An insider’s sailing guide to Scotland & Norway

Sailing in Norway in winter offers the chance to see the dazzling Northern Lights from a new perspective, while in summer nearly 19 out of every 24 hours are flooded with daylight, providing seemingly endless time to explore. Exceptional natural beauty awaits around every corner in Norway, and the area remains relatively untouched despite its tourist footfall. With only around five million people in the whole country and over eighty thousand miles of coastline, it’s a given that you’ll be able to sail through its many beautiful fjords in peace.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Hebrides were made for exploring by sailboat. Offering a rare chance to explore some of Britain’s most inaccessible wilderness alongside rugged mountains and glittering lochs, the magic of this area won’t be lost on you as you cruise through stunning gold-sand beaches, craggy inlets and picturesque seaside towns. Friendly locals will help to make it the trip of a lifetime. Sailing in Scotland is an adventurer’s dream.


What to expect on a luxury yacht charter in Northern Europe

As sailing destinations go, Northern Europe’s cruising ground isn’t your typical charter spot, with a cooler climate than that of the Caribbean or the Mediterranean owing to its proximity to the arctic circle. However, anyone taking a yacht charter in Northern Europe will tell you that this is one area that doesn’t need permanent sunshine to make it great. For many people, the ice and snow experienced in winter are part of Northern Europe’s mystical charm, while in summer temperatures are plenty warm enough to enjoy.

The best time to visit on a sailing yacht varies, depending on what you want to experience. March and April are the perfect time for sailing through Norway to see the Northern Lights, offering optimum conditions to spot the Aurora. However, in general, July and August are the preferred times for sailing Norway and Scotland, where average temperatures vary from a mild 13°C/55.4°F to a warm 20°C/68°F, depending on your location. During these months you can look forward to plenty of daylight, with the days getting longer the further north you go, and a low chance of rain.

Guests should experience calm waters on a yacht charter in Europe. Scotland or Norway both typically offer good cruising conditions.

Yacht charters around Northern Europe are best experienced by sailing yacht, allowing enhanced access to the peaceful fjords and tiny islets of Norway and the Scottish Hebrides, without the noise and pollution of a motor yacht. Oyster charters offer a chance to explore these rugged landscapes from an utterly luxurious base, with an attentive crew on hand to set up any excursions, answer any questions, and, of course, guide you to your next destination. Whether you’re sailing in Norway or Scotland, you’ll be treated to brilliant views out of the large Seascape windows that feature on our modern charter vessels, while contemporary, elegant interiors provide the perfect place to enjoy a cup of hot cocoa after a long day exploring.

Explore Northern Europe on one of our Oyster sailing yachts for charter, such as the beautiful Oyster 885 Firebird.

Sailing in Norway

Norway is breathtakingly beautiful, its combination of luscious yet snow-capped mountains, sparkling glaciers and scenic apple orchards offering something so different to the typical charter destination. Thrill-seekers can spend their days skiing in the Lyngen Alps of Northern Norway - one of the world’s best off-piste ski spots - on one of Firebird’s exciting Ski & Sail yacht charters, as well as glacier hiking or white-water rafting. Meanwhile, animal lovers will enjoy acquainting themselves with the seals and porpoises that pop their heads up and say hello, with a high chance of whale sightings.

With all this natural appeal it can be easy to forget that Norway is also a cosmopolitan shoreside escape in its own right. Its UNESCO-listed cities are full of culture, with museums that reflect the country’s strong Viking heritage, a thriving music and art scene and lively nightlife.

Sailing in Norway is best at two peak times of year - in March and April, when skiers will find the mountains adorned with fresh powder perfect for slicing through, and when the Northern Lights shine bright against the dark evening sky, and in July and August, when the weather warms up and endless daylight hours give the place a magical, anything-is-possible feeling. Contact the friendly and knowledgeable team to find out more about Norway yacht charters.

Sailing in Scotland

The Scottish Hebrides are a hub of undisturbed wildlife, set against an enticingly rugged and tranquil backdrop. While sailing in Scotland you may spot dolphins, seals, whales and basking sharks amongst the plethora of sea creatures. Bird watchers will also delight, with puffins, oystercatchers, fulmars and shags all native to this area. The Inner western coast offers fjord-like lochs to glide between, and with a fascinating history to explore alongside whisky distilleries for those who care to indulge in a dram or two, you’ll find yourself never wanting to leave. The Outer Hebrides is incredibly undisturbed and even in the height of summer the seas are still blissfully peaceful. Each island in this chain full to the brim with its own character, connected by an undying maritime heritage that would win over even the least enthusiastic of sailors. Enjoy a gentle passage through the sheltered east coast and experience true Hebridean culture.

The best time for sailing in Scotland is in the summer months of July and August when the weather will be at its warmest, nature will be in full bloom and there will be plenty of opportunity for spotting your favourite under- and over water-creatures. Contact our experienced and professional team to find out more about yacht charters in Scotland.

Learn more about how to charter a sailing yacht in the Northern Europe with Oyster. Discover Oyster luxury sailing yachts for charter or contact Oyster Charter Manager, Molly Marston to begin planning your trip.