THE TOFTEVAAG- true SPIRIT OF ADVENTURE
Our flagship research vessel is a historical Norwegian fishing ketch. Her name, Toftevaag, means "meeting place" in old Norse. For years now, her decks have been a meeting place for scientists, fishermen, students, volunteers and people from all walks of life. Her ancient wood and classic style bring people together with one purpose: the conservation and protection of our oceans. The Toftevaag is also a symbol of our commitment to connecting with fishing communities. Fishing fleets in the Mediterranean have been exploring the seas for over 1000 years. They carry an extraordinary scientific and cultural heritage with them. We truly believe partnerships and working together with fishermen are the routes to a successful conservation program. Our ship is a great platform to bring communities together, young and old.
A SHIP THAT SETS US APART
Built in 1910 to fish herring in the North Atlantic, she was named after a village in Norway’s Hardanger Fjord, a meeting place for Vikings. During World War II she carried pilots to an airfield around Cape North as well as cargo and merchant men, up and down the Fjords of Norway. In 1989, after the Toftevaag was restored on the island of Öckerö, in the Swedish archipelago of Göteborg, ALNITAK purchased her. Her logbook was already full of adventures, but there was more to come! A year later, we converted her from a fishing ketch into a research vessel. After our first expedition, the Toftevaag became a true “meeting place”. The boat has worked as an open-air office for over 3.000 scientists, teachers, filmmakers, corporate teams, volunteers and students, representing over 87 countries around the planet. Not all of Alnitak’s work is conducted on board the Toftevaag, but this unique boat is our flagship. She represents our vision and passion for exploration and stewardship of our maritime heritage.
Between 1999 and 2008, Alnitak ran the “Spanish Dolphin Project” with the Earthwatch Institute. The formula for our citizen-science program was inspired by this project and it has been a huge success so far. Through hard work and positive team spirit, we’ve had extraordinary participation and it has helped us spread the word about the need for marine protected areas in our waters.