Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIBs) are used on expedition cruises to take cruise passengers ashore or to explore places where larger ships can't maneuver. For the same reasons, they are popular for shore excursions like the RIB adventure I did with Hurtigruten in the Lofoten Islands of Norway.
RIB Lofoten Adventure from Hurtigruten Cruise
It was a fun day for those in our RIB, even though we did have some "normal" western Norway weather--rainy. However, The tour operator, RIB Lofoten, provided warm, water-resistant clothing, so nothing got wet except our faces.
The next photo shows me with the RIB gear on. After dressing in all the equipment, I was glad I didn't have to walk far to the boat since it was heavy.
Be Prepared - Wear Warm, Water-Resistant Clothing in RIB
RIB Lofoten provides these suits, along with gloves and googles to make the RIB ride more comfortable. It's a fast, exhilarating ride, but not too wild or scary. Each RIB has two, 300-horse-power engines, so even with ten people in the boat, they can zip along the water.
Waterfalls in the Trollfjorden
The RIB adventure took us into the magnificent Trollfjorden. It's a narrow offshoot of less than a mile long. The Trollfjorden is located off the west side of the scenic 15-mile-long Raftsundnet Strait in western Norway near Svolvær, and the Hurtigruten ships go into the fjord so their guests can see the many waterfalls. Since the entrance of the fjord is only about 100 yards across, it's an impressive feet for the coastal liners to go into the fjord, turn around and go back out.
Inside the Trollfjorden
The size of the towering cliffs of the Trollfjorden can be seen in this photo. Note the tiny RIB in front of this cliff on the right center of the photo.
Mountains Overlooking Trollfjorden in Norway
The mountains surrounding the Trollfjorden are over 3000 feet high and are snow-capped all year round.
Old Worker's Camp in the Trollfjorden
This small settlement sits at the end of the Trollfjorden, and we passed by it on our RIB excursion. It was built for hydroelectric workers and miners. In the summer of 2016, the Trollfjorden and Lofoten area was used as one of the locations for the Matt Damon movie, "Downsizing", which will be in theaters in December 2017. In this science fiction comedy, "downsizing" doesn't refer to organizational shrinkage, but to an experiment where people volunteer to be shrunk to four inches tall and start a new life. It should be interesting to see how the Trollfjorden fits into the plot.
I was in the Lofoten islands and Trollfjorden just a few weeks before the movie stars and film crews arrived. Not surprisingly, the local residents had mixed feelings about the movie. It could put the region on the map much like "The Lord of the Rings" did for New Zealand. Although some would like more visitors, others would not.
RIB Lofoten Adventure in the Trollfjorden
Just another photo of the Trollfjorden, one of Norway's most spectacular fjords. Motoring slowly around the fjord in our small RIB, the magnitude of the site and how the fjord was created by glaciers is almost beyond comprehension. Even though it's difficult to understand the power of glaciers, the beauty of the fjord is easily evident.
Raftsundet Strait in Norway
The Raftsundet Strait is a gorgeous place to cruise, whether it's on a Hurtigruten coastal liner, sightseeing boat looking for sea eagles, or Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB). The RIB ride was certainly the fastest, but we managed to take in the amazing scenery.
Sea Eagle in Norway
Like many predatory birds, sea eagles are territorial. This one was perched on a tiny rock-covered island.
Trollfjorden and Raftsundet
This is a last look at Raftsundet, the narrow 15-mile long strait that runs between the islands of Hinnøya and Austvågøya in western Norway. As seen in this photo, it's spectacular in the sunshine, but most visitors see clouds or rain, which gives the mountains a misty, spooky appearance. Either way, it's well worth the Hurtigruten shore excursion with RIB Lofoten.