Canalboat touring in Norway

Tour Telemark Norway Canals on an Electric Powered Boat

By Canal Boats Telemark

We invite you on a journey to Telemark, the south-eastern region of Norway, offering a new dimension to your travels. Immerse yourself in the Norwegian ambiance as you explore the Telemark Canal, fjords, and coastline aboard electric cabin cruisers—the world’s first fully electric fleet by Canal Boats Telemark.

For visitors, Norway often conjures images of harsh winters, vast stretches of snow lingering over dense evergreen forests, adorning the mountains. Despite its severity, this land entices enthusiasts with its skiing extravagance or the serene atmosphere of winter evenings by a warm fireplace.

In summer, Norway captures the thoughts of avid anglers and enthusiasts of hiking or cycling excursions. The most persevering embark on a journey following the northern lights, a spectacle revealed only to the most patient.

It’s commonly accepted that the must-see attractions in Norway include the Lofoten, the Trollstigen road, Bergen, and, of course, the capital – Oslo.

But what if you could discover Norway from a different perspective? Experience it as a captivating destination in every season, all aboard an electrically powered boat?

Norwegians keep another gem hidden in their repertoire, one yet to be discovered by foreign guests. You can easily reach and embrace it during a boat journey.

The place in question is the south-eastern part of Norway, Telemark. Spring here unveils the full majesty of nature awakening to life. The mild yet warm Norwegian summer provides relief from scorching heat, and the coniferous forests offer shade entirely different from tropical palm trees. A gentle wind from the bodies of water pleasantly caresses the skin, but it also reveals its spirited nature in autumn and winter.

NauticEd Sailing Vacations is excited to present this offering as an eco-friendly vacation package. Please enjoy the following presentation – click here when you’re ready to make an inquiry

This region is thoroughly unique, diverse, and studded with extraordinary places rich in history. Many consider Telemark as Norway in miniature, where influences from every corner of this expansive country converge and mingle. Here, you’ll find historic fishing villages surrounded by high-tech production and research centers, all seamlessly integrated into the mountainous and forested landscape. Alongside cozy wooden houses reminiscent of the beginning of the last century, luxury hotels and restaurants are just as abundant. The lively atmosphere of port towns contrasts with the seriousness and tranquility of settlements hidden among the greenery.

We, sailing enthusiasts, deeply in love with the region and gathered within Canal Boats Telemark, will help you chart your course and equip you with fantastic boats.

No one will be left unsatisfied, as both history and culture enthusiasts, culinary travelers, adrenaline seekers, and all those elusive mountain trails, will find fulfillment here. Whether during exploration or relaxation in a spa, everyone will depart satisfied.

For those who love the wind in their sails, another exciting surprise awaits – in Telemark, unlike anywhere else in the world, you can experience a canal journey with 18 phenomenal locks to navigate. You’ll witness the power of water penetrating inland through the fjord and sail along the picturesque coastal waters of Telemark, admiring archipelagos of miniature islets.

All this and more in one charming corner.

If you’re wondering what more this entails, imagine embarking on this journey with an electric boat. It means traveling in silence, allowing you to absorb the sounds of nature or listen to the rustle of coastal towns.

It also means the absence of the smell of a combustion engine, translating to cleaner air not only for you and your loved ones but also for future generations.

We’ve found the perfect balance between traveling in harmony with nature and a penchant for a luxurious lifestyle. Carbon dioxide emissions, significant contributors to recreational boat emissions (531,000 tonnes of CO2-equivalents in 2017), are eliminated by employing electric propulsion.

The environmental benefit is immeasurable as Norway draws energy from renewable sources, primarily water. You, in turn, can confidently reach your destination without worrying about battery levels. Thanks to the investment from the Ministry of Climate and Environment and Enova SF, the construction of 7 charging stations along the Telemark Canal has been completed, allowing you to recharge your batteries from 0 to 80% in just 3 hours.

On the other hand, the finishing and equipment of the boats will satisfy the comfort needs of enthusiasts who prioritize the highest quality.

Whether you choose to cruise with the Greenline 33 or Greenline 39, the 360-degree panoramic view from the cozy lounge will offer unforgettable memories, helping you relax amidst beautiful natural surroundings. Both cabin cruisers provide sleeping space for six people in one of two sleeping cabins and beds in the lounge. Six feet shorter, the Greenline 33 is more recommended for families, as its second sleeping cabin is perfect for children. Solar panels on the roof generate energy to powerboat equipment, allowing you to use kitchen devices, air conditioning, and Wi-Fi, just like at home, during the cruise, and when anchored in a marina.

Your adventure begins in Porsgrunn, where the Canal Boats Telemark marina is situated in the central part of the city, intersected by the Porsgrunnselva River.

The town, regardless of the season, captivates with its charm, expressed in the meticulous attention to detail found at every turn. Flowerbeds, monuments, and figurines gracefully emerging from thoughtful and unconventional corners, as well as winter illuminations, contribute to the unique atmosphere.

A visit to Porsgrunn is a time to prepare for the journey but also an opportunity to visit the only porcelain factory in Norway. Established in 1885, the factory has left its mark on history with its products acclaimed worldwide, which you can admire in the adjacent Porcelain Museum. Families can find entertainment in the interactive maritime museum, DuVerden, which, besides a substantial dose of knowledge in engineering and technology, guarantees great fun.

After undocking the boat, you can first set course inland, choosing the charming water route of the Telemark Canal, connecting Skien and Dalen.

The Telemark Canal is the fastest aquatic alternative for traveling from east to west in Norway. The canal originates in Skien, once a prosperous fishing town. The 105 km-long water route, chiseled through rocks and completed in 1892, was soon hailed by Europeans as the eighth wonder of the world.

You will witness how engineering achievements harnessed the elemental force of water when navigating the level differences in the terrain with a boat using a series of water locks.

During the journey, you will encounter 18 spectacular locks, powered by muscle strength, maneuvering boats and ships between rocky passages and leveling a total height difference of 72 meters.

The largest concentration of these locks can be found at Vrangfoss, on the Ulefoss-Lunde stretch, entering there from the scenic surface of Lake Norsjø.

Arriving in Dalen—the final section of the Telemark Canal but not the end of your journey—indulge in the historical Dalen Hotel. Conceived for distinguished visitors, the place hosted many notable figures from the global aristocracy and European royalty. The building, fusing European influences with Norwegian style drawing from Viking culture, fascinated and continues to captivate its guests.

It also harbors a dark secret related to events in room 17, the echoes of which seem to be audible in the building to this day.

On your return journey, you can become part of The Tales of a Waterway and visit the Soria Moria sauna near Dalen. The project, initiated by The Telemark Canal Regional Park, aims to spread the concept where art, architecture, and lighting design highlight the inherent qualities of the local landscape and traditions.

On the way back, already on the waters of Lake Norsjø, you can moor near Norsjø-Freieland and try the fruits of the local Lerkekåsa vineyard or visit the Lindheim Beer Company.

If, for contrast, you wish to experience a coastal journey, be sure to set course towards Langesund and Kragerø. There, you’ll see surrounding archipelagos of miniature islets with picturesque churches and lighthouses guiding sailors. In the Kragerø region alone, there are nearly 500 such islands. You can move between islands of various sizes, absorbing and exploring their atmosphere, in the vicinity of cafes, galleries, and viewpoints.

In each welcoming harbor in the towns along the route, you can enjoy the hospitality of Norwegian restaurants and pubs, both during lunch and evening outings with a group.

You’ll also be surrounded by historical and cultural richness, which you’ll absorb during visits to exhibitions, museums, and theaters.

Telemark is the perfect place to engage especially with the theater, as it is in Skien where a 19th-century playwright Henrik Ibsen was born and lived. His works are performed worldwide, second only to Shakespeare in popularity.

Let your imagination run wild and plan your dream journey in magical Telemark. Our Canal Boats Telemark team will accompany you in preparations, providing professionally equipped electric boats and offering helpful advice and tips before and during the journey. Allow yourself relaxation for the body, soul, and mind, and experience on your own skin what Norway calls koselig!

And, FYI, if you’re concerned about the required licensing, the NauticEd SLC license is fully accepted for the Telemark region.

By Judyta Brzustowicz

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My vision for NauticEd is to provide the highest quality sailing and boating education available - and deliver competence wherever sailors live and go.
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Last updated on December 14th, 2023