21st September 2023 to 5th October 2023

Scotland to Norway – Canal, Orkneys and Shetland Expedition

From £4200 per person

Deposit 25%. Balance due 12 weeks before departure
Experience a sailor’s paradise and adventure land from Scotland to Norway - via the Caledonian Canal, Orkneys and Shetland.
Clear
Pay a 25% deposit per item
Suited to
Families, Couples, Groups, Perfect for Solo Travelers
Difficulty
Open to novice sailors
Nights onboard
14
Vessel type
70 ft Expedition Yacht
Vessel length
70ft
Skipper
Yes
Berth Style
Single + double cabins, max 12.
Insurance Required
Yes

Experience a sailor’s paradise and adventure land from Scotland to Norway - via the Caledonian Canal, Orkneys and Shetland.

14 Nights: 21 September - 05 October 2023

48, 200 NOK / £4,200 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.

Day 1: Tour start in Oban

At 16:00 you will meet on the quarry in Oban and meet with your fellow passengers before running through the programme for the trip. The crew will go through the programme for the trip and you will be familiarized with the boat and its equipment before getting the trip started. As life onboard requires cooperation, the crew will go through a number of protocols and procedures with the passengers in case of an emergency before setting sail. The trip will be on its way almost immediately and will be on your way to the fjord Loch Linnhe.

Day 2: Fort Williams – the gateway to the Caledonian Canal

You’ll wake up in Fort Williams for an early breakfast on the first morning of the trip. Situated at the foot of what is both Scotland’s and the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, is a small town known as the gateway to the Caledonian Canal. At the first possible bridge opening, you will get your trip started. The yacht will sail through Loch Lochy in the afternoon until the bridges close and in the evening you will look for a Scottish pub at one of the cozy villages to enjoy a pint.

Day 3: Will we find the sea monster in Loch Ness?

During your days in the canal, sailing through locks and waiting for bridge openings, remember to enjoy the lovely scenery of the Scottish Highlands. You will finally reach the highlight when you reach the biggest of the lakes in the channel, the mythical Loch Ness. This lake itself amounts to about half the length of the entire channel, and with fair winds you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a really nice sailing day here. Of course you must keep a lookout for Nessie, the sea monster. After a nice day of sailing you can expect to go on a hike in the harbor!

Day 4: Back to the saltwater at Inverness

The last day of the channel is the real challenge. The yacht will have to navigate through a series of locks and bridge openings for both road and railroad bridges, before finally having saltwater under the keel again. This morning there will most likely be an opportunity for some sightseeing in Inverness for those who wish, before setting sail north in the afternoon along Scotland’s northeast coast towards the Orkney Islands!

Day 5-7: To the Orkney Islands and exploration on land

It will take the crew just under a day to sail from Inverness to the southernmost Orkney Islands. You’ll spend a couple days exploring historical paces and taking in the beautiful nature the archipelago offers. Among the “can’t miss” sights is Scapa Flow, the large, well-protected, and hidden natural harbor that the British used as a base for their invincible navy during both the First and Second World Wars. Alos make a point to visit the capital of the archipelago; Kirkwall. Here you’ll find Scotland’s northernmost single malt whiskey distillery; Highland Park, which requires a thorough visit!

Day 8: Sail to Fair Isle

A long day trip North of Kirkwall lies Fair Isle, a lush gem midway between the Orkney Islands and Shetland. This lonely little island consists mainly of green rolling meadows and long white sandy beaches. It is a perfect stopover on the way from the Orkney Islands to Shetland.

Day 9 – 11: Shetland

Once in the fjords of Shetland, the yacht may stop by the capital, Lerwick. You will not be near home yet so the crew will need to adjust the plans according to the weather forecast. Here you’ll again see the influence of our Norse ancestors, and the Shetlanders are clearly more Norse than other Scots. If time and weather allow, the yacht will make a stop at the archeological excavations at Jarlshof, just south of the island Mainland. This is supposedly where men first made landfall in Shetland between 5000 and 6000 years ago

Day 12 – 14: Across the North Sea towards Norway

The last leg across the North Sea is 180 nautical miles. Wind and weather will affect where the yacht crosses from, and where in Western Norway you land, but the final destination for this trip is Bergen. If the sail over is on the easier side, you may have time to stop by a few more places along the Norwegian coast, which would be a welcome bonus!

Day 15: Trip end in Bergen

The plan is to arrive in Bergen the night before the last day, so you can celebrate your arrival with a nice dinner and drink on land. The final morning you will have time to pack your things, clean up after yourselves and depart at 12.00. 

The program

The program should be seen as a rough itinerary that can be adapted to the weather and conditions. The right to change and improve the itinerary is reserved. A dinghy will be available for beach trips and small expeditions, fishing gear for cod, and gear to hike or make bonfires on the beach on all trips – Are you ready for an adventure?

  • Trip experience with sailboat – experienced and locally familiar skipper/instructor on board
  • Extra co-skipper and guide/crew onboard
  • Our Comfort Package which consists of accommodation onboard in a shared double cabin (bunk or double bed) with a ready made bed (warm and nice duvets and pillows!)
  • All the food we eat onboard during the trip
  • An environmentally friendly, local, sustainable, unique, exotic and exclusive Norwegian adventure holiday
  • A shared experience and friendship with like-minded adventurers from around the world
  • A lot of time outdoors – raw and honest nature experiences
  • Use of our shared trip-equipment: dinghy, kayaks, fishing equipment, etc.
  • All boat-related expenses such as diesel, gas, harbour fees, etc.
  • Personal safety equipment; Helly Hansen inflatable lifejacket
  • Survival Suit and Search and Rescue insurance for everyone on board
  • Teaching, advice, and guidance about boat life and sailing
  • Travel to and from the start/end location
  • Optional meals at cafés/restaurants
  • Entrance to galleries, museums and similar, or other alternative arrangements and activities that you/we may come up with along the way
  • Optional activities where we hire external guides and equipment, such as kayaking, glacier hikes or surfing
  • Drinks like wine, beer or high-exclusive apple juice and other luxury (yes, we drink beer and wine on board, bring your own)
  • Travel/cancellation insurance – optional, 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 Scotland /Oban

Oban on the northwest-coast of Scotland can be easily accessed from both the UK and from abroad. In the UK there are both trains and buses to Glasgow, Edinburgh, and London. From Glasgow, Edinburgh, or London there are flights in all directions.

Travel Bergen

To/from Bergen the obvious choice are the train across the mountain to Oslo, with several daily departures including a night-train. There are also busses and ferries up and down the Westcoast. Bergen Airport Flesland, also got several departures both inland and abroad daily.

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.

Safety and risk – expeditions

On our expedition trips, we often spend multiple days on sea-crossings, and we sail into areas far from people and with extra risk factors, such as sea ice and unreliable navigations charts. This requires our crew to have extra focus and awareness of the potential situations that might arise. We sail in these areas only in the most optimal seasons, and use only our largest and most sturdy boats, which are both equipped and dimensioned to cope with this type of expedition sailing. We are fully aware that sailing is the safest and most accessible way to visit these very inaccessible places. However, sailing in general, and especially sailing in the Arctic and over the high seas, involves a certain risk that you must be willing to take. Feel free to contact us for a chat and guidance regarding risk.

Level of this trip

This is a sailing expedition where we will undertake multi-day sea crossings, which can be an incredibly wonderful and special experience! You do not need to have sailed before to be on board, and we are joined by both people who have never sailed before and experienced sailors. If you are a beginner, we want to make you a seaman / woman as soon as possible, and if you are experienced, you will quickly get more responsibility and greater challenges. The group and crew will be divided into watch teams so that we can learn from each other and help each other out.

The boats we sail on our expeditions are large, robust, and sail well in the open seas.. However, we do not control the weather, and we must be prepared for wind and potential heavy seas that we might encounter offshore. From light breezes to sailing in hard weather with several meters of swell, and the proximity to the forces of nature on such an expedition is something most people find very unique and rewarding!

Equipment/packing

As with all activities, there is plenty of specialized equipment and clothing for sailing. We do not expect you 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” from us to use on the wettest days (included for borrowing onboard Alma). A pair of higher rubber boots for landings from the dinghy is very nice to have, in addition to slippers to wear below deck. Out on the high seas and in the Arctic, it is cold even in summer, so bring both swimwear and plenty of warm clothes. 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. You will be split into a watch team, with the teams working in rotations of 4 hours on and 8 hours off, with a rotating system to make sure that the night-shifts are divided equally among all watch teams. Our trips require a little work from 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.

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. A morning swim in the sea is free and is available all year round!

What kind of people join this trip?

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. Most of our participants are usually between 25-55 years old. The number of participants varies from trip to trip, but on these trips we are usually between 6 and 11 people.

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.

Please see 'Other Practical Information Section'

Please see 'Other Practical Information Section'

Day 1: Tour start in Oban

At 16:00 you will meet on the quarry in Oban and meet with your fellow passengers before running through the programme for the trip. The crew will go through the programme for the trip and you will be familiarized with the boat and its equipment before getting the trip started. As life onboard requires cooperation, the crew will go through a number of protocols and procedures with the passengers in case of an emergency before setting sail. The trip will be on its way almost immediately and will be on your way to the fjord Loch Linnhe.

Day 2: Fort Williams – the gateway to the Caledonian Canal

You’ll wake up in Fort Williams for an early breakfast on the first morning of the trip. Situated at the foot of what is both Scotland’s and the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, is a small town known as the gateway to the Caledonian Canal. At the first possible bridge opening, you will get your trip started. The yacht will sail through Loch Lochy in the afternoon until the bridges close and in the evening you will look for a Scottish pub at one of the cozy villages to enjoy a pint.

Day 3: Will we find the sea monster in Loch Ness?

During your days in the canal, sailing through locks and waiting for bridge openings, remember to enjoy the lovely scenery of the Scottish Highlands. You will finally reach the highlight when you reach the biggest of the lakes in the channel, the mythical Loch Ness. This lake itself amounts to about half the length of the entire channel, and with fair winds you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a really nice sailing day here. Of course you must keep a lookout for Nessie, the sea monster. After a nice day of sailing you can expect to go on a hike in the harbor!

Day 4: Back to the saltwater at Inverness

The last day of the channel is the real challenge. The yacht will have to navigate through a series of locks and bridge openings for both road and railroad bridges, before finally having saltwater under the keel again. This morning there will most likely be an opportunity for some sightseeing in Inverness for those who wish, before setting sail north in the afternoon along Scotland’s northeast coast towards the Orkney Islands!

Day 5-7: To the Orkney Islands and exploration on land

It will take the crew just under a day to sail from Inverness to the southernmost Orkney Islands. You’ll spend a couple days exploring historical paces and taking in the beautiful nature the archipelago offers. Among the “can’t miss” sights is Scapa Flow, the large, well-protected, and hidden natural harbor that the British used as a base for their invincible navy during both the First and Second World Wars. Alos make a point to visit the capital of the archipelago; Kirkwall. Here you’ll find Scotland’s northernmost single malt whiskey distillery; Highland Park, which requires a thorough visit!

Day 8: Sail to Fair Isle

A long day trip North of Kirkwall lies Fair Isle, a lush gem midway between the Orkney Islands and Shetland. This lonely little island consists mainly of green rolling meadows and long white sandy beaches. It is a perfect stopover on the way from the Orkney Islands to Shetland.

Day 9 – 11: Shetland

Once in the fjords of Shetland, the yacht may stop by the capital, Lerwick. You will not be near home yet so the crew will need to adjust the plans according to the weather forecast. Here you’ll again see the influence of our Norse ancestors, and the Shetlanders are clearly more Norse than other Scots. If time and weather allow, the yacht will make a stop at the archeological excavations at Jarlshof, just south of the island Mainland. This is supposedly where men first made landfall in Shetland between 5000 and 6000 years ago

Day 12 – 14: Across the North Sea towards Norway

The last leg across the North Sea is 180 nautical miles. Wind and weather will affect where the yacht crosses from, and where in Western Norway you land, but the final destination for this trip is Bergen. If the sail over is on the easier side, you may have time to stop by a few more places along the Norwegian coast, which would be a welcome bonus!

Day 15: Trip end in Bergen

The plan is to arrive in Bergen the night before the last day, so you can celebrate your arrival with a nice dinner and drink on land. The final morning you will have time to pack your things, clean up after yourselves and depart at 12.00. 

The program

The program should be seen as a rough itinerary that can be adapted to the weather and conditions. The right to change and improve the itinerary is reserved. A dinghy will be available for beach trips and small expeditions, fishing gear for cod, and gear to hike or make bonfires on the beach on all trips – Are you ready for an adventure?

Sailing boots

Trainers/ deck shoes (no black soled shoes please – they mark the deck)

Waterproof sailing kit (two sets are recommended. Heavy gear for on-board and lighter kit for trips ashore)

Hat

Balaklava

Sailing gloves – 2 sets

Glove liners

Hand warmers

Hot water bottle

Clothes for on-board and on shore

A small backpack for trips on-shore (30-40 litres)

A water bottle

Thermals, two sets

Thick socks, two sets

Sun glasses (polarized)

Sun cream – SPF50+

Small quick dry towel

Swimming kit

USB cord to charge your phone

Cash

Warm sleeping bag

Head torch

Sailing knife

Passport

Printed out Insurance details

Any medication you require

INSPIRED BY NATURE?EXPEDITION SAILING CAN TAKE YOU TO THE MOST MAGICAL PLACES ON EARTH

Feel inspired. Stay informed. Discover the world's latest and greatest sailing expeditions.

    We take data privacy seriously here at Kraken. You can read more here -
    Privacy Policy.

    Get Notified When Berths Become Available

    Leave us your email address and you will be one of the first to be informed as soon as we have space available.

    We take data privacy seriously here at Kraken. You can read more here - Privacy Policy.