Despite common belief, Norway is a great destination for yacht charter with lots of sunshine and fair weather. Especially on the eastern and northern coasts you can find some of the most beautiful fjords in the world. When you come on a sailing holiday in Norway you will encounter a very comprehensive marine infrastructure and lots of sailor-friendly ports all along its coastline.
Taking up the western half of the Scandinavian peninsula and boasting some of the most dramatic fjords and coastline in Northern Europe, Norway is undoubtedly a very scenic country and a fantastic yacht charter destination. The relief is generally mountainous and rising high above sea level. On top of that it is lush and densely forested, giving it that wild beauty tourists find so appealing.
The main attraction is a group of islands that stretches all along the western coast of the peninsula as far as to the North Cape, providing not only a huge sailing territory but also waters sheltered from the swells and winds at open sea as well as many great anchorages on your sailing holiday. One of the main ports on this part of the coast is Bergen.
The east and south coasts are much more frequented by boasts and have numerous harbors. The number of commercial marinas is small, there are private marinas and ports all over the coast where anchoring and provisioning a boat is possible and there’s also the added bonus that docking is mostly free, a thing which wil save a lot on your yacht charter budget.
Due to a long maritime history, there are also extensive repair facilities in ports such as Oslo, Stavager, Haugesund, Aesund, Stord and Bergen in the South and Harstad, Bodo and Tromso in the North. Although the South of the country is more accessible and attracts more visitors each year, the North is also very well suited for a boat rental with dryer summers, less congestion and the added benefit of extended daylight due to the proximity to the arctic circle.
Law & Order
Like other northern countries, Norway is not a member of the EU but it does however adhere to the Schengen Agreement. This allows citizens from countries in the same Agreement free travel without the need of a travel visa, no matter how long they stay. Other countries that don´t need to apply for the visa are Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Serbia, Seychelles and the United States. Yacht charterers from these countries do need a passport however.
Yachts from other countries should immediately upon arrival report to a port of entry but the rules are a little more relaxed if the boat is coming from any of the neighboring northern countries. The skipper needs to show the boat’s papers, the crew list and the passports. At least one bareboat charter crew member needs a VHF radio competence license and the skipper must provide a certificate of competence too. Customs control is performed at a quay in the main harbor and only after that will you be allowed to berth.
Firearms must be reported on entry and licensed. Also, there are strict restrictions when it comes to the quantity of alcohol and tobacco brought into the country and to fresh produce such as fruit, vegetables and dairy products. All yachts can stay for up to one year, after which the they must pay the VAT tax of 25%.