BODØ - LOFOTEN FERRY

All You Need To Know About The Bodø - Moskenes Car Ferry

Bodø is one of the largest cities in northern Norway and a perfect starting point for your trip to the spectacular Lofoten Islands. All you need to do to start exploring Lofoten is to take a car ferry from Bodø to Moskenes. 

 

  • Why should you take the car ferry from Bodø to Moskenes?
  • What is the ferry schedule?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Can it be done for free?
  • Do you need to prebook the ferry? 
  • Can you take your pet on board?

Here’s everything you need to know about the ferry trip between Bodø and Lofoten.

ABOUT US AND LOFOTEN

We spent six months running an accommodation in the western part of Lofoten in 2021. During that time, we drove numerous guests to the ferry terminal in Moskenes to catch their ferry to Bodø or picked them up and drove them to our rorbuer. 

As a result, we have seen people missing their ferries, queuing in the wrong lines, and in general, having a lot of questions about this ferry connection.

So in this Bodø – Moskenes Ferry Guide, we will share all we know about this (in)famous ferry crossing. We hope it will help you plan a smooth trip to/from the Lofoten Islands and possibly save you some money! 

1. Why should you take the ferry from Bodø to Moskenes?

Bodø is easily accessible by plane from other Norwegian airports, and it is the northernmost place in Norway where you can arrive by train. There are direct daily flights from Oslo and Bergen to Bodø airport, conveniently located just 3 kilometers from the Bodø ferry terminal.

 You can rent a car at Bodø Airport, explore the surroundings of Bodø, and continue your road trip by taking a ferry to the Lofoten Archipelago.

The crossing of the Vestfjord from Bodø to the Lofoten Islands is a beautiful scenic route that takes you right into the most stunning part of Lofoten. If your initial destination is Reine or anywhere west of Leknes, then the Bodø-Moskenes ferry is the best option for you.

OUR TIP: 
If you have time, make the crossing into a scenic voyage via the islands of Røst and Værøy. Especially Værøy, which is, in our opinion, one of the most beautiful places in the whole of Lofoten.

rost island in the lofoten islands_02
The Island of Røst
The Værøy Island in the Lofoten Islands
The Island of Værøy

2. Bodø-Moskenes Ferry Information

First, you must know that you can choose from two different routes when sailing between Bodø and Moskenes. 

There is a different schedule for the summer months (approx. June 3 – September 4) and the rest of the year, when there are fewer departures.

I will not go into the details here but beware that the Bodø-Moskens schedule is pretty confusing. So triple-check that you are looking at:

OUR TIP: 
 If you feel it is too complicated to understand the Bodø-Moskenes ferry schedule, you can use the Norwegian national travel planner entur.no or look it up on the webpage of the ferry company Torghatten Nord. 

Bodo - Moskenes Ferry Summer Schedule
Bodø-Moskenes Car Ferry Summer Schedule
Bodø-Moskenes Ferry Schedule Winter 2023
Bodø-Moskenes Car Ferry Winter Schedule

What does it look like at the ferry terminal in Bodø?

The ferry terminal in Bodø is located right next to the train station; just a short walk away from Bodø city center. The coastal express Hurtigruten and Bodø-Moskenes ferry share the same terminal building. 

The terminal has a heated waiting room open 24/7 with restrooms.

At Bodø train station, you will find luggage storage, where you can leave your suitcases while exploring the city. The price is 60-80 NOK/day, depending on the size of your luggage. The maximum renting period is seven days. 

What does it look like at the ferry terminal in Moskenes?

Moskenes is a small village that does not offer much more than a ferry terminal and a camping place. 

The terminal has a small sheltered, heated waiting room with public restrooms. However, beware that it is not allowed to sleep/camp in there. 

The closest grocery store to Moskenes ferry terminal is in Sørvågen, about 2,5 kilometers away. So, do not expect that you will be able to buy any snacks or food. There is a small buffet/canteen on board the ferry. 

Next to the waiting room, there is a bus stop. The bus departures and arrivals mostly correspond to the ferry departures. However, there won’t be any bus service if you arrive/depart early in the morning or late at night. Don’t count on taxis waiting at the ferry terminal either. You will have to call a cab in advance and ask them to pick you up at the ferry terminal.

About 50 meters away from the dock, you will find Moskenes Car Rental pick-up/delivery point. They are somewhat old-fashioned regarding online booking but provide some of the cheapest rental cars in Lofoten. The best way to contact them is via phone or Facebook. 

Moskenes Ferry Terminal Lofoten Map

OUR TIP: 

Some people think the ferry from Bodø goes to Reine, not Moskenes. Please beware that it is a 5 km walk from Moskenes to Reine on the main road with no path for pedestrians. Moreover, some consider Hamnøy, where they booked accommodation in Eliassen rorbuer, a part of Reine. Note that the distance from Eliassen rorbuer to Moskenes ferry terminal is 9 km. 

Eliassen rorbuer in Hamnøy Lofoten
Eliassen rorbuer in Hamnøy
Reine rorbuer in Reine, Lofoten
Reine rorbuer in Reine

3. How does it work with boarding the car ferry at Moskenes?

On most ferry connections in Norway, you do not need to book a ticket in advance. Usually, when you arrive at the ferry terminal, you line up in a queue, and when the ferry docks, you drive on board. You pay for the ticket via the electronic toll system that registers your car’s license plate. 

However, the car ferry between Bodo and Moskenes in Lofoten is an extremely popular route, especially during the busy summer season. Therefore, Torghatten Nord – the company operating on this route, introduced the possibility of reserving your spot on board. 

PLACE YOUR CAR IN THE CORRECT LINE

When you arrive at Moskenes ferry terminal, pay attention to the signs and line up in the correct line. Some ferries go directly from Moskenes to Bodø, while others take a detour via the small islands of Værøy and Røst. 

Lines 17 and 18 are for the cars heading to Værøy Island, while line 16 is reserved for those heading to Røst Island. The rest of the lines are for vehicles going to Bodø, with lines 8-11 reserved for those who prebooked their tickets. 

Ferry Terminal in Moskenes Lofoten_2
Lines for those who bought a pre-paid ticket
Ferry Terminal in Moskenes Lofoten
First come - first serve lines

Check the correct lines for your destination and park your vehicle in line with the lowest number. 

The two Værøy lines often fill up in the high season. Then, instead of creating a long parking queue behind the second Værøy line, essentially blocking traffic on the dock, it’s acceptable to park at the neighboring Røst line. The ferry crew will ask you if you are going to Røst, and they will ensure you get placed correctly on the ferry.

4. Pre-booking a ferry ticket from BodØ to Lofoten (Moskenes)

The place guarantee on the Bodø – Moskenes ferry comes with a 200 NOK fee per reservation. 

Note that only 40 percent of the ferry’s capacity is open for prebooking. That means that when the booking page shows that the ferry is sold out, it includes only the spots that can be prebooked. You can, therefore, still get a place on the ferry if you arrive early enough to the queue.  

WHEN SHOULD YOU SHOW UP FOR THE DEPARTURE OF THE BODØ-MOSKENES FERRY?

If you have prebooked the tickets, you should arrive no later than 45 minutes before the ferry departure. 

There is no rule of thumb about how soon you should start to queue up in case you did not prebook your tickets. It all depends on the date, day in the week, time of the day, weather, and other factors that are hard to predict. 

OUR TIP: 

If you plan to travel in the high season (June 15 – August 15) and are dependent on the ferry to get to the Bodø train station/Bodø airport on time, we strongly advise you to prebook the tickets.

For example, we were also denied boarding when we wanted to travel to Værøy in July 2022, despite arriving 1,5 hours before the scheduled departure and wishing to take the slow ferry that sails to Bodø via Værøy and Røst. However, since it was the last ferry that day, we had to spend an extra night in Lofoten and take another ferry the following day that sailed only half full. 

A good tip is to follow the Norwegian Public Roads Administration’s webcam to see how many cars are queuing up at the ferry terminal. 

5. FERRY BODØ-MOSKENES PRICE

The ferry price depends on several factors, like your travel date, the length of your car, whether you have a fossil or zero-emission vehicle, and whether you have an AutoPASS chip with a discount.

 

OUR TIP: 

You can use a ferry ticket price calculator to check which prices apply to you. If you have an autopassferje agreement and want an overview of what price you have been charged, you can log in here

If you do not have any discount cards and you own a conventional vehicle (non-electrical), be prepared to pay (2023):

OUR TIP:

The Bodø – Lofoten (Moskenes) ferry is free for foot passengers, and there is no need to prebook a spot on board. It rarely happens that pedestrians would be denied access on board due to full capacity. 

If you want to prebook the ticket to be 100% sure that you will get a place on the ferry, remember that you will pay NOK 200 as a reservation fee. 

Prices for the Bodø - Moskenes Car Ferry (2022)

6. Pedestrian-only ferry from Bodø to Lofoten (Svolvær)

Beware that there is also a pedestrian-only speed boat that goes once daily between Bodø and Svolvær in the eastern part of Lofoten. This ferry is not for free. 

TRAVEL PASS NORDLAND

If you plan to travel in Lofoten using public transport, you might want to purchase the Travel Pass Nordland. It costs 1299 NOK for 7 days of unlimited public transport in Nordland municipality, which includes the whole of Lofoten, Bodø, and the areas south of Bodø. 

This ticket also includes the express ferry between Bodø and Svolvær! 

To take advantage of the express ferry with your Travel Pass Nordland, you go to Reis Nordland, and in the ticket section you scroll down until you find the Travel Pass Nordland. Since the express boat is included in the Travel Pass Nordland, you do not pay anything, but you still need to pre-book your spot. 

BODØ – SVOLVÆR PASSENGER ONLY SPEEDBOAT PRICE (2023)

The Bodø-Svolvær speedboat is quite pricey. However, there is an ongoing discussion about the ferry needing to be cheaper. 

"It can no longer cost NOK 1,500 to take the boat round trip Bodø - Svolvær. And it must be affordable for a family to take the fast boat to Steigen for a weekend. This is not the case now. If the county Nordland is to be a good place to live, we must be able to afford to travel within our county."

Nordland Venstre
While the Hurtigruten and Bodø-Moskenes Car Ferry share the same ferry terminal, the passenger-only speedboat to Svolvær leaves from Bodø sentrumsterminalen kai.

7. HOW TO TRAVEL BETWEEN BODØ AND LOFOTEN BY CAR FOR FREE?

Since July 1, 2022, the ferry connections in Norway that had less than 100,000 passengers in 2019 are free of charge, both for passengers and cars. 

In Lofoten, this applies to the Svolvær – Skrova – Skutvik ferry operated from June 1 to August 31. But also the stretch between Moskens – Værøy – Røst – Bodø!

Let me explain a bit more about the second one. The ferry between Moskenes and Bodø has two different routes. Some ferries go directly from Moskenes to Bodø, completing the crossing in about 3,5-4 hours. Some ferries stop along the way on the islands of Værøy and Røst, extending the trip between Moskenes and Bodø to 7 hours.

Free Car ferry Bodø Lofoten via Røst and Værøy Islands

The direct trip from Moskenes to Bodø can cost you up to 1600 NOK if you travel with a big campervan. However, if you plan a stopover on one of the islands (Værøy or Røst), you will not pay anything. 

The only condition is to disembark the ferry on one of these islands and continue your trip on board another ferry. Passengers traveling without a vehicle do not pay anything, even on the direct route. 

OUR TIP:

We recommend spending a day at Værøy, which is a small island located about 30km (18 miles) from the western coast of the Lofoten Islands. It’s a tiny concentrated version of Lofoten that offers a lively fishing community, stunning landscapes, fascinating history, and numerous well-signposted hiking trails. The highlight is the hike to Håheia, but you can easily spend three days exploring the island.

The hike to Håheia on Værøy
væroy island in the lofoten islands_Hike to Haen
The hike to Håheia on Værøy

8. CANCELLATION OF BODØ-MOSKENES FERRY DUE TO BAD WEATHER

The ferry between Bodø and Lofoten sails on the open sea, and the crossing can sometimes be rough. If you are prone to seasickness, check the weather forecast before your trip and use medication to control your symptoms.

If the weather forecast predicts a particularly stormy weather, the ferry will be canceled. The cancellations usually occur during the autumn/winter; however, they can also happen in summer. 

For example, we had a big storm last year in July (2021) when the low pressure brought strong winds and large amounts of precipitation. In several places in Lofoten, wind gusts reached a speed up to 27-30 meters, and all ferry connections between Lofoten and the mainland were canceled.

9. THE HYDROGEN FUTURE OF the BODØ-MOSKENES FERRy

Norway is famous for its fjords and rugged coastline, where ferry connections serve as vital transportation links between islands and the Norwegian mainland. The electric ferries were first introduced to the country in 2014 when one of the country’s major ferry companies, Norled, announced the world’s first fully electric battery-powered car ferry. However, many boats sailing in the Norwegian fjords are already powered by electricity or natural gas. 

 

However, the 3,5 hours long journey between Bodø and Moskenes across Vestfjorden belongs to one of Norway’s longest and most weather-exposed ferry routes. Therefore, the new hydrogen vessels commissioned by Torghatten Nord to sail between Bodø and Moskenes from October 1, 2025, will be the first of their kind operating such a long route. 

 

The two new ferries in Lofoten that should replace two car ferries that use LNG are to be utterly emission-free, with 85 percent hydrogen and the rest sustainable biofuel. This effective switch from LNG to hydrogen will reduce CO2 emissions by 26,500 tons annually.

 

Additional benefits include ferries having a 60% greater passenger capacity and 40% greater capacity for car units.

 

8. BODØ-MOSKENES CAR FERRY FAQ

It is free for pedestrians and bicyclists. The motorists pay NOK 754 for a vehicle up to 6m, and NOK 754 for a vehicle between 6 and 8 meters. 

It is free for pedestrians and cyclicsts. Motorists have to pay between NOK 221 – 1623. 

If you want to save money, you can extend your trip and stay on the island of Værøy or Røst. In that case you will not pay anything for the route Bodø – Værøy (Røst) and Værøy (Røst) – Moskenes. 

You can either pre-book your ticket online on the Torghatten Nord webpage. In that case you will pay an additional 200 NOK as a reservation fee. 

If you do not reserve your ticket, you just drive on board the ferry and get your license plate scanned. You will receive the invoice later. 

From Bodø you can either take the car ferry to Moskenes, or passenger only speed boat to Svolvær.

Yes, you can travel with your dog/pet. 

Enjoy your trip to Lofoten! Let us know in the comments if you have any question regarding the Bodø-Moskenes ferry. And if you ever feel overwhelmed with the trip planning, shoot us a message. With our travel consultation service, you can pick our brain and ask us anything about your Lofoten/Norway trip!

Ivar & Radka

Ivar & Radka

Hi! We are Ivar & Radka, an international couple who runs the Guide to Lofoten. We met in Trondheim and lived together in western Norway, Narvik and Tromsø. At the moment we call western Lofoten our home. We hope our page will make it easier for you to explore the beautiful places that made us chose Norway for our home.

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4 Responses

  1. Thank you very much for putting this together! Do you know if it costs anything to take a bicycle on board the ferry?

    1. Hi Theo,

      Thank you for this question. We will include it in the article. You travel with a bike for free.

      Cheers,
      Radka

  2. Thank you so much for this information! It is so hard to understand through all the other websites but you have made it clear and easy! Brilliant job!

    1. Hi Millie! We are very happy to hear that you found our post useful! Thank you for your positive feedback!

      Ivar and Radka

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