|Wed 30-06-2021, 16:00Isafjordur, Iceland||Mon 19-07-2021, 08:00Nuuk, The Capital of Greenland||Tecla||19 Nights||TC-300621|
A 20 day epic adventure on Tecla as you help crew her from Iceland to Greenland. This season she is heading once more for West Greenland, so this voyage is all about navigating the icebergs and broken sea ice to find a point where you can reach the coast and land. Even with global warming a huge amount of ice flows with the current down the East Greenland coast and around the tip of Cape Farewell (Cap Favell). You might be lucky enough to be able to land on the East side, or just enjoy the Arctic wildlife and sailing challenges until you are round on the West side of Greenland. The fjords on the way North to Nuuk are much clearer of ice and offer endless treks and wilderness panoramas.
Intrepid sailors who know they like being at sea. East Greenland is virtually uninhabited South of Scorseby Sound apart from Kulasuk. The whole coast is icebound until about June-July when the sea ice breaks up, so the first half of this voyage is mostly continuous ocean sailing where the coast may be inaccessible until you round Cap Farvel, Ideal for adventurers who like the unexpected and true sailors who want to sail one of the world’s famous capes.
If you are a wildlife lover with good sea legs that can handle 3 weeks mostly at sea then you are maximising your opportunities for spotting wildlife like blue whale, Humpbacks or orca Once around the Cape to West Greenland the huge fjords are 50-70km deep into the interior with many side fjords. The sea ice can still be a problem near the Cape but as you get nearer to Nuuk the coast becomes relatively free of ice flows in the summer and the shore landings options are all in spectacular mountain scenery with some of the biggest glaciers on the planet. A mecca for wilderness trekkers and landscape photographers.
Explore Greenland on a 124ft historic tall ship
Skirting the sea ice & icebergs along East Greenland coast
Rounding Cape Farvel
Mountain Trekking in West Greenland
Excellent Whale Watching Potential
All Sailing Instruction included and crew as guides ashore
All food included
Full accommodation onboard
heated 2 berth cabins with en-suite shower and toilet
Tecla has been sailing to Scorseby Sound – high in the Arctic Circle in East Greenland for a couple of years. The south going cold current down this coast keeps much of the shore cut off by sea ice early season, but the West Coast is more habitable in its Southern Sections.
Tecla crew are restless souls that are always keen to find new anchorages and sailing grounds.This voyage is partly an extension of the skippers love to go see what is around the next corner, but also to set the ship up for a chance to transit the NW Passage to the Pacific in late summer 2019. This gives a fantastic opportunity to create two Greenland Sailing Voyages that are great expeditions in their own right. This first one is the longest with a lot of ocean miles, icebergs and the Mountainous SW Coast of Greenland to explore.
(If you prefer something a bit shorter then the next voyage is 11 days heading further North into the Arctic Circle. Several of her multinational professional crew have Antarctic as well as Arctic experience and they will be as excited as the guests to explore.
By working together as a ships crew (professionals and guests of many nationalities) you soon becomes a close knit group more akin to an expedition than an Arctic Cruise.
On a sailing voyage we never use the word itinerary, as skippers will always be aiming for the best sailing and shore landings for the forecast and most idyllic or sheltered anchors and ports. They are as keen as you to include some of the highlights described below, but you have to go with Mother Nature, not fight her. The description below is based on what we think might be possible, based on past trips, or experience, but nothing is guaranteed on a sailing voyage, especially in places like Greenland where there are very few places to re provision or ask for local knowledge and charts may be sparse with depth information.. Caution and constant vigilance is needed on changing weather, sea ice drift and iceberg hazards at anchor.
Tecla’s skippers have genuine interest in all things Arctic and the history of exploration in these parts. Debbie in the Classic Sailing office has sailed on Tecla in places like Faroes, and Iceland and also sailed in East Greenland and we feel the programme they have created, includes some of the best sailing destinations and will give you a real taste of wild landscapes. It is also interesting to ponder on how various cultures have survived these harsh but beautiful lands from the Vikings to the Inuit and European explorers, Whalers, and fur traders
Isafjordur, the capital of the Westfjords, lies safely behind a sand spit. Helgi Magri Hrólfsson first settled here in the 9th century after seeing its potential. In later years the town became important to the Danes as a trading post. Through out this time the fishing industry has been the main support for the inhabitants of Isafjordur and the rest of the Westfjords. For Tecla this is their favourite cruising ground in Iceland and a remote areas that they have made their own. It is the gateway to the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, on the edge of the Arctic Circle, and largely undiscovered by yachts. It is also the nearest point of land to East Greenland and Tecla’s setting off point for one of our new adventures.
Isafjordur is easy to reach by plane. There is a flight twice a day. From the airport you can get to the Tecla by bus, which stops at the hotel just 2 minutes walking away form the Tecla. Or you can rent a car and drive. It is possible to rent the car and drop it off at the airport in isafjordur. Take some time and see more of Iceland along the way!
Hrafnsfjordur anchorage is part of the voyage through Hornstrandir. A vast area largely abandoned in the 1950 and left to look after its self. There are no roads, making a ship, the only possible way into the reserve. The people who used to live here cultivated small pieces of land to support their cattle with hay during the darker months. After the abandonment, the flora slowly started to recover its former and original state. The now 260 flowering plants and ferns are a good summer hiding place for the arctic foxes who made a remarkable recovery and there are more here than anywhere else in Iceland. A hand full of houses abandoned and restored are the last reminder of the small scale civilisation that once lived here
Depending on the weather and wind forcast we, shape our course. Our first destination might be Hornbjarg and its towering bird cliffs. It is home to many sea birds during the short and intensive summer. Razorbills, Guillemots, Kittiwakes and Fulmars are the main inhabitants. They are fair game for the Arctic fox and her cups. Always luring and risking their own lives to secure an evening meal. The walks up the cliffs are breath taking. It gives a great view into the Greenland Sund and over the bay and mountains to the East.
The journey to Greenland is a proper ocean passage. You will angle South towards the Southern tip of Greenland or a bit higher up the coast if it looks like there is a possibility of landing on this side. Most likely Tecla will have to stay 100 miles out of the coast until we reach the bottom of Greenland as there is to much drift ice along the coast and the entrances to the fjords are hazardous, but it depends a bit on the Ice prediction at that time. The cold current that sweeps down the East side brings with it a lot of broken sea ice and giant ice bergs, but it is the smaller growlers in rough sea to watch out for as they don’t always show on radar.
Tecla skipper will be making use of ice charts as well as forecasts to plan the route and make decisions on how close to the coast the ship goes and whether it is safe to work her way into the shore on either coast.
Making our way to Nuuk, there will be several fjords we can attempt to visit. With 22 days to get to Nuuk, this will leave plenty of time for some real exploring as well.
Nuuk as a city is the largest and fastest growing cities of Greenland. With over 17.000 inhabitants, it is still a small city compared which gives you the opportunity to really see the live of the local people in Greenland.
Historically Nuuk has had inhabitants long before the Vikings came there, even before the Iniuts settled nearby, Nuuk was already a place where people gathered.
Nuuk has an international Airfield where you can fly to from Reykjavik.
This Voyage is South of the Arctic Circle. You are out the range of Arctic species like Polar Bear, Narwhal and Beluga whales but the West coast of Greenland is good for Blue Whales, Humpbacks and Orca.
There is excellent bird watching opportunities in Iceland at the beginning of you voyage and ashore is a botanists delight.
As you would expect from a ship that has sailed around the world, rounded Cape Horn under sail and is planning to sail the North West Passage, Tecla has an interesting library of books in different languages. There is a lot on Arctic exploration and a bit about the Inuits and what they taught European explorers like Dr John Rae, who were prepared to learn polar skills in hunting and over wintering. In Nuuk you will find a lot more with the National Museum and the Inuit Art Museum
Even better! Last year we were sailing the Hornstrandir fjords on Tecla, it was fantastic! This year our three-week voyage to Greenland (2017) has been even better. Awesome!!! We’ve been sailing through the ice, passing massive icebergs, seeing magnificent glaciers … with the tranquillity of being guided by an experienced skipper and his great crew, in the company of a group of friendly and funny guest mates.” Maria and Manuel C
This voyage is nothing like sailing in Greenland Scorseby Sound. You are in the open sea with potential for strong winds and waves as well as huge icebergs and broken sea ice. If Tecla stays well offshore (100 miles plus) you may avoid most the ice and you are just dealing with Atlantic Ocean in June – July. Daylight hours will be good and air temperatures not dissimilar to Faroes or Shetland in summer. Cap Farvel is on the same latitude as Stavanger and Shetland- which is why the Vikings could find it. Nuuk is a similar latitude to Reykjavik. The whopping great Greenland Ice Cap affects the weather and the Greenland high Pressure can create very stable,dry weather with sunshine and incredible visibility.
Whether you are an experienced sailor or a complete beginner, the professional crew will train you to be guest crew from the moment you arrive, with the intention that everybody works together to sail the ship. The common thread to all Classic Sailing holidays is ‘Hands on’ participation on ships that use ropes, blocks and tackles and ‘people power’ to set sail.
We cater for a wide range of ages and physical abilities and how much you are expected to do varies a bit between vessels. See the vessel tab above which explains all about the ‘sailing style’ and what to expect in terms of hands on participation. There is a lot of information about day to day life, the ships facilities and accommodation on the vessel pages.
Every customer sailing with us will need to fill in basic medical questions on their booking application. If you are not sure if your current level of fitness and agility are up to a voyage, then please ring the Classic Sailing Office on 01872 58 00 22 and we can chat through your concerns and possibly find options that might suit you better.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
Nearby Reykjavik City Airport is the departure airport for domestic flights in Iceland such as Isafjordur. Isafjordur–
Isafjordur is easy to reach by plane. There is a flight twice a day. From the airport you can get to the Tecla by bus, which stops at the hotel just 2 minutes walking away from Tecla. Or you can rent a car and drive. It is possible to rent the car and leave it on the airport on both sides. Take some time and see more of Iceland along the way!
A great place to understand old and new aspects of Inuit Culture, Nuuk shows both sides. It is the modern centre of Greenland with its city restaurants, fashion shops and as a tourist gateway to all sorts of outdoor adventures. Down on the historic waterfront you get a feeling that the old traditions, history and independence are still very important to the locals, even if they are now city dwellers. There is Greenland National Museum and the Inuit Art Museum here to learn more.
Although the exact joining location may not be known until much closer to the time, it is likely that Tecla will be somewhere near the harbour – where the ferry comes in on the map below. Make sure you make a note of the boat phone number found in your confirmation for any problems and up to date location on the day.
THIS IS TECLA standard voyage kit list. Specialist Antarctic kit list to follow shortly
There is limited storage space on Tecla so please pack all you belongings in a soft rucksack or bag.
What did you enjoy the most? Very difficult to separate out the various events but certainly the fjord voyage was better due to the increased variety of the programme. What was the worst bit? A shore-to-ship rib transfer in rough and windy conditions. Why do you sail? Freedom, adventure, commonality of purpose. Summary of the voyage. Any initial doubts as to the number and experience of the crew were very quickly dispelled and we were impressed with the knowledge and the handling skills of the skipper and the 2 mates. Every opportunity was taken to enhance our enjoyment on both voyages and at every stage we were made to feel relaxed and under no obligation to crew the ship under sometimes testing (but enjoyable) conditions. As an observation, we must congratulate the skipper for her culinary skills under difficult conditions..........the food was perfect for the voyage. Two voyages on Tecla Spring 2019
This was a great voyage. A great mix of sailing in Scottish waters, some super hikes and an opportunity to see some of the immensely important historical sites in the Orkneys and Sheltands. Mooring alongside in Fair Isle was a great privilege. The ocean passage to the Faroes was quiet but as a result we were blessed with clear skies whilst slinking in and out of the islands and some of the best coastal views one could hope to see anywhere. The ocean passage to Iceland was a bit of a bimble until we were 60 miles off and then it got exciting. Thanks to a great skipper and permanent crew we snuggled into a fjord whilst the cruise ship ran aground in Reykjavik harbour. A good holiday, an adventure and fun. K Barker, Tecla Ullapool to Reykjavik, May 2018
What was the best bit? Sailing under the Skye Bridge on a windy, sunny morning. .. What was the worst bit? Being sea sick on the first day, but I can't blame the boat or the crew for that - just the stormy weather. Why do you sail? I have never sailed before, this was a 'give it a try' holiday - it hasn't put me off doing it again sometime Any other comments An enjoyable week in less than ideal weather conditions. The crew was competent and friendly, the catering excellent - I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a voyage on Tecla." Jonathan E. Sailing in Scotland
"Brilliant, I would do it again tomorrow. And good value too. Food was excellent. I loved the spicy meat balls and my wife loved the fresh langoustines." Steve.
The voyage was " a delight. A competent and engaging professional crew, an interesting voyage with some challenges and some great rewards. Good companions to make the log spin around." Mike
What aspects did you enjoy most? "The sailing from Faroes isles to Iceland in perfect weather." What aspects did you enjoy least? "cannot answer this question as enjoyed every single moment" If you could sum up the trip? "It was my first voyage. I just thought I like being out, I like being active, and I like the sea, so I will have a look at sailing. After that marvellous experience I will certainly continue." Annon feedback form May 2015
Sailed on Tecla to St Kilda in June - amazing crew (Gijs, Janet, Barbara) and great company. I loved everything about the trip and strongly recommend to join the Tecla folks. Most enjoyable classic sailing with great food, true sense of teamwork, great guidance and good sense of humour. Can't get any better." Cheers, Thomas M.
"Best Experience Ever (5 stars for sailing, crew and food) " David on TC28/04/14
I sailed aboard Tecla from Oban to the Scillies in very early May. It was cold, wet and mostly pretty windy. It was thoroughly excellent. The Tecla is a great little ship, but it was the skipper and crew (paid and "trainees") that made it for me. Great job, thanks guys. I plan to come again. Steve W
I‘d never been sailing in Iceland or on Tecla so this was a double first for me. What I like about remote places is that the people you meet are welcoming and pleased to see you. They seem to be secure in their communities and proud of where they live. In 8 days in Iceland I only saw one policeman very very briefly. Not at the airport but following us for about 30 seconds in a police car in Reykjavik. Was it cold in Iceland, Yes and No, on arrival there was no need for more than 2 layers on top and one below. But later when sailing and the wind picked up from the north it did require 5 top layers and 2 below but we were less than 30 miles from the Arctic Circle! Overall I really enjoyed the voyage and the wildlife. Adam Purser June 2018
Globe trotting Tall Ship Tecla in action and images. This historic gaff ketch is our Iceland Specialist and also has Greenland Sailing Expeditions. Photos from Classic Sailing customers, ships crew and professional photographers. We hope it gives a flavour of her sailing, life on board, the people that come, her beautiful sailing grounds and what it is like to live below decks.
West Greenland Expedition - Arctic Circle
Nuuk, The Capital of Greenland
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Sail part of the North West Passage
Illulissat, West Greenland
Nuuk, The Capital of Greenland
Sail SW Greenland & Cape Farewell
Nuuk, The Capital of Greenland
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