Norway is famous for its spellbinding panoramas and natural beauty, named by National Geographic Traveler as the world's most unspoiled destination while the Western Fjords feature prominently in UNESCO's World Heritage List. Even so, chartering a yacht in Norway is not for everyone, but a growing appetite for novelty is attracting the more intrepid traveller to venture north to see what Norway has to offer.
Norway typically conjurs images of snow-covered mountains where everyone gets around on skis but, in reality, Norway is blessed with marked seasons and a mixture of weather. If you visit from mid-May to late-August you might be surprised at just how green and sunny it can be.
It's true that chartering in Norway is not for everyone and for many years only the more intrepid travellers in the superyacht fraternity have ventured north to see what Norway has to offer.
But Norway is opening up as a superyacht destination, coinciding with a growing appetite for novelty and adventure. The fjord region in particular offers a very different cruising experience, and something quite different from the more familiar cruising grounds of the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.
Image: Sverre Hjornevik - visitnorway.com
This is a kingdom of fjords, steep mountains, waterfalls and crystal glaciers. It is also blessed with calm waters and boasts all the modern facilities you'd expect in order to welcome superyachts to the region.
To promote Norway as a superyacht destination and make it more accessible in the minds of owners, charter guests, captains and crew, several Norwegian businesses came together to create Superyacht Norway to attract more superyachts to the region.
The result is Superyacht Norway, a not-for profit marketing organization established in March 2014 following two years of market research into the feasibility of superyacht tourism in Norway.
Image: MY Savannah - courtesy of Feadship
We promote Norway as a superyacht destination and offer assistance to owners, captains and charter companies in planning cruises to Norway, Svalbard and the fjords along the western coast, initially free of charge to encourage yachts to explore the area.
The feedback from visiting superyachts has been extremely positive. We've also organized regular discovery trips for charter brokers and media who are invariably impressed with the scenery as well as the support services available for visiting yachts.
Image: CH - visitnorway.com
OnboardOnline's Milly Thomas was a guest of Superyacht Norway back in 2015 together with several charter brokers from OCEAN Independence and Camper & Nicholsons and here's an extract from her personal account:
"Flying into Bergen on the Norwegian coastline, the first thing you notice is the archipelago of small islands leading you into the city, a maze of anchorages and peaceful bays to explore and enjoy.
Some of these host small villages which have been home to fishermen and seafarers for centuries. In recent years some of these islands have been connected to the mainland by bridges, although many still rely on ferries to deliver people from place to place, so the locals have a special relationship with the sea and a strong sense of heritage.
The western fjordland of Norway is a place of incredible beauty and diversity. The landscape varies, at times imposing, grandiose and intimidating, changing with a turn in the road to reveal a softer side of lakes, wildflowers, orchards and grazing animals.
Image: Jan Aril Sivertsen
The Norwegian people have learned over the centuries to live and profit from this sometimes harsh and unforgiving environment with its extremely cold winters. Harnessing the abundance of water that surrounds them, Norway relies almost solely on renewable energy, mainly from hydropower plants, despite the large oil reserves stretching up the 8,000 kilometers of coastline.
Norway as a destination for superyachts will not be for everyone. There are no beach restaurants, nightclubs, designer boutiques or jet skis, and the weather is not the same as in Miami or the Med but, this is part of the attraction.
For charter guests or yacht owners looking for a new adventure, to venture into nature to hike, canoe, ski, hunt and fish, or just to experience the peace and tranquility of the fjords, then Norway is Nirvana."
You can read the full story here: Discover Norway: Bergen & Beyond
For more information on the many attractions for superyachts visiting Norway, please visit Superyacht Norway and watch our teaser video below: