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Wildlife Spotting and incredible Fjords

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2 Berth Ensuite Cabin Per person

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€1960.00

Embark Disembark Vessel DurationVoyage No
Wed 10-08-2022, 19:00Grundarfjörður, Iceland Wed 17-08-2022, 10:00Isafjordur, Iceland Eye of the Wind 7 NightsEYE22/29

The Northwest Peninsula – Iceland’s Westfjords

This is an expedition type voyage, but that doesn’t mean you need to have previous sailing experience. It would be a great multi activity trip for walkers and bird watchers. This particular voyage would suit adventurous beginners as there is a mix of exposed coastal sailing around some big headlands for a challenge, and some more sheltered sailing in the fjords.  The waters around Iceland are renowned for spotting whales and so the wildlife spotter or nature lover in you will be right at home. On the land the bird watching is world class. The two berth cabins with private en-suite facilities with a shower mean you will also sleep comfortably in your  cabin.

  • Voyage
  • Vessel

Ideal Voyage

Lovers of nature in unspoilt settings.

Voyage Highlights

  • Excellent whale spotting potential
  • bird watchers paradise
  • Mountain Trekking
  • Nature Reserves.
  • Sailing Iceland – Land of Ice and Fire with spectacular scenery
  • All food, sailing instruction, safety equipment and accommodation onboard is included.
  • Comfortable and heated 2 berth cabins complete with en-suite facilities.

Eye of the Wind

Sailing Areas New Zealand
Vessel type / Rig 3 Masted Gaff Rigged Schooner
Guest Berths 12
Beam 7.01m (23ft)
Draft 2.7m (8.9ft)
Overall Length 40.23m (132ft)
Year Built 1911
More about the Vessel

Voyage Description

IDEAL VOYAGE FOR…

This is an expedition type voyage, but that doesn’t mean you need to have previous sailing experience. It would be a great multi activity trip for walkers and bird watchers. This particular voyage would suit adventurous beginners as there is a mix of exposed coastal sailing around some big headlands for a challenge, and some more sheltered sailing in the fjords.  The waters around Iceland are renowned for spotting whales and so the wildlife spotter or nature lover in you will be right at home. On the land the bird watching is world class. The two berth cabins with private en-suite facilities with a shower mean you will also sleep comfortably in your  cabin.

VOYAGE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Excellent whale spotting potential
  • bird watchers paradise
  • Mountain Trekking
  • Hornstrandir Nature Reserve.
  • Experienced operators with local knowledge and guiding expertise
  • Sailing Iceland – Land of Ice and Fire with spectacular scenery
  • All food, sailing instruction, safety equipment and accommodation onboard is included.
  • Comfortable and heated 2 berth cabins complete with en-suite facilities.
Humpback Wahle

FULL VOYAGE DESCRIPTION

An epic sailing expedition on the edge of the Arctic circle, sail the wild west of Iceland during peak whale watching season. Killer whales, minke whales, humpbacks and dolphins along with great and arctic skua’s, razorbills, guillemots and puffins are common as you sail across the Breidafjordur to the multiple fords in the NW of Iceland. This is well off the tourist track as many of the places here cannot be reached by car. Isafjordur has a small airport to fly back to Reykjavik. 

Land of Myth and Viking Legend

Icelandic is Europe’s oldest language, so what you hear ashore is closer to the old Norse that Vikings spoke than modern Norwegian. The population today has a very modern, chic outlook in Reykjavik but in the rural hinterland and coast they endure pitch dark winters and enjoy the summer burst of energy created by living in the land of midnight sun. It shapes their character and links them with their past. Icelandic sagas tell the tale of Viking’s arriving here and making Iceland their home. After centuries of warring the Vikings created a huge amount of early literature and written stories so you can really connect with the lives of sailors and first settlers that lived around 870 BC.

Incoming. Skuas are notorious for dive bombing
Incoming. Skuas are notorious for dive bombing. Photo Debbie Purser

Where will we go?

On the edge of the Arctic circle and on the edge of civilization. During the seven days of this voyage you will sail in a setting of snow covered slopes, shifting into fields of flowers in ever spectacular form and colour. Keep your eyes peeled for Orca (Killer whales), Fin whales, humpbacks and Sperm whales as this is a prime cetacean spot in Northern Europe.  This  voyage offer a chance to explore the crews favourite place – the Hornstrandir National Nature Reserve.

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 must 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.

Sailing in the Iceland with Classic Sailing
Midnight sun and rainbows

Wildlife Spotting

  The South coast has many secluded anchorage worth exploring. One of these is Kevlavik (not to be mixed with Kevlavik airport) If weather permits we anchor in the shelter of the famous Latrabjarg opposite the orange refuge hut. For those who like, there is a challenging walk to these incredible  bird cliffs. If the mood is less adventurous, the views from the beach are more than enough!

  Rounding Bjargtangar we set ourselves up for the Westfjord and its towering cliffs. The hard ship the people had to endure here over the years, has proven too much for some. Simply driven back by the force of nature. High seas, avalanches and poor summers not producing enough hay for the livestock, slowly drained the population.

  This deeply indented West coast harbours many safe havens. The glacial landscape is predominant with the ever-present Greenland Sund (Denmark strait). Branching of the North Atlantic drift, the Irminger current brings relatively mild temperatures. Its northern counterpart, the East Greenland current does the opposite by pushing the colder water South. Both of them collide right there on the Westfjords. Many different species of marine mammals feed on the plankton carried by the East Greenland current.  

Arctic Fox - Sailing in the Iceland with Classic Sailing
Arctic fox

Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. 

Crossing the entrance of the Isafjardardjup we arrive at the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. Abandoned in the 1950’s Hornstrandir was left to look after its self. It is now home to most Arctic fauna that flourish in the short and intense summer. Arctic foxes roam freely, while Puffins, Kittiwakes, Razorbills and Guillemots nest on the towering sea cliffs! One of the highlights while in the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve is a walk up one of the cliffs of Hornbjarg. Amidst all the wild flowers you are sure to spot an Arctic fox or her cubs!

 We end our trip in Isafjordur, the capital of the Westfjords with a staggering 1500 inhabitants! Two planes a day land at the air strip. For those who have some more time it is a great point to explore the rest of Iceland. Either by car bus or boat! Adam in Classic Sailing office has made the trip from Isafjordur to Reykjavik by hire car….which is an adventure in itself, before you even reach the ring road. He has also flown there from Reykjavik.

 

Flights in Iceland

See our Reykjavik Port Page for flight tips on international and domestic flights in Iceland as well as a bit about accommodation in the city.

WINDS, WAVES & WEATHER

Winds can be strong and cold, parts of the voyage could be in rough seas but not forl ong periods of time.

HANDS ON HOLIDAYS

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.

SAILING STYLE & LIFE ON BOARD

 See the vessel page for photos of the interior and more.

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.

AGILITY & FITNESS

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.

 

Start & End Port

Grundarfjörður, Iceland

Bus from Reykjavik to Grundarfjordur

Grundarfjörður

Isafjordur, Iceland

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!

Kit List

Working Language on Board is German and English

Practical Advice for Eye of the Wind   

Practical Advice for Covid 19 and Eye of the Wind

What is Included

  • Sailing Instruction
  • All meals to include refreshments throughout the day
  • Duvet, pillow and sheets
  • Hand towels

What is not Included

  • Waterproof jackets and trousers
  • Alcoholic drinks but there is a bar on board
  • Any entry visas required

What to Bring

Suitcases take up a lot of room in a cabin, so it is better to uses soft bags in a ship. A small rucksack for going ashore is useful.

  • Eye of the Wind does not supply waterproof jackets and salopette type trousers. Please bring your own waterproof clothing.
  • A mix of warm and wind proof clothing.
  • Lots of thin layers is better than one thick layer in cold destinations.
  • In tropical countries - long sleeves and long trousers to protect you from the sun
  • Footwear on board needs a good grip and soft soles- the decks are wood or steel.
  • Ashore stout, waterproof walking boots are best if you are in remote places.
  • Eye of the Wind has electric sockets in all the cabins 240 V 
  • Cameras, spare batteries, chargers if you need them
  • Binoculars are handy for bird watching etc.
  • Suntan lotion, hats, sunglasses
  • Dont forget any regular medication, persciption glasses and spare
  • Euros for bar bill 
  • Passport, travel insurance, tickets etc
  •  To get ashore is usually by dinghy so be prepared to get wet feet. Rubber boots or quick drying sandals - depending on the location.
  • The ship provides hand towels but please bring a beach towel
  • snorkel and mask for caribbean if you like snorkelling (travel tip: swimming goggles pack up smaller than a facemask)
  • Bring insect repellant for Caribbean as can get mosquitos ashore in evening (rare at anchor)
  • ear plugs can be handy 

Electricity

All the power to your plug sockets comes from the ship's generator which runs on deisel. The less the generators have to run to top up power, the nicer it is for the guests on board and also greener for the planet. Please don't bring loads of hairdriers, electric devices to charge.

There is no internet on board whilst at sea. 

Review

Eye of the Wind is an experienced operator with many happy customers, but she is new to Classic Sailing website. We will post the first Classic Sailing guest feedback from 2019-2020 voyages as soon as we have some, it but here are a few from last year. 

Facebook Reviews currently 5 out of 5 stars Oct 2019

 

Tortola to the Azores! What a great time. Thanks to Captain Pit and the crew. An awesome adventure with awesome people!" F Coutreau, New England

 

What a wonderful, lovely, great, awesome trip we've had from Malaga to Lanzarote! I loved and enjoyed every minute.

Thanks again for this wonderful experience. I miss you guys! Andrea Schwartz

Vessel Gallery

With red sails against a blue sky, Eye of the Wind is a photogenic ship. If you have any new images we would love to see them since Eye of the Wind has only recently returned to our website. 

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