Norway Photo Tour: The Diverse Landscape of Lofoten, Norway

Tour Intro

Lofoten is an archipelago of Nordland, Norway. Known for dramatic mountains, peaks, open sea, sheltered bays, and beaches of untouched lands. There are sea eagles soaring through the sky, northern lights, and midnight sun. The rapidly changing weather and magnificent light conditions have inspired artists for decades.

Join this seven night Arctic adventure in the Lofoten Islands. The Lofoten Islands are located at the 68th and 69th parallels north of the Arctic Circle. This archipelago consists of seven principal islands and the area of land covers about 475 square miles, with a total of only 24,000 inhabitants. The natural beauty of this incredible landscape presents us with the possibility of exploring colorful fjords, jagged mountain peaks, unique beaches and the world renowned Arctic light. Your basecamp for the first three days will be in Reine on the island of Moskenesøya. It has been referred to as one of the most scenic villages on earth. One look outside your bedroom window, and you will understand why - incredible granite mountains rising straight out of the fjords, traditional fishermen cabins and the location just oozes of great Norwegian history.

The program will then move on to encompass two evenings in both Mortsund and Svolvaer, both beautiful fishing villages of the archipelago. Currently Lofoten gets few visitors during the Fall. Mid & late September is easily one of the best periods to visit. Fall colors are popping and the vegetation puts on a show. Access to the mountains is easier and the angle for getting good light during the golden hours are excellent. On top of that the temperatures are comfortable, so chasing the light for many hours is not going to be as cold of an experience. The magical aurora borealis is really active around the Fall equinox.

If we are blessed with starry nights and clear skies, we will be able to capture the elusive and strikingly beautiful Aurora Borealis aka Northern Lights as she dances seductively on the night skies. Speaking of weather, Lofoten is notoriously unpredictable. Conditions and light changes constantly, so please be sure to read your travel guide for what to bring.

Your accommodations will be in traditional fisherman’s cabins that have been updated for travelers who venture here. Typical cabins consist of two bedrooms in each with either ensuite or shared bath (while in Reine).

Tour Highlights

  • Eight days with accomplished photographer and tour leader Ron Rosenstock.
  • Tour limited to 11 passengers.
  • Experience the diverse landscape of Norway with fellow photographers.
  • Jagged mountains, grand vistas, colorful fjords, and soaring eagles.
  • The chance of experiencing the greatest show on earth, the Aurora Borealis aka Northern Lights.

Tour Itinerary

October 1: Leknes - Onward
Hamnoy Harbor, Lofoten Islands

Photo By: Dan Anderson

Photo Location: Norway

After breakfast this morning you will be transferred (approximately 1 hour) back to the Leknes Airport for flight home (time to be announced).  (B)

September 14: Home-Leknes
Window, Lofoten Islands

Photo By: Dan Anderson

Photo Location: Norway

Your journey to Norway begins with an overnight flight, likely connecting through Oslo, and Bodo, Norway to your final destination Leknes (arrive September 15) (LKN).

September 15-17: Leknes - Reine
Hamnoy Lofoten Islands

Photo By: Dan Anderson

Photo Location: Norway

Arrive in Leknes Airport by 2pm today, where you will be met at the airport and transferred to your accommodations in Reine (45 minute drive). The Lofoten archipelago is made up of a multitude of tiny islets - according to legend, the island chain was created by Thor, flinging fistfuls of rocks into the sea. The main population is concentrated on four main islands, all now linked by modern bridges and tunnels. Overnight three evenings Eliassen Rorbuer or Reine Rorbuer (D; BLD two days), please note lunches may be picnic style to get the most out of your photographic locations.locations.

September 18-19: Mortsund
Mortsund, Lofoten Islands

Photo By: Dan Anderson

Photo Location: Norway

Your accommodations are situated in idyllic Mortsund, a small fishing village in the heart of the Lofoten archipelago, on the island of Vestvagoy. The island of Austvagoy lies to the east; to the west are Flakstadoy and Moskensoy. This means that there is a short distance to travel for those who would like to see and experience the whole of Lofoten.

Fishing is the lifeblood of the Lofoten Islands. From late January, spawning winter cod - skrei - make their way to the islands from the Barents Sea, attracting fishermen from all along the Norwegian coast. Rorbuer are described as the original temporary homes that these visitors occupied during the three-month cod-fishing season. Nowadays, the numbers of visiting fishermen have declined. Until the mid-20th century, some 25,000 fishermen came to the islands each year; today numbers are more like a 10th of that. But the islanders themselves remain dedicated to, and dependent on, the industry. The key product is torrfisk, or stockfish - cod that has been dried out to a fifth of its original body weight and is exported, primarily to Italy, as a delicacy. The constant salty whiff of stockfish and the huge wooden drying frames that seem to cover every available square foot of level space are as integral to the Lofoten landscape as its rorbuer. Overnight Statles Rorbuer (BLD both days)

September 20-21: Svolvaer
Hamnoy Rorbuer Lofoten Islands

Photo By: Dan Anderson

Photo Location: Norway

Svolvaer is the administrative center in Nordland County, Norway. Located on the island of Austvagoya, it is one of the busiest towns in the archipelago. It is a transport hub and has long been an inspiration to many artists. You will find many artists in town, along with local galleries. Svolvaer faces the open sea to the South, and is backed by mountains immediately to the North. Overnight Svinoya Rorbuer (BLD both days)

Photo Leader

Ron Rosenstock
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Ron Rosenstock

Ron started leading photo tours in 1967. In those years he has led hundreds of tours to many destinations worldwide. Ron has retired from Clark University after teaching photography there for thirty years. He has published three books of his exquisite black and white photographs: The Light of Ireland, Hymn to the Earth, Chiostro (Cloister),and his new color book Journeys. Ron’s work has been featured in over one hundred exhibitions, both in the U.S. and abroad, and his photographs are to be found in the permanent collections of the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, the Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, Mass., The Polaroid Collection in Cambridge, Mass., and the International Center of Photography in New York City.

Ron is happy to share his vision and insights to all who travel with him. Although he now only photographs with a digital camera, his philosophy of teaching hasn't changed since the early large format film days. He firmly believes that the photograph comes from within, not from without. Meaning you can't buy creativity, however, you have to learn to recognize that creative spirit within. Ron teaches exercises that will help that creative spirit come to the surface. These may consist of: 1) Entry ways to seeing, 2) photographing in the NOW, 3) practical aspects of printing, exhibiting and getting your work out there. During the photo tour he will teach and use a digital projector several evenings. Most people who travel with Ron have a basic understanding of how the camera works, and others who know everything about the camera. He doesn't focus on technical knowledge, rather places the emphasis on a more zen approach. Ron believes it isn't necessary to know all the latest digital technique, but it is necessary to know yourself.

Please feel free to view Ron's website and e-mail regarding any questions.

 

Why do you LOVE nature photography?   by Ron Rosenstock

Let me use some of the same words, Nature photography is LOVE!  Since the very beginning of our species starting to walk upright, we have been recreating nature in various art forms, from cave paintings to digital photography. Technology has changed, but what is most important, hasn’t. The worlds greatest artists have received their inspiration from nature. We are as much a part of nature as nature is a part of us.  For those of us that take the time to smell the flowers, it’s so much more.  Poets but their feelings into words, painters paint and we photograph.  Each image we make is showing us on a deeper level, who we really are. “Listen, my heart, to the whispering of the world.  That is how it makes love to you”  Tagore.

Icebergs remind of Buddhist sand mandalas. Fleeting moments of incredible inspiration.  As our planet warms, there are more and more tremendous icebergs floating by the coast of Greenland, and on to warmer waters only to become part of the ocean once again.

In my humble opinion this was a well run trip that delivered just what it promised.  The pacing worked perfectly for me.  I liked stopping at lots of different locales.  We seldom stayed anywhere that was too short or too long for me.  Can’t think of anything that would have improved the trip for me. I give the trip and Ron Rosenstock a 10 out of 10.
 

E. Clark

Pricing and Details

US Dollars based upon minimum of 7 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $200 if 5-6 paying participants. All our program prices are based on double occupancy unless noted in exceptions.

Single rooms are subject to availability. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested, or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, you will be required to pay the supplement.

Testimonials

Your talk on photography and the spirituality of photography was a great revelation for me as I have always felt this way about it myself. Your talk was the affirmation I had been searching for. It was great beyond words to be participating with a group of Artists who were as passionate as I about photography and image making.

M. McLaughlin

Terms and Conditions

Unless otherwise noted, this information applies to all tours.

Airfare

Contact Strabo Tours if you would like rates on International Airfare. Please note on your trip application form if you would like us to assist you with your airfare needs, a charge is added for this service. If making your own arrangements, it is important to discuss flight times with Strabo Tours before booking any airline tickets. This will avoid you having to pay airline cancellation penalties. Please contact Strabo Tours for destination airfare estimates, specific flight time arrivals, and departures.

The land cost includes:
  • Group transportation for tour events in the tour van.
  • Accommodations based on two people sharing a room, singles are assigned on a first come, first served basis.
  • Services of driver, English speaking cultural guide (if applicable) and photographic leader, during the tour.
  • Meals as listed in itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner).
  • Park entrance fees, day tours and excursions as shown in the itinerary.
  • Extensive pre-departure information and services.
The land cost does not include:

Domestic or International air fare; other airfare if noted in exceptions; air fare tax; airport departure tax; airport transfers; additional transfers or accommodations that may be required by those not traveling with the group; excess baggage charges; meals not included in itinerary; activities taken on your own; passport/visa expenses; personal medical or travel insurance; any expenses of a personal nature, such as room service, laundry, beverages not included with meals, medical expenses, photographic equipment, any activities not specified in tour itinerary or listed as optional, or any items not listed in what is included; fuel surcharges; exchange rate surcharges; upon the completion of your trip, modest gratuities to the local guides and the drivers are customary; tips for meals not included in itinerary.

Fitness and Health

The majority of trips are not strenuous (see exceptions below for particular destinations) and anyone who is reasonably fit should be able to take part in most of the activities. You may experience general fatigue due to the long flights and the change in time zones. You will need to be sufficiently agile to climb in and out of the tour van and be able to carry and manage your own equipment. We will frequently hike trails ranging from easy to moderate. Some hotels do not have elevators or air conditioners.

If you have any special needs or any physical condition that you feel might prevent you from fully participating, please contact Strabo Tours with your concerns (607-756-8676).

You should also be aware that medical services or facilities might not be readily available during all or part of your trip. This could include emergency medical care, presence of physicians, or adequate medication.

Exceptions:

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

Deposits, Cancellations AND Refunds

A deposit of $750 ($500 on domestic tours) per person is required. Specific tours may require an additional deposit due to accommodation bookings or transportation requirements. If applicable these will be noted on your invoice. Payment in full is required when bookings are made less than 120 days before the departure date. Space is subject to cancellation by Strabo if payment is not received when due.

If a passenger wishes to cancel they must send notification in writing to: Strabo International Tour, Co., P.O. Box 580, Dryden, NY 13053; fax 208-545-4119. At the time we receive your notification, the following per person charges apply:

  • 91 days or more before departure: $300 cancellation fee ($150 fee on domestic tours), plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation.
  • 61-90 days before departure: $500 ($250 on domestic tours) minimum cancellation fee, plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation. Fees may range from 25% to 100% of tour costs.
  • 60 days or less before departure or anytime after departure: NO REFUND.

Refunds for services that are voluntarily not used by you cannot be made.

Insurance

Each participant must be covered by medical insurance that is valid overseas.

We strongly urge you to evaluate your risk and to take out insurance on your trip. It is vital for you to realize that if you experience a delay or find it necessary to cancel or cut short your trip for any reason, you will lose part or the entire sum you’ve invested in it (see the section “Deposits, Cancellations and Refunds” in the trip brochure).

Travel insurance helps to minimize the risk of monetary losses you would incur in the event of a delay of your departure due to weather, airline strike, missed connection, etc., your inability to travel for reasons such as illness, injury, unforeseen financial complications and other personal circumstances, or if you were required to cut your trip short for medical or any other reasons.

There are restrictions and limitations on any insurance program. For this reason, please read carefully the enclosed pamphlet, which outlines their program of trip cancellation, baggage, and medical insurance. Trained agents are available to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to call the toll free number in their brochure. It is to your advantage to apply for insurance at the earliest possible time, so don’t delay in making a decision.

Subject to Change

Itineraries have been carefully constructed to assure participants the best each destination has to offer; however, should events arise that are beyond our control, activities and hotel arrangements are subject to change without notice. The itineraries summarize typical areas you will explore. Since there is no possible way to visit all of them, your guides will plan each day considering the interests of the group and the weather at hand. Be assured that we will make substitutions that are as similar in quality and interest as possible.

Photo Release

Strabo International Tour Company, Inc. reserves the right and permission to use photographs of individuals on tour for use in promotional and publicity purposes. We also reserve the right to use clients photographs for promotional and publicity purposes, when submitted to Strabo International Tour Company, Inc.

Accommodations

Your accommodations will be in traditional fisherman’s cabins that have been updated for travelers who venture here. Typical cabins consist of two bedrooms in each with either ensuite or shared bath (while in Reine).

There will be moderate walks, those wishing to hike further should be in good physical condition. Terrain may be uneven, wet, or frozen. While hotels selected are the best available, accommodations are basic with either en-suite rooms or two bedrooms sharing a bath.

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