Photo Tour of Lofoten Islands, Norway

Tour Intro

with Photo Tour Leader Kathy Adams Clark

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.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.

 

Tour Highlights

• Eight days with accomplished photographer and tour leader Kathy Adams Clark.
• 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

September 22: Home

Your journey to Norway begins with an overnight flight, likely connecting through Oslo, and Bodo, Norway to your final destination Leknes (arrive September 23) (LKN).

September 23-25: Leknes-Reine

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.

September 26-27: 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 28-29: Svolvaer
Sakrisy, 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)

September 30: Leknes - Home
Svolver Sunset, Lofoten Islands

Photo By: Dan Anderson

Photo Location: Norway

September 30  Leknes - Home
After breakfast this morning you will be transferred (approximately 1 hour) back to the Leknes Airport for flight home (time to be announced).  (B)

Photo Leader

Kathy Adams Clark
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Kathy Adams Clark

Kathy Adams Clark is a professional nature photographer and owner of a stock agency representing thirteen photographers. Her work has been published in a variety of national and regional publications including National Geographic Books, The New York Times, and Sierra. Kathy teaches over fifty photography workshops and classes each year. Her work may be viewed weekly in the Houston Chronicle's “Wonders of Nature” column, written by her husband, Gary.

Kathy enjoys traveling with people new to photography as well as with folks with advanced skills. She has an ability to explain complicated photographic terms in easy-to-understand language. She likes to teach those hungry for new information but also understands that photography can be a solitary task. Each person traveling with Kathy is treated as an individual, but the group always has fun.

Kathy is an accomplished naturalist as well as a photographer, skilled in 35mm film and digital cameras. She is very passionate about nature, birdlife, and wildlife. Gary Clark who is an acclaimed naturalist guide in his own right will co-lead some trips each year with her.

A lifelong naturalist, Gary Clark has studied birds, mammals, and butterflies in North, Central, and South America and in East Africa.  He is an award winning professional writer whose column “Nature” appears weekly in the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express News.  He has authored feature articles in state and national magazines and has written six books that include photographs from his wife, Kathy.  He frequently conducts birding workshops and leads birding tours.  He is founder of the Piney Woods Wildlife Society of Texas, former president of the Houston Audubon Society, and former vice-president of the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory.  Gary is a full professor at Lone Star College.

Because of both Kathy & Gary's love of nature, and the work they do, Strabo Tours is proud to make a donation to the Houston Audubon Society for each trip they take part in.

This was the trip of a lifetime for me. I was challenging myself to learn all sorts of new things, photography, a new culture, and was immersed in it. It surpassed my expectations and I met so many beautiful souls along the way. Kathy was fantastic, I give her a 10++!!!

D. Whitney

Pricing and Details

US Dollars based upon minimum of 7 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $200 if 4-6 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.

Additional Notes

FITNESS AND HEALTH
The trip is not strenuous 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 should be able to carry and manage your own equipment. We will frequently hike trails ranging from easy to moderate.

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).

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. 

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