Fjord Adventures has been offering small boat charters in and around the spectacular Hjorundfjord and Romsdal Mountain range of Norway for more than four years. Due to demand, the specialist operator has launched a programme of summer itineraries suitable for families, couples, singles and small groups who wish to explore areas that large cruise ships do not access.
From August 2017, Fjord Adventures will operate regular cruises between Molde and Ålesund around a glorious archipelago of islands, stopping off en route to enjoy pretty villages and scenic locations where amazing wildlife such as orca, minke whales and porpoises are often spotted.
Owner and Skipper, Sven Stewart, has long been aware of the limitations of large cruise liners so he established Fjord Adventures with his favourite boat, HMS Gåssten, an ex-naval minesweeper and one of the last wooden warships ever built, offering accommodation for just 10 guests.
Sven has lovingly converted her to sleep up to 10 guests comfortably. He comments: "Our trips allow guests to visit and explore fjords and areas where the bigger ships do not have permission or the ability to access. We offer unique and memorable holidays in one of the most unspoiled and breathtakingly beautiful areas on the planet. We cannot wait to welcome guests aboard for our unrivalled summer cruises."
Highlights of the organized six-night itineraries include eating freshly-caught seafood bought from local fishing boats that day, spotting sea eagles nesting near the ship's anchorage with the stunning panorama of the Romsdal Mountain range in the background, and taking a ride on a small landing craft to explore local communities, including picturesque Hjertoya, a traditional fishing village that has remained unchanged for centuries.
Fellow skipper Tash Wright has worked at sea for 20 years and recently sailed solo across the Atlantic. "As a skipper I have travelled the world and seen some incredible places, but I have to say that the Hjorundfjord is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular and awe-inspiring places I have experienced."
Activities abound during the voyage for those who wish to participate and range from stand-up paddle boarding, fishing, wakeboarding, snorkelling and swimming, to road/mountain biking on rugged terrain, sea kayaking, hiking in birch and pine forests, rock climbing, abseiling and canyoning. The choice is almost endless but they will all definitely work up an appetite!
Luckily, the private chef serves up a veritable feast three times each day, beginning with a plentiful buffet breakfast comprising everything from yoghurt and local berries to bacon, sausages, eggs, cereals, breads and juices.
Packed lunches are available for guests going on shore excursions, while those staying on board may enjoy the likes of locally caught fish chowder and soda bread, or freshly baked asparagus and gruyere tart.
Dinner is a hearty three-course affair which, depending on the season, may feature anything from local monkfish stuffed with anchovies, wrapped in pancetta and served with crushed new potatoes, to elk casserole with Nordic chanterelles, seasonal vegetables and creamed potatoes. Wine and beer are all included in the cost of the holiday (a definite bonus in 'expensive Norway').
Prices for the six-night Molde to Ålesund or Ålesund to Molde itineraries cost £2700 per adult and £1900 per child for an all-inclusive package including meals, refreshments, wine and beer and airport transfers on arrival and departure days. This is based on departures in August and September 2017 and May through to September in 2018. Flights are available to both Molde and Ålesund airports.
Alternatively, HMS Gåssten may be chartered privately by those who prefer to be masters of their own destiny and wish to have a hand in plotting the details of their holiday itinerary. Charter prices are available on request.
For further information www.fjordadventures.co
Did you know? The opening sequence to the BBC's Wonders of the Universe is filmed solely in the Hjorundfjord.