Bård Løken

The story of a Japanese tea master on the Arctic spa boat Vulkana

On board you will find a sauna, Hamam bath, Zen lounge, conference rooms, specially built galley, outdoor wooden bathtub. Follow a ritual Japanese tea ceremony on board the Vulkana as it made its way via Lofoten and Bodø to Kirkhellaren, a remarkable mountain cave on Træna

Eivind Austad spent more than a year in Japan studying tea. The tea ceremony is an ancient tradition in Japan, a tradition intended to celebrate the moment. Eivind brought his teacher home to Norway to travel to Træna in order to perform a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.

At the Træna festival a tea ceremony was performed

During the 2009 Træna Festival they wanted to show what this ancient ritual is intended to convey at the magical Kirkhellaren cave on the island of Sanna.

A ceremony was prepared from scratch

On the journey from Tromsø Eivind and his teacher search for herbs, cups and equipment for their ceremony. The boat docks at the lively fishing village of Henningsvær. The pair ramble up the grassy slopes to mountain peaks affording views of Vestfjorden and the entire Lofotveggen mountain range. At the top they find the mountain herbs that will be dried and made into a local tea.

One of their good helpers is Glasshytta in Henningsvær, a family owned firm of glassmakers located at Engelskmannsbrygga. Here the Japanese tea master makes his own teapot. Together with its customers, Glasshytta can create all kinds of hand-blown glassware, from dram and wine glasses, candleholders and bowls to decorative fish and Christmas angels. The workshop is open to the public, and on certain days you can blow your own crystal ball.

The converted whaling vessel crosses Vestfjorden, where it previously hunted the numerous minke whales.no w it serves as a tourist and bathing boat. On its way to Bodø, the town on the world’s most beautiful coastline. At the market in the centre of town Eivind searches for fresh vegetables for the important dinner they will have on Træna. At a second-hand shop in Sjøgata they find suitably rustic teacups that are just right for the cathedral-like surroundings of Kjerkhellaren. Read more at visitbodo for information on shopping and sightseeing opportunities in Bodø.

The natural wonder Kirkhellaren was the site of the ceremony

Finally, Eivind, the tea master and their good helpers arrive in Træna, a landmark far out on the Helgeland coast. Staying at the charming Lovund Rorbuhotell is highly recommended. The hotel serves fish dishes of every kind based on locally sourced produce. Be adventurous and try one of the region’s local delicacies: cod’s tongues.

The journey continues to Træna, where the popular Træna Festival takes place. During the festival the tea master performs a ritual tea ceremony in Kirkhellaren, which is a vast open cave with views over the sea that once gouged it out of the mountainside. The cave is situated on the island of Sanna, and resembles the interior of a vast church, hence the name.

Do you want to experience the Vulkana?

The Vulkana website has all the information you need on opportunities to take a journey on the boat and enjoy its many experiences.

The ship is located next to the Polar Museum in Tromsø (can change location due to harbour regulation). In the afternoon it’s not uncommon to see guests jumping off the boat into the icy cold harbour before running back onboard to sink into the outdoor hot tub.

Mountain trekking, snow shoe walking, glacier climbing, reindeer safari, scooter safari, northern lights safari, skiing (cross country or randonnee) kayaking, whale and wildlife watching and Fishing are all options.