal for beginners as well as more experienced walkers. Trips are suitable for groups of people ranging from 4 to 20 guests. Mountain guides for shorter or longer periods can be provided upon request.  

Sailing to Spitsbergen, Svalbard

Svalbard is a very interesting area and its uniqueness has played important roles in many aspects; polar expeditions, history, politically it is unique and it is the ultimate sailing heaven. It is possible to visit Svalbard in July and August. Sailing at Svalbard requires arctic knowledge and experience. We have extensive experience in organisning bareboat and skippered charter trips to Svalbard.

 

» Easily accessible (Direct flights from Europe)
» New and unspoiled destination
» Breathtaking Scenery
» Varied sailing from open water to sheltered passages
» Amazing wildlife and nature
» Skiing and kiking combinations possible
» Welcoming firendly people
» Explore remote and wild polar regions

For more information on sailing and yacht charter in Norway including the Arctic North, West Coast Norway and sailing in Oslo and southern Norway please visit our partner site: Yacht Charter Norway

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Example Itinerary

Please note that more itineraries are available - please let us know your requirements.

Lofoten Islands – One week itinerary
Tromsø – Finnsnes – Lødingen – Svolvær – Henningsvær – Bjarkøy– Tromsø (300 nm)


Tromsø

Tromsø is a city in the very northernmost part of Norway. It is almost 350 km north of the Arctic Circle and is one of the best places to view the spectacular Northern Lights in winter. Tromsø is a surprise to most visitors - here you find art, history, sophistication, good food and an infamous nightlife in a bustling, tiny city. All of it, though, is surrounded by spectacular scenery that is visible from everywhere in town.

Finnsnes

Finnsnes with its rugged coastline is one of the most dramatic parts of Norway, and easily competes with the neighbouring Lofoten. Stop at some of the villages and beauty spots or visit forests, lakes and mountains.

Lødingen

Lødingen is a small village set in mountainous surroundings with several small islands and fjords.

Svolvær

Svolvær is located in Lofoten on the south coast of Austvågøy, facing the open sea to the south, and with mountains immediately to the north. Svolvær is partly located on smaller islands, such as Svinøya, connected to the main island by way of the Svinøy Bridge. Sheltered by the mountains to the north and west, the Svolvær area has less fog and experiences somewhat higher daytime temperatures in summer than the western part of Lofoten.

Henningsvær

Henningsvaer is a fishing village near Austvågøya, in the Lofoten Islands. It is connected to Austvågøya by two bridges. Due to its traditional fishing village architecture, Henningsvær draws many tourists. Climbing and diving/snorkelling are also popular activities. The nearest town is Svolvær.

Bjarkøy

Bjarkøy: There are only about 530 inhabitants in Bjarkøy, one of the smallest municipalities in Norway. The municipality consists of 365 islands, and all of them are varied and special in its own way. The nature varies from great mountains to hills, woods and bare rock faces. In the summer you can enjoy one of the beautiful beaches out there, you can even find one where you can be all by yourself. Bjarkøy is known for its Viking history.

Highlights

Sailing in North Norway

The sights and attractions are like pearls on a string along the coast of North Norway. There is plenty to see and do from the area around the Arctic Circle and all the way up to the North Cape and the Russian border at Kirkenes. Many people visit to experience the Land of the Midnight Sun during the summer, or the magical Northern Lights – Aurora Borealis - during the winter, together with the untouched countryside, snow and ice, coastal attractions, the Sami people, art, culture, history and fauna (birds, fish, whales and other species of animals). Guests also appreciate the culinary temptations of the Arctic Menu and the delicacies of the sea.

To some people it is important to be able to go out to sea without there being any other boats as far as the eye can see, and to go ashore on islands and beaches with no other people in sight. One seldom has problems finding berths in the harbours.

However, it is not only “wild and wonderful”. The northern countryside offers great variety, from coastline to mountain peak, including towns, villages and areas of wilderness. You will also encounter a modern, well-developed society, largely characterized by the abundant fisheries that take place on the banks just off shore.

Settlements along the coast are widely scattered so you will easily find unpopulated areas with wild snow-capped mountains, white sandy beaches, roaring waves, hazardous glaciers, caves and an abundance of birds and animals. Birds like sea eagles, cormorants, guillemots, puffins, kittiwakes, etc. are often seen here, and we also often see whales, seals and otters. Along the coast you will find small harbour facilities used by fishing boats and other vessels. There are many national parks and nature reserves in Northern Norway, the countryside is regulated by law and some islands have restrictions with regard to going ashore.

Some people associate the Arctic with cold, ice and snow. The warmth of the Gulf Stream and the bright summer season seem to accelerate life in the north and life flourishes in the Midnight Sun. Summer temperatures may reach 20-30 degrees, allowing you to enjoy a refreshing swim in the lakes or sea. However, weather and temperatures may shift rapidly. Winter in Norway varies considerably from north to south and from coast to inland regions. While the southern coast may often be free of snow, there may be metres of it elsewhere. Winter temperatures may also vary greatly, but are highest along the coast, usually between 0 and 10 degrees Celsius. The coast of Helgeland with its thousands of isles and islets, the Svartisen Glacier and the shift between green lowland landscapes and steep mountain formations out at sea, is said to provide one of the most beautiful experiences that Mother Nature has to offer. Visit Vega (UNESCO World Heritage), Mount Torghatten with its characteristic hole, Tjøtta with its unique history, the island of Dønna with its phallus symbol, and the islands of Lovund (Puffin Island), Træna and Myken that are far out to sea near the fishing grounds.

Further north along the coast we find Salten and the islands off Bodø – small, friendly places to visit. Then there is Saltstraumen – the world’s strongest maelstrom, and the old trading post of Kjerringøy (museum). On the way from Bodø, through the scenic waters leading to Steigen and Hamarøy (the Realm of Knut Hamsun), we find the world’s most concentrated stock of sea eagles, and on the island of Tranøy in Hamarøy, you can even spend the night in the lighthouse. The Tysfjord, with its schools of killer whales in the early winter, is an experience of the few and far between. At this point, Norway is at its narrowest, covering a mere 5 km from Hellemobotn to the Swedish border. Sami culture. The city of Narvik lies at the head of the Ofotfjord and is renowned for its fascinating war history and marvellous alpine skiing facility, with pistes running practically from mountain peak all the way down to sea level.

All the while you can catch a glimpse of the Lofoten Islands on the other side of the Vestfjord, with their steep mountains that drop straight into the sea. The picturesque fishing villages are scattered along the shore line where we can enjoy the hustle and bustle of everyday life during the summer and the busy fishing fleet during the winter. There is an aura of history stretching all the way back to the Vikings Age, together with art, culture and first rate attractions.

Farthest out in Lofoten you will find the vibrant island communities of Værøy and Røst with the ocean and its abundant fishing grounds as their next-door neighbour and pantry. The rocky seabird colonies in Værøy are renowned and stand in strong contrast to the flat landscape of Røst, where the buildings are barely above sea level.

The island realms of Lofoten and Vesterålen are almost as one. Trips through the Raftsundet strait and the Trollfjord both provide unique scenic experiences. The scenery in Vesterålen is different to that of Lofoten, with more rounded mountain formations and a flatter landscape, although the buildings here too face the sea, again largely due to the main industry, fishing. A newer local industry is the whale watching carried out off the coast of Vesterålen during the summer.

The Coastal Steamer Museum is situated in Stokmarknes. The fishing village of Nyksund is unique and has now been restored after being abandoned in the 1960’s. The town of Harstad is situated on Norway’s biggest island, Hinnøya. Here you will find historical monuments like Trondenes Church from the Middle Ages and the gigantic Adolf gun from World War II. The Ship Preservation Centre and boat museum in Gratangen are also well worth a visit.

Proceeding north, you arrive at the wild island of Senja, overlooking the great ocean, with unique fishing villages like Hamn and Gryllefjord.

Tromsø is often referred to as the “Paris of the North” with its teeming city life and sights like the Arctic Ocean Cathedral, the Polaria adventure centre, the mountain lift and the world’s northernmost brewery. The isles and islets off the coast of Tromsø to the west, together with the magnificent Lyngsalpene mountain range to the east, create breathtaking contrasts that fascinate the ever increasing number of visitors.

En route to the North Cape is the town of Alta with its major rock carving ranges that are up to 6,500 years old (UNESCO World Heritage). Sautso, the Alta Canyon, is the biggest canyon in northern Europe. Hammerfest is the world’s northernmost city and offers a number of attractions including the Museum of Reconstruction and the Polar Bear Club.

The North Cape will in many cases be the end point of your journey. Knivskjellodden is the northernmost point in Europe. Otherwise worth a mention here are the North Cape Museum and North Cape Hall, Sami camps and the Gjesværtappan seabird colonies with puffins and various other species of birds. Svalbard is situated at 74-81 degrees northerly latitude, right at the very edge of where man can live and survive. Industry here is based on mining (coal), polar and climate research, and tourism. The climate is relatively mild in relation to the islands’ location so far north. The landscape is magnificent, but at the same time very vulnerable. The Arctic light here is magical. Longyearbyen has Midnight Sun from April 20 to August 20 and the Dark Season lasts from October 28 to February 14. There are over 30 species of nesting birds in Svalbard. When it comes to mammals, you may encounter polar bears, Svalbard reindeer, polar foxes and several species of seals and whales.

Weather Conditions

Climate

Tromsø experiences a subarctic climate because winter temperatures are just cold enough to qualify and the summer season is short. However, the weather and precipitation amount and pattern, with maximum precipitation in autumn and early winter, as well as lack of permafrost, are atypical for subarctic areas, so this climate is sometimes called maritime subarctic or oceanic boreal.

Summer is rather cool, with a July 24-hour average of 12 °C (53.6 °F); daytime temperatures are usually slightly warmer, but vary from 9 °C (48.2 °F) to 25 °C (77.0 °F).



  JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

High Temperature ( C )

0

-1

1

4

8

13

15

15

10

5

2

1

Low Temperature ( C )

-5

-6

-5

-2

2

7

9

8

4

0

-3

-4

Precipitation ( mm )

111

95

72

46

55

39

63

74

105

121

87

107

Average Sunshine Hours

19

17

18

17

20

17

20

20

21

21

18

21


Midnight Sun

The Midnight Sun occurs from about 18 May to 26 July, although the mountains in the north block the view of the midnight sun for a few days, meaning that one can see the sun from about 21 May to 21 July. Owing to Tromsø's high latitude, twilight is long, meaning there is no real darkness between late April and mid-August.

The sun remains below the horizon during the Polar Night from about 26 November to 15 January, but owing to the mountains the sun is not visible from 21 November to 21 January. The return of the sun is an occasion for celebration. However, because of the twilight, there is some daylight for a couple of hours even around midwinter, often with beautiful bluish light. The nights shorten quickly, and by 21 February the sun is above the horizon from 7:45 am to 4:10 pm, and 1 April from 5:50 am to 7:50 pm (daylight saving time).

The combination of snow cover and sunshine often creates intense light conditions from late February until the snow melts in the lowland (usually late April), and sunglasses are essential when skiing. Because of these diametrically different light conditions in winter, Norwegians often divide it into two seasons: Mørketid (Polar Night) and Seinvinter (late winter).

Tromsø is in the middle of the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights) zone, and is in fact one of the best places in the world to observe this phenomenon. Because of the planet's rotation, Tromsø moves into the aurora zone around 6 pm, and moves out again around midnight. As it is light round the clock in the summer, no aurora is visible between late April and mid-August.


Tromso 5 day weather forecast
Day Min Max Wind Weather
Thu
21st
3°C 11°C
SSE

9 kts

Fri
22nd
4°C 13°C
SSW

5 kts

Sat
23rd
3°C 14°C
S

6 kts

Sun
24th
7°C 15°C
SE

5 kts

Mon
25th
6°C 16°C
SSW

6 kts

General Information

Bodo

Bodø is the biggest city in Nordland and has a population of approx. 40,000. There are a number of direct flights from the city to and from Oslo and abroad. Bodø is also a major junction for regional air traffic, and for bus and boat routes. The airport is only 1 km from the city centre and the harbour where our vessels are moored.

  • Excellent restaurants, pubs and bars
  • Various categories of hotels
  • Shopping malls
  • Grocery stores with a wide selection of merchandise
  • Shops with boating gear, clothing, etc.
  • Chemist’s / Pharmacy
  • Car hire firms
  • Tourist information centre
  • Museums
  • Tromso

    Tromsø is northern Norway’s major city and has a population of just over 60,000. There are daily direct flights to and from Oslo, together with international and regional flights. Tromsø is also a major junction for regional air traffic, and for bus and boat routes. The airport is approx. 3 km from the city centre.

  • Excellent restaurants, pubs and bars and pulsating night life
  • Various categories of hotels
  • Shopping malls
  • Grocer’s stores with a wide selection of merchandise
  • Shops with boating equipment, clothing, etc.
  • Chemist’s / Pharmacy
  • Car hire firms
  • Tourist information centre
  • Museums and adventure centre (Polaria)
  • Mountain lift
  • The Arctic Ocean Cathedral
  • For more information on sailing and yacht charter in Norway including the Arctic North, West Coast Norway and sailing in Oslo and southern Norway please visit our partner site: Yacht Charter Norway

    Language: Norwegian is the official language of Norway and it is the most commonly spoken language in Northern Norway. Most Norwegians speak English well.

    Travel: The easiest way to travel to Northern Norway is by air – there are several options when travelling from Europe or internationally – some of the more popular routes are listed below – let us know your requirements.

    It is also possible to drive or to travel by boat. Some parts of Northern Norway can be reached by train.

    By Plane

    From Southern Norway

    The following cities/airports have non-stop flights to and from:

    Oslo: Tromsø, Bardufoss, Bodø, Evenes, Alta, Kirkenes, Lakselv, Flights to/from Oslo arrive at and depart from Oslo Gardermoen Airport (OSL).

    Bergen: Tromsø, Bodø

    Trondheim: Bodø, Evenes, Helgeland

    Domestic flights are operated by SAS Norwegian and Widerøe International

    To/from Tromsø:

  • London Stansted, United Kingdom (Tuesdays and Saturdays, operated by Norwegian)
  • Stockholm, Sweden (Summer only, Mondays and Fridays, operated by SAS )
  • Frankfurt, Germany (Summer only, once a week. Charterflight operated by Troll Tours/Hamburg Airlines)
  • Kiruna/Luleå, Sweden (operated by Barents Airlink)
  • Murmansk/Arkhangelsk, Russia (operated by Arkhangelsk Airlines/Aeroflot Nord)
  • By car:

    E6 is the main route to Northern Norway when driving from the southern parts of the country (Oslo, Trondheim). Be aware that the distance from Oslo to the southernmost part of Northern Norway is appr. 800 kilometers and that the rest of E6 through Northern Norway is appr. 1600 kilometers. The distance from Trondheim to Mo i Rana is appr 450 kilometers, to Narvik 920 kilometers and to Tromsø is appr 1,160 kilometers.

    It is also possible to drive to Northern Norway from Sweden, Finland and Russia.

    If you arrive during winter, be aware that winter tires are necessary and required by law. Do not try to drive without, even if you don't expect snow or ice.

    By bus

    From Southern Norway:

    There is no bus connection between Northern and Southern Norway, except for a few local routes in the border area.

    By train

    Trains to Northern Norway depart from Trondheim. There is usually two trains per day, one leaves in the morning and the other leaves in the late evening. The train stops at Mosjøen, Mo i Rana and Fauske (and other smaller places) before it reaches its end destination Bodø just above the Arctic Circle. The journey to Bodø takes about 9 hours and 30 minutes. Prices may vary, lowest possible price as of January 2008 is 199 NOK. (one way, limited number of seats, look/ask for "minipris"). Trains are operated by NSB.

    By boat

    The Hurtigruten (Coastal Express) sails along the coast of Norway, from Bergen in the south to Kirkenes close to the russian border. It calls at 25 ports in Northern Norway and 9 ports in Southern Norway. Each port is visited twice a day, once by the southbound boat, and once by the northbound boat.

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