There is nothing like standing an ice watch on the open fo’csle of a sailing ship to help relate to the polar explorers of the past. Our clothing is better and the cabins are heated, but watch keeping at sea is still a serious business. Sailing near icebergs and along the sculptural edges of blue glaciers is a timeless thrill.
If reading the exploits of Shackleton or Captain Scott has given you a thirst for adventure, you won’t get a more authentic experience than polar sailing on a tall ship. The whole expedition is a team effort of professional and guest crew. Spending more time on deck, helping sail the ship and being a key part of the team are all fantastic experiences. Top this off with the vast icy landscapes and unbeatable wildlife spotting opportunities and you have the voyage of a lifetime.
High latitude sailing means 24-hour daylight for long periods of the summer. Choosing a Polar voyage means weeks of life-giving, wonderful light. It makes you feel more energetic and allows continual opportunities for spotting wildlife and watching the spectacular landscape.
While needing your sunglasses at 1am might take some getting used to, you’ll soon be in the swing of it. Dark accommodation spaces below deck also mean that when it’s time to sleep, your body can switch off easily.
Should the midnight sun of Polar summer not fit with your schedule, don’t fret! The bonus of early and late season sailing in Polar regions is the chance to see the Aurora. Head North for the Aurora Borealis, South for the Aurora Australis. On a clear night, you can watch the drapes of beautiful dancing light as the Earth’s magnetic field directs energised particles from the sun towards the poles. While this might be a slightly less romantic explanation than reflections off the armour of Valkyries, as the Vikings believed, the sight still ranks as the pinnacle of sky-watching.
Even on nights when there’s no aurora, the sight of the stars from the deck of a ship sailing beneath unpolluted skies is second to none.
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