Offshore Voyage. Sail From Norway to Scotland, Orkney
In The Wake Of The Vikings
In The Wake Of The Vikings – A Mix Of Offshore And Coastal Sailing
The sea route from the coast of Norway due west to the remotest parts of the British Isles is a classic offshore voyage of around 200 miles. This means one or two nights at sea followed by sailing in Shetland and Orkney.
Once we make landfall expect day sailing among the islands and skerries.
The landscape is wild and remote and, outside of the few towns, sparsely populated.
If you have never sailed offshore check out Offshore Sailing
For more info on standing a night watch read Standing A Night Watch by professional writer and Trinovante crew Laura Watts
Read the Sailing in Norway page.
Its worth having a day or so in Bergen if you have time. It’s a compact city with several good museums and some very pretty historic areas to walk around.
If the weather is nice a ride up the funicular gives you spectacular views of the city below and the surrounding fjords and islands right out to sea. You can also hike out further above Bergen. The picture here shows some Trinovante crew on a hike above the town.
Crossing the Norwegian Sea
As we leave Norway behind in Trinovante’s wake you are likely to see dolphins and maybe even a whale.
The days are long this far north and the night only lasts three hours at this time of year so you may see sunset and sunrise in the same watch.
The colour of the sea could be anything from brilliant turquoise to
slate blue and we will be likely to have the whole horizon to ourselves.
Landfall – Shetland
Where Trinovante makes landfall will be very weather dependent but we would like to aim for Out Skerries, a very exposed and isolated cluster of islands and skerries with a population of around 40 people. It is also home to puffins and the smallest cinema in Scotland. During the second world war refugees from Norway often made landfall here on what was known as the Shetland Bus.
Shetland is closer to Bergen than Aberdeen and have a more remote and rugged feel to them than Orkney. Until the 15th century this collection of 100 small islands belonged to Norway
Expect dramatic cliffs, natural harbours, alongside berths on piers in scenic inlets, birds, seals, otters and more.
It takes effort to visit Fair Isle and we certainly aim to do so on this leg although as ever that depends on the weather.
Now famous as an important place for birds where the 345 species recorded far outnumber the 55 people who live here.
For the Viking navigators sailing from Norway, Fair isle would have bridged the gap between Orkney and Shetland making it hard to miss land and end up far out in the Atlantic. In past years we have enjoyed watching puffins on the cliffs, seals in the waters below and walking to the lighthouses at each end of the island.
Cut off from Scotland by the treacherous Pentland Firth Orkney soil is more fertile than Shetland and the saying goes that the Orcadian is a farmer with a boat while the Shetlander is a fisherman with a croft.
Places you might sail to are Westray, Shapinsay or Stronsay and there are also many anchorages.
Kirkwall was established by the Vikings in the 11th Century.
Ever since we bought a copy of Orkneyinga Viking Saga (also called the History of the Earls of Orkney) for Trinovante’s library and then realised how many prehistoric villages, ancient tombs, ruined palaces and standing stones there were in Orkney we have wanted to return.
Orkney also has fine beaches and many other attractions and Stromness is worth a visit.
In our opinion it is a top place to visit with plenty to do and definitely worth extending your holiday here if you have time.
All voyage notes refer only to possible itineraries – where we sail, the type of sailing, passage lengths and the places we call into will be entirely dependent on the wind and weather at the time.
What’s included in the price?
- All meals onboard
We provide breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. Obviously, if you choose to eat ashore, this is at your own expense. We can cater for most diets, but you must let us know about special diets at the time of booking. We cannot cater for special diets at short notice.
- Non-alcoholic drinks
Ships rules are no drinking alcohol at sea or if we are about to sail. This does NOT mean Trinovante is a dry boat – it’s fine to have a drink in the evening when we are at anchor or alongside. We don’t sell alcohol on board so bring your own.
- Use of life-jackets and wet weather gear
What is not included in the price?
- Your travel to and from the ship.
Every voyage has travel information pages and info about finding the ship in harbour.
- Travel insurance
This is compulsory for all voyages apart from Sailing Weekends.
We have a page on Buying Travel Insurance For Sailing Holidays