|Thu 04-08-2022, 18:00Isafjordur, Iceland||Fri 26-08-2022, 10:00Reykjavik, Iceland||Tecla||22 Nights||TC040822|
Tecla is our Arctic sailing expert and has now explored both the East and West Coast of Greenland, and successfully sailed the North West Passage to the Pacific last summer. Her Iceland base of Isafjordur locates her only 350 miles from the only Inuit settlement for hundreds of miles of East Greenland wilderness. She offers a great 3 week summer expedition that sails you to 70 degrees North, negotiates the sea ice as it starts to break up, and allows entry into Scorseby Sound. There are still plenty of icebergs to sail around in the fjord, but ashore the snow is mostly gone and the smooth glaciated rock and lack of trees makes great mountain walking amongst the tundra flowers, arctic hares and musk ox.
Those with a true sense of adventure that want to spend high summer in the Arctic Wilderness. East Greenland is virtually uninhabited apart from two villages and the whole coast is icebound until about June-July when the sea ice breaks up. Ideal for Iceberg lovers and those hoping to maximise their chances of spotting rare wildlife like Narwhal, Orca or Beluga. The ‘hop’ from NW Iceland is a proper ocean passage and within the Arctic Circle so career sailors can add polar experience to their logbooks.
Sail in the Arctic Circle
Explore Scoresby Sound
124ft historic tall ship – gaff ketch Tecla
Mountain Trekking and tundra flowers
Excellent Whale Watching Potential
Rare species like Beluga, Narwhal, Walrus or Polar Bear
All Sailing Instruction included
All food included
Full accommodation onboard
Tecla sailing from Iceland to Greenland is now familiar territory but there is always more to explore and her skippers are keen to find new anchorages and sailing grounds. So for her multinational professional crew it is as much as an expedition as it is for the guests.
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.
The owners of Tecla have been working with a wildlife guide that knows Iceland and Greenland well and has helped formulate the summer programme. Debbie in the Classic Sailing office has also visited both Iceland and 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 in the Arctic Circle.
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.
Before crossing the Denmark Straight Tecla will head up to Hornstrandir, a Nature Reserve north of Isafjordur. This is a good place to wait or head across the Denmark Straight once the Captain has a suitable weather report and an ice free passage. (Unfortunately one of the effects of global warming is that there is hardly ever any ice at this time of year, but of course the captain will still check the ice reports.)
The crossing to East Greenland will take about one day and a night and then Tecla will head north up the East Greenland coast to Scoresby Sound.
There is only one tiny community in Scoresby Sound, on the north side of fjord entrance is Ittoqqortoormiit perhaps the most isolated village of the world. Ittoqqortoormiit was founded in the 1925s by people from Ammassalik. It is the most northerly settlement on the east coast of Greenland. The 450 inhabitants make their living mostly by subsistence hunting of seals, Narwhale, Muskoxen and Polar Bear. The quaint little houses dot the rocky slopes of south Liverpool Land with magnificent views of Kap Brewster and the Volquart Boons Coast to the south.
The Inuit of Arctic East Greenland
The Greenlandic Inuit share a common language and culture with those in Canada and Alaska, and the ancestors of the present day Greenlanders have inhabited the country for 4000-5000 years. Whilst the West Coast of Greenland is relatively populated, the East Coast far less so. The community here represents one of the oldest and most isolated in Europe, separated from their countrymen on the West Coast by vast high ice cap. A wide belt of sea ice grips the whole coast for most of the year, and until commercial flights arrived the East Coast was cut off from the rest of the world. The consequence is that the East coast dialect is unique and there are many individual traditions and handicrafts. Primary occupations are still hunting and fishing, sometimes by traditional kayak.
Scoresby Sound is a huge fjord system with a tree-like structure of branching off fjords. The main body approximately 68 miles long and the whole system covers an area of about 38,000 km2 (14,700 sq mi). As you venture into the fjord system towards the icecap the route gets narrower and narrower. Just going around the main island of Milne will take up most of the time available.
Anyone familiar to Classic Sailing will know that we try and create action packed holidays on every voyage with sailing and skills to learn, memorable meals, walking ashore, learning about wildlife and cultures but you will rarely pin us down to an itinerary as we are all sailors and flexible by nature. The Greenland High in summer give stable, sunny days with very little wind but crystal clear skies and a full range of mountain panoramas …..but you are next to the second biggest icecap in the world so if the weather does change, then you can have a different kind of polar experience….or some thrilling sailing.
If you have been inspired by the wildlife on BBC Frozen Planet and the future plight of the Arctic with global warming then this voyage is a way of finding out more for yourself whilst participating as guest crew. A self sufficient sailing ship Tecla takes you into a remote polar wilderness in an environmentally benign way but also travelling by your own physical efforts setting sails, hoisting and lowering ships boats all helps connect you with the local community – who have a tough living dictated by the sea and the elements. Germans, Swiss, French, British, Icelandic, Austrian, Canadian and American are typical adventurers who like sailing and trekking on board Tecla.
How rough the Denmark Strait is in the way to Greenland depends on the position of the Greenland High Pressure system, the jet stream and the path of the Westerly depressions.
The earlier expedition is likely to face a more challenging route up the coast of Greenland and into Scorseby Sound as the coastal sea ice is only just breaking up. the whole of Greenland has huge glaciers calving icebergs into the sea and they travel South with the current.
The later expedition might experience stronger winds on the way back if any big August tropical storms are sweeping North towards Iceland as they cross the Atlantic.
Close to Greenland the weather can be very stable high pressure and clear sunny skies, but weather in polar regions is getting more unusual. Be prepared for heatwave to gale and fog.
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 01326 53 1234 and we can chat through your concerns and possibly find options that might suit you better.
Nearby Reykjavik City Airport is the departure airport for domestic flights in Iceland such as Isafjordur.
Isafjordur is easy to reach by plane. There is a flight twice a day. From the airport you can get to the ship by bus, which stops at the hotel just 2 minutes walking away from the harbour. 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!
Join Tecla in Reykjavik by heading to the yacht harbour in front of the opera house where you will find your ship. When Tecla arrives back into Reykjavik, she is more likely to be in the Old Harbour. Both are next to each other and within walking distance, you can get a bus or taxi right to the boat.
Joining location for Blue Clipper is likely to be similar to the map below.
Any changes will be communicated to you before your voyage start date. Make sure you make a note of the ship’s number found in your confirmation email in case of any problems 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.
Eye of the Wind Faroes to Iceland EYE22/27
Eye of the Wind Grundarfjörður to Isafjordur EYE22/29
Eye of the Wind Isafjordur to Grundarfjörður EYE22/30
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