If you’re looking for the perfect vacation of combining both Skiing and Sailing in Norway you’ve clicked on the right link! Up in the arctic you can adventure through untouched winter scenery with the added ‘wow-factor’ of possibly seeing the Northern lights. Allow me to present to you the ultimate ‘Bucket List’ winter holiday idea.
If you’re looking for a truly unique and exciting way to see the magic of Northern Norway, combining sailing around the beautiful fjords with backcountry off-piste skiing is a perfect vacation match for you.
I have just spent 3 nights on an Arctic Liveaboard sailing and skiing through the stunning Lofoten Islands and Harstad, I’m going to share all of the details with you in this post.
Sailing in Norway
Norway has a long history of sailing with northern Norway in particular being home to some of the world’s most famous fishing villages in the world. Sailing in the Fjords of Norway is not only ideal visually as the towering cliff edges create a movie scene backdrop for your voyage, they are also ideal conditions with the safety of the well-established and protected routes. The unbelievably stunning coastline has so much to offer both professional and novice sailors.
Backcountry Skiing in Norway
Skiing in Norway is definitely an ‘up and coming’ holiday choice, it’s not a commonly well known place to ski in comparison to the popular European resorts of France and Switzerland and yet Norway offers some of the most breathtaking off-piste routes in all the world.
Skiing in Northern Norway allows for powder hunters to get the most incredible panoramic views of the fjord whilst schooping down. Combining this with Whale watching and the high possibility of seeing the northern lights makes Northern Norway, in my opinion, one of the best places to ski in the world!
The only catch is the accessibility, there are commercially run ski hills on the mainland but if you are looking to Ski Tour off-piste in Norway your best opportunities will be through visiting the mountains on the smaller islands. The best way to get to them? Via Boat!
Not skied before? Neither had I until a few years ago – check out my guide on learning to ski at 30. So don’t let it put you off planning this trip for the future 😉
The Northern Lights
One of the BEST places in the world to see The Northern Lights is in Northern Norway. There’s a chance of seeing them between the months of September/October and March but March is most likely to have clear skies.
If you choose this adventure style holiday of combining skiing and sailing you will also have the extra chance of being able to enjoy the stunning light dance of the Aurora Borealis AND you will have the most unique view of all seeing them through the mast of the boat.
We weren’t blessed with the best weather during our 4 days on board, it rained and snowed every day of our trip so we were SO LUCKY that we were able to catch a prime time show on our very last night. We were docked up in Harstad at the time but it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life!
Our Ski and Sail trip was a chartered service, we pre-booked with Seil Bifrost.
“Bifrost” the boat is just under 15m allowing for 6 guests to be on board comfortably with the 2 man husband and wife team also living aboard.
The boat features:
- 3 x Double Bedrooms all with en-suite bathroom (Toilet, Sink and shower extender from the sink above the WC)
- Linens – 1 thick duvet, pillow and wool blanket pp (2 sets a bed) plus 2 towels pp.
- Storage – Two large drawers and a cupboard for storing all clothes (suitcases are unpacked on the first day and stored elsewhere for maximum comfort and space in the cabins)
- Two windows in the bedroom and two windows in the bathroom for light and ventilation
- Small heater in each cabin on top of the main heat sources in the main areas.
The best thing about the experience of Sailing in Norway with Seil Bifrost is how hands-on the team allows you to be. We were a group of 5 and each and every one of us had a task when sailing. Though the excursion is not listed as a training academy we pretty much had ourselves a free sailing course!
If you prefer watching to reading, I vlogged the whole trip:
Ski Tour Norway
Sailing is its own adventure but what makes this trip so epic is having the ability to backcountry ski in Norway during your charter.
The team at Seil Bifrost put us in touch with Christian from Arctic Sea to Summits who was our guide for the duration of our ski touring in Norway. We were able to pre-arrange everything together via email before our arrival. This included renting our equipment and payment.
We booked to ski for two full days whilst on board but sadly we were not blessed with the best weather so please don’t judge my images! The views from the summits are, on a clear day, nothing short of epic.
As the skiing is all off-piste you walk up to the summits before skiing down. Christian provided us with skins for our skis allowing us to climb the mountain. Getting up was no easy task, especially in the desirable ‘fresh powder’ as we sank with every step but it was so rewarding when we reached the turnaround point.
Mountains in this area have incredible views of the Norweigan Sea and when you ski down so you’ll enjoy gliding through untouched epic scenery.
The boat leaves from Harstaad which is a 40 minute drive from Harstad/Navik Airport.
From London we flew from Gatwick to Oslo (2hrs 10 minutes) then from Oslo to Harstad/Navik (1hr 35 minutes). Our full travel time was approximately 5 hours as we had a quick and easy transfer in between flights. It’s actually an easy destination to get to and yet you feel as though you’re on a whole other planet!
The Seil Bifrost team was able to pick us up from the airport on the day of our charter.
How much does the Ski & Sail Tour Cost?
For our Ski & Sail Norway Tour we used two companies that work together to create the perfect itinerary. Here’s a breakdown of the costs and what was included with each company.
The Boat Charter – Seil Bifrost
4 days, 3 nights Sailing (1-4th of March 2023) – 32,950.00 NOK
- Accommodation for 6 guests (3 x double cabins with private bath)
- 3 Meals (prepared and cooked on board) a day, snacks, hot beverages and all non-alcoholic drinks
- Sailing – when conditions are not suitable for sailing island activities will be recommended and accommodated where possible such as local farm visits.
Arctic Summit Adventures – Skiing
Private Ski Guide – 3:1 = 2400 NOK pppd
Ski Equipment Hire: 1500 NOK pp (Skis, poles, boots, helmet, avalanche safety equipment – additional items on request) – pppd
What to Pack for your Arctic Ski & Sail
If I still have your attention and you’re thinking of booking the same trip here’s the basics of what you’ll need to pack:
- Ski Clothes – Thermals, ski socks, a wool layer and waterproof outer ski wear, ski gloves, ski goggles, ski buff
- Casual warm clothes for non-skiing days
- Waterproof Boots
- Slippers for inside the boat
- A backpack for skiing – 20L size minimum
- Face sunscreen & sunglasses
- Thermos/drinking bottle
I can’t recommend this trip more, it was a true bucket list tick of ours! Check out more of my ideas for once-in-a-lifetime destinations and trip itineraries here.