With road transport becoming more sophisticated, bringing much of the continent within reach, there has never been a better time to relocate your boat and expand your horizons
Grandeur of Norway
Norway sounds faraway, and for motor boats, it is. The 300-mile haul across the North Sea is rarely a bundle of laughs, and Viking, Forties and the Utsires are lonely areas even in fine weather. These exposed northern crossings are for long-ranging boats like Nordhavns or Flemings, and largish ones at that, though the rewards of such voyaging are considerable.
The long west coast is the cruising star of this sparsely populated country, and for most of its length you can make comfortable passages inside sheltering layers of skerries and islands – the skjærgård which stretches over 800 miles from Stavanger to the North Cape.
The good news for owners of moderate-sized boats is that low-loaders can transport you from almost anywhere in the UK to Immingham docks, where freight ferries shuttle across the North Sea to Brevik, a commercial port 20 miles west of Oslo Fjord. You then have various options, but my first choice would be Stavanger, a stylish west-coast city on the south shore of Stavanger Bay.
This marvellous expanse of sheltered water is peppered with islands and attractive yacht harbours. Enticing rias lead in all directions and Lysefjord cuts inland through a breathtaking ravine, its mountainsides rising to 900m.
Stavanger has cruising potential for many relaxed seasons, with efficient boatyards for wintering safely. It is also a strategic base for exploring Norway’s sensational west coast, following channels inside the skjærgård. For reasonably low boats, an alternative to Stavanger is transporting to a marina in Oslo Fjord, a magnificent inlet with anchorages galore.
Moving your boat to Norway
Brevik ferry port is useful for trucking to some interesting parts of Norway’s long coastline, though you could keep life simple and unload your boat here. From Stathelle Marina, you can hop round into Oslo Fjord, or maybe head west along the delightful south coast.
However, a road delivery to Stavanger is no problem if your boat isn’t too high and this is certainly the best starting point for a west-coast cruise. Trucking to Oslo is limited by low bridges.