A flagship for the conservation of biodiversity in the Mediterranean for over three decades

Toftevaag 1910

The word Toftevaag means “Meeting Place” in Viking, and has lived up to this name over the years. Since Alnitak acquired and restored her in 1989, some of the world’s top scientific institutes have been on board, as well as over 3800 volunteers from over 100 nations.

Download “Our ship Toftevaag” PDF

Research ship Toftevaag at full sail



Toftevaag was built on the island of Halsnöy in Norway in 1910 by Lars Olai Sjo. She worked fishing for herring in the North Atlantic until WWII when she was used to carry pilots to an airfield around the North Cape. After the war she worked as a trader carrying people and goods up and down the fjords.

For 79 years Toftevaag proved to be an excellent working boat in one the most beautiful but also most challenging environments on Earth, the Atlantic Ocean.

She worked under sail only until 1958, when she got her first engine installed, a 60 Hp Grenaa semi diesel.


In 1988, in the port of Mahon (Menorca) on board the ship Sirius, two Greenpeace activists were dreaming of restoring an old working boat and converting her for a new mission: to develop research and education programmes for the conservation of our maritime cultural and natural treasures.

They found Toftevaag in March 1989 at the shipyard of Risör (Norway) and founded ALNITAK. To mark this, they bought an old ship bell and engraved this word on it. This bell still hangs on Toftevaag’s deck today.

Approximately 70% of her hull is still original Norwegian pine. Keeping Toftevaag working for over three decades is a message to society of “another way of living” where we take care of things and refuse the culture of “one use and throw away”. Restoring and taking care of this ship is also ALNITAK’s main contribution to the conservation of our maritime heritage.

Old black and white photograph of classic ship Toftevaag

Technical data of the sailing ship:

Name: Toftevaag
Registered port: Rotterdam
Nation: NL
Type of rigging: GALEASSE
Year built: 1910
Yard: Lars Olai Sjo, Toftevaag, NOR
Overall length: 23.00 m
Length (hull): 18.00 m
Breadth: 3.75 m
Draught: 3.00 m
Ship’s hull: Holz / Wood
Power: 120 PS
Engine: Vetus Diesel C6

In this link you can download a PDF with the basic notions and navigation characteristics of our Ship Toftevaag