SAILING THE HELGELAND COAST
A nature and wildlife cruise through the hidden gem of Norway.
THE HELGELAND COAST
The Helgeland coast stretches across 200 km, extending from Trøndelag in the south to Salten in the north. This most prized natural and cultural treasure of the Norwegian coast comprises a myriad of islands, islets, and skerries (more than 12,000) and large shallow sea areas. These islands range in size from large, inhabited islands to tiny, rocky outcrops. All along the coast there are white beaches, sheltered coves, sea caves, fjords and steep towering mountain walls rising straight from the open sea. Approximately 80,000 people live in the Helgeland region today, distributed between several small municipalities.
Discover the magnificent Helgeland coast on this 6-day sailing tour and cross over the Arctic Circle in the Norwegian Sea. Sail past the legendary mountains of the Seven Sisters, Hestmannen and Træna as well as the Arctic Circle Monument on Vikingen island. Visit the ancient Viking town of Sandnessjøen, and see why National Geographic and Lonely Planet say the area is a top highlight in all of Norway.
The Helgeland coast is known to be the best part of cruise ship routes sailing the Norwegian coast such as Hurtigruten (the Norwegian Coastal Express). Let the wind determine your course and sail among the timeless natural beauty of Northern Norway. Visit small towns with a rustic atmosphere, and explore islands with unique mountains and beaches by kayak, stand-up-paddle, or hiking. The itinerary and route is open and flexible depending on the wind and weather, offering a glimpse into the life of a sailor.
Sailing along the Helgeland Coast in Norway is truly magical experience, as the coastline offers the opportunity for island hopping to explore remote areas, each with its unique charm and dramatic natural beauty. The Helgeland Coast offers a sense of tranquility and remoteness that's hard to find in many other places. You can sail for hours, even days without encountering crowds, providing a serene and peaceful environment for relaxation.
SCENIC FJORDS, BEACHES AND MEMORABLE SUNSETS
Steep cliffs, deep fjords, rugged islands, white sand beaches and golden sunsets create a visually striking contrast between land and sea.
The Helgeland Coast is home to numerous fjords, including the famous Sørfjorden. Sail through deep, narrow inlets surrounded by towering cliffs and lush green landscapes, making a picturesque backdrop. Sørfjorden, like other fjords in Helgeland, offers an opportunity to experience the rugged and untamed beauty of Norway's coastal landscapes. The distinct prominent mountains and the deep blue waters is a hallmark of Norwegian fjords.
White sand beaches surrounded by crystal-clear waters, lush greenery and rugged coastal landscapes, make a scenic paradise for visitors. A unique aspect of the beaches in Helgeland, such as Langsanden Beach, is its cleanliness and lack of commercial development. It remains relatively untouched by humans and retains its natural charm, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a tranquil and unspoiled beach experience. Due to the remote locations and limited development, the beaches offer a peaceful and serene atmosphere, perfect for those looking to escape the crowds and enjoy nature.
As the evening approaches, the sky comes alive with a stunning array of colors during the extended summer sunset and twilight hours. You can expect to see shades of pink, orange, purple, and deep blues, painting the skies with a vivid and ever-changing palette. The fjords, lakes, and coastal waters of Helgeland reflect the colors of the evening sky, creating a mirror-like effect that doubles the beauty of the scene. The water's surface becomes a canvas for the celestial display, perfect for a sunset kayak session or for relaxing in the outdoor hot tub while anchored in a secluded bay.
ICONIC MOUNTAINS AND ISLANDS
The mountains along the Helgeland Coast have cultural significance for the local population. They are often featured in folklore, legends, and traditional stories, adding to their mystique. Sail in the footsteps of the Norwegian Trolls and Vikings, where trolls that were turned into stone became the mountains along the Helgeland coast, and where Sandnessjøen was a power hub early in the Viking Age over 1200 years ago. This ancient geological diversity of the mountains contributes to the region's unique appearance. The Seven Sisters is an iconic mountain range located near the town of Sandnessjøen and is known for its seven distinct peaks that rise steeply from the sea. The majestic peaks create a breathtaking and picturesque coastal landscape that attracts hikers, climbers, and photographers from around the world.
The region has a rich coastal culture with a history of fishing and seafaring. You can try your hand at catching some of the local seafood and visit cultural sites that showcase the maritime heritage of the area. Helgeland is dotted with charming coastal villages, each with its own character and history. The region has some of the smallest inhabited island outposts in Norway with average populations of 15 people. Experience life on a truly remote and traditional island. As soon as you step onto these islands, you will notice the absence of traffic, people and commerce. There are no roads, no shops and no cars.
Keep an eye out for the local wildlife, including seabirds, seals, and even whales. Helgeland is known for its diverse marine life, and you may have the chance to spot these animals while sailing. Helgeland is blessed with vast wilderness areas and many types of landscapes, which provide highly varied ecosystems that attract a wealth of marine life that thrives in the area, spanning from the smallest microalgae to the largest mammals. It is a seasonal feeding ground for numerous larger species, such as harbor seals, killer whales and minke whales. The birds you see may include the puffin, cormorant, sea eagle, terns, eider duck and barnacle goose, the Northern gannet and eagle-owl, the hawk-owl, peregrine falcon, Northern goshawk and many other species. The island of Lovund hosts a huge puffin colony, which can count up to 300,000 birds! They nest on rocky slopes, and throughout the summer you will see the adult birds working hard, returning with fish caught at sea to feed their young.
ARCTIC CIRCLE CROSSING
Crossing the Arctic Circle is a symbolic and exciting experience for many travelers, as it marks the point on the Earth's surface where you've reached the northernmost extent of the Arctic region. The Arctic Circle is an imaginary line that circles the Earth at approximately 66.33 degrees north of the equator. Its exact location can vary slightly due to the Earth's axial tilt. It passes through several countries, including Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Canada, Greenland (Denmark), and the United States (Alaska).
The Arctic Circle cuts through the Helgeland Coast, and the arctic circle monument on Vikingen island is only visible by boat. We often celebrate crossing over the arctic circle parallel with a customary ships horn blow, and your photo taken with the monument in the background, along with a certificate as a memento.
The Saltstraumen Maelstrom is not only a natural wonder but also a testament to the immense forces of nature created by the interaction of tides and the geography of the region. It is one of the strongest tidal currents in the world and is known for its powerful and dramatic whirlpools and maelstroms. The maelstrom is primarily caused by the powerful tidal currents that flow through the narrow and rocky strait. Saltstraumen connects the Saltfjord and Skjerstadfjord to the Norwegian Sea, and the water level difference between the fjords and the sea results in strong tidal flows. The maelstrom can reach speeds of up to 22 knots (about 25 miles per hour or 40 kilometers per hour) during peak tidal conditions. This makes it one of the fastest tidal currents in the world. As the tidal currents squeeze through the narrow strait, they create intense whirlpools and eddies. These whirlpools can be several meters in diameter and are a sight to behold. The maelstrom is not just a small localized phenomenon but can extend over an area of about 3 kilometers (nearly 2 miles) in length and 150 meters (approximately 500 feet) in width.
Start your 6-day tour with an exhilarating and unique experience to visit the Saltstraumen Maelstrom by RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat). RIBs allow you to get much closer to the maelstrom as they are agile and can navigate through narrow channels and rocky areas. You can feel the power of the swirling waters up close, providing a more immersive and thrilling experience. Riding a RIB through the maelstrom's powerful currents can be an adrenaline-pumping adventure. The combination of speed and natural forces creates an exciting and memorable journey. Observing this phenomenon from a RIB allows you to appreciate the sheer force of nature.
Sailing the Helgeland Coast is not only about enjoying the journey but also about embracing the natural beauty, culture, and adventure that this region has to offer. It's an opportunity to disconnect from the urban metropolitan life and immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the Norwegian coast.
Sailing the Helgeland Coast is an unforgettable adventure that I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone seeking a unique and immersive way to explore Norway's natural wonders. This journey is a true gem, offering a perfect blend of relaxation, adventure, and natural beauty. I will cherish the memories of this voyage for a lifetime.
All multi-day tours have our 2 resident crew + up to 2 additional crew members.
Meet Your Crew
Kenneth is a world class Sea Captain with the highest international designation by SOLAS, the United Nations International Maritime Organization. As a Sea Captain, he is a licensed medic and marriage officiant. He served as a sea Captain in the Royal Norwegian Navy and since his retirement, he has continued to captain a variety of charter vessels and sailing yachts. He has sailed around the world on a 98 m sailing ship, Statsraad Lehmkuhl and in 2007, set a world record for the fastest sailing time (without engine) from Tromsø to Kristiansand in Norway. This route normally takes an average of 6-7 days and he still holds this record! Kenneth’s passion is to connect people to the ocean and the natural world. Sharing his knowledge and experiences so they can see what our beautiful planet has to offer and how important it is to take care of it. He has been the official Captain of Stella Oceana for 4 years.
Solo Stew/Deck Crew
Sachi speaks English, Japanese, Norwegian and some Spanish. On board, she cooks, serves, cleans, helps on deck, organizes activities, guides the guests on excursions and manages the catering, provisions, and interior. She ensures that guests have the very best experience from start to finish. She is passionate about the care of the natural world and has a love of the ocean. From being on the US National Team for synchronized swimming to working at scuba diving centers, Sachi is an advocate for wild animals, marine conservation, free-diving and sustainable living. She has been the official host aboard Stella Oceana in arctic Norway for 4 years.
Frequently asked questions about this tour
What if I'm vegetarian, vegan or have other dietary restrictions?
No problem. Let us know during the booking process so that the cook can prepare for your meals in advance.
Can you help arrange airport transfers?
Yes. We can reserve a taxi for your airport to harbor transfer. The cost of this transfer is not included in the tour price.
Who are the other guests?
This tour typically has well travelled people who love sailing, nature and being outdoors. Most commonly they are solo travelers or couples in their 20's to 40's.
What wildlife/animals will I see?
You never know what you might encounter in the sea, but some common wild animals that we see are harbor porpoises, otters, orca, humpback whales, seals, white-tailed eagles, puffins, migrating birds from all over the world and a variety of arctic birds.
Will I get seasick and what if I need medical attention? We can't guarantee that you won't get seasick, but most people don't experience this discomfort because the boat is so stable. However, in the small chance that you do get seasick, the crew has a lot of experience and can help you so you can enjoy your trip. Northern Norway tends to seem remote and isolated, however, we will always be sailing along the coast where help is never far away. There are local rescue ships and the Norwegian Coast Guard is always operating throughout the entire coast.
Is there a minimum number of participants for the tour?
Yes, we have a minimum viable number of 6 guests to run this tour. If the minimum number of participants is not reached within 45 days of the departure date then the tour may be cancelled or rescheduled, but in most cases, we are still able to run the tour without additional charges, and may ask for your cooperation to make modifications to your tour itinerary, but keeping the original tour start and end dates. When the number of participants is below the critical level, we will inform you 6 weeks prior to the departure date and consult you with your options, which can include additional supplements for the cabins (depending on the number of participants). If the tour is cancelled you will receive a full refund of all payments made including the deposit made at the time of booking and the remaining balance that was paid 90 days prior to the departure date. We cancel because it is both financially and ecologically unsustainable to do a cruise with too few participants. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility.
This tour hosts up to 8 individual guests for public tours or groups of up to 10 for private charters, and we welcome various tailor-made opportunities for private groups and travel agencies.