Svinøya Rorbuer has tested most of the experiences we offer to our guests. We will now give a brief description of the excursion we had with our beloved partner for RIB safaris, Lofoten Explorer. Lofoten Explorer has been taking guests to Trollfjorden by RIB since 1997 and is one of the oldest suppliers in the Lofoten Islands offering excursions by RIB. The Trollfjord and Sea Eagle Safari with Lofoten Explorer is ranked #1 on TripAdvisor for what to do when in Svolvaer, so the expectations are high.
Arrival at Lofoten Explorer
It is the month of May and the weather is partly cloudy, the temperature is 5-6 degrees Celcius and the mountain peaks are still covered in snow. We chose to walk from Svinøya Rorbuer to Lofoten Explorer's office at the quay promenade in Svolvær, it is a short walk of only 12-15 minutes by foot. From the top of the bridge connecting Svinøya to Svolvær, we stop to enjoy the amazing view, it’s a perfect spot for photography en route.
Arriving at the Lofoten Explorers office, approximately 30 minutes before departure, the company’s hosts are giving us a warm welcome. We are surrounded by excited guests of all ages and from all around the world.
All guests are being well looked after and everyone is being provided with the necessary clothing; warm floating suit, inflatable life jacket, gloves, and goggles. It is also possible to borrow woolen socks and footwear if needed. The guide states there will be several stops along the way to take beautiful photos and recommends everyone to bring their cameras. We’ve brought along a mobile phone with a decent camera that we’re hoping to take the ultimate eagle picture with, as we’ve also been informed that we are very likely to get close to the sea eagles. The guide is bringing a bucket of herring to share with the birds.
Visit to the famous Trollfjorden
The excitement rises and people’s enthusiasm is on top when we leave the harbor. Pictures are being taken with the idyllically located fisherman cabins on the right and the panorama view over Svolvær town on the left. And straight ahead, we have the majestic mountain, Fløya, and Svolværgeita. It’s a fantastic experience to sit in an open boat, feeling the wind in your face without being cold. We are experiencing some waves but these gentle movements, being so close to the natural elements and making it feel like you’re almost flying over the surface of the sea, make the whole experience more authentic.
On our way to the famous Trollfjord we are making a stop at the idyllic Rekneset. The guide positions the RIB so we can take great pictures. Crystal clear green sea, a chalky white beach, Nordland houses, the traditionally red-painted boathouses, and in the background, mountain Rulten, which rises up to 1062 meters above sea level. It’s hard not to daydream, imagining living here, living the good life.
After Rekneset we approach the famous Trollfjorden. As we’re turning left towards the fjord, an absolutely magnificent and majestic landscape opens up. Several hundred meters high smooth mountains that plunge straight into the sea and a magical series of peaks that surround the entire fjord. As our guide slows down the pace, we notice the other guests’ faces are in ecstasy. Everyone is just saying ‘WOW’. We all get our cameras ready. Although we have been to the Trollfjord many times before, it never ceases to fascinate us. Hearing the enthusiasm from the other guests, we feel proud of having the chance to experience this time and time again. By the end of Trollfjorden, we settle down by a waterfall and the guide tells us about the battle of Trollfjord. This is a battle between the fishermen and the steamboat owners that took place exactly here in Trollfjorden in 1890. We can hear the wafting from the waterfall, the snow has begun to melt, the spring is here. A visit to Gallery Gunnar Berg on Svinøya to view his painting of the battle of Trollfjord is recommended.
After a magical Trollfjord experience are we all very excited for the next highlight, will we experience the majestic sea eagle up close?
Up close with the sea eagles
Before we meet with the sea eagles, we make a short detour for a photo stop at Haversand. Another chalky white beach where mighty mountains rise straight up. We hear guests onboard comparing it to the Caribbean and we totally agree. Perhaps even more stunning if we ignore the sea temperature.
When everyone has taken their pictures we continue. The driver look up at the sky, whistles, and there, high up, we can see our first sea eagle. We are being told to have our cameras ready. More sea eagles are coming our way, circling around over the boat, looks promising for our wish to see an eagle up close.
I fumble for my phone and I’m not sure whether to take a photo or make a video recording. I notice that our guide as prepared a herring that he holds in the air whilst whistling. It’s clear that the guide and the sea eagles have a connection as the interaction between them is unique. I decided to record a slow-motion video. I’m behind the guide holding the herring. I’ve started recording, keeping the focus on the herring and the sky. The sea eagle is approaching us and in perfect coordination between the guide and the eagle, the herring is thrown 3-4 meters up above our heads. The claws of the eagle are out and what a catch of our largest bird of prey. It grabs the herring in the air right over our heads. It’s absolutely incredible, we are all utterly speechless. What a highlight of the trip! A world-class experience that is suitable for everyone.
After filling the camera roll with spectacular scenery photos and some wonderful moments with the sea eagles, we return to Svolvær harbor.
The result of the pictures taken
Back at the Lofoten Explorers office, we can hear a lot of enthusiasm in every language and we see that mobiles and cameras are checked for pictures and videos. One of the guests asks if it is not wrong to feed the sea eagle. The guide then explains that the sea eagles in our area have been used to fetch food from humans for generations because of the big fisheries in Lofoten. Fish waste is pulled out of boats all year round which sea eagles, seagulls, and other seabirds enjoy. The sea eagle population in our area is Europe's largest and still growing. The eagles are doing fine and can easily catch their own food, the guide says, and we care a lot about the eagles and have even named many of them. If it had been a threat to the eagles we would have stopped giving them herring, the guide adds.
I almost forgot, the video recording I took of the eagle, how was the result in slow motion? It was absolutely incredible! I’m surprised at my own skills. The video is shared on our Facebook page, and not to brag or anything, but at the time of writing, it has had 22 million views and has been shared 570,000 times.
We can highly recommend this excursion to our guests and we understand why this trip is #1 on TripAdvisor. Thanks a lot for the adventure, Lofoten Explorer.