Northern Lights sailing cruise in Norway

“Search for king crabs and salmon against an endless horizon before anchoring for scenery, soup and sauna as Northern Lights blaze overhead.”


Norwegian Scenic Route Varanger | Vadsø | Kirkenes | Vardø | Hamningberg | Russian border | king crabs and fishing | salmon spawning in deep pools | Northern Lights | Sami culture and reindeer herds | scenic anchorages | comfortable conditions on-board a ship with central heating and sauna |

Description of Northern Lights sailing cruise in Norway

The chance to see the Northern Lights in Norway is a phenomenal experience, not to be missed, however, when combined with anchoring in hidden coves, the King Crab catch, fishing, easy hikes and an unsurpassed horizon, holidays in Norway totally come into their own.

The stunning natural light display of the Aurora Borealis has captured the imaginations of travellers and sailors down through the centuries and the Varanger area in Finnmark is maybe one of Norway’s best kept secrets as far as tourism is concerned.

Scenery is unlike anything else that you'll experience in Norway with wide open and barren landscapes balanced by undulating oceans and rolling hillsides. From the vast Varangerfjord to Varangerhalvøya National Park, this region provides an incredible array of natural highlights, against a never ending horizon, to place lovers of the natural world in their absolute element.

Artists have long appreciated Finnmark's wide open and wild spaces where wildlife, waves and traditional Sami culture collide in an infinite series of uniquely inspirational and thought-provoking scenes.

Sustainable King Crab fishing, which we invite you to take part in, is not only spectacular, it is also a precursor to an amazing and tasty meal. The King Crab from the Varangerfjord is being exported world wide - and it is not cheap. The amount of King Crab you will enjoy would normally cost nearly as much as your flights, especially if you ordered in a restaurant in Japan.

If you add the historical sites, up to 10000 years old - and seaside villages as well as the possibility of Atlantic salmon playing and spawning in deep pools, the Northern Lights twisting and turning overhead and maybe even whale watching - well, then you're in for a real treat, one that you'll never forget.

So - if you are looking for a real exotic arctic adventure off the beaten track - do not hesitate!

And for your information: The Northern Lights are always in the sky. To see them we need it to be dark and as few clouds as possible.

Please note: Our Northern Lights, King Crab and outdoor trips are date and departure specific. This is not a year round activity.

Also, in the reviews published on this page many of our guests mention whales. These reviews are based on their experiences with us while taking part in our Northern Lights and whale watching trips. This new trip we are building - with the Northern Lights, King Crab catch and a wider range of things to do and see - combined with the same friendly and comfortable on-board services that we've built our reputation on, will add a new dimension to our trip-program. And do keep in mind: The Varanger area is completely different from anything else in Norway.

Day-by-day experiences

Day 1:Embarkation in Kirkenes. Weather permitting sailing to Grense Jakobselv/Russian border. Anchorage and Northern Lights watch.
Day 2:Sailing to the next anchorage. Afternoon hike. Anchorage and Northern Lights watch.
Day 3:Sailing to Varangerbotn. Visit to the Varanger Sami museum (the Sami are the indigenous people of Norway) in Varangerbotn. Sailing to Vadsø. Docking by our pontoon. Late evening hike and Northern Lights watch.
Day 4:King Crab safari and fishing with the museum vessel M/K Kjartan of Vadsø. We prepare the catch on the Goxsheim.
Day 5:Day trip by bus to Hamningberg, Vardø (visit to the Vardøhus fortress, Steilneset Memorial raised in memory of those persecuted in the seventeenth-century Finnmark Witchcraft Trials), coastal villages and more. We end the day at our cottage in Skallev with steaming hot reindeer stew served in our lavvu (sami tent). Northern Lights watch. Return to Vadsø and Goxsheim.
Day 6:Disembarkation

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

01273 823 700 Calling from outside the UK?


Check dates

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Responsible tourism

Northern Lights sailing cruise in Norway

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.


Our primary aim on the Northern Lights and Whale watching trips is to give our guests an impression of "the not so very often seen" part of northern Norway – wildlife, fisheries, "abandoned" places, the magnificent landscape of the Kvaløya area and it’s people. All our voyages are made in understanding with our cultural, social and ecological surroundings. By this we mean that we shall move like a shadow through the waters. When we have left, no one shall ever see that we were there. When the wake is gone - so are we. If the wind is with us, we'll set the sails to avoid using fossil fuel an by that reducing carbon emissions. A clean an quiet voyage. The whales? Well - we'll keep a good distance and move slowly. So that they can enjoy their herring meals peacefully and quiet. If we experience that they have had enough of us, we'll slowly move to our next anchorage. For OUR dinner in a warm and friendly atmosphere.


Our main dishes will basically be from fish and game (reindeer), which means that we will support local fishermen and the saami people of the North. All our other food – naturally – has to be bought in the local stores we will pass on our way. Our voyages are not actively guided voyages. We want our guests to be the curious, adventurous and an active part. We are only there to make you feel well and responsible. The area we sail is densely populated an the villages are few. If we should happen to have a night stop in one of these, there will be a fair chance for our guests to experience local fishing related activities, chat with the local fishermen, many of them alone in smaller boats (30-40 foot) working the sea during all seasons and in all kinds of weather. The gladiators of the sea! And an important part of the North Norwegian environment.

33 Reviews of Northern Lights sailing cruise in Norway

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 26 Nov 2019 by

The trip didn’t disappoint in the number of orcas and humpbacks that were seen. Read full review

Reviewed on 01 Dec 2018 by

Most memorable? - Seeing over 100 orcas swimming freely around the boat. What a truly breath taking experience... Amazing. I can't recommend this trip highly enough. Charles and his crew are fantastic. Read full review

Reviewed on 25 Nov 2018 by

Most memorable parts of the holiday were... the frequent encounters with both Humpback and Orca each day. Read full review

Reviewed on 16 Nov 2018 by

The trip on the boat Goxheim with Charles Wara was absolutely amazing. The boat, food etc was really great. The scenery and wildlife amazing! Way beyond my expectations Read full review

Reviewed on 02 Nov 2018 by

This was a wonderful remote area experience that gave time to soak in the "place" and to experience people living within the local climate. Socially it was also a great experience with like-minded people... Read full review

Reviewed on 20 Oct 2018 by

It was a terrific blend of sights and experiences on and off the boat. Charles is an outstanding captain, a fine host, an excellent chef, and an able tour guide. We got to know many aspects of Norwegian life quickly, and in depth. We were lucky enough to spot the Lights three nights in a row. Terrific trip! Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Dec 2017 by

Excellent food and excellent company. Charles really knew his stuff. Read full review

Reviewed on 03 Dec 2017 by

The scenery was breath taking. Sun rises and moon-sets which I have never seen before. The sunlight, being at 69 or 70N was special and almost spectral and the colours were incomparable. Read full review

Reviewed on 26 Nov 2017 by

The spectacular scenery. The peacefulness once moored up for the night. In the morning going up on deck and seeing clear blue skies, beautiful colours of the sunrise across the still waters. Read full review

Reviewed on 19 Nov 2017 by

Being with a group of like minded people who shared all the excitement of seeing both Humpback and Orca in their own environment was my highlight. This truly was an amazing adventure never to be forgotten. Read full review

Reviewed on 19 Nov 2017 by

Seeing the whales in their natural environment, with very few other boats and people around. At one point we were the only my boat around a pod of Orca. Meeting like minded people and sharing the experience. Read full review

Reviewed on 05 Nov 2017 by

Seeing the Northern Lights and the whales was the most memorable. Read full review

Reviewed on 03 Nov 2017 by

Seeing a pod of orcas close up and following them for a couple of hours as they swam from the fjord out to sea. Also I think the scenery is a real highlight, much more beautiful than I expected. The heavy snow made the environment look spectacular. Read full review

Reviewed on 15 Dec 2017 by

Seeing the humpbacks, orcas, beautiful snowy scenery and the Northern Lights was the most memorable. Read full review

Reviewed on 16 Nov 2017 by

A large pod of humpbacks swam alongside our boat, and one breached! We could hear their breathing and watch their backs curve into the famous hump before they flipped their tail and disappeared below for another mouthful of herring... Read full review

Reviewed on 25 Nov 2016 by

This holiday was perfect - exactly what was needed! It blows the cobwebs away from normal life, gives you the peace and time to watch the world go by, fantastic food and is the perfect opportunity to see nature at its most incredible. A very positive life experience! Read full review

Reviewed on 03 Nov 2016 by

From meeting the captain and crew, seeing orca, humpback and the northern lights on the first day. We cannot pick out 1 memorable experience, it was all excellent Read full review

Reviewed on 09 Feb 2016 by

A wonderful time. One of our best, most memorable holidays. Not a single negative comment. Read full review

Reviewed on 01 Dec 2016 by

This trip was so full of great experiences it is not possible to pick just one thing. We were blessed with good weather and two good nights of Aurora borealis - breathtaking! To be part of a small group on board a vessel staying out with the whales made it much more involving... A great experience for anyone whose priority is to get close to the wildlife and enjoy the wonderful landscape. Read full review

Reviewed on 21 Nov 2016 by

Seeing a large number of orcas and some humpbacks feeding on herring - a fantastic sight was a memorable sight... A great experience to be able to see so many whales feeding and also lots of white tailed eagles. We were also lucky enough to see the Northern Lights. Read full review

Reviewed on 20 Nov 2016 by

Seeing hump back whales, eagles and the Northern Lights (and fainting herring) was the most memorable part...We loved our time in Tromso Read full review

Reviewed on 15 Nov 2016 by

Most memorable was being in the midst of a feeding frenzy with orcas bringing herring to the surface for gulls, golden and white-tailed eagles to compete for...We have fantastic memories...It definitely had the Wow factor. Read full review

Reviewed on 10 Nov 2016 by

What a fantastic trip, a beautiful, quirky boat, complete with a wood-burning stove...I have lived out my childhood dream! Orcas, humpbacks, golden eagles and the Northern Lights! Read full review

Reviewed on 11 Feb 2016 by

It was an amazing experience. I enjoyed it. Thanks. Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Feb 2016 by

A special experience - would love to do it again. Read full review

Reviewed on 03 Feb 2016 by

Watching humpback whales and orcas hunting herring in their natural habitat was just awesome! Read full review

Reviewed on 30 Nov 2015 by

Brilliant, amazing, would do it again at the drop of a hat. So very different from sun and beach, and very educational along the way. Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Dec 2015 by

Spending whole days watching whales and orcas was absolutely amazing. No other whale watching trip can compare. Read full review

Reviewed on 06 Dec 2015 by

Finding ourselves in the middle of a feeding frenzy - herrings, seagulls, orcas and humpbacks, on all sides of and under our boat. True nature in the raw. The sight of humpbacks breaching is breath-taking, the orcas stunningly beautiful and the cacophony of the birds and breathing of the whales exhilarating. Read full review

Reviewed on 23 Nov 2015 by

Excellent: exceeded my expectations by far. Can't recommend it highly enough. Read full review

Reviewed on 30 Jan 2015 by

A wonderful experience which I would not miss for the world. Read full review

Reviewed on 29 Jan 2015 by

I loved the holiday. Whale watching has been something I've always wanted to do and this trip felt very 'exclusive' and personalised. As a single traveller (one of three) it was also easy to fit in as a passenger on the boat. Would thoroughly recommend it. Read full review

Reviewed on 04 Dec 2014 by

The scenery was breath taking during the day and the stars/Northern Lights were beautiful at night time. Read full review

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