With its 185 km shoreline and countless islands and narrow bays, Toke is an eldorado, described by many as Norway’s most beautiful lake. The sound of a chugging engine, fantastic scenery, and delicious food and drink provide an excellent basis for excursions – whether for families, groups of friends, companies or teams and societies.
Departing from Toke jetty, the Tokedølen II operates a scheduled service on Sundays in the summer-holiday period, alternating between two different routes, and is also available for charter trips. The Tokedølen II is perfect for events such as anniversaries, weddings, birthdays, office parties or simply a relaxed summer get-together with friends and acquaintances.
If you’re getting married in Drangedal and wondering what to do with your guests between the church service and the reception, send them off on a lake cruise on the Tokedølen II. The jetty is within walking distance of Drangedal church. The Tokedølen II works with the tour operator Tele-Tur AS, which handles all aspects of bookings. Go to www.Teletur.no and check the Attractions tab for prices and suggested tours and packages you can combine with a trip on board the Tokedølen II. We can organise bus transport to/from Drangedal, team building, and high-adrenaline activities such as trail biking and rock climbing, or a visit to the water park at Hulfjell Gård, combined with a trip on board the Tokedølen II, including refreshments.
Working with several local food producers in Drangedal, we serve food based on local ingredients such as organic poultry and eggs from Holte Gård and other local specialities (advance bookings only).
We have a restaurant on board and are licensed to sell beer and wine.
A short history of Lake Toke and its boat traffic
At the end of the last Ice Age around 10,500 years ago, the sea along the Telemark coast was around 80 metres higher than it is today. Where Lake Toke is now, the Drangedalsfjord once extended 60 km inland, from Kragerø on the coast, via Drangedal and all the way up to Bø in Tørdal. But the land rose rapidly once the weight of the ice had gone, and after 1000 or so years, Toke was recognisable as the lake we know today. There is still a 10-12 m layer of saltwater from this period at the bottom of the Rørholtfjord, approx. 90 m beneath the surface of the sea.
Right from when the first people arrived in the area and until the present day, Lake Toke has been a major traffic artery between the sea and interior for those living here. Remains from both the early and later Stone Ages have been found along its banks and on its islands, and Bronze and Iron Age burial mounds are a common sight at the water’s edge.
‘Straumen’ – the stream between the upper and lower sections of the lake – was ‘canalised’ in 1864 to allow the passage of larger boats and to facilitate timber floating. Steamboat traffic started in the same year with DS Tokedølen, which plied the Prestestranda–Merkebekk route. The autumn of 1888 saw the more luxurious DS Turist enter service on the same route. The owner of this boat, Halvor H. Strømme, had plans to canalise the section from Merkebekk down to the sea, but nothing ever came of this. The Tokedølen stopped running scheduled services around 1923, while the Turist kept going until 1929. By this time, trains and buses accounted for most transport in the area.
Today, MS Tokedølen II sails the length of the Lake Toke water system, including the Rørholtfjord in Bamble and Merkebekk in Kragerø. The boat is 52 feet long and licensed to carry 47 passengers plus crew. It is based at Toke jetty in Prestestranda.
HISTORY AND TECHNICAL DATA
MS Tokedølen II was built in 1967 at the Brødrene Aa shipyard at Hyen in Gloppen municipality, Sogn og Fjordane, and is a wooden boat built from pine on oak ribs. It was acquired for Toke in 2012 and transported here by road from the harbour terminal at Skien. The boat is named after its predecessor, the Tokedølen, which operated on Lake Toke from 1864 to 1923.
Length 52 ft, width 4.07 m
Weight approx. 19 tons
Built 1967 at Brd. AA in Western Norway, pine on oak
Engine: Detroit V8 2-stroke diesel, approx. 525 hp
Sun deck seating approx. 35 passengers, lounge seating approx. 40
Total number of passengers: 49 incl. crew of 2
FACILITIES ON BOARD:
Music and sound system with wireless microphone
Licensed to sell beer and wine.
A 230V 6kW inverter makes it possible to serve freshly cooked waffles and freshly brewed coffee on board.
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