Netflix’s War Sailor: Exploring All Shooting Locations of the Film

Depicting the inexplicable trauma and the all-encompassing effects of war that stretch a lifetime, the 2022 Norwegian war drama film is a tale of love and loss. Directed by Gunnar Vikene, ‘War Sailor’ is based on the true stories of Norwegian sailors who left their families to contribute to the war effort. It follows the life of Alfred, Wally, and Cecilia. When Alfred and Wally set out to work on a merchant ship in the middle of the Atlantic, little do they know that they’d be caught in the middle of the war. When their ship becomes a target of the German submarines, the childhood friends try to find ways to make it back alive.

The movie also closely follows the woes of Alfred’s wife, Cecilia, who is back home with her children and tries to navigate the travails of missile bombings and the emotional turmoil of a prospectively dead spouse. Starring Kristoffer Joner, Pal Sverre Hagen and Ine Marie Wilmann, it is a homage to the countless soldiers who lost their lives and went to the frontlines with little hope of returning. While the story hints at a remarkable travesty on its own, it is the serene yet haunting encompass of the ocean and rubble ground that makes it so memorable. Naturally, fans remain curious about the locations that served as the perfect backdrop for the movie.

Where was Netflix’s War Sailor Filmed?

‘War Sailor’ was shot in Norway, Malta, and Germany. While the big budget gave production leverage to shoot comfortably, organizing filming during the COVID-19 pandemic was reportedly difficult for the crew. Originally, production was said to be underway in 2020, but it was later rescheduled to March 2021. The movie was shot in March-October 2021 and wrapped up within 60 days across the three countries. Here are some more details about the locations!

Bergen, Norway

Director Vikene’s connection to the story stemmed from his family’s history with the war. Naturally, this heavily impacted how he construed his oeuvres. The country house scenes where Cecilia and her children move into were shot in Bergen, giving it yet another facet of historicity because this was where director Vikene’s extended family suffered a loss. Even the exterior scenes filmed on-ground were shot in Bergen, Norway.


While the ship Wally and Alfred onboard set course in the North Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Canada, the actual location for the crew was the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Malta. Director Vikene believed in creating utmost authenticity. As such, scenes of the ship and raft were shot in the sea instead of a water tank.

The shooting had primarily begun with the sequences shot in Malta, including the shipwreck, and while the movie is set in an autumnal timeline, the sequences were actually shot in summer. As such, the director and creators worked extensively in post-production to provide the essence of maritime conditions and create a fabulous viewing experience.

While several scenes of the movie of the ship were shot on the sea, production still had to be careful to adjust actors because integrating special effects later would become a monumental task without proper coordination. As such, the sinking ships, explosions and smoke were added later in post-production.


The final scenes of the film were shot in Germany. To naturally showcase the historical aspect of the movie, choosing a location with enough character was necessary. Flanked by enough flora and historic architecture that relegates the stories of yore, Germany helped serve as the perfect location for filming the movie. Other than interior scenes, the movie was also shot in a studio in Hamburg to exemplify the storyline effortlessly.

Read More: Best World War II Movies