North Norway, Aurora Borealis, Hike & Sail

Norway

The Northern Norway coastline is renowned for its beauty, a forested terrain contoured with rugged mountains and vast fjords During the winter period mountains are capped with snow, the sun hangs heavy on the skyline, and everything is embraced in a lustrous coat of frost. here in the far north, about 500 km northeast of the Arctic Circle, the Lyngen and Kvaenangen fjords can be found, between which we find steep mountain ridges, remote islands, and a wealth of hiking opportunities. These areas provide the ultimate wilderness experience, as ideal for exploration by foot as by sail

  • The mystical winter beauty of the sub-Arctic Norwegian coastline
  • Small-group travel, sailing aboard a charming and historic schooner
  • Hiking with snow-shoes
  • Opportunities to see endemic marine and birdlife
  • Hikes along the scenic coast or in small fishing villages
  • Great opportunities to catch sight of the aurora borealis - Northern lights

During this trip, hikes are offered (with snowshoes if needed). Snowshoeing is easy and for anyone with good health and good physical condition. It requires no technical knowledge. With the use of snowshoes you can move faster and safer on the snow surface.

The Northern Norway coastline is renowned for its beauty, a forested terrain contoured with rugged mountains and vast fjords that has twice been voted the best travel destination in the world by National Geographic. And it’s not just during the summer months that Norway shows off its splendors, but the winter as well: The mountains are capped with snow, the sun hangs heavy on the skyline, and everything is embraced in a lustrous coat of frost. In the far north, about 500 km (310 miles) northeast of the Arctic Circle, the Lyngen and Kvaenangen fjords can be found, between which we find steep mountain ridges, remote islands, and a wealth of hiking opportunities. These areas provide the ultimate wilderness experience, as ideal for exploration by foot as by sail.

In winter the amount of daylight is limited, providing about 10 hours of light by the end of February. The dramatic landscape under the low sun and long sunrise / sunset offers great opportunities for photography enthusiasts, but the dark hours will not be wasted: Northern Norway is one of the best areas in the world to see the northern lights, also known as the aurora borealis. This amazing phenomenon can only be seen when the sky is dark and clear. In good weather conditions, this voyage offers ample opportunities to admire and photograph the northern lights from the remote fishing villages and bays where we stay the night. During the voyage you may also see white-tailed eagles, one of the largest birds of prey in Europe, and the more-skittish fish otters. Both species are year-round residents of the Norwegian fjords.

Stewart's Take

Experience the shores, seas, and lights of the Norwegian Arctic

Overview

The Northern Norway coastline is renowned for its beauty, a forested terrain contoured with rugged mountains and vast fjords During the winter period mountains are capped with snow, the sun hangs heavy on the skyline, and everything is embraced in a lustrous coat of frost. here in the far north, about 500 km northeast of the Arctic Circle, the Lyngen and Kvaenangen fjords can be found, between which we find steep mountain ridges, remote islands, and a wealth of hiking opportunities. These areas provide the ultimate wilderness experience, as ideal for exploration by foot as by sail.
North route: The programs and routes described here serve only as a rough guide. The overall program, such as the hiking program on land and the itinerary of the ship at sea, will adapt to the local weather, sea, and snow conditions, and may vary considerably from the route shown. Availability of landing sites also plays a role in the selection of the program. The program may also be changed in response to interesting wildlife observations (e.g., whale sightings). The final decision as to where and in what way the hikes will be implemented is ultimately made by the expedition leader on board. For the hiking program, it is recommended that you bring ankle-high, sturdy boots with gaiters. For wet shore landings via our Zodiac boats, please bring insulated rubber boots with anti-slip soles. Hiking poles with deep snow plates are also required. See our equipment list for more details. Our itinerary depends largely on weather conditions and the amount of daylight during the voyage. These conditions dictate the route, sailing hours, and our harbors for the night. We intend to explore the fjords and islands by sail and also on foot. In case of heavier snow, we will use our onboard snowshoes. Day 1: Paris of the North Your adventure begins in Tromsø, nicknamed the “Paris of the North,” located in an area rich with Norse and Sámi history. Enjoy exploring this sub-Arctic Norwegian town, said to have been inhabited since the last ice age. We aim at departing from Tromsø in the evening, sailing through Grøtsundet and Ullsfjorden toward the northeast. All passengers are kindly asked to board the vessel by 17:00. Day 2: Lighting out toward Lyngen You arrive in the Nord-Lenangen fjord, just under Lyngsfjella (Lyngen Alps), and the ship may stay there for the night. If conditions permit, you may also make a walk along the coast of the fjord, after which evening glimpses of the northern lights may appear, if the sky is clear enough. Day 3 – 6: Into the Nordic fjords You then sail along the base of the Lyngen Alps, across the Lyngen fjord, and may stay for the night in Hamnnes, on the island of Uløya. Hamnnes is an ancient trade and fishing settlement originating in the 17th century, with typical wooden warehouses where residents store dried cod. (In fact, the town still exports this cod for the traditional Mediterranean dish, Bacalhau.) Uløya offers good hiking, often on snowshoes. From Hamnnes, you sail farther northeast into the Kvaenangen Fjord. Part of the day you sail through the fjords, and in the afternoon you find a harbor to spend the night in one of the scenic fishing villages, such as Skjervøy, Seglvik, Reinfjord, or Burfjord. There are good hiking possibilities in the area, for example on the Island of Spildra, where we might climb the 240-meter-high (788 feet) Staurhammaren, with expansive views over the fjord. Great hikes can also be made in Burfjord, just 50 km (31 miles) from the northerly town of Alta. During the evenings and nights, there are fine opportunities to see auroras if the sky is clear enough. Day 7 – 8: Below the northern lights Your next objective is to sail back toward the southwest, staying for the night in Finnkroken, a tiny hamlet that gives you a solid chance of seeing the northern lights. In the morning you embark on a final hike, hopefully with snowshoes, to the 315-meter-high (1,033 feet) Småvasshaugen. On day seven, you sail back to Tromsø and arrive around midday. You will have enough time to shop for souvenirs in town, visit a museum, or simply take a walk in the fresh winter air. After spending the last night on board, you disembark on day eight (Saturday) with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies. Additional note: Hiking / snowshoeing (two hiking options to choose from) At the beginning of the season, there is still snow on the coastline, valleys, and in the mountains. For this reason, we offer the option of snowshoes during our hikes on this voyage. Snowshoeing is easy for anyone in good physical condition and requires no technical knowledge. With the use of snowshoes, you can move faster and safer on the snow. Snowshoes are available on board (free of charge) and fit all shoe sizes. As a rule, daily hikes of two to three hours are planned, in the morning and / or afternoon. Approximately 100 to 200 meters (330 to 660 feet) of altitude may be climbed per day, depending on the hike. At midday hikers return for lunch aboard the vessel, but in the event of a full-day hike, participants receive a packed lunch. For all hikes, guests (maximum of 33) are split into two groups under the guidance of experienced guides who take into account the interests and physical fitness of the participants. Hiking routes cannot be determined in advance, because local conditions (ice, weather, etc.) influence the final program. The map outlines a possible but not final itinerary, as all itineraries are subject to change.

S/V 'Rembrandt Van Rijn'

Rembrandt van Rijn sailing ship

‘Rembrandt Van Rijn’ was built as a herring lugger early last century. The vessel was rebuilt as a three-mast passenger sailing schooner in he Netherlands in 1994 and sailed in Spitsbergen (1994 – 1996) and in Galápagos (1998 - 2001). The vessel underwent a complete rebuilding and refurbishment program until 2011. The communication and navigation equipment has been completely renewed according to the latest SOLAS regulations.

For full information about this vessel click here:

Included
  • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • Free use of snow shoes.
  • Transfers and baggage handling between airport and ship in Greenland harbours on the chartered group flights.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
  • AECO fees and governmental taxes.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.
Excluded
  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
  • Pre- and post- land arrangements.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Meals ashore.
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).
Rates, Share and Sole Use policy All rates are quoted per person, based on shared occupancy. If you are travelling alone and wish to share, you will be matched with another person of the same gender at the shared rate. Deposits Reservations require a deposit of 20% at the time you receive a booking confirmation from Expeditions Online. A payment link will be sent to you and this may be paid by major credit card. Bookings within 60 days of departure require full payment. Final Payments Balances are due 60 days prior to departure. Cancellations All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. Cancellations received 90 days or more prior to departure, are refunded less a fee of 20 % of the total price. If cancellation is received between 89 days and 60 days prior to departure, are refunded less a fee of 50 % of the total price. If cancellation occurs less than 59 days up to and including the day of departure: 100 % of the total price. If full payment has not yet been received, the full penalty will still apply and any unpaid balance is due immediately. We strongly recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance. Booking Terms Please read carefully the General Booking Conditions for Expeditions Online. This voyage is operated by Oceanwide Expeditions and you additionally travel under their terms and conditions as the operator as well as of the Shipping Company/transport carrier. Details will be forwarded to you at the time of booking.
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