Coastal sailing with Valiente from Bergen to Trondheim

Island Hopping in Northwestern Norway
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In SeilNorge we never stop exploring. And even back home in Norway, there are still parts of the coast that are undiscovered for us. We’ve heard rumours that there is a sailor’s paradise in the west. With clear seas, beautiful archipelagos and steep mountains straight up from deep fjords. Now we’re going on a journey of discovery along the coast of Northwestern Norway, and you’re invited along! Join Island hopping in Northwest Norway with Valiente, from Bergen to Trondheim.

Island hopping from Bergen to Trondheim

We start in Bergen, cruise north via the archipelagos of Nord-Hordaland, Sogn and Sunnfjord before we reach Måløy. The trip continues around Stad, through Sunnmøre and Nordmøre, before we finish into Trondheimsfjorden. We will both sail offshore around Stad and Hustadvika, while at other times enjoy the inshore waters between islands and in the plentiful fjords and sounds along the route. 

Mini-expedition in beautiful Western Norway

After a long expedition season, Valiente finally returns to our home country, and we continue the sailing season throughout the autumn. This trip is an excellent opportunity to see the best of Western Norway, by sail. 

This is a mini-expedition where we will explore some of the cultural and gastronomic gems up the coast. We will visit small fishing villages, inaccessible lighthouses and lively small towns. We will enjoy nature and the view, hike mountains and island peaks, and do beach landings underway. Island hopping in Northwest Norway is an experience where we get to test out the weather of the west coast. Which can offer sparkling clear autumn weather with all the colours of the rainbow, but also gales and rain with sea spray on deck and full power in the sails. In other words, we will have some action onboard!

Be part of the crew on board

If you think this will be some kind of a Hurtigruten coastal cruise, you have to think again… On our trips you are part of the crew and you get the opportunity to try your hand at all the tasks needed to make a sailing boat work as it should. You get to stand at the helm, hoist sails, cook, navigate, take a morning swim, gut fish, serve anchor dram and tie knots; the complete sailing experience!

You don’t need to be able to sail to participate. Regardless of whether you have a lot or little experience, we will challenge you so you learn a lot along the way. This is an excellent opportunity for those who want to sail on a larger boat. To see the west coast of Norway from the sea, and for those that want to learn more about navigation in the dark. Or to experience a voyage with changing weather and wind under the conditions autumn offers. Welcome to an unforgettable adventure!

Island hopping in Northwest Norway is a constant journey through time where you sail past old trading stations, maritime industrial hubs and visit magnificent, proud cities built on fishing and trade, such as Bergen and Ålesund. You get this mixed with some of the world's most complicated fjord systems with settlements and farming culture in the east and an endless island archipelago with fishing villages in the west- Topped by mountains and peaks that await being climbed. If you ask me, this is Norway's greatest area for sailing. You get everything; intense nature experiences and a unique and rich culture full of adventures for everyone!

Karl Ruben, SeilNorge skipper from Bergen

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome on board in Bergen

We meet at 16:00 at the quay in Vågen, in the heart of Bergen. Here we start by getting to know each other, the boat, the equipment and the plans for our week. Life onboard requires cooperation, and before departure we go through routines and procedures for emergency situations and sailing. Already this first evening, we aim to leave harbour and get a little way north.

Day 2: Utvær - Norway's westernmost point and sail to Sunnfjord

The first morning of adventure offers the crossing of Sognesjøen. To where we reach the island kingdom of Solund, Norway’s westernmost municipality. If the conditions permit, we will stop by Utvær, the last scurries on the brim of the large North Sea. From here it’s just around one day sailing to Shetland, and it is believed that the Vikings set off west on their conquest from here. We will have lunch at Utvær and a trip on land to the lighthouse if the weather permits. Further north, our voyage continues to Sunnfjord, and we aim to spend the night at Alden between Askvoll and Værlandet/Bulandet.

Day 3: Mountain hike on “Norskehesten”  and dinner in the fishing village of Kalvåg

On the island of Alden we find a famous mountain peak and a landmark, known as Norskehesten (the Norwegian horse directly translated). To get to the top, we first hike a few kilometers in, and then 480 meters up. With clear weather, we can see as far as Stad in the north, Ålfotbreen and Sognefjella in the east and the oil rigs on Gjøa, Statfjord, Troll and Gullfaks in the sea to the west. After lunch we sail past Kinn and to Bremanger. Here we find the charming fishing village of Kalvåg, where the restaurant at Knutholmen tempts with fresh delicacies from the sea!

Day 4: Around Stadt

Today will be a full day of sailing, where we will bet on good weather to get around the infamous Stadhavet. Up to Måløy and Selje, we have been able to hide in protected waters all the way from Bergen, now this luxury is over for a little while and we have to sail out offshore to get around Stadlandet. With good conditions, today’s leg is nevertheless one of the most beautiful. Where we pass beautiful sandy beaches like Vetvika, Refvika, Hoddevik and Ervik. Then we arrive at Søre Sunnmøre and pass Runde and Ulsteinvik, before arriving at today’s destination; Ålesund. This architectural and charming coastal town deserves a visit. And here we can also find something delicious both on our plates and in our glasses as we wish.

Day 5: Kayak in Ålesund and visit to Onøy lighthouse

Today we check out the possibility of a guided kayak trip around the Art Nouveau city of Ålesund. Alternatively, we can sail to Godøya and do a mountain hike up to Storhornet with a view out over Alnes and Alnes lighthouse. The voyage continues towards Molde and the Romsdal coast. Far out towards the sea here we find one of Norway’s southernmost living fishing villages, Ona. If time allows, we stop here to stretch our legs to the famous lighthouse and a short rest before we set off for a night sail around Hustadvika.

Day 6: Around Hustadvika to Kristiansund and through Trondheimsleia

We hope for nice conditions and calm seas around Hustadvika, our second offshore leap. And depending on our speed we pass Kristiansund  in the morning. Here we stop for coffee and cake, and buy some local food from the passionate chefs at Mæt & God. From Kristiansund, the city that consists of four islands, the voyage goes towards Trondheimsleia. We sail past thousands of islets and reefs around Smøla, which is home to the country’s largest population of white tailed eagles, and along the pointy peaks of Tustna island towards Romsdalen and Sunndalen.

Day 7: Bye for now in Trondheim

Depending on what the wind and weather dictate, we aim to use the last night to cover the last sea miles into Trondheimsfjorden. We pass by the small island of Munkholmen and will be in port a little after lunch. With enough time for us to pack, wash and clean ourselves out of the boat before we end the trip at 16:00 latest. Thank you very much for an unforgettable experience!

Changes to the program

The program should be seen as a starting point, which we adapt depending on weather and conditions underway. We reserve the right to constantly improve the program for the better. With us along the way, we always have dinghies for beach landings and small expeditions. We have fishing equipment for the cod, and hiking equipment for bonfires and summit climbs – we are ready for adventure, are you?!

What is included?

  • A trip experience with sailboat – experienced skipper with local knowledge on board
  • Co-skipper and crew/guide on board
  • All food we eat on board during the trip
  • Our Comfort Package, which consists of accommodation on board in a shared double cabin (bunk or double bed) with a ready-made bed (warm and nice duvets and pillows!)
  • 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 equipment if available: dinghies, kayaks, fishing equipment, etc.
  • All boat-related costs such as diesel, propane and harbor fees
  • Personal safety equipment; Helly Hansen inflatable lifejacket
  • Survival suit and Search and Rescue (SAR) Insurance for everyone on board
  • Instruction, advice, guidance and practical training in boating and sailing

What is not included?

  • Travel to and from the start/end location
  • Optional meals at a cafes/restaurants during the trip
  • Entrance to galleries, museums, or other alternative activities that you/we may come up with
  • Rental of equipment and/or activities from external operators, ex. kayak, 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/or cancellation insurance – (up to you, but recommended!)

Important info

Travel

This trip start in Bergen and ends in Trondheim.

You find more information on travel, equipment and other tips under Practical info.

Deposit and payment

You only pay a deposit (NOK 6000) upon registration, the remainder of the payment is due 60 days prior to departure.

Safety and risk on board

We are all about people, and so we also take safety very seriously. On our trips we practice sail- and boat handling also for safety, and we spend time going through various situations that can arise at sea, how to handle them and how to avoid them.

On board a boat everyone must know what to do in critical situations and in the event of an emergency. Our philosophy is that partaking and participation builds safety. It is important for the safety of the whole boat that you are a participant on board, not just a passenger.

Therefore all our trips are to be considered sailing courses in addition to being great  holidays and adventures: You are trained to make up the crew on board and so we build a capable team on board.

Feel free to contact us for a chat about safety and risk on our adventures.

Level of the trip

No sailing experience? No problem! Our sailing adventures welcome both novices and seasoned sailors for an inclusive and enjoyable experience. Whether you’re new to sailing or a salty sea dog, our trips cater to all levels.

We aim to transform beginners into sailors quickly while offering experienced participants greater responsibilities and challenges. Our mainland sailing journeys involve 44-50 feet boats navigating coastal and protected waters, occasionally crossing open stretches for excitement. Route adjustments based on weather and conditions ensure a safe and adaptable voyage.

Trips are not overly strenuous; with rotating positions, participants can balance sailing and relaxation. Active engagement minimizes seasickness, and if it occurs, it passes swiftly. Weather, however, is unpredictable, with the potential for stronger winds and various conditions in northern Norway and the Arctic, making each trip a true sailing adventure. Be prepared for calm winds and rough weather—embracing the elements for an unforgettable experience.

What we expect from you

Our trips require a little effort from you who are joining – everyone on board must be ready to contribute and to give of themselves also socially; the more you open up, share and interest yourself in the others on board, the more enjoyable it gets. 

When you’re sailing with us you are invited to take part in the running of the ship and all that comes with it. You will be sailing, docking, navigating, looking out for whales and icebergs, but also making food, serving others, doing dishes and helping clean the boat during the trip, and contributing in other ways when needed. On board we are all in the same boat and when all help out, the ship is most happy. 

Our experience is that doing things together with others out in nature, and not least cooperating and doing activities with new people and different personalities than you might have around you normally, is what creates the best, most interesting and memorable moments and stories:)

Equipment and packing

As with all activities, there is plenty of special equipment and clothing for sailing. If you don’t have any of this, you will get very far with normal hiking/outdoor equipment. You do not need to buy a lot of new equipment to join our trips. Use what you have, borrow what you need from a friend, 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 warm clothing underneath.

Some jackets may not be waterproof “enough”, or might not perform too well in salt water, so you can consider a set of oilskin for the wettest days (available for rent or purchase on board). A pair of higher rubber boots for disembarking from the dinghy is very good to have, as well as indoor shoes below deck. Out at sea and in the Arctic it can be cold even in summer, so bring both swimwear and plenty of warm clothes. Well before departure, we will send you a detailed recommended packing list.

Read more and see our packing tips here:

PS: In a sailboat, you pack in a bag or sack, not in a rigid suitcase. 🙂

Food & cooking on board

On our trips, you will be part of the crew on board and get the chance to participate in all tasks for the operation of the boat. This includes cooking and preparing food – everyone take turns in the galley! Skippers and crew assist as much as they can along the way.

We have great menus with tasty, healthy and “boat-friendly” food, and for each trip we order provisions for all meals on board. If you have allergies or preferences, let us know in the registration form and we will take that into account as best as we can. You are also most welcome to bring any special food or drink with you. Why not bring some specialities from your country or region for the boat to enjoy? 

During a weeklong trip we often sail by a good restaurant or two where we can have dinner on land. Some places we need to pre-book and we will then need to choose a menu before we arrive. More about all of this when you come on board!

Life on board & accommodation

Life on a sailboat is super social and fun, but it might feel a bit intimate at first. No worries though, that vibe usually fades after the first hour. Everyone chips in to run the boat, and we’re all part of the crew, which means quick bonding.

We’re keen to get to know you and hope you’ll connect with the rest of the crew. It takes some patience, generosity, and an open mind to thrive, but soon you’ll be focused on making new friends and enjoying raw nature experiences once sea life feels like home.

Sleeping arrangements in shared cabins with double or bunk beds can be a bit of a puzzle, but we’re pretty good at figuring it out. Let us know if you have preferences. You’re on your own for land accommodations before or after the trip.

The boat provides heating and good food, but fresh water isn’t always abundant. Water conservation means not showering every day, but when near freshwater sources, we make the most of it. But nothing beats a morning sea swim for that fresh feeling.

Safety and risk on our expeditions

As mentioned, we take safety very seriously. Even more so on our expeditions, as we then explore really remote waters and terrain, cross open oceans and sail into areas with additional risk factors such as sea ice or poor charts and uncharted waters. We deal with this by having an extra focus on the situations we may encounter among everyone on board, for each expedition. We sail in these remote areas only in the most optimal seasons; and we use larger and very solid boats for our expeditions. Which are both equipped and sized to cope with this type of expedition trips and waters very well.

We are absolutely certain that sailing is the safest and most accessible way to visit these very inaccessible places we go on our expeditions. However, all sailing in general, and particularly sailing in arctic regions and over open seas, involves a certain risk that you must be aware of when joining.

Level of the expedition

Some have their first sailing experience ever, joining us on an ocean crossing! Please note that our expeditions require a certain physical health and mobility level.

The boats we sail on our expeditions are larger, robust and sit well in the sea. On our sailing expeditions we both sail in more coastal, sheltered waters, and cross open stretches of waters. On some of our expeditions even ocean crossings over several days at sea. An incredibly wonderful and special experience!

Weather dictates our journey, and we adapt each expedition’s program accordingly, often allowing extra days for flexibility in assessing and choosing optimal weather windows. Despite planning and preparations, we can’t control the weather, so be prepared for various conditions. The proximity to nature’s forces on such expeditions is a rare and rewarding experience.

On expeditions, we sail with many participants, forming watch teams for a solid on board team spirit. Rotating watches around the clock ensures active involvement without overwhelming fatigue.

As everyone participates actively during the week or more on board, seasickness is rare. If you anticipate seasickness, consider bringing remedies, such as seasickness plasters, often effective for longer expeditions. Consult your doctor for advice on seasickness and any necessary medications. Feel free to ask us about seasickness as well.

Any questions? Need travel tips? Practical information?


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