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Kraken Travel Sailing Holidays
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Various dates available

Arctic Winter Sail, Northern Lights and Whales Around Lyngen and Skjervøy

From £1710 per person

Deposit 25%. Balance due 12 weeks before departure
Experience the indescribable feeling of sailing beneath the dancing northern lights on our expedition vessel, Valiente, surrounded by Lyngen's majestic peaks and the tranquility of northern Tromso.
Clear
Pay a 25% deposit per item
Suited to
Couples, Individuals, Groups
Difficulty
No sailing experience is required, however, you are encouraged to take part in the routines onboard the sailboat
Nights onboard
6
Vessel type
Humla or Havblikk
Vessel length
50ft
Skipper
Yes
Berth Style
5 Single and Double Cabins across 5 Cabins. Max 10 people aboard. Sometimes, we travel in tandem with other vessels
Insurance Required
Yes

From: 22,400 NOK / £1,710 per person*

*Trips are priced in the operator’s local currency. The sterling amount shown is a guide only and the amount you pay in sterling will change with currency fluctuations.

Arctic Winter Sail, Northern Lights and Whales Around Lyngen and Skjervøy

6 Nights: Various dates available in January, October and November 2024

Experience the indescribable feeling of sailing under the northern lights with only the sound of the wind and the waves as your soundtrack. Hop on board our comfortable expedition vessel, the Valiente, and sail between the majestic peaks of Lyngen and northern Troms deep into the Arctic Circle, meeting whales and other wonders along the way.

The feeling of sailing underneath the dancing northern lights accompanied only by the sound of wind and waves is hard to describe. Northern Norway, and especially the area around Tromsø, is the epicentre of the famous Aurora Borealis. From Tromsø to Lyngen, Skjervøy, Ringvassøy, and Reinfjord visit historical fishing settlements, anchorages, and small harbours free from light pollution, and sail underneath the snow-covered alpine peaks that plunge into the sea.

We will aim for the parts of these northern fjords that the herring call their winter home. As the whales come to our coast to feed, they will most easily be found where the herring are.

The winter months in the North are characterised by the polar night, where the sun rises above the horizon only briefly each day, if at all. This is not only a good thing for catching the Aurora, but it also makes all the light we actually get during the day super beautiful.

northern lights

Sail aboard the sturdy and comfortable 70 feet expedition yacht Valiente. The boat has enough space and privacy to make you feel at home, and sufficient power to charge all cameras and gadgets. On board Valiente, find ideal spots to rest and tune into the pure and honest nature surrounding us.

Why You’ll Love This Trip

  • Experience the mesmerising dance of the Northern Lights, as vibrant ribbons of light illuminate the Arctic sky, creating a captivating spectacle. Northern Norway, and especially the area around Tromsø, is the epicentre of the famous Aurora Borealis.
  • Uncover hidden gems as you explore historical fishing settlements, secluded anchorages, and small harbours revealing the region's rich maritime heritage.
  • Follow the herring's migratory path and encounter majestic whales up close, immersing yourself in the wonders of marine life.
  • Embrace the mystical polar night, with fleeting moments of sunlight illuminating the Arctic landscape, providing unique opportunities to capture breathtaking photos. This is not only a good thing for catching the Aurora, but it also makes all the light we actually get during the day super beautiful.
  • Disconnect from the world and reconnect with the untouched beauty of Northern Norway, sailing beneath snow-covered alpine peaks that meet the glistening sea. Find peace and tranquillity in this vast Arctic landscape.

Who The Trip Is For

  • The trip is perfect for photographers with a deep appreciation for the beauty of nature. Immerse yourself in the pristine landscapes of Northern Norway, witness the Aurora Borealis, and capture breathtaking images of the Arctic's unique wonders.
  • Adventure seekers who long to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations. Discover hidden gems, explore historical settlements, and navigate through breathtaking fjords, embracing the thrill of the unknown and immersing yourself in the untamed beauty of the Arctic.
  • Travellers who want to see the world in a sustainable way. The trip emphasises sustainability in every possible way, both on and off the boat.
  • Those who embrace the flexibility of ocean travel. While we will attempt to reach as many destinations as possible, the final route will be determined during the trip depending on the weather conditions.

Itinerary: Arctic Winter Sail, Northern Lights and Whales

As a sailing ship, we are largely dependent on the weather. We will attempt to reach as many destinations as possible under sail, however, the specified itinerary is simply a guide. With all tours as exciting as this, flexibility is important as the final route will be determined during the trip depending on the weather conditions.

Day 1: Arrival and sail towards Kvalsundet

Welcome aboard! We meet at the quay in Tromsø at 16.00, check into the sailboat and get to know each other. Before we hoist the sails, we familiarize ourselves with the boat and go through safety routines on board. We check the latest weather forecast and look at the route for the week before we set off towards Kvaløya and Kvalsundet. Along the way, we practice handling the boat, man-overboard and other emergency situations.

Day 2: Sailing day to Rebbenesøy and Vannøya

We wake up on our first morning of adventure, who takes the first-morning bath? After breakfast, we sail further around Ringvassøy in the beautiful archipelago here at the far end of the sea. We pass, among other things, Gåsvær, which may be worth a trip on land. For the evening we aim for an anchorage or harbor on Rebbenesøy or Vannøya. Maybe we get fish on the hook for dinner?

Day 3: Looking for the herring and the whale

Large shoals of herring enter the fjords in North Troms every winter, and it is these shoals that attract humpback whales and killer whales in addition to quite a few boats of various kinds. We have a whole week on the trip, and have time to look in different places for both herring and whales, and hopefully, we will get some moments with these majestic animals to ourselves. We sail on past Vannøya and Arnøya and finally end up around Kvænangen and Skjervøy for the night.

Day 4: Kvænangen and Spildra

At this time of year, there aren’t too many hours of daylight in the north, so we make sure to be there with the whales when the light is at its strongest. We spend the whole day around Kvænangen. Towards evening we sail into the fjord towards Spildra, a small island with around 20 permanent residents. This is a historically important island, and hopefully the local islanders will open the pub for us tonight!

Day 5: Whales, the Lyng Alps, sauna and sea bathing

Maybe you didn’t think it was possible to sail through the Alps? Today we get to disprove that with a sail through the fierce Lyng Alps! After a full day of alpine sailing and hopefully more contact with the whales, we moor at Hamnes on Uløya. Hamnes is a historically important trading place and was one of the few places north of Tromsø that the Germans did not burn at the end of the war. Here, both the sauna and the steam room are heated up for us, so everything is ready for a dip in the sea under the stars!

Day 6: The magical dark time light

In our opinion, the best thing about the dark time is the light. Although we don’t see the sun that much here in the north at this time of year, the light we get is quite special. Perfect for exploring and experimenting with the camera, with the majestic landscape as a self-written motif. We spend our last full day on our way back to Tromsø, and we circle the whole Lyngenthe peninsula with its mighty alpine peaks. Once back in Tromsø, we aim for a pleasant closing dinner and something good to drink on land.

Day 7: Thank you for this time.

If everything goes according to plan, we only need to clean, wash and unpack from the boat in Tromsø harbor on the last morning. And if we have been delayed by weather and wind, we will make sure to be back in Tromsø for muster no later than 10.00. Thank you very much for the trip!

Changes to the program

The program should be seen as a starting point which we adapt according to weather and conditions. We reserve the right to constantly improve the tour program for the better. With us along the way, we always have light boats for beach fishing and small expeditions, we have fishing equipment for cod, and hiking equipment for bonfires and summit trips – we are ready for adventure!

  • Tour experience with a sailing boat – experienced and locally known skipper/instructor on board
  • All food we eat on board during the trip
  • Our comfort package includes accommodation in a shared double cabin (bunk or double bed) with a ready-made bed (warm and good duvets and pillows!)
  • An environmentally friendly, local, sustainable, unique, exotic and exclusive Norwegian adventure holiday
  • A shared experience and friendship with like-minded adventurous participants from all over the world
  • A lot of outdoor time – raw and honest nature experiences
  • Use of our tour and shared equipment: dinghies, kayaks, fishing equipment, etc. when possible
  • All boat-related costs such as diesel, gas and port fees
  • Personal safety equipment; Helly Hansen inflatable lifejacket
  • Training, advice, guidance and practical training in boating and sailing
  • The journey to and from the start/end point
  • Any meals at a café/restaurant during the trip (not planned)
  • Entrance to galleries, museums and the like, or other alternative arrangements and activities that you/we may come up with
  • Possible rental of equipment and activities from external actors, e.g. paddling, glacier hiking or surfing where possible
  • Drinks such as wine, beer or exclusive apple juice and other luxuries (yes, we drink beer and wine on board, bring your own)
  • Travel insurance (and cancellation insurance) – up to you, but recommended!

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!

Travel – Tromsø

The fastest option for getting to or from Tromsø is to fly. But if you have time to travel slowly we recommend doing that instead. Taking Hurtigruten south from Tromsø to Bodø and train from there is one option.

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 our most accessible winter trip, for anyone interested in wildlife and spectacular scenery! In terms of sailing, this trip is not very difficult, and we mostly stay in protected waters throughout the voyage. You still need to be prepared for both calm winds and sailing in harsher weather. If you are a beginner, we will try to make you a seaman/ woman as soon as possible, and if you are experienced, you will quickly get responsibilities and greater challenges.

Equipment/packing

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 – and how many will we be on board?

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.

Fly to Tromsø Airport.

Fly from Tromsø Airport.

Itinerary: Arctic Winter Sail, Northern Lights and Whales

As a sailing ship, we are largely dependent on the weather. We will attempt to reach as many destinations as possible under sail, however, the specified itinerary is simply a guide. With all tours as exciting as this, flexibility is important as the final route will be determined during the trip depending on the weather conditions.

Day 1: Arrival and sail towards Kvalsundet

Welcome aboard! We meet at the quay in Tromsø at 16.00, check into the sailboat and get to know each other. Before we hoist the sails, we familiarize ourselves with the boat and go through safety routines on board. We check the latest weather forecast and look at the route for the week before we set off towards Kvaløya and Kvalsundet. Along the way, we practice handling the boat, man-overboard and other emergency situations.

Day 2: Sailing day to Rebbenesøy and Vannøya

We wake up on our first morning of adventure, who takes the first-morning bath? After breakfast, we sail further around Ringvassøy in the beautiful archipelago here at the far end of the sea. We pass, among other things, Gåsvær, which may be worth a trip on land. For the evening we aim for an anchorage or harbor on Rebbenesøy or Vannøya. Maybe we get fish on the hook for dinner?

Day 3: Looking for the herring and the whale

Large shoals of herring enter the fjords in North Troms every winter, and it is these shoals that attract humpback whales and killer whales in addition to quite a few boats of various kinds. We have a whole week on the trip, and have time to look in different places for both herring and whales, and hopefully, we will get some moments with these majestic animals to ourselves. We sail on past Vannøya and Arnøya and finally end up around Kvænangen and Skjervøy for the night.

Day 4: Kvænangen and Spildra

At this time of year, there aren’t too many hours of daylight in the north, so we make sure to be there with the whales when the light is at its strongest. We spend the whole day around Kvænangen. Towards evening we sail into the fjord towards Spildra, a small island with around 20 permanent residents. This is a historically important island, and hopefully the local islanders will open the pub for us tonight!

Day 5: Whales, the Lyng Alps, sauna and sea bathing

Maybe you didn’t think it was possible to sail through the Alps? Today we get to disprove that with a sail through the fierce Lyng Alps! After a full day of alpine sailing and hopefully more contact with the whales, we moor at Hamnes on Uløya. Hamnes is a historically important trading place and was one of the few places north of Tromsø that the Germans did not burn at the end of the war. Here, both the sauna and the steam room are heated up for us, so everything is ready for a dip in the sea under the stars!

Day 6: The magical dark time light

In our opinion, the best thing about the dark time is the light. Although we don’t see the sun that much here in the north at this time of year, the light we get is quite special. Perfect for exploring and experimenting with the camera, with the majestic landscape as a self-written motif. We spend our last full day on our way back to Tromsø, and we circle the whole Lyngenthe peninsula with its mighty alpine peaks. Once back in Tromsø, we aim for a pleasant closing dinner and something good to drink on land.

Day 7: Thank you for this time.

If everything goes according to plan, we only need to clean, wash and unpack from the boat in Tromsø harbor on the last morning. And if we have been delayed by weather and wind, we will make sure to be back in Tromsø for muster no later than 10.00. Thank you very much for the trip!

Changes to the program

The program should be seen as a starting point which we adapt according to weather and conditions. We reserve the right to constantly improve the tour program for the better. With us along the way, we always have light boats for beach fishing and small expeditions, we have fishing equipment for cod, and hiking equipment for bonfires and summit trips – we are ready for adventure!

As with all activities, there is plenty of specialised equipment and clothing for sailing. You are not expected to buy lots of new equipment to join any of our trips, so, use what you have, borrow what you need from a friend, try to purchase used equipment, and if you have to invest in new equipment – buy quality items that will last. What you need is something waterproof and windproof on the outside, and layered clothing underneath.

Some jackets may not be waterproof enough, or might not perform well in saltwater, so you might want to consider purchasing or renting a set of “oilskins” to use on the wettest days. Even in summer, it can be cold at sea, so bring both swimwear and warm clothing.

You will receive a detailed recommended packing list in good time before departure.

Packing

  • Pack like a sailor; in a soft bag or backpack, NOT in a rigid suitcase
  • Pack as little as possible, but bring what you need!
  • The fewer items you bring, the faster you sail, and the less time you spend fooling around with your gear

Adventure-wear

  • Woollen underwear – shirt and long johns/zip longs (bring two pairs so you have spare)
  • Woollen socks (multiple pairs) and woollen soles (bring two pairs so you have spare)
  • Woollen scarf/buff/high neck and hat (preferably warm and windproof)
  • Mittens or gloves preferably with wind or water-resistant covers
  • Woollen sweater, preferably a turtle-neck
  • Warm pants, preferably multi-layered with warmer materials. (For use on the deck or while sailing)
  • Warm winter jacket – down jacket or preferably Primaloft (as they can handle water)
  • “Shore” clothing for exploring towns
  • Sea/sailing/rain/rubber boots, preferably winter-style. Bring some big enough so that they breathe even with woollen socks and woollen soles
  • Light shoes/sandals/crocs that breathe well. (For use indoors and on deck in nice weather)
  • Trainers/deck shoes (no black-soled shoes please – they mark the deck)
  • Sailwear/oilskin – jacket and pants (we rent out/sell good quality oilskins at reasonable prices, see separate information)
  • Sailing gloves (not a must) and here you can also use skiing gloves or rubber/fishing gloves with wool liners

Other equipment

  • Sunglasses (polarised lenses are ideal, but not essential)
  • Sunscreen (water-resistant, SPF 30 or higher)
  • Water bottle(s), minimum 0,75 – 1 litre, hydration reservoir (Camelbak)
  • Small washing cloth and soap
  • Towel and swimming gear
  • Flask (insulated bottle) for hot water
  • A head torch (preferably one with a dimming function/red (night) light)
  • Walking boots, shoes for onshore, and trainers with good grip
  • Sea sickness and personal medication
  • Camera
  • We have enough life vests for everyone, but if you have a vest of your own that you want to use, then bring it! Make sure to unscrew the gas cylinder before checking in your bag at the airport

Electronics

  • Onboard the boats there are USB (USB-B ‘regular’ USB, no USB-C) outlets for charging phones when we sail. 220V outlets are available when we’re docked
  • We have cellular coverage most of the time in Mainland Norway

Note: This is a recommended packing list

Kraken Travel