One of the best ways to get to Lofoten is to use the ferry from Bodø, and it’s recently been made possible to ride the ferry from Bodø to Moskenes in Lofoten for free!
It’s now completely free to ride the ferry between Bodø and Moskenes in Lofoten on foot, and you can just board the ferry and get your free ticket in person. You need to ride the ferry from Bodø to either Værøy or Røst, then change to Moskenes on the next ferry if you want to ride the ferry free with a car or RV.
So it’s entirely possible to ride the ferry to Lofoten for free, both on foot and with a car or RV. If you’re coming on foot, just get on the ferry and depart at Moskenes. But if you’re coming with a car or RV and want a free ferry ride, you’ve got to spend a few hours at either Røst or Værøy to wait for the next ferry.
We’re going into all the details on how to use the Lofoten ferry for free below, so keep in reading to make sure you won’t have to pay anything when you’re coming to Lofoten!
Detailed guide on using the Lofoten ferry for free
The main ferry from Bodø to Lofoten begins in Bodø, then stops at Røst, then Værøy (two small islands just south of the Lofoten archipelago) before it gets to Moskenes in Lofoten. The problem with this ferry is that the Bodø to Værøy or Røst routes are free of charge with cars and RVs, but the Bodø to Moskenes lines are not.
So the trick to get to Lofoten for free is to book a ticket with the ferry from Bodø to either Røst or Værøy, then wait for the next ferry at this destination. Don’t worry, both these islands are insanely beautiful with amazing nature! Now board the next ferry from Værøy/Røst to Moskenes for free, and you’re in Lofoten and ready to begin explore!
It’s a bit tricky, but this method gets you from Bodø to Lofoten for free. So it’s up to you to choose if it’s worth spending a few hours at Værøy or Røst to save 700 NOK for the car’s ferry ticket. You will also need to do the same thing if you want to return to Bodø by ferry for free..
If you’re traveling to Lofoten without a car, then no worries. The entire ferry ride from Bodø to Moskenes, Lofoten is completely free, so you won’t have to wait for the next ferry at either of the small islands south of Lofoten.
Spending a few hours at either Røst or Værøy
So let’s say you do want to spend a few hours at either Røst or Værøy to save yourself some money. What’s to do at these two, small island groups?
As it turns out, both Røst and Værøy are a lot like the rest of Lofoten, so it’s a great beginning to your Lofoten adventure. You got the hikes, the beaches, the rorbu cabins, the small fishing villages and everything else you want from Lofoten!
Værøy is a very popular tourist attraction in itself, and this island is known for its incredible beaches and well as amazing hikes that offers some of the best views in the entire Lofoten region!
I mean, just look at the photo below! What more could you wish for when visiting Lofoten? Værøy definitely rivals some of the most popular destinations in Lofoten, so it’s definitely not a bad place to visit by any measure..
Røst is an island group with 365 small islands, and in contrast to the rest of Lofoten, it’s rather flat. The highest peak is only at 11 meters above sea level, so you have a clear view over the entire island group.
The small island group is most known to have breeding colonies of puffins and other endangered sea birds, so it’s really a bird watchers paradise. It’s rated as one of the best places in Norway to go on a puffin safari!
There even used to be penguins at Røst, but they are no longer found at the island group..
You will find many opportunities to go on whale safaris and other ocean related activities like ocean kayaking, SUP’ing and things like that at Røst.
Remeber that the express ferry to Svolvær, Lofoten is not free!
There’s also an express ferry from Bodø to Svolvær, Lofoten that goes directly between these two harbors. But this express ferry is not part of the free ferry scheme, so you need to be prepared to pay up if you want to use the express ferry.
If you’re going to Svolvær, then you might consider using the express ferry to save yourself a lot of time, but there’s currently no way to get this ferry for free from Bodø.
Why the Lofoten ferries are free
The reason why the ferry to Lofoten is free is because the Norwegian government made a promise to make most ferries either much cheaper or completely free. This is to increase the attractiveness of living at islands and at remote places where you need a ferry to get to, while still being able to work a regular job in a place like Bodø.
Considering a single ticket to bring a car between Røst and Bodø used to be 700 NOK each way, you’d get an insane bill if you’re working for 20 days a month. 700 NOK two times daily for 20 days add up to 28,000 NOK (almost $3,000) each month, making it very difficult to live at these small islands.
The free ferry tickets has made it a lot more affordable to move to these islands, and reduces some of the migration to cities that Norway has experienced in the last decades.
The free ferry scheme applies to most of Norway, not just Lofoten, so there are lots of other ferry routes that have become much cheaper or free in the last two years.
Nicklas is the owner and editor of The Norway Guide, and is responsible for most of the content on the website.
He lives in Skien, Norway with his wife and two children. Nicklas is specialized in Norwegian ecology (including Norway’s geology, wildlife and flora) from his degree in Ecology And Nature Management at University of South-Eastern Norway, but has a particular interest in tourism and content creation.
His biggest hobbies are fishkeeping, going on hikes with his dog, and rooting for the local football team.