Unforgettable winter experience of the Ofoten and Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway
The islands of Ofoten and Lofoten are often mentioned as the most beautiful in the world. The diversity of the area with dramatic mountain peaks, sheltered bays and sweeping beaches is remarkable. On board the expedition ship Antigua, nature lovers can indulge in the beauty of the untouched landscape and unique natural phenomena of Northern Norway. During this trip your experience of the environment, nature and history of this area will be enriched by an experienced guide. On board Antigua you will sail through the awe inspiring panoramas and vistas to normally out of reach places. Accompanied by your guide on shore you will be able to further explore the wonders of these remote locations.
In winter, this exceptionally pristine environment, far above the Arctic Circle offers even more magic: The Northern Lights. Also known as Aurora Borealis or Polar light, the Northern Lights are one of the most extraordinary natural phenomena on earth. With Antigua we visit places and ports without light pollution, so you have the best opportunities to view the Northern Lights. The splendour of green, purple, blue and rose coloured lights dancing across the sky will not disappoint.
Making this expedition during the Norwegian winter also offers the experience of whale watching. Nowhere else in the world are such large pods of whales visible than in Northern Norway. With Antigua we navigate the fjords to places where we find the largest mammals in the world hunting and feeding. From the ship we will spend time watching these incredible creatures with an uninterrupted view, while remaining respectful of the animals in their natural habitat.
The magical Northern Lights and large pods of whales are central to this winter expedition. The route between ports and anchorages is therefore dependent on circumstances such as weather conditions and whale locations. With this flexibility the captain of Antigua will navigate the expedition through the unspoiled fjords and bays of the Lofoten and Ofoten Islands, assuring the best opportunities for experiencing the wonders of nature while visiting the traditional villages - guaranteeing an unforgettable winter adventure!
Sunday 3 November
From 20:00 you may board Antigua in Bodø. Upon boarding you will meet the crew of the ship, your traveling companions and have time to settle into the accommodations on board which will be your home for the coming days. Depending on the circumstances, we will sail out of the harbour the same evening, beginning the winter adventure.
Monday 4 November
The goal is to sail to Reine, the tiny picturesque fishing village nestled between staggering peaks of granite on the eastern side of the Lofoten. During our stay in Reine we will have the chance to further explore. Either a walk weaving through the red and white fishing huts dotted along the shoreline or a zodiac cruise to the Kirkefjord surrounded by mountains.
Tuesday 5 November
Skrova is an old whaling village. The port is located in a small bay where the hamlet winds around it. A walk through the village and its thriving community is a must. For a different perspective of the landscape and fjords it is possible to climb Høgskrova (258 m). From here you have incredible views over other Lofoten islands and the Norwegian mainland.
Wednesday 6 November
Early in the morning we leave from Skrova, so that we arrive at Trollfjord, for a magnificent sunrise. The entrance is well hidden; as if to a secret land. As Antigua sails through a narrow passage with steep rocks on both sides, forming wall like structures, we will watch for sea and white-headed eagles soaring with with us. This is one of the most beautiful and impressive fjords of the Lofoten Islands and offers an experience you will dream of!
From Trollfjord we'll continue sailing towards Andfjord. The night we'll spent in a small harbour at the island Andoya or the island Senja.
Thursday 7 November
Just north of Andoy the steep edge of the continental plate descends and meets the warm Gulf Stream creating perfect conditions for whales. If the weather conditions permit, we will stay on the open sea for a while to revel in the tranquillity of the open space, whale watching and of course the Northern Lights. In the evening we moor in Gryllefjord with the chance for a fresh evening walk in the old fishing village.
Friday 8 November
Early in the morning we sail out of the port of Gryllefjord. Via the north side of Andenes we take the route through the breath taking Straumsfjorden setting course for our final destination. Arriving in the evening in the warm and cosy light beacon in the dark High North, Tromsø, also known as 'The Paris of the North'.
Saturday 9 November
After breakfast it is time to say goodbye to your traveling companions and the crew of the Antigua. Disembarking is at 10:00 am in Tromsø. The airport can be reached in 20 minutes by taxi.
If you have the time, then it is definitely worth taking the time to further explore Tromsø. In this bustling Arctic town you will find various attractions such as an aquarium, museums, and the northernmost botanical garden in the world. For lovers of outdoor activities there is also a lot to do, the city centre of Tromsø is a stone's throw from beautiful untouched nature to be easily explored with a casual walk or hike or trip with the dog sled.