Two sailing weekends to get out on the water in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
Our Norway sailing holidays can take you across the Arctic Circle to the land of the Midnight Sun and Lofoten. You can explore deep fjords and off-lying islands that can only be reached by boat and remote anchorages where you can catch a fish for dinner. Sailing as one of the crew you will be part of the team that makes it all happen.
When Trinovante first sailed to Norway we felt we had stumbled upon a magical wonderland right on our doorstep. Making landfall south of Bergen there were only 2 weeks to explore the Bjørnafjorden and Hardanger fjord before heading back out to sea. That brief glimpse was enough to start a love affair and 10 years of our schooner Trinovante sailing in Norway.
People sometimes say “but didn’t you already ‘do’ sailing in Norway”? To which the answer is no – it is not possible to ‘do’ sailing in Norway, you could sail there for a lifetime and never get bored. The coastline is a vast, varied sailing area both wild and civilised. The people along the coast love traditional ships and the best way to explore it is by a boat. Our schooner Trinovante is the perfect size for the job by being able to access small harbours and anchorages where larger ships can’t go.
For 2021 we only have UK based sailing holidays. Covid and Brexit and a one offshore passages sailing from the UK to Norway.
The first thing to get your head around is the vast scale of the Norwegian coastline. It stretches for well over 1600m or 2500km if very, very conservatively measured in a straight line. Other figures could be double and more. It is almost impossible to come up with a definitive measurement for the Norwegian coast line. If you want to know more there is information about the ‘coastline paradox’ on the Life In Norway website .
Next there are the thousands upon thousands of islands and skerries. We often joke that every Norwegian could be given an island, it’s just that some would not quite be allocated the island of their dreams.
Add to the islands some deep fjords, glacial landscapes, abundant waterfalls, green woods ashore and the midnight sun. You’ll start to build an image of a wild open spaces. Now intersperse that picture with names of some well known Norwegian cities such as Oslo, Bergen, Alesund and Trondheim, add in some small towns and smaller hamlets tucked in bays on islands or gaps in the mountains. Now the variety of the coast begins to take shape.
Different sections of the Norwegian coastline have their own identity and we are often asked ‘which is the best part to choose for a voyage’? Sailing in Norway is full of ‘wow’ moments around every corner. It is the land of Tolkein and Narnia, full of drama and wonder. The question of where in Norway may be more a matter of the time available. We have put detailed voyage sailing notes online for each leg to help you choose.
In the far north beyond the Arctic Circle feels frontier like and is sparsely populated. This is the land of sea eagles. Further north still is Lofoten which above all is the land of cod. Even though you may have seen photos of Lofoten a first sighting is still stunning.
Around the Bergen area there are intricate inland waterways fringed by trees and deep, deep fjords that strike inland for miles. We have been astonished to be in over 800m of water 40 miles inland.
As a cruising area Norway has four big advantages: off-lying islands sheltering most of the coast, a small tidal range, thousands of places to moor or anchor and long daylight hours. Day sailing never involves getting up early in the dark to catch the tide. This is about as free and easy as sailing gets.
Over the years we have tried to reduce the mileage Trinovante covers each day. This is not possible in many cruising areas but can easily be done in Norway with so many options for places to spend the night. That leaves more time for exploring ashore, fishing, checking out new places and of course sailing.
Sailing in Norway there is often a light following wind so some years back we had a big light airs ‘fishakker ‘ made for Trinovante. Our favourite rig for light winds is the ‘fishakker’ on the foremast and a fishermans topsail on the main mast. There is a sail and rig plan here if you are unfamiliar with the mast names. If the wind is not too far aft of the beam we set the No.1 jib as well. These three sails combine to create relaxed ‘slow travel’ sailing for taking in the scenery.
Navigationally Norway is quite complex but also well marked and charted.
Lighthouses are everywhere and in the past were sometimes manned by whole families. One story tells we heard tells of the lighthouse family taking earth out to the lighthouse to grow potatoes in the summer. In the winter they took the earth inside with them to stop it being washed away.
We imagine some of the sites of navigation cairns with top marks must date back to prehistory.
You could get almost anything in the way of weather during a Norwegian summer. In the past, we have walked across an island feeling overdressed in t-shirts and walked back in light snowflakes. We have learnt to keep a close eye on the weather forecast when sailing in Norway. There is very good mobile phone reception so most of the time we can back up the Norwegian VHF forecasts with a range of online marine forecasts. Navetex reception not been good on the whole.
Is it cold sailing in Norway? It can be. Trinovante has a full set of Fladen Flotation Suits – not for floating in but because they are the warmest thing out. They are windproof and totally waterproof into the bargain. Our crews love them.
If you are sailing in Norway the VHF forecasts are all in Norwegian but the strong wind warnings given in English. It does not take too long to get the gist of the forecast vocabulary in Norwegian. On Trinovante the map of all the transmitting stations for the coast stuck to the chart-room door comes in very handy.
Norwegian pilot books are mostly only available in Norwegian. One English pilot book that is available is Norwegian Cruising Guide.