|Thu 23-09-2021, 12:00Longyearbyen, Svalbard||Fri 01-10-2021, 10:00Longyearbyen, Svalbard||Antigua||8 Nights||AN230921|
Barquentine ‘Antigua’ runs regular 8 night summer sailing and wildlife expeditions to Spitsbergen. There are wildlife experts on board with considerable arctic experience to help you spot polar bears, walrus, cetaceans both at sea and ashore and it is a bird watchers paradise
Nature lovers or photography enthusiasts yearning to explore the edge of the Arctic circle whilst sailing a magnificent tall ship. Specialist photography experts are also on hand to show you how to take the best wildlife and landscape photos amongst the glaciers and jagged mountain tops. Enjoy the scenery, take the helm, hoist the sails, or relax in the atmospheric saloon, retiring in the evening to your comfortable 2 berth cabins with central heating.
In September, the first snow might cover the landscape under a beautiful white blanket and with a bit of luck, the northern lights can be spotted!
The price is fixed in euros and includes all sailing training, accommodation aboard, meals and guided wildlife and cultural trips ashore. Antigua is licensed for worldwide charter up to 32 guest crew can join her for this voyage.
On the September voyages there will be a specialist photographer with plenty of experience to teach you about taking wildlife and landscape photos. Living on a tall ship with blocks and tackles creates a chance for action sailing shots all around you and the bonus of a birds eye view of wildlife from high up in the rigging. You can capture some really professional looking images.
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.
In the afternoon the Antigua crew welcomes you on board. After settling in your cabin, you get to meet your fellow sailors and the captain will introduce the crew and tell you everything there is to know about life on board. After leaving port, the ship glides through the waters of Isfjord. The route takes us along the west and north coast of Spitsbergen. The captain and tour leader look for the most beautiful spots for excursions, considering the weather, wind and ice conditions at the time.
If the winds are favorable, the sails of the impressive three-master are set and you are more than welcome to join the crew in doing so. We sail along the magnificent coast, riddled with glaciers and the jagged mountain tops that give Spitsbergen its name. The ship of course has a motor as well, so if the winds are unfavorable or even absent, we can still reach our next destination. In case we need to cover longer distances, we will sail through the night; otherwise we will anchor, sheltered in a fjord.
Our land excursions take us to the remnants of different periods of Spitsbergen’s history, for example blubber ovens and the graves near old whaling stations, trapper huts, weather stations and collieries. Famous explorers like Roald Amundsen and Umberto Nobile also left traces of their expeditions.
This sailing trip has an emphasis on photography and is accompanied by a photographer. He organizes various lectures and photo sessions on board and accompanies the practical sessions during the excursions. On board is also an excursion leader, who can tell you everything there is to know about this beautiful area, its history and its flora and fauna. At this time of year the light creates a very special atmosphere.
There will be one or two shore excursions a day, with an emphasis on photography, but also with the space and time to experience this unique environment. The Antigua will sail to the next destination between shore excursions. This time at sea can be enjoyed with a cup of tea in the warm saloon chatting with your fellow travellers, reading a book or even editing your photos.
Of course we can never say this with certainty, but with a bit of luck we also get to see whales. In these waters mainly dwarf minke whales and belugas, but also the fin whale. Polar bears can also pop up everywhere, but despite their size these are more difficult spot.
Our journey takes us to various fjords with fascinating glaciers hugging the mountains and will show us the geological and scenic diversity of the Arctic world.
The Antigua arrives in Longyearbyen the night prior to your disembarkation, which gives you time to discover the city of Longyearbyen on the morning of departure.
At the moment there is no daily itinerary, as we like to keep it flexible in order to anticipate the weather, the location of any whales and other wild animals as we see or hear about them. The crew and the expedition leader coordinate the route in such a way that the best possible route is sailed, the most beautiful photo opportunities are observed and various landing sites are visited.
Expedition leader is likely to be Michelle van Dijk
In September the first snow might cover the landscape under a beautiful white blanket and with a bit of luck the first northern lights can be spotted.
Temperatures average between 1°C and -3°C. More places will be accessible at this time of year as much of the ice will have melted away during the warmer months.
It is important that you have suitable gloves, layers, thermals and a warm hat so as not to struggle handling ropes on deck. The weather can be unpredictable at this time of year, high winds and calm seas are just as likely as the other. Either way, the working crew will try their utmost to ensure you get the most out of this adventure. Good sturdy rubber boots are vital for stepping into the icy water when getting in and out of the dinghy.
In 1596 Willem Barentsz discovered snow covered mountains 600 miles further north than Norway and called it Spitsbergen. The archipelago is now called Svalbard and the climate is principally a result of its latitude. The temperatures during September are likely to be just above freezing and with any wind, this will make it feel considerably colder. Take a look at the kit list to ensure you are prepared and wrap up warm!
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
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.
For Joining Antigua: You are welcome onboard Antigua from 14:00 in the afternoon. From the airport in Longyearbyen you can either take a taxi or the Flybus to the ship. Both will be available on arrival. Just tell the driver that you want to go to the port and to sailing vessel ‘Antigua”. The bus will cost about NOK 80 per person, the taxi about NOK 150 per taxi.
Safety Equipment (Life jackets and harnesses)
All meals to include cooked breakfast, lunch, dinner and refreshments throughout the day.
Bed linen, duvet, pillows and towels. (We always recommend taking a towel with you as the ones provided tend to be quite small.)
Waterproof jacket and trousers
Travel to and from the start and end port.
Optional trips or tours taken ashore
Meals if taken ashore
Drinks (except tea, coffee and water)
Your bar bill will be paid for with cash in the local currency at the end of the trip, Euro's are also accepted. Card payments are not accepted onboard.
There is limited storage space on Antigua so please pack all you belongings in a soft rucksack or bag.
Sporty, casual clothing (suitable for wind, weather and rain).
As mentioned on the phone, I can’t sing the praises of our lead guide Sarah highly enough. She was professional, approachable, knowledgeable and kind. Just how a guide should be - we would love to sail with her again. R Ripley
What was the best bit?
Seeing polar bears and beluga whales, followed by putting up every sail on the ship
What did you think of the accommodation onboard? Excellent
Did you have enough personal attention? Excellent
Did you think of the Captain/Skipper and the paid crew? Excellent
What did you think of the food quality? Excellent
Any other comments? Fantastic trip, the crew and guides were really great.
We had the most amazing time! It far exceeded our expectations in every way. We saw 4 polar bears, Arctic fox, reindeer, minke and beluga whales, geese and Harbour seals amongst other things. Our captain Jo was outstanding, adventurous, flexible and personable, he took us to places no other skippers would consider. Antigua is perfect for these climes, accommodating, comfortable, warm, steady, quiet and beautiful under sail (we got into the Zodiak to motor around her and take pics, quite something when she was doing about 4-5 knots!). We cannot praise highly enough the whole crew, from Sacha and his galley team who cooked amazing meals, to our guide Michelle who, along with Jele and Alex, showed us so much and shared their incredible knowledge, and Daniel and Ute who got us safely on and off the boat to go ashore every day, twice a day, and instructed us under sail. They were all fabulous.
It is a real trip of a lifetime and the 10 friends we brought with us said that none of them would ever have considered visiting that part of the world if we hadn't suggested they come with us. For all of us it has been the most memorable trip imaginable." Anna PF
We are back in Longyearbyen! After a two week trip with a lot of artists and such amazing guides, here’s our review.......first day blue whales and polar bears. A mother with two cubs on a piece of floating ice....what a magic moment. We took our jumpers off and sun bathed, it was so sunny! We SAILED all the way up to Rossøya and back - the most northern point of Spitsbergen. Even more polar bears later, such a lot of wildlife! It was tough work for the all of us to keep her sailing. Night watches, landings, hikes, and I heard so often........how can we explain all of this back home?
After a few weeks Antigua will arrive tomorrow in Longyearbyen again! 4 weeks, nearly 3000 miles, 50 spotted bears, lot of walruses and whales so many beautiful impressions! Sailed full rigged around the South cape and made 10.5 knots. So many happy people. Rossøya and Kvitøya we made. Followed the old Conquerer tracks. So much Trapper History. Thnx all you great people for joining us. Rolf Stange and Kristina (Spitzbergen.de) Danke Danke Danke! Alex thnx! Many thanks to the Antigua Crew! Nothing without you. Captain Mario will leave on Monday. And be back in October. Kevin will take over and will sail many more great Antigua trips!
Longyearbyen hotel: I booked our party into Basecamp Explorer for the night before we boarded. It was really excellent and we'd highly recommend it along with the next door restaurant Kroa which was also excellent."
What was the best bit?
Seeing polar bears and beluga whales, followed by putting every sail on the ship up. - Jeremy W.
Barquentine Antigua is our Svalbard Arctic Specialist. 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.
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