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The Saltstraumen "Maelstrom" near Bodo, Norway

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Has anyone seen the Saltstraumen Maelstrom near Bodo, during a Hurtigruten excursion? Was it "impressive"?


We are interested in seeing this maelstrom, but we are trying to find out just how much of a walk or hike it is to get there. It's listed as Activity Level "2".


Also - and importantly - can it be predicted by the tidal schedules whether the maelstrom will have even a chance of being impressive, vs. being at a known time of day when currents are *not* going to be strong?


Many thanks for any information, and especially about the tidal schedule.


Happy New Year!



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I have not been at Saltstraumen myself however I have seen several reviews - some very excited others quite negative - depending of the time of visit relative to the currents. Also the currents are influenced by the phases of the moon.

Personally I would not book this excursion before onboard the ship. Then you can get some advice from the expedition team onboard.


As the earth rotate around its axis once every day, there are in principle high and low tide twice a day. There would then be 6 hours between high and low water.

Because the moon moves a piece in the same direction as the earth, there is 6 hours and 12 minutes between high and low tide.

Below links to tables with time for high and low tide and the currents at Saltstraumen




Happy New Year



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I went on the RIB trip to the Saltstraumen. We happened to hit it right at the time when the current was basically neutral, so no big drama there, but the trip was lively. The rocky shoreline was fascinating and the boats toured a variety of areas before heading into the (non)maelstrom. Even considering the phase we experienced, the water was churning and moving about in a way I'd never seen before. If you enjoy being at sea, see it on a boat rather than the bus tour.

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We also did the RIB tour. The tide was on its way out when were there. I have nothing to compare it to but we were impressed. As cobber25 said you get to see some fascinating things on the way. The people who did the bus tour said it was fairly average. As far as fitness you just have to be able to get on and off the RIB. Very pleased we did this excursion.

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I took the bus trip through Hurtigruten, not the RIB, but it was lovely and we were able to see the maelstrom both from the nearby road bridge and from shore. There is a walk of about 200 yards from the bus parking lot to the best places to view the maelstrom, and the walk is lovely past several quaint cottages and shacks. Here are some photos I took pretty much at the end of the pathway and through the bus window on the bridge:



Edited by Splinter

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Heads up regarding Bodo: While sailing on the Viking Star in Norway January 2020, 20 Viking guests booked this boat trip to visit Salstrumen because the Viking-offered excursions to Salstrumen were sold out. We each paid 1750 NOK or $190 US dollars per person (roughly $400/couple).  Due to sea conditions the Viking Star captain had to skip the Bodo port and stay at Sea.  (This followed the Hurtigruten event that occurred 1 week prior while trying to dock in Bodo; google the horrific video Jan.21, 2020), as well as the high sea disaster on Viking Sea in March 2019 (you can also google that) enroute to Bodo. 
 Due to the missed port January 30, 2020, all 20 guests lost the full $200 excursion and this tour company kept the entire $4000.  I understand they need to pay the staff who planned on guiding our boats but they could have reimbursed 50% since they did not waste boat fuel or mileage on the boat.  Additionally, I’m sure they were able to rebook some regular tourists on land to fill or now vacant spaces. It was not a decision to “skip” the excursion, it was a safety decision made by the captain for his 907 souls onboard the Viking Star.  
 I’m sure this tour company does great tours but I would just keep weather in mind before booking this as a cruise guest.  There is always a risk of a port cancellation based on unforeseen weather conditions.  At least Viking cruise will reimburse the guests who booked directly from them and missed the excursion. It’s a lesson learned for us and we will continue to communicate this message for future guests to consider. Company was Nordland Adventures - Nordland Turselskap. 

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