Now offered through Off the Map Travel, a different type of accommodation provides the feeling of staying in space at the Manshausen cabins over the Norwegian Sea. In summertime, the Midnight Sun creates a 24-hour surrounding of sun and light, while the winter experience affords unobstructed views of the Northern Lights through floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the Steigen Archipelago from the luxury and comfort of the cantilevered cabins.
Each of the Manshausen Cabins has two bedrooms, one with a double bed and a second with both a single and a trundle bed. The cabin includes a private bathroom and a kitchen designed in Corian. Meals are served in the main guest house.
“Whatever season, the cabins give you a direct connection with the wilderness of this spectacular Arctic region,” says Jonny Cooper, founder of Arctic expert Off the Map Travel. “Manshausen Island is still pretty much undiscovered and a real gem for looking at the spectacular views and area wildlife from your front row seat.”
A joy for animal lovers, the 55-acre island is home to Europe’s largest colony of sea eagles, while the fjords are teeming with marine life. Two new itineraries from Off the Map Travel offer the distinctive cabins to travelers: a summer program which includes snorkeling in the clear waters, rock climbing, hiking, a sailing adventure with optional fishing; and a winter adventure with sea kayaking, snowshoe hikes, Northern Lights hunting from a hot tub, and the chance to explore the Resshola Cave.
Manshausen’s seven cabins -- three of which jut out over the water – were conceived by polar explorer Børge Ousland, the first person to reach the North Pole in a solo and unsupported expedition. His vision was to create a space for exploring the harmony between people and nature. The cabins are made of natural materials, creating both a modern home and a feeling of being in an organic accommodation that has grown out of the earth.
The clean lines and natural design have garnered Manshausen’s cabin designer, Snorre Stinessen, several prizes at the Architizer A+Awards in New York. Constructed and assembled on site, the prefabricated structures were designed to limit the impact on the pristine environment and highlight the beauty of the landscape.
Børge adds, “I fell in love with Manshausen’s protected islands, islets, beaches and mountains and especially with its Midnight Sun in the summer and northern light in the winter. My intention is that this island will become climate neutral within five years and I am working with local producers for ingredients and with award-winning Chef Astrid Regine Nässlander.”
Other features of the cabin experience are the 18th-century main house which has been converted into an open kitchen and dining area for guests with an expedition library stocked with books from Børge’s personal collection. There are also two hot tubs, a sauna, a salt water pool and a private wilderness beach.
An example 4-day 3-night summertime Manshausen Island Adventure itinerary, available from April to September, is priced from $1987 US per person, based on two adults traveling on a B&B basis. This includes boat transfers to the Island, accommodation at the Manshausen cabins, snorkeling, rock climbing, hiking, sailing and fishing. Flights to Bødo are additional.
The winter 4-day 3-night Aurora Sea Cabin Escape itinerary, available in September, October, February and March, is priced from $2258 US per person, based on two adults traveling on a B&B basis. This includes boat transfers to the island; accommodation at the Manshausen cabins; sea kayaking; use of the outdoor hot tub, ice hole and sauna; and the chance to explore the Resshola “troll” Cave. Flights to Bødo are additional.