Lofoten Coastal Cruise Winter

World’s most beautiful Arctic Archipelago

Join us on a fantastic winter cruise in the Arctic fjords of Northern-Norway 14-19. March 2020.  We will explore world’s most beautiful archipelago Lofoten and Hamarøy, to experience the regions breathtaking nature, history, culture, art and local culinary.

This cruise presents Arctic Northern-Norway in a nutshell, where we will be visiting following destinations during this 6 days and 5 nights adventure: 1. Henningsvær fisherman island in Lofoten, to learn about stockfish history, experience local culture and art. 2. Borg viking seat in Lofoten to learn about local settlements and Viking history 1000 years ago. 3. Beautiful Reine at the South-Westerly tip of Lofoten, to learn how life was in Lofoten 100 years ago, experience local art and culinary. 4. Hamarøy to learn about Knut Hamsun’s literature universe, before sailing towards Lofoten and Svolvær, through famous Rafsundet and Trollfjorden.

We are sailing on the comfortable expedition ship MS Quest, getting close on the Arctic nature and the local communities, experiencing the special light this region has during the winter season, with  spectacular sunrise and sunset, and if we are lucky we will also experience the Northern Lights at night. We are embarking and disembarking the ship MS Quest in Svolvær harbor, situated only 10 minutes from Svolvær Helle (SVJ) airport with bus or taxi.

This 6 day and 5 nights adventure includes; 1 night at Thon Hotel in Svolvær prior to the cruise, 4 nights aboard MS Quest, 4 full days of sightseeing with onboard lecturs and onshore sightseeing. Guests traveling from Scandinavia and Europe should plan with 2 days travel to/from Svolvær, Lofoten. We are also happy to help out booking pre- and post adventures in the region or Norway if you like to stay longer for more adventures.

Sailing under the stars and Northern lights

A winter cruise in Arctic Northern-Norway is something truly unique, when the light is back, after months with the dark season where the sun doesn’t rise above the horizon. We sail between the destinations in the afternoon and evening under the stars and Northern Lights, while enjoying local culinary prepared by some of Norway’s most talented chefs.  We are at anchor every night to get a good night’s sleep, going on shore in the morning to visit the picturesque fishing communities and sites, enjoying local culture, history and art, and meeting the friendly locals of the high North.

Topics: nature, history, culture, culinary

On this cruise you will experience world’s most beautiful archipelago Lofoten and Hamarøy. During our first day at sea, we are sailing from Svolvær to Henningsvær fisherman island, where we will go ashore to experience the local fishing community, culture and local art. Here we will learn about Norway’s longest lasting export industry; the Stockfish production and fisheries in general, and also visit two of Northern-Norway’s finest galleries and check out local handy craft. Next leg on the cruise takes us further South to Gravdal in Lofoten, where we on day two will be visiting the Viking seat and museum Lofotr at Borg.  Here we will experience how the Vikings lived 1000 years ago, learn about even earlier settlements dating back 11.000 years, and have a viking lunch-feast in the longhouse. In the afternoon we will continue our cruise along the Lofoten wall further Sout-West to beautiful and picturesque Reine. On day three we will visit Reine, experience how life was here 100 years ago, visit the Eva Harr Art Gallery, before heading towards Sakriskøya to check out local culinary specialities; dried whale meat and smoked salmon.  In the afternoon we sail and out in Vestfjorden, headning North towards Hamarøy. Day four on our adventure will be visiting the famous Norwegian author Knut Hamsun’s museum on Hamarøy, before sailing back towards Lofoten and Svolvær, through some fantastic fjords.

Route: Arctic Northern-Norway in a nutshell

  1. Svolvær
  2. Henningsvær
  3. Gravdal / Borg
  4. Reine
  5. Hamarøy
  6. Svolvær

Local culinary: Arctic Adventure Cuisine

Aboard the ship you will also experience Arctic Northern-Norway on the plate. Together with famous Norwegian Bocuse d’Or chef Gunnar Hvarnes, we have developed our Arctic Adventure Cuisine, tailored with some of the best local produce the region can offer along our sailing route, prepared by some of Norway’s most talented young chefs. We call this “food that tells local stories”, a culinary experience that is clean, honest, and unaffected – just like the Northern region in Norway.

After dinner our guides will conduct mini lectures in the panorama lounge while we are sailing towards the next destination, in order for you to get necessary knowledge about where we are sailing and what we will be exploring the next day on shore of history, culture and art.

BOOKING

Program

Day 2. The mythical Lofoten fishing

Lecture & sightseeing: Stockfish history, local culture and art 

  1. Sailing from Svolvær to Henningsvær
  2. On board lecture: stockfish history and Lofoten fishing
  3. Visiting Henningsvær fisherman island
  4. Experiencing the stock fish industry, local crafts, and art galleries
  5. Lunch in Henningsvær
  6. Dinner from Arctic Adventure Cuisine
  7. On board lecture: Settlements & viking history
  8. Anchoring in Gravdal Lofoten in the evening

From January to April the mythical Lofoten fishing takes place in Vesfjorden, a tradition that goes back hundreds of years, and still is Norways longest lasting industrial export industry. Since the Viking age 1000 years ago, fishermen from all over the country has sailed and rowed their small fishing boats to Lofoten, to take part in the seasonal cod fishing. The small fishing communities far out in the Atlantic Ocean are still busy with local and visiting fishing boats during the season. Back in the days from 1900 – 1960 the same harbors were so packed with fishing boats, that one could walk from one side of the harbor basin to the other without getting wet. Like in the picture below from Henningsvær which we are visiting.

The fishing boats are out at sea from 06:00 in the morning, returning in the afternoon with the catch to the fisheries, to be shed and hanged on fish flakes to become stock fish, or shipped out South in Norway, Europe or rest of the world.

Henningsvær is also a fishing community with a living culture landscape, with galleries, local artists, and handcraft. Two of Northern-Norway’s most important galleries are situated here; Kaviar Factory (international modern art) and Galleri Lofoten Hus (called the national gallery of Northern-Norway). We will visit both galleries, have lunch in Henningsvær and tour the local community.

Henningsvær is situated above the Arctic circle (68,9°N 14,12°E) and is called Lofoten in a nutshell. This picturesque fisherman island far out in the Atlantic Ocean, has an ambiance you don’t find anywhere else. When visiting the island, we get close on the community, meet local fishermen to learn about stock fish history and techniques, and get to understand how important this industry has been for the region for more than thousand years.

Dag 2 – Viking seat at Borg

Lecture & sightseeing: Viking history and local settlement

  1. We are visiting the famous Lofotr Viking museum at Borg
  2. Experiencing how the vikings lived 1000 years ago
  3. Viking lunch feast at Lofotr
  4. Dinner from Arctic Adventure Cuisine
  5. On board lecture: Famous author Knut Hamsun’s universe
  6. Anchoring outside Hamarøy in the evening

For over 1000 years the wealthy chieftain’s seat at Borg lay hidden and forgotten. When a farmer began to plough his fields in 1981, beautiful fragments of glass and rare ceramics were revealed in the furrows behind the tractor. This was the beginning of an archaeological sensation. Not only was the world’s biggest longhouse uncovered and excavated, the unique finds also bore witness to the fact that a mighty chieftain had lived here, a chieftain who enjoyed extensive contact with other seats of power in Europe.

During the Late Iron Age (550-1030 AD), Borg had already been an important center for hundreds of years. The oldest version of the Chieftain’s House was built in the 500s, and even at such an early date it was an integral part of the area’s continuous development as a center of social and religious power.Today’s Chieftain’s House is a full-scale replica, measuring an impressive 83 meters in length and 12 meters in width, representing an authentic and vibrant atmosphere. You will be met by the smell of tar and an open fire as you cross the threshold. Flickering light from the oil lamps illuminates beautiful handicrafts, embellishments and the architecture of the Chieftain’s House, and off course we will be having a true Viking lunch feast in the long house with the Chieftain and his wife.

Dag 3. Picturesque Reine, art and dried whale

Lecture & sightseeing: Life on Reine 100 years ago, art, and Sakrisøya

  1. Visiting fisherman’s island Reine, learning about life and struggle in Lofoten 100 years ago
  2. Visiting Eva Harr art gallery
  3. Visiting Sakriskøya and Anita’s seafood for local specialities
  4. Sailing from Reine to Hamarøy in the afternoon
  5. Dinner from Arctic Adventure Cuisine
  6. Lecture: Knut Hamsun and Hamarøy
  7. Anchoring outside Hamarøy in the evening

Pictures of the Reine fjord from Reinehalsen, are probably the most popular spot in Lofoten for photographers, and not without reason. This small and picturesque fishing community with around 300 inhabitants, is situated South-Westin the archipelago at the very tip of Lofoten, draped with dramatic mountains, narrow fjords and the big sea.

We go ashore in Reine to experience how life and struggle was in Lofoten 100 years ago. We will be walking around in this small fishing community, visit the old church, and drink coffee with the locals. We will visit the Eva Harr art gallery to experience her art with fantastic colorful pallets.

We will sail in to Kirkefjorden (The Church Fjord) and go ashore on Sakrisøya, visiting Anita’s Seafood, one of the 30 local suppliers to our Arctic Adventure Cuisine. Famous for their smoked salmon and dried whale meat, which we off course have to taste!

Day 4 – Knut Hamsunss litterature

Lecture & sightseeing: Hamsuns literature, culture, and nature

  1. Visiting famous author Knut Hamsun’s museum
  2. On board lecture: history, culture and nature
  3. Lunch from Arctic Adventure Cuisine
  4. Sailing through Rafsundet and Trollfjorden towards Svolvær
  5. Anchoring in Ausnesfjorden outside Svolvær in the evning, and docking in Svolvær 09:00 the following morning

Knut Hamsun (August 4, 1859 – February 19, 1952) was a Norwegian writer, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920. Hamsun’s work spans more than 70 years and shows variation with regard to the subject, perspective and environment. He published more than 20 novels, a collection of poetry, some short stories and plays, a travelogue, and some essays. The young Hamsun objected to realism and naturalism. He argued that the main object of modernist literature should be the intricacies of the human mind, that writers should describe the “whisper of blood, and the pleading of bone marrow”. Hamsun is considered the “leader of the Neo-Romantic revolt at the turn of the 20th century”, with works such as Hunger (1890), Mysteries (1892), Pan (1894), and Victoria (1898).

Hamsun is considered to be “one of the most influential and innovative literary stylists. He pioneered psychological literature with techniques of stream of consciousness and interior monologue, and influenced authors such as Thomas Mann, Franz Kafka, Maxim Gorky, Stefan Zweig, Henry Miller, Hermann Hesse, and Ernest Hemingway.

The Hamsun Centre was designed by the famous American architect Steven Holl and was finished August 4. 2009, on Knut Hamsun’s 150th birthday. The center comprises two buildings – a six-floor main building (known as the tower) and a single floor auditorium. The center is located by the vicarage ruins on the banks of the Glimma River in Presteid in Hamarøy Municipality in Northern Norway. The center is situated in a beautiful cultural landscape surrounded by nature that remains virtually as untouched as it was in Hamsun’s time. The center’s tower offers an impressive view over the realm of Hamsun, the area that inspired the author to write such world-renowned books as Pan, Growth of the Soil and Wayfarers. After visiting the Hamsun museum, we lift anchor around noon, and have lunch aboard the ship while sailing towards Lofoten and Svolvær. We will be salin gacross Vesfjorden, through the famous Rafsundet and Trollfjorden, anchoring in Ausnesfjorden in the evning. Early morning the following day we will lift anchor and sail to Svolvær, where MS Quest will be docking at 09:00.

BOOKING

Included in the price

  1. 6 days and 5 nights – 1 night at Thon hotel in Svolvær prior to cruise and 4 nights aboard M/S Quest, 4 days onshore sightseeing
  2. Four-day Arctic fjord cruise along the Atlantic coastline
  3. Exploring Svolvær, Henningsvær, Borg, Reine, Hamarøy
  4. Full board local culinary; breakfast, lunch and dinner from Arctic Adventure Cuisine developed by Bocuse d’Or chef Gunnar Hvarnes
  5. Fruit, coffee and tea aboard M/S Quest
  6. Tailor-made lunches in cultural settings in Henningsvær and Borg
  7. Onboard mini-lectures and onshore sightseeing by experienced guides
  8. All excursions and activities with guided tour / entrance; KaviarFactory gallery Henningsvær, Lofoten Hus gallery Henningsvær, guided tour in Henningsvær, Lofotr Viking museum Borg, Eva Harr gallery Reine, Sighseeing Reine, national Hamsun museum Hamarøy

Not included in the price

  1. Flights to/from Norway and Svolvær Helle (SVJ) Airport
  2. Transfer from /to Svolvær Helle (SVJ) airport
  3. Travel and cancellation insurance
  4. The customary gratuity to the ship’s crew
  5. Personal expenses such as alcohol, soft drinks, bar and shop charges

About expedition cruise ship MS Quest

M/S Quest is a small and intimate expedition ship with high standard, perfectly made to explore the Atlantic coastline in Northern-Norway. The ship has been based on Greenland previously, hosting polar expeditions. We are proud to present this ship to our guests, which is a perfect match for our Arctic Haute Route Ski & Sail operation. The ship was built in Denmark in 1992, totally refurbished in 2004/05 and upgraded in 2018. M/S Quest hosts 54 passengers in 26 cabins, all with ocean view and private bathroom facilities.

M/S Quest is 50-meter-long and 11-meter-wide, with neat deck areas to explore the views and fresh Arctic air, a panorama lounge with bar on upper deck, nice restaurant, and modern cabin facilities.

Cabins and prices

Cabins

Aboard the ship we have following cabin alternatives; a) Owners cabin with double bed, b) Double cabin superior with double bed, c) Double cabin with double bed, d) Twin cabin plus with two single beds, e) Twin cabin with two single beds, f) Triple cabin with three single beds.

Owners cabin (1): double bed, two large windows, cabinet, seating area with two armchairs, desk, tv, cabinet, bathroom with toilet/ shower.

Double superior cabin (4): spaceious with double bed, window, seating area with two armchairs, cabinet, tv, bathroom with toilet/ shower.

Double cabin (2): double bed, window, desk, armchair, bathroom with toilet/ shower.

Twin cabin pluss (12): two single beds, cabinet, window, bathroom with toilet/ shower.

Twin cabin (4): two single beds, cabinet, window, bathroom with toilet/ shower.

Triple cabin (4): three single beds where one is a bunk bed, cabinet, window, bathroom with toilet/ shower.

Bath room in all cabins: modern facilities with shower, toilet and heated floor.

Arrival & departure

  • 14. March 2020 – check in Thon Hotel Svolvær
  • 15. March 2020, 09:00 – check in MS Quest, Svolvær
  • 15. March 2020, 10:00 – departure MS Quest from Svolvær
  • 19. March 2020, 09:00 – arrival MS Quest Svolvær, check out 10:00
  • Airport for inbound and outbound flights Helle flyplass (SVJ)
  • Transfer fom / to airport to Thon Hotel Svolvær, based in the harbor,  10 minutes with taxi or bus
  • Vessel: MS Quest 54 passengers
  • Date: 14-19. March 2020
  • Duration: 6 days and 5 nights. 1 night Thon Hotel Svolvær and 4 nights on MS Quest, 4 days onshore sightseeing
  • Region: Lofoten archipelago and Hamarøy
  • Destinations: Svolvær, Henningsvær, Gravdal (Borg), Reine, Hamarøy
  • Adventures: Spectacular nature, history, culture, art and local culinary
  • Lecturs and sightseeing: Arctic nature & fjords, Lofoten stockfish history, Viking history & settlements, life on Reine, Knut Hamsun’s literature
  • Price: From 19.900 NOK pp in triple cabin with full board
BOOKING