Breaking from the norm to experience a new type of superyacht destination takes guts, but according to owners who have already taken the leap, Norway is more than worth the gamble. It may have little in common with the normal Mediterranean summer hotspots, but this country, steeped in tradition, mystery and wonder seems to leave a long-standing impression.
Bruce Grossman, owner of M/Y Forever One
Bruce Grossman was encouraged to venture to Norway after the ship’s captain, Colin Skinner, received an invitation from the Scandinavian authorities. They began their trip in London in unbeatable style, getting the Tower Bridge opened up and then heading up through the Kiel Canal into Norway, Denmark and Sweden.
“I have never seen anywhere more beautiful than Norway. It might be a pain to get there but it’s so worth it. When we went, there weren’t many boats up there, we were the only big guys. We spent about three months in the region and we hit about 30 or 40 different areas. Honestly, it beat the hell out of a lot of places. Greece and Turkey now come in a tight second. Up and down the fjords, it was absolutely stunning. The water was like a mirror; in fact, I don’t think we had one wave the whole trip – not even when we came out of the Kiel Canal.
We were there from July to September and we were freezing our butts off, but we had a beautiful time. Obviously, we couldn’t touch the water but we spent maybe a whole month cruising up and down the fjords. Everything was a highlight, it’s hard to narrow it down.
The berthing spots couldn’t get any better. We were parked right in front of the towns. In a couple of them it was a little snug for a 55m boat but most were right on. You walk into these little towns and the restaurants are spectacular. The food was stunning and the people are so welcoming and kind. We went to one place where a guy makes his own cider – his son Gregorian chants to his cider every night – you don’t normally run into things like that.
We saw eagles, a few bears and reindeer, and we did a bit of fishing off the tenders. The seafood was delicious. I would go back in a New York minute!”
Lord Laidlaw, owner of M/Y Seaflower
Multiple yacht owner Lord Laidlaw was so moved by his trip to Norway last year that he has already made plans to return in a bigger boat.
“A friend of ours, who had a boat called Grace, was based up in Norway – the owner had always been raving about the place so we thought we’d better give it a go. I was absolutely enchanted by Norway despite the fact that it was the worst summer there in living memory. Endless bays, lots of pretty red and yellow houses, mountains, waterfalls, green walks to be taken in the villages. Gosh, it’s got endless attractions. We saw Grace there actually but aside from a couple of sailboats, we didn’t see another big white yacht the whole trip which was wonderful. We found it absolutely enchanting. I liked it so much that I am pencilled in to go back with my big boat and the helicopter in 2018. We did actually charter a helicopter while we were there as we don’t keep one on Seaflower – and it was spectacular. I’d advise anyone going to go for at least two weeks. There were a lot of bits that we really rather rushed through. It’s quite a long way to take your boat but once you get up there you’re in sheltered water virtually the whole way. You don’t have to worry about being exposed.”