Photography Sailing Expedition in Arctic Norway

Explore the majestic Lofoten Islands while sailing on a 47ft yacht - 8 days

Now in its fifth edition, our sailing and photography expedition to the Norwegian Arctic islands of Lofoten is a rare chance to photograph pristine coastal locations which are inaccessible to others. To us, sailing rather than driving is the most logical way to fully experience and explore these beautiful mountainous islands. Between us, the team members here at Vertical Shot Expeditions have undertaken more than twenty journeys to Lofoten during the past decade – so we can certainly say that this stunning mountainous archipelago, with its islands rising straight from the sea, is our second home.

Dates:  25 August - 01 September 2017

Group:  max 6 participants + crew

Accommodation: sailing yacht - 7 nights

Price: $3570 per person

Deposit: $1200

A short time-lapse film shot on our 2016 Lofoten sailing expedition.

This small-group expedition (with a maximum of six participants) will use a very comfortable 47ft (14m) yacht built in 2012. The group will be led by the legendary American outdoor photographer Michael Clark. The adventure starts in Svolvaer, the capital of the Lofoten Islands, and follows the coastline of the awe-inspiring mountainous islands, wild fjords and passages.

This sailing adventure is suitable for people without any previous sailing experience. However, participants should be adventurous by nature and ready to endure long days. This expedition is about chasing great light and experiencing places that most people never get to see. Whilst this is an expedition designed for photographers (rather than a photography workshop), you will still get loads of hands-on one-to-one tuition in the field from our tutor Michael Clark.

Sailing presents us with plenty of opportunities to take photographs from unusual viewpoints and to reach wild locations only accessible by sea. In addition to the yacht, we will use an inflatable boat with an outboard engine. This will enable us to land at pristine beaches and explore our surroundings on foot. There will be a good chance that we will be able to observe whales and orca as well as dolphins and seals. White-tailed eagles hunting for rabbits and fish will also frequently keep us company. On our previous sailing expeditions in Lofoten at this time of the year, we have experienced magical displays of Aurora Borealis lasting for hours.

Here is a selection of videos shot on our Lofoten Islands photography expeditions:

Photography tutor:

Michael Clark

Our expedition leader will be the American outdoor photographer Michael Clark. Michael has been on assignments to some of the remotest locations on Earth, and his images are widely published in magazines and newspapers such as National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, The New York Times, Outdoor Photographer and Outside. His work is also regularly used by commercial clients such as Nikon, Apple, Red Bull, Microsoft and Patagonia, among many others. Michael is among the very few photographers chosen to photograph the prestigious Patagonian Expedition Race. You can learn more about his work on our team page.

 

Skipper:

Dominik Bac

Dominik Bac

Those of you who know about sailing (or want to learn the ropes) will have the opportunity to assist our extremely experienced skipper Dominik Bac, who has sailed though the notorious Northwest Passage, around both Americas, down to Antarctica and to numerous other shores around the globe. Dominik is heavily involved in many of our operations and is one of the pioneers of photography expeditions. You can learn more about him on our team page.

 

 

So, are you ready for a real photographic adventure – one that will stay on your mind for a long time? The crew and a maximum of six photographers will enjoy the long Arctic days, amazing wildlife and breathtaking landscapes (and maybe even some Aurora Borealis), all while sailing on a state-of-the-art yacht. Most of the basic details about this expedition are listed below, but please feel welcome to get in touch with us via the contact form if you have any questions.

One of the most enjoyable trips I’ve ever had, with an enormous amount of expert knowledge of sailing, photography and the area on offer. The encyclopedic knowledge of Lofoten offered by the crew allowed to find some truly unique shots and the coaching made sure I made the most of the opportunities. Have recommended this trip to friends, as it really was a brilliant experience.
— Charlie Bilsland (UK), 2014
Lofoten Islands Sailing Photography Expedition Workshop

A typical day on the yacht:

Each day, we will be photographing at the best times of the day – either exploring wild beaches and mountains on foot or shooting from the deck. Our choices will depend on the terrain, the weather and the wildlife.

We will be sailing into narrow fjords and getting close to bird rocks and waterfalls. On some evenings, we will simply sail towards the sun under full sail with the mountains as a background – it's an experience which is second-to-none. At night, we will keep an eye on the sky for the Northern Lights. 

The master plan is to sail for several hours each day from one location to another and to spend the nights in small marinas and sheltered wild bays, ensuring we get a good night's sleep. As with most expeditions, everyone will share the daily chores of cooking in the galley and keeping the boat tidy – although with several pairs of hands on board, these jobs will get done quickly and while having fun.

None of the days will be alike. However, our aim is unshakeable: to experience as much of the amazing Arctic nature as we can and go home with unforgettable memories and images.

Included

  • One-to-one and group guidance by Michael Clark.

  • The services of an experienced skipper.

  • A single berth in a two-berth cabin (we also have two double-bed cabins for any couples on the trip – otherwise, the crew will use these).

  • Use of VHF handheld marine radios for communication between parties onshore and the crew.

  • Bedlinen, blankets and towel will be provided. No need to bring a sleeping bag.

Excluded:

  • Food supplies, diesel and harbour fees. We have a ship's bank to cover the expenses which are hard to predict (as each expedition and group is different in terms of food intake, preferences, etc.), and everyone deposits his/her share – approx. $320 per person in total. If we end up spending less, you will receive back your respective share of the remaining amount. The reason for this practice is very simple – we would not like to overcharge you for commodities.

  • Alcoholic drinks.

  • Transportation to/from Svolvaer.


Fitness level:

Average

You will need to carry your own photographic equipment, a spare jacket and some food. Our hikes will last for up to four or five hours, but with lots of stops for photography and breakfast on the go. The terrain will be uneven and often steep, but no rock climbing or glacier walking will be undertaken.

About the yacht:

As noted above, we will sail on a comfortable 47ft (14m) yacht. It was built by the renowned Delphia shipyard in 2012 and is fully equipped for sailing in Arctic conditions. The yacht has six single berths and two queen-size beds (either for the crew or for couples) in five cabins – so there will be two people per cabin.

The yacht has 112 square metres of sails, a reliable heating and hot water system (with 760l water tanks), a power generator, three WCs/showers, a kitchen and a large saloon with TV, stereo system and radio. The yacht is also equipped with all the safety equipment needed, including radar, autopilot, large liferaft, lifejackets, satellite SAR beacon, powerful 75 hp outboard engine, and inflatable dinghy boat (also with an outboard engine) for getting to the shore.

Link to images and more info about the yacht.

Getting there and back:

Svolvaer, the Lotofen Islands' capital, is a well-connected small town, and getting there is relatively easy - you can fly to Svolvaer from London or Franfurt in under six hours. The three main airports in the area are:

A map of the airports in the area - link 

From April 2017 the local airline Wideroe is expected to start operating direct flights from Oslo to Svolvaer. We will be happy to help you should you need any assistance with finding the most suitable flights.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.

Testimonials:

The Lofoten Islands have been an obsession of mine for more than a decade. But thus far, I had only seen the views in which my feet could take me. So when I heard about Vlad putting together a sailing expedition around the islands, I made an immediate booking.

I thought I had seen everything while standing atop mountains and staring across the sea. That was until I was sitting on that calm sea, sailing into the sunset and looking up towards those familiar peaks. We traveled to places that I’ve dreamed of visiting for years, yet never had a way of getting to.

Our days were filled with new friends and the rhythm of the sea. Our nights with campfires and northern lights.

I look forward to sailing the islands again one day!
— Cody Duncan
The Lofoten expedition was hands down an experience of a lifetime. It allowed us to access so many remarkable locations which would otherwise take many months to reach by hiking and traveling around. On top of that, traveling by boat allowed us to travel very comfortably and at our own pace, to benefit from the great maritime infrastructure of Arctic Norway and to know that there’s always a hot teapot around for the pauses between the shooting sessions from the deck.

Vlad, Dominik and Wojciech swiftly introduced the trip, guided us through the sea of options and made us feel at home so that we felt like a proper crew after a day or so of getting used to the boat.

The crew was very diverse in terms of photography and outdoors background. The team did a tremendous job in building the right dynamics, taking the necessary time and making sure that everyone got the most out of the trip. I truly believe that great experiences happen organically given the right people, at a special place and time: choosing an adventure with Vertical Shot Expeditions automatically checks the first ingredient while the others are quickly taken care of!
— Georgi Kirov

Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom of the page. Now … are you ready to book your space for a truly memorable photography adventure in Arctic Norway and come on board?

 

 

Ask us anything: