We are two good friends (Erling Vaagnes (b. 1959) and Stein-Fr Kynø (b. 1957)) who wants to make an extensive Kayak trip covering five countries in seven months over more than 7000 kilometers, in exposed areas with hash weather conditions. On our tour we in particular are looking forward to meet the local population along the route. We have prioritized our goal as follows:

  1. return safe
  2. return as friends
  3. enjoy the adventure as it unfolds
  4. paddle the full distance as planned

The Idea

Take advantage of the Russian lakes and the Belomor Channel to circumnavigate the Scandinavian Peninsula by kayak, starting and ending in Oslo, Norway.  On our way we plan to follow the old historic Viking route from Sweden to Russia. Later we plan to kayak the old Pomor trade route between northwest Russia (White Sea) and Northern Norway.

The Plan

2. March 2018  will start our journey from Oslo Kayak Club going southwards around Sweden and on to Stockholm. Then we will cross the Baltic Sea and head to Helsinki. From there we will paddle the Bay of Finland to St. Petersburg. From St. Petersburg we will paddle the Russian interior waterways up the Neva River, across lake Ladoga, up the river Svir across Lake Onega and then through the Belomor Canal and then back into salt water in the White Sea. After paddling to Kandalaksha via the Soloviki Islands,  we plan to do to the non-restricted areas of the Kola Peninsula. The final run will from Kirkenes to Oslo along the Norwegian coast and end up back at Oslo Kayak club around 1. October 2018. Altogether a trip of ca 7500 km and one that has not been done before.

Our Background


Erling is a geologist and oil explorer. For the last four years he has been responsible for Statoil’s exploration activities in Russia.  Erling has been an outdoor enthusiast his whole life, and has kayaked extensively along the Norwegian, Swedish and Welsh coasts.




Stein is running his own kayak company, Med Stein på Tur. Stein is also an outdoor enthusiast and in addition to kayaking along the Norwegian coast and Wales, he took his two minor sons in kayak across Alaska, USA (730 km) in 2004. Stein retired from the military at the end of 2014.