The Cheesemakers Between Lofoten’s Peaks
Aalan Farm is one of the few goat farms in Nordland county, in the Arctic. Here, owners Tove and Knut Åland have developed a thriving eco-farm that celebrates artisanal produce.
Forty years ago, Tove and her husband Knut took over a small farm founded by Knut’s grandparents, a 40-minute drive from the port of Stamsund. “We always wanted to be full-time farmers, and we love what we do!”, Tove says proudly.
When the couple first set out on the farm, it had 28 goats and nine acres of land. Today, the site has 200 milk goats, 70 baby goats, one cow, one horse, a farmhouse, creamery, herb garden, shop, and café. Their own family has grown too, with seven children, a dog, a cat, and a pet pig!
On this optional excursion, people from all over the world get to share in Tove and Knut’s pride and joy. “We’ll give you a warm welcome and a tour of the site,” Tove says eagerly. “The first thing you’ll see is the shop which shows the variety of products we make at the farm.” Her face lights up, “Then, we’ll show you the fascinating process of how our herbs, cheeses, and spices are gathered and made.”
Over coffee and home-made cake in the charming café, decorated with family heirlooms, you’ll also be able to learn more from the couple about the farm’s history. “We’re really happy to invite guests from The Coastal Express into our home and to talk to them about our family,” says Tove with a beaming smile. “It's so great that they get to meet locals like us, hear our story, and experience real life on a real farm in Lofoten.”
Fresh, farm-to-table food
Aalan Farm also delivers its award-winning cheeses, spices, and teas to our ships as part of our Coastal Kitchen concept. Serving food based on fresh ingredients is another way we fortify our ties to local businesses and support the families who rely on them.
Knut says with excitement, “Tove and I love the idea that guests from all over the world – Germany, America, Japan – they’re seeing the amazing landscapes of the Norwegian coast, maybe the Midnight Sun or the Northern Lights, and at the same time enjoying cheese from our farm and drinking our tea. We feel really honoured to be part of that.”
“And when we hear that guests are big fans of our cheese, whether from the feedback we get from the ships or when guests post directly on our social media channels, it’s a big compliment for us. If even the French praise the taste, we know we’re doing something right!” Knut adds with a chuckle.
Speaking about his sense of togetherness and connection with The Coastal Express, Knut remarks “I feel like I work alongside the Captain and crew on the ship. When we deliver products to a ship, we wait on the dock along with the person starting the next shift, and we know the person at the reception desk. We’re proud to be working with all of them.”
A glimpse into their world
Tove concludes “The Hurtigruten Coastal Express is something everyone here has been proud of since forever. The ships are a part of everyday life in the north, supporting businesses like ours, allowing us to enjoy life here and grow our family. They connect everything, and at the same time show their guests how we live and our traditions.”
You’ll be able to visit Aalan farm and meet Tove and Knut in person, as well as their animals, by booking an optional excursion in Stamsund on Day 4 of your northbound voyage. You’ll also be savouring many of their high-quality food products on the ship, including their award-winning Capra, a soft white goat cheese, matured for seven months – our personal favourite!