Examples of cruises

All our cruises start from the Maritime Quarter in Mariehamn, unless otherwise agreed. We can begin with a walk around the area guided by the Captain and Owner of the Nordboen, who will be your host and guide throughout your cruise. Allan Palmer has been sailing in these waters all his life and also in foreign waters on various ships, and he will be pleased to share his experiences with his guests.

Day of Maritime History
Sailing time 6 - 7 hours, total time at least 24 hours
This cruise starts with a guided tour of Åland's world famous Maritime Museum and maybe also onboard the unique museum-ship Pommern. After that we board the schooner Nordboen, set sail and cruise out through the Mariehamn archipelago westward to Eckerö. Interested guests are welcome to take part in handling sails and navigating the ship. During the day lunch and afternoon coffee will be served on board.
Late in the afternoon we anchor in the pictoresque fishing harbour of Käringsund, furl sails and row ashore to the Palmer family's boat-house. We walk through the woods up to the home of Captain Conrad Palmer (late grandfather of the owner and captain of Nordboen), where dinner will be served in the dining-room. After dinner we have coffee ‘avec’ in the sitting-room with a fire crackling in the tiled stove, before we return to the ship. If there are more guests than can be accommodated on board, some may stay and sleep in the house.
Guests may leave the Nordboen here for other activities, but they will derive more benefit from the voyage by choosing to sail for another day. We suggest some of the following options..

Lighthouses and seals
Sailing time 8-9 hours
This trip can be made only in fine weather. Starting in the morning after breakfast, we sail past legendary Signilskär out towards Märket lighthouse. Here numerous seals may be seen lying basking on rocky shoals.
We have lunch on board while sailing back past Sälskär lighthouse in among the islands to Isaksö. Here guests may leave the ship, and be transferred by land to other activities. Naturally we can also continue the adventure for another day.

Sailing in Åland’s most dramatic archipelago
9-12 hours or longer
Starting in the morning after breakfast, we sail among the outer islands past Sälskär lighthouse. With a little luck we shall see some seals, and we shall certainly see lots of birds, perhaps one of the world’s biggest and most magnificent, the whitetailed eagle.
We eat lunch on board while cruising along the lovely narrow channel past Isaksö, before proceeding out into the open sea north of Åland. Passing the wild landscape of Geta, we enter Hamnsundet, where we stop for guests to continue their journey by land, or continue to Bomarsund where we arrive in the late evening. A more relaxing alternative is to spend the night at some little island and sail to Bomarsund (see below) and back to Mariehamn the following day.

An inshore cruise to the ruins at Bomarsund
A cruise of 4 to 9 hoursr
Åland was placed on the map of the world when the Russian fortress of Bomarsund was shelled and blown up by an allied fleet of British and French ships during the Crimean War.
Our trip starts in Mariehamn; we cruise along an inshore fairway known from medieval times and probably used by the Vikings too. After some three hours we approach the ruins of the fortress from the same direction as the attacking fleet did 150 years ago. Not much remains today, but the ruins are situated in beautiful surroundings and are well worth a visit. We stay for an hour or so, maybe longer if there is anything special going on now, during the 150-year anniversary. You can then leave the ship here and go back by road, or else we can sail back to Mariehamn. Otherwise we continue out among the islands for the night. The next day we sail back to Mariehamn by the longer route through an archipelago scattered with beautiful islets and across more open stretches of water, where we should get some good sailing. The complete round trip takes about 20 to 24 hours, including the stopover for the night.

Ancient fairways and old pilot houses
Total time 5-8 hours
From Mariehamn we cruise past green, flowering islands out into more open waters. Here we sight the old pilot station at the islands of Rödhamn, the first safe haven for ships approaching from the Baltic. We can stop here, spend a couple of hours looking round, enjoy a sauna and a refreshing swim, and then head back home again.
We can also continue our sail for a few hours to Degerby, a picturesque village where small coastal sailing-ships had to call in the old days for Customs clearance. Degerby has a couple of small restaurants and a guest-house, where some of our group can stay if we are too many for all to spend the night on board ship. Otherwise we can moor for the night alongside a smooth rock at an uninhabited island. The next morning we sail back home again, or continue out into the archipelago for more adventures. There are any number of options: natural harbours, small fishing villages, and plenty of sailing.

Visit to a remote lighthouse island
Total time 11 hours
Instead of stopping at Rödhamn (see above), we continue out into the open sea to the island of Lågskär, a trip of some four hours from Mariehamn.
There is no harbour here, so we have to anchor and take the dinghy ashore. This of course can only be done when the wind and swell are favourable, but the island with its tall lighthouse is fantastic. It is also a paradise for bird-lovers.
After a couple of hours we sail back to more sheltered waters, either home to Mariehamn or to Rödhamn or some other island for the night.

Half-day cruise
If you are too busy with other activities during your stay in Åland, you can always take a four or five hour cruise just for the sailing, some good food and a relaxing, or active, time on board. Perhaps we can sail from Mariehamn’s Eastern Harbour out among the islands and into the Western Harbour, where Åland’s world-famous museum-ship Pommern lies moored below the just as famous Maritime Museum.Your Captain will be pleased to guide you round one or both of them.

These are just a few examples of what can be done. Often it is better not to make definite plans but to improvise, depending on wind, weather and guests’ special interests.
Even if the weather is windy and rainy, not nice and sunny as most people hope for, we can guarantee you an enjoyable trip that may even be more interesting than expected. ‘Bad’ weather never spoils a cruise. Our aim is to make each cruise on the Nordboen an unforgettable experience for everyone on board!

Prices for cruises on Nordboen 2008
Prices for chartering Nordboen start from 950 € excl. VAT for four hours up to 1980 € for cruises over twelve hours.They may be adjusted up and down depending upon service and any special arrangements required. We can also reduce prices by about 25% for private groups catering for themselves.
Prices include charter of the whole ship with her crew, but not food and drinks.
The food is of great importance to us so we don't have a standard menu but prefer to plan together with our guests. Sometimes we have a cook on board, sometimes we get catering from shore, sometimes the Captain makes dinner and sometimes the guests do. There are also several restaurants worth visiting on some of the islands.

Normally we charter the whole ship, but occasionally we accept individual bookings for special trips, prices around 80 € per person and day plus food.

Facts about the Nordboen