A thousand questions? Find the answers here!
Are you signed up for one of our sailing trips, courses and expeditions, and ready for the adventure of a lifetime? And suddenly a thousand questions pop up? You will get answers to at least 999 of them here. Here you will find information on everything from how to pack to the age of your fellow sailors. If you have more questions after reading the answers below, you are always welcome to contact us!
How should I travel?
Holidays and adventures often involve some travel and we recommend that all our participants travel as environmentally friendly as possible.
Environment and sustainability
Both sailing and mountain tours are environmentally friendly activities 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 raw materials and resources as far as possible.
A bit philosophically, we tend to say that sailing is an exercise in sustainability; we move with the wind and we have restrictions on things like water, diesel, electricity and food. In order to carry out a sustainable journey, knowledge, patience, flexibility and hard work are required. The same can be said about many other things that you try to do in a sustainable way. We pick up litter on our sailing route.
The journey to and from the destination
Taking a train, bus or driving several people in the same car is probably the best. Traveling slowly adds a different dimension to your holiday than just flying over all the beautiful places our country has to offer.
Our most important destinations:
-> Lofoten / Svolvær
If you have time, take the Nordlandsbanen to Bodø and speed boat or Hurtigruta from there to Lofoten. You can also take a bus from the south from Moskenes, which has a car ferry from Bodø.
However, Lofoten is far away for many people, and most end up flying. Then Svolvær is the nearest airport, alternatively you can also fly to Leknes.
Flights to Svolvær or Leknes mostly go via Bodø, and are possible with Widerøe, SAS and Norwegian.
You can also fly directly from Oslo to and from Harstad/Evenes airport, and then take a bus, taxi or rental from the airport to Lofoten and Svolvær.
-> Lofoten / Henningsvaer
Henningsvær is a 40-minute bus/taxi ride from Svolvær, which is the “main center” of Lofoten. See travel advice above.
Tromsø – the Paris of the North! To and from Tromsø in the high north, flying is the fastest and easiest, check out SAS and Norwegian.
But if you have time to travel slowly, it is something we recommend. To and from Tromsø. you can take a bus, ferry or Hurtigruten southwards to Lofoten, or to Bodø and train south from there.
The train, Nordlandsbanen, goes all the way to Bodø, and together with the night train from Oslo to Trondheim, it’s a great journey from southern Norway. If you live along the coast, high-speed ferry or the Hurtigruta itself can be a possible way of travel, either from the north or the south. You can of course also fly to Bodø and there are quite a few reasonably priced tickets.
Alta is a small town in Finnmark, even further north than Tromsø. Check SAS, Norwegian or Widerøe for flights to and from Alta. If you are traveling to or from a city up in the north or want to extend your journey by one or more days, Hurtigruta has departures north and south every day. You can also take a bus, ferry or drive to Bodø, and then the train south. Traveling slowly adds a different dimension to your holiday than flying over all the beautiful places our country has to offer, and saves the environment.
There are several ways to get here! Take the train from the south or north to Grong station, this train corresponds with a bus to Brønnøysund. With Hurtigruten/Kystruten ferry: Take the Hurtigruten from the south or north to Brønnøysund. If you have to fly, it is Widerøe from Trondheim and Bodø that applies.
Traveling along the Norwegian coast is incredibly beautiful, but not always straightforward. How was it with those ferry times again? Can we bring the dog on the express boat, and is there a place to dock the sailboat?
The island Ylvingen is located just outside Brønnøysund, halfway to the Vega archipelago, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The express boat docks right next to our pier, while the car ferry stops 1 km away, making it easy to visit us on two or four wheels. Whether you take the express boat or car ferry, remember that Ylvingen is an on-demand stop, so you need to inform the crew that you intend to embark or disembark at Ylvingen.
But first, you need to get to Brønnøysund
There are many alternatives to get to Brønnøysund. The combinations of different routes are numerous, so they are not listed here, but the transport options include:
- Train from the north or south to Grong station and bus further to Brønnøysund center. Alternatively, to Mosjøen or Trofors and bus from there.
- By plane, Brønnøy Airport (BNN) is the nearest airport located in Brønnøysund. (It is a short runway, and only Widerøe operates flights from Oslo, Bodø, Sandnessjøen, and Trondheim to Brønnøysund). From the airport, you can take a taxi (about 5 minutes), local bus, or walk (about 30 minutes) to the speedboat pier.
- Hurtigruten makes daily stops in Brønnøysund just a few meters from the speedboat that goes to Ylvingen and Vega. Check the schedule here!
- Speedboat from Sandnessjøen to Brønnøysund center.
- Bus, various bus connections. Check out https://177nordland.no or entur.no
- By car, drive E6 to Grane (about 34 miles north of Trondheim) and take FV76 via Tosenfjorden to Brønnøysund (about 10 miles). Alternatively, you can drive along the Coastal Route (FV17) from Steinkjer or southwards from Bodø.
To and from Bergen, the Bergen Railway over the mountain to Oslo is an obvious choice if you are traveling that way, with a selection of daily departures including night trains. There are a number of buses and speedboats running north and south along the coast, if you’re going that way. And Bergen/Flesland has flights both domestically and internationally.
-> Træna og Trænafestivalen
If you are not going to sail with us to Træna, you can take a fast boat out to Træna from both Bodø and Sandnessjøen. There is also a ferry from Stokkvågen. If you are not going to participate in the Træna Festival and are thinking of going out to Træna on the same Sunday as the tour starts, it is possible that we will set up a RIB departing from Sandnessjøen.
Nordlandsbanen goes to Mosjøen, and from Mosjøen you can take a bus to Sandnessjøen or Stokkvågen. For timetables by bus, check out the route planner at Nordland County Council. Another “slow” and great way to get to Sandnessjøen is with Hurtigruta from Bergen/Trondheim or Bodø/Tromsø. However, most people fly, and you can fly either to Sandnessjøen or to Bodø and get on from there.
For other trips to Træna, the Træna Festival publishes information on how you can get to the archipelago via other operators, and here you can also pre-book a place, see: www.trena.net
If you want to check the route planner in Nordland, you will find it here, You can also call traffic information on 177.no if you have any doubts. You can also try www.entur.no for good suggestions.
How do I get home from Træna?
Home from Træna, most people first travel to the mainland by ferry either to Bodø or Sandnessjøen, and get on from there. You can also join one of Seil Norges sailboats or RIBs if we have space, or you can take one of the boats set up by the festival. Trænafestivalen publishes information about this well in advance of the festival.
In general, you should book a flight or train home from Bodø or Sandnessjøen as late as possible on Sunday, preferably Monday morning.
-> Svalbard / Spitsbergen
A very few row to Svalbard, a few more sail, but most fly. Norwegian and SAS fly to Longyearbyen from Tromsø or Oslo. Remember Passport – Since Svalbard is actually outside “Schengen” an ID check is carried out on entry and exit for everyone traveling to/from Svalbard.
This also applies to Norwegians. All guests, both from Norway and abroad, must bring a passport or national ID card.
There are a few different routes to and from the island of Iceland. There is a ferry to/from Denmark via the Faroe Islands, or for most visitors, there are many daily flights to/from Reykjavik to the rest of the Nordic countries, Europe and America. Internally in Iceland, it is easy to get around by bus, domestic flights or rental car.
If you want to sail more, then perhaps you can join us further on the expedition, whether it should be from Svalbard to Iceland via Greenland, or on the next legs from Iceland all the way home to Norway, via the Faroe Islands, Scotland and Shetland.
Most people travel to and from Greenland with Air Greenland from Copenhagen or Reykjavik, to Nuuk or Narsarsuaq. In Greenland, the easiest way to travel is by boat (Targa) or by helicopter. If you want to sail to and from Greenland, you can also join us on all or part of this expedition, whether it be from Svalbard to Iceland, Iceland to Greenland, or on the next leg from Greenland all the way home to Norway, via Iceland , the Faroe Islands and Shetland.
-> Skottland / Oban eller Mallaig
Oban and Mallaig on the northwest coast of Scotland are fairly easy to get to/from. There are both trains and buses from both Glasgow and Edinburgh, where it is easy to fly to/from Norway. There are also day and night trains from London all the way to Oban/Glasgow. The train journey to Mallaig is an adventure in itself, in true Harry Potter style.
To Ålesund, there are numerous public transportation options. Buses run from Oslo, Bergen, and Trondheim; the train goes to Åndalsnes (with bus connections to Ålesund); Hurtigruten sails both north and south; and there are flights to Ålesund Airport/Vigra to various destinations.
Trondheim boasts of being “in the middle of the country,” and while it may not be entirely accurate geographically, there’s some truth in terms of infrastructure. The train to or from Trondheim is excellent, with direct connections from Oslo, Bodø, and Sweden/Stockholm! Various buses operate to/from Trondheim. If you’re traveling to or from the coast, Hurtigruten also stops in Trondheim. If you still need to fly, Værnes has plenty of departures and arrivals from both domestic and international destinations regularly every day.
All roads lead to Oslo, at least here in Norway. Oslo is the main hub coming from abroad, and has a wide range of train, bus, and flight routes to most major and minor places around Norway regularly every day. The main airport is called Oslo Airport Gardermoen (OSL). If you’re driving your own car, be aware that parking in the city center can be quite expensive.
Oslo is a very nice city, well worth a visit on it’s own, you should consider a day or two here before or after your adventure.
Booking, payment and travel conditions
Welcome on board! Here we have collected the most important information regarding ordering and payment.
Booking and payment
To book a tour, you go to the individual tour, select a departure date (some of our tours have several departure dates) and fill in the booking form. The order form asks for basic information. Customer data is not shared with or sold to a third party and is stored in accordance with Norwegian law. After filling in all information, you will be asked to pay a deposit of NOK 6000 by credit card or invoice. 60 days before departure, the remaining amount is due and you will receive a payment notice or receive a final invoice by e-mail with the remaining amount. If you register less than 60 days before the start of the trip, the entire amount is due immediately.
Travel terms and conditions
You will find our travel conditions here. When booking, you must tick off that you have read and accepted the travel conditions.
You must have valid travel insurance to join the tour, most of our tours do not require any special travel insurance. We recommend that this also covers a possible trip cancellation, or that you have your own cancellation insurance. Read our travel conditions for cancellation rules and refunds.
What to bring? Who’s on board?
Packing lists are perhaps what we get the most questions about, and we have made thorough packing lists.
Equipment & packing list for a sailing trip
Well in advance of departure, we will send you an equipment list with all the information about what you need to take on your trip. Here you can check the most important things on the packing lists.
As with all activities, there’s plenty of special equipment and clothing for sailing. If you don’t have any of these, you will get very far with normal hiking, skiing and mountain equipment.
We do not want to encourage you to buy a lot of new equipment to join us on a trip, use what you have, borrow what you need from a friend, find things used and buy quality that lasts if you have to invest in new equipment!
What you need is something waterproof and windproof on the outside, and layered with clothes underneath. Some jackets may not be waterproof “enough”, and not so good in salt water, so you can consider Oilskin “Oljehyra” to wear on the outside on the wettest days. A pair of higher rubber boots for disembarking from a dinghy is very nice to have, as well as indoor shoes to have below deck, and hiking boots for the mountain hikes.
Out on the ocean and in the Arctic, it can be cold even in summer, so bring both swimwear and plenty of warm clothes.
What kind of people are on the trip – and how many of us are on board?
Many come alone, some travel as a couple, some travel as a group of friends. The common denominator for all is that these are great people you get to know and become friends with, who are curious and eager to learn more about the area we visit, and not least you learn to sail. Sharing great experiences creates strong bonds!
Many people wonder about the age composition on our trips, but it is not that important to us. It doesn’t matter if you are young or old as long as you want to join the trip and intend to do your part to ensure that you and the rest of the crew have a great holiday. The number of participants varies from tour to tour. If we get many participants, we will expand with more boats and skippers. At Ski & Sail we are often 2 to 3 boats with 6 to 8 people in each boat. On the trips to and from Træna in connection with the festival, which are our most popular trips, we are up to 5 – 8 boats.
Minimum number of registrants
Initially, we must have five people registered to be able to carry out a trip. If we have less than five people registered for a trip, we may have to cancel, and you will be offered to join another trip, or get your money back.
What’s most important once we’re on board? Food and safety!
We’ve got to have food! Regardless of weather, wind, daily rhythm, and activity level, one must have food! And safety is very important to us. We always ensure that you feel secure on board, contributing to a safe voyage for everyone.
Food and meals underway on the sailboat
On our trips, you become part of the crew on board and get to take part in all tasks for the operation of the boat. This includes the cooking, which goes round. Skippers and guides assist as much as they can along the way. Before the trip, we set up a menu and buy what is needed. We spend a lot of time creating good menus with healthy and suitably advanced food.
Let us know if you have allergies or preferences in the registration form, and we will take them into account as best we can. You are welcome to bring adapted food with you.
If you fancy something extra good to eat or drink, feel free to bring it along, and if it can be shared, pretty much everyone will be happy! And yes, we drink beer and wine on board, bring your own. During the trip, we like to visit some of the area’s best restaurants in the area and we eat on land if there is a mood for it. The restaurant meals come in addition.
Safety on board
We take safety seriously.
At sea, we practice handling various situations that can arise at sea. Man-overboard, fire, abandon ship, mast failure and grounding are some of these. Building the participants’ competence in how to handle critical situations is an important element for better safety on board. On board the boat and as well on a trip in the mountains, everyone must know what to do in potentially dangerous situations.
For us, it is important that you as a participant are trained enough to be able to be a participant on board and not just a passenger. It contributes to learning, coping and increased safety for boat and crew. This is also why our trips are for sailing courses and not a trip where you are a passive passenger.
Before the Ski & Sail trips, we practice and rehearse search and rescue techniques, and the use of avalanche equipment. Many elements determine the safety of a peak trip. Good planning, humility in relation to the weather and the risk of avalanches, and a coherent group on the trip are important.
Before the trip starts, you will get access to a safety and risk analysis for both skiing and sailing. Before the trip, we will also ask you to fill in a self-declaration form with information about your next of kin in case something happens.
Our skippers all have a lot of sailing experience, they have been tested in various situations, and they meet the Norwegian Maritime Authority’s requirements for certificates and courses for our type of business.
FAQ – Questions and answers, practical info
I have booked, but how do I know that the order has gone through?
When you submit your order, you will receive a confirmation email from us and a receipt for payment if you have paid by credit card. You will receive an invoice for the payment (if you chose manual payment). We will be in regular contact with you before departure and send out relevant information by e-mail, but if you have any questions, just get in touch, whether it is a year or the day before departure.
You can also check the status of your booking on your My Account page.
I haven’t received the balance/final invoice yet, is there something wrong with my order?
Normally you will receive a payment notification or the final invoice for the trip 60 days before departure. It could be delayed a few days, but everything is in order with your order, and the invoice should be just around the corner. If there are 50 days left until departure and you still have not received the invoice or notification of payment, it would be nice if you contact us.
You can also check the status of your booking, and pay the balance, on your My Account page.
When will I receive the equipment list for the trip?
The equipment list will be sent to you together with the first welcome letter from us, after registration. Here you can check the most important things on the packing lists.
Although northern Norway can be very exotic for many “southerners”, you do not need a separate visa to travel to Lofoten or the Helgeland coast. But remember your passport or national ID card if you are going to join one of the trips to Svalbard! If you are traveling from a country other than Norway, you must check your local rules.
What is Trænafestivalen?
Haven’t you heard of Trænafestivalen? That’s perfectly fine, and as they would say on the other side of the pond: You’re in for a treat!
The Træna Festival has been named one of the world’s best festivals several times, and perhaps the festival with the most beautiful natural surroundings in the whole world. One weekend in July, far out in the sea gap on the Helgeland coast, the small community is transformed into a fantastic music festival, and you can just start enjoying yourself!
Do I have to be in good shape to travel with SeilNorge?
Standing on the deck and steering a boat does not require all the physics in the world, but the activities we do during the day can be mountain trips, kayaking, surfing, fishing etc., and if you are in good shape, you will get more out of those experiences! And your health generally benefits from you being in good shape, so we’re rooting for you to get shape!
Please note that our expeditions require a certain physical health and mobility level.
Will I get seasick?
It’s not good to know. Some people never get seasick, while others get sick already on the pier. If you know/think you might get seasick, you can bring medicines or other remedies that can reduce or prevent this. Feel free to check what suits you best, remember that some medications can make you very tired and might not mix well with alcohol or other medications. Please consult your doctor.
The motion sickness patches or bands might be a good option, and there is also a theory that wearing a cap can help, providing a stable “horizon” in your view.
How old do I have to be to join the tour?
On our ordinary trips we have a lower age limit of 14 years, and if you are between 14-18 you must have a guardian with you. On some of our trips, we have a separate family tour concept, and here you can take the kids with you – regardless of age. Please contact us.
I want to get in touch with the skipper of the trip I’m going on, how do I do that?
Many of our skippers work freelance for SeilNorge, and if there is anything we in the office can help you with before departure, we will be happy to do so. If you need to get hold of the skipper, please contact us and we will pass on the contact. We send out the skipper’s name and mobile number just before departure.
I have fallen ill and have to cancel, what do I do?
Oh dear! In case of cancellation, we need written notification from you. Read our travel conditions for cancellation and refund rules. You should contact your insurance company for reimbursement. They often need a doctor’s note and a confirmation from us of how much you have paid. If there are less than 30 days until departure we do not refund the trip fee.
I travel alone, will I get lonely?
We can promise you that you won’t be! Our tours are super social – we travel in small groups and we all have common goals and the same interests. Almost half of our participants travel alone, and you quickly get to know the rest of the crew on board the boat. On our trips where we have many boats (e.g. Festival sails) we will try to divide the boats into people “in the same boat”. This means that you who are traveling alone will not have to get on the same boat as three couples on their honeymoon. Although it would certainly have been nice!
Can I pack in a rigid suitcase?
There is limited space on board, and large suitcases are difficult to pack away.
We will appreciate you so much more if you choose a backpack or duffel bag that can be stored in a small storage room in a small cabin, and not a large suitcase that has to be left in the middle of the saloon for the entire voyage.
You get the point?
And promise not to pack in a suitcase?
Most people misunderstand life. Comfort does not make you happy. On the contrary it makes you lazy, fat and bored..Sven Yrvind (born 1939), tried to sail around the world in an 8-foot-long sailboat