Explore the Vega islands by sail – from our basecamp at Himmelblå

Ylvingen & the Vega Islands
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New trip!

The legendary Helgeland coast is famous for its many islands, and is the most sheltered part of the Norwegian coast. Home to only a few people, but full of marine life and birdlife. Our small part of the Helgeland coast, Ylvingen og Vega, consists of about 6500 islands, islets and skerries. This concentrated archipelago, Vegaøyan, is perfect for sailing.

If you where to sail past this area, you would probably choose to sail around. Though when we navigate our way in between the thousands of islets, we glide peacefully through the landscape. Amidst the intertwining of land, seaweed, birds, and grazing sheep, and you realize you’re immersed in an atmosphere few get the chance to experience. The islands of Vega have been a UNESCO World Heritage area since 2002 and on this trip we show you why. Welcome on board this 5 day trip exploring the islands of Vega by sailboat, while sleeping on land in our basecamp on Ylvingen.

From Brønnøysund to Ylvingen and the islands beyond

With the island of Ylvingen as our base and Himmelblå Brygge as our “ship”, this trip is for those of you who want to sail the World Heritage area and feel the tranquility of the islands of Vega. Yet also for you who wants to enjoy kayaking, walking and biking from our basecamp. What sets this trip apart from the other SeilNorge-trips, is that we sleep on land during the week. Apart from that, the way we run this trip is the same as our other trips and concepts. 

Our home port, Ylvingen

Our aspiration to showcase this part of the Norwegian coastline to friends and travellers worldwide is deeply rooted in our family’s connection to Ylvingen. It is here, at this very island, where our journey started, with SeilNorge founder Emil’s ancestral ties.

Since our acquisition of Himmelblå in 2018, we have transformed it from an old fishing facility into an Inn. Ylvingen has been our cherished home port and the basecamp itself, as an integral part of SeilNorge’s fleet.

There’s an indescribable charm to this small island, which we eagerly look forward to share with you during this trip!

Active holiday with other adventurers

You may sign up for this sailing trip alone, with a girlfriend or a friend, or several. You will quickly get to know the other participants, as we will sail and live closely together during the week. The trip does not require any special prior knowledge, nor does it require you to be in top shape. However, you should wish for an active week, try out new things and be ready to give of yourself!

Our cabins; the family rooms Lånan and Vega

In our rooms at the lodge, you will get your own berth for this week. Each room have 4 single bunks and 1 double bed so there is space for 5-6 people in each room. The rooms are big, but as on board the boats, we live quite close together and get to know each other well. Next to the rooms is a big lounge where you also will have access. Where you can calm down in between and enjoy the midnight sun. With a great view of the bay. 

Check out the Himmelblå-lodge here!

At Himmelblå everyone is "one big happy family". The togetherness we get from living so close together and doing so much fun together provides memories for a lifetime, and cultivates new friendships that you wouldn't have otherwise. Himmelblå is like a camp school where the togetherness and experiences will stay in your body for a long time after you leave the island. But also with good opportunities to retreat and enjoy nature and the view!

Sofie (Employee at Himmelblå and former guest)

Itinerary

Day 1: We meet in Brønnøysund and sail to Ylvingen!

We meet at the quay in Brønnøysund at 16.00. Here we get to know each other and go through the plan for the week. As soon as we’ve been through safety information and basic sailing theory, we hoist sail with course for the island Ylvingen. It is a 3-4 hour trip, and when we are docked in Ylvingen we check into our cabins at the Himmelblå Lodge.

Day 2: Morning at Ylvingen, and sailing trip to Vega World Heritage Center

We start the day with a morning swim in the crystal clear sea! After breakfast, we prepare to sail. Today we plan to sail through some really narrow waters and we set our course for the harbor Næs at the north side of Vega, where we will visit the World Heritage centre. Once we have become familiar with basic sailing theory, we set off. At Vega there are many things to attend to and we might sail back here later in the week. Safely back at Ylvingen we make dinner together in the lounge of the second floor and then after dinner we fire up the sauna or just enjoy the bright summer night at Ylvingen.

Day 3: On Ylvingen - kayaking, dinghy sailing and walk around the island

Today we will split into two groups. One group starts with an intro course in sea kayaking, while the other group will learn dinghy sailing. The kayaking group starts with an introduction to the equipment and a safety review before we take the kayaks into the water. During this crash course you will learn to control the kayak and the basic techniques. If you are experienced you can practice doing the eskimo-roll!:) The instructor will be close by so that you get a safe and good experience. While the first group is in the kayak, the rest get the sail dinghies on the water and go sailing in the harbor. Back on land we eat a late lunch before we go hiking. Today we will go up to the highest point of the island with its good panoramic view of Vega and the whole region. The peak is also one of Norway’s best-preserved II World War fortresses, so we take our headlamps with us to explore the seven-storey deep bunker with many underground tunnels. We end the day with a well-deserved dinner.

Day 4: Sailing trip around Vega - Via Ferrata if you want

Today we sail around Vega and on our way we will pass many small communities lying beautifully around the island. When we come to the north-side we may stop for a hike up the mountains or you can give the local Via Ferrata here a go. The top offers a great view over the World Heritage area archipelago you now know much about. Early evening we arrive back in Ylvingen, and we pack the sails and clean up the boat for this time. Tonight Himmelblå Lodge invites us for a 3 course dinner in the restaurant and we can finally dress in our party clothes. This is our last night, so maybe there will be a little party?!

Day 5: Regatta and closing ceremony - ending the trip at Ylvingen 

After a last morning swim and proper breakfast, we prepare for the finals. As with all our SeilNorge-trips, we end also this one with a regatta. Now we are going to test our dinghy sailing skills, and navigation skills. Then we pack our ship’s bags and head home. We end the official program with lunch at 13.00 o’clock. Thank you for a good week together at Ylvingen!

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 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 hikes – we are ready for adventure, are you?!

What is included?

  • A trip experience with sailboat – experienced skipper/instructor with local knowledge 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
  • Instruction, advice, guidance and practical training in boating and sailing
  • All activities
  • All meals (including the ones in the restaurant at Himmelblå)
  • Bed in shared room, with access to bathroom with shower and toilet
  • Access to common areas at the lodge
  • Water, coffee, tea

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

Departure and arrival

This trip start in Brønnøysund and ends at Ylvingen

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.

Det er flere måter å komme seg til Brønnøysund. Tog: Ta toget sør- eller nordfra til Grong stasjon. Toget korresponderer med buss til Brønnøysund. Hurtigruten: Ta hurtigruten sør- eller nordfra til Brønnøysund. Fly: Widerøe flyr til Brønnøysund fra Trondheim eller Bodø.

Any questions? Need travel tips? Practical information?


You'll probably find the answer here, in our collection of questions and answers and practical information.

Practical information →