Nordlys (no engine) Possibly the worlds oldest cargo ship (1873)

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logbook and position

Logbook and Position

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As part of the Fairtransport Revolution, she is powered only by the wind through her sails.

Nordlys sails without an engine and is possibly the worlds oldest cargo ship (1873) still working. Nordlys operates in the European coastal trade. Originally built as a fishing trawler, she has been refitted and is able to carry a maximum of 30 tons of wine, olive oil, cider or other goods.

Artist impressions


Nordlys specifications

Logbook Nordlys

Latest news and stories

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Sailing cargo schedules

Position of Nordlys


European Route

Nordlys’ Route will take her around Europe. She will travel from Norway to Portugal, from France to England, Scotland and Germany. Take regular cargoes of local organic Wine, Stockfish, Olve Oil, Ale, Whiskey and other goods.A regular, dependable service is the number one goal with this ship.

Nordlys Summer 2017 Sailing Schedule


Sign onFrom ToDistance NMFee EuroAverage days sea / portBooking nr.
June 18 2017Den Helder, NetherlandsDouarnenez, France531€ 935,-11p0217No Sign on
July 10 2017Douarnenez, FranceCopenhagen, Denmark1028€ 1.500,-20p0717No Sign on
July 30 2017Copenhagen, DenmarkBornholm, Denmark103€ 525,-7p0817No Sign on
August 6 2017Bornholm, DenmarkRostock, Germany125€ 600,-8p0917No Sign on
August 14 2017Rostock, GermanyDen Helder, Netherlands640€ 1.200,-16p1017No Sign on
July 10-August 30 2017Amsterdam, NetherlandsDen Helder, Netherlands1.896€ 3.315,-51Leg2 Sign on
August 30 2017Den Helder, NetherlandsPorto, Portugal988€ 1.575,-21p1117No Sign on
September 20 2017Porto, PortugalPenzance, UK591€ 975,-13p1217No Sign on
October 3 2017Penzance, UKDen Helder, Netherlands466€ 600,-8p1317No Sign on
August 30-October 12 2017Den Helder, NetherlandsDen Helder, Netherlands2.045€ 2.730,-42Leg 3 Sign on
May 28-October 12 2017Den Helder, NetherlandsDen Helder, Netherlands5.604€ 7.995,-166WV2017 Sign on

Nordlys is being refitted Winter 2016

Schedule for Winter 2017 coming soon

More info about the schedule


To learn the true skills of seamanship it is recommended to stay for longer periods on board. To encourage you to make this decision the ship offers a discount on trainee fees of 10 % if you stay for two voyages and of 25 % if you stay for four voyages or more. (this discount does not apply to voyages in combination with daytrips or the full season)

Full season:

If your intentions are to become an experienced seaman and to get the thorough taste of life at sea, this is your trip! During the journey you will acquire adequate seatime to file for a certificate of competency as an able-bodied seaman. (If you officially want to obtain this certification you also have to pass the “Basic Safety Training” at a registered nautical college.)

Date of signing on

On this day we welcome you on board from 8 pm onwards. A crew member will introduce you to the captain, the first mate (who will receive your passport and possibly your sample book) and the other members of the crew. We shall assign you a bunk and chest (usually in the fo’c’sle). Linen and sleeping bag are best brought from home. Before departure you will be assigned to the port watch (under the supervision of the first mate) or the starboard watch Incidentally the ship has not arrived in the port of departure; we shall let you know as early as possible if this is the case.


As a rule the ship departs on the day after signing on. With “all hands” the sail is set and the ship is made ready for the sea. You will be informed which watch stays on deck, leaving the other watch free to take a nap. The captain chooses the fastest and safest route to its destination. The captain and the  first mate will instruct the crew. You will be involved in every aspect of seamanship from the moment you arrive; safety training, steering the ship, keeping watch, maintenance, setting sail and lots more. Depended on the weather, the distance and the kind of trip, the ship will arrive at its destination after a couple of days or weeks. This doesn’t mean the trip is at its end; the days after arrival are filled with instructive and interesting activities. The ship is prepared for port, cargo is taken in and out, there is some maintenance that can only be done in a harbour and the opportunity presents itself to go on shore leave.  The route may be altered, depending on freight and weather.

NM / Direct distance

This is the shortest possible distance between two harbors. The Nordlys being a true sailing ship without an engine, this distance is rarely the actual sailed distance. In other words, the ship usually sails many miles more than the direct distance. At the end of a leg of journey, the captain will inform you how many miles have been covered in reality.


This is the price in euros for said journey per person. In exchange you sail along and acquire a practical education in seamanship. In addition to the journey fee, we expect you to take part in watches and chores such as maintenance, sailing, cleaning, steering and being on the lookout. In the fee are included the ship’s meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner and coffee and tea. Not included are transfers to and from the ship.

Average journey/port stay

This is the estimated time at sea or in a harbor. The ship being dependent for the duration of her trips on weather and wind, this period may vary. If the ship arrives ahead of schedule at its destination, the days in port ahead of schedule are part of the journey.

Booking number

This number is a purely administrative number used for keeping score of persons on board.

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