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Orkneys, Fair Isles, Shetlands, Faroes and Iceland.

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2 Berth Cabin En-Suite Price per person



Embark Disembark Vessel DurationVoyage No
Fri 01-07-2022, 18:00Harlingen, The Netherlands Sun 24-07-2022, 10:00Reykjavik, Iceland Tecla 23 NightsTC010722 dddd

One of the highlights in the sailing season. Setting sail from The Netherlands a course north is set to first visit the Orkneys and then onwards to the Shetland Islands. Fair Isle is the first stop, then on to Foula or the mainland of the Shetlands. When the winds are good, a crossing of less then 24 hours will take you to the Faroe Islands. So much nature, amazing walks and miles on end to sail between the islands. Then the crossing to Iceland and Reykjavik.

  • Voyage
  • Vessel


Best for intrepid and experienced sailors, or hardy wildlife lovers who like a bit of ocean spray and the feel of a moving deck beneath their feet. You need to be reasonable agile for this voyage but Tecla is a tough ocean going sailing ship with comfortable two person cabins with hot showers and radiators. The warm saloon and galley area has comfy seating and a library and is the heart of the ship. It you are interested in archeology and how vikings, picts, stone and bronze aged men and women lived then you are in for a treat on this voyage. 


  • Whales
  • Old Viking Settlements
  • Puffins
  • Orkneys
  • Shetland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Reykjavik
  • Hikes
  • Culture


Vessel type / Rig Gaff Ketch
Guest Berths 12
Beam 22ft
Draft 8.9ft
Deck Length 90ft
Overall Length 124ft
Tonnage 92 tons
Year Built 1915
More about the Vessel

Voyage Description


Those who love journeying under sail and find this old Viking trading route interesting.  Anyone who loves to meet the communities that live on remote islands and find out more about their local cultures.Sailors looking for proper ocean sailing in between the archipelagi, Robinson Crusoe types who like empty beaches and hill walkers and mountaineers that are drawn to some of the highest seacliffs in Europe.


  • sail below the towering cliffs of the Faroes Isles
  • Orkney for sea stacks
  • Fair Isle for jumper patterns
  • Shetland’s for pristine beaches 
  • See Outer Hebrides and Cape Wrath
  • All food included
  • Full accommodation onboard


Well Proven Ocean Sailing Ship

Tecla sailed around the world in 2012-13 and through the North West Passage of Canada in 2019 with Europa and Oosterschelde. She crossed the South and North Atlantic, Indian Ocean, the wild seas of South Australia, raced in the Tasman Sea and sailed across the Pacific to round Cape Horn. She is a fast ship that does well in tall ships races. Run by two Dutch families she likes to create unusual sailing programmes and her crews like to explore ashore with as much energy as they sail the ship.

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.

Orkney for Sea Stacks

The next evening you will set sail for the Orkney Isles. Orkney’s second largest island rises dramatically from the sea with ward hill towering 480 metres above sea level.

Depending on the wind and weather Westray or Sanday will be our first stop on the Orkney’s. Both Islands offer great cultural history as well as unspoiled beaches with a large range of wild live. Sailing among these Islands we will stumble across sea mammals include common and grey seals, otters, orcas, dolphins and porpoises and the occasional lost sperm whale. Navigating between the rocks and stacs, Stromness is our next port of call. From Stromness we will set out on an excursion around the main Island, visiting sites like Skara Brae, Ring of Brodgar and Maeshowe. That evening we will make the short hop to Hoy. Orkney’s second largest Island rises dramatically from the sea with Ward Hill towering 480 mtrs above sea level. Leaving the “Old men of Hoy” on the horizon we will soon spot the 

Sailing to the Orkney's with Classic sailing
The old man of hoy

Buy a jumper in Fair Isle or Shetland

Fair Isle is allegedly a very friendly place for visitors….but then you are a rare commodity in this remote island between Orkney and Shetland. Famous for its fisherman’s colourful jumper patterns and the shipping forecast, but when you meet the people it becomes as fascinating as all isolated communities. Everyone has a skill or two and several jobs.

Fair Isle Harbour by Debbie Purser

Sail a Herring Drifter to Shetland

Leaving this north Atlantic archipelago another stretch of open water lies ahead of us. The 190 nautical miles typically take no more than 36 hours, a good time to contemplate thoughts. Keeping the ship on an south easterly heading, Lerwick is our next stop, this famous old herring port used to be filled with herring drifters of all sorts. The Dutch also used this port to land their catch and take in new provisions. Tecla was originally a Herring Drifter, fishing for Herring all around the North Sea, so she should feel at home in Lerwick – once a major herring port.

After clearing customs and immigration, Lerwick is a good base from where to start exploring the main land. Sites like Jarlshof-Prehistoric and Norse settlement are a must when visiting the Shetlands. Unst with Hermaness National Nature Reserve has a great variety of wild live, birds as well as mammals. If we are lucky well even get to spot an otter! Making our way south Fair Isle is our last stop in the Shetlands. Lying halfway between the Orkneys and Shetland, it is one of Britain’s most successful remote communities and known for the warmth of its welcome to visitors.

Sail in the Shetland Isles. Photo by Pixabay ref 238498
Shetland Isles

The Highest Sea Cliffs in Europe

Leaving Heimaey Tecla now sets off for another group of Islands, The Faroe Islands. You are out in the deep ocean blue now and it is hurricane season in the Caribbean so you can get some pretty large summer storms sweep across the North Atlantic that sometimes track as far North as Scotland or Iceland. This group of 18 islands is fully exposed to the fury of the Ocean in winter and sometimes it  can seem quite wild in summer.The Faroe Islands are also  in the North Atlantic current so you could see almost anything in terms of marine wildlife. It isolated and life here is still tough but you are  home to some of the world’s most awesome views. The first sight of land after a 400nml sail over the North Atlantic open water!

Sailing around the Faroes is not offered by many vessels Join Tecla this summer
Sailing around the Faroes is not offered by many vessels, Join Tecla this summer

If the weather is fair the cliffs off Slaettaratindur will be visible from a great distance. These are Europe’s highest sea cliffs at 882 mtrs above sea level.  First port of call will be Torshavn, the capital of the Faroe’s. After clearing customs and immigration we will explore the Islands and magnificent fjords. The Faroe Islands where chosen number one destination 2015 by the readers of National Geographic Traveler. Criteria’s being, sustainable, culturally minded, authentic, superlative, and timely.

The Faroes for Viking Culture

The Islands have much to absorb. Places like the Viking excavation site at Kvivik. Gannets bomb diving at their largest colony at Vestmanna  Take the steps down to Gjogv natural harbour and be overwhelmed by the nature surrounding you! Make the hike to Ambadalur valley and gaze at the marvellous site of  Bugvin, the tallest freestanding cliff column in the Faroe’s! And there is more! Mykines to the west with its bird colonies of Puffins, Gannets, Fulmars, and Black Guillemots. Take the walk up to the light house over the challenging free hanging bridge towering 35 meters above the Atlantic Ocean.

Whatever you might think of the whaling, the Faroes are a place of dramatic sea cliffs, swirling mists and legend. The cliffs of Slaettaratindur are 882 metres high and the tallest sea cliffs in Europe. Ashore there are Viking village remains to visit at Kvalvik. Maybe find a sauna to relax in at Torshavn. The ship will be well stocked with Dutch beer so chatting to the locals with a beer on deck, will help preserve your ‘pocket money’. Look out for the colourful turf roof houses.

There are 18 islands in the Faroes group and they all stand fully exposed to the fury of the North Atlantic. It is a windswept place, and not a destination your average yachtsperson cruises, so you need a bit of a pioneering spirit for this 21 voyage, similar to ocean crossings.

Not a place for those with vertigo. Faroes cliffs and seabirds
Not a place for those with vertigo. Faroes cliffs and seabirds


Tecla on the silvery Sea. Photo by Howard Gear
Tecla on the silvery Sea. Photo by Howard Gear

Sitting on the Mid Atlantic Ridge – A growing Island Group 

Tecla crew love to stop in the Westman Islands just off the SW corner of Iceland on the way home. Apart from its large Puffin colony, the Islands have much to over in ways of geology. This group of Islands is only 12000 years old! In 1973 a volcanic fissure opened up the main Island and a new volcano, Eldfell gushed out lava streams. As a result the Island became two square miles bigger.

Make the Most of your Stay in Iceland

If you can grab a few days in Iceland after you voyage, Reykjavik has a good tourist information centre and the country is set up for day excursions or 2-3 day adventures into the interior. If you are already overstretched on your holiday leave then don’t worry as your voyage has experiences a plenty. With an evening start on the ship you could fly there the same day and still end up doing some tempting shopping in Reykjavik’s stylish shops. 

Largest Viking replica Draken Harald Harfagre off the Faroes
Beware the Vikings – Draken Harald Harfagre


For the open stretches it would be typical North Atlantic Ocean sailing which can be storms, rain squalls, strong winds and big swell, but might also be benign, blue and sunny with light winds. It all depends on the high and low pressure systems, but once you are out there, you can run but you cant hide until the next group of islands. Temperatures would be similar to sailing in NW Scotland at this time of year and the seas are still warm enough to swim in. Within the Archipelagi of Shetland and Orkney you have coastal type sailing similar to the Scillies or Hebrides with flat bits and tidal races. probably not the trip for those prone to seasickness.


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.



Start & End Port

Harlingen, The Netherlands

The ships exact location in port is often controlled by the port authorities and they will only allocate a docking position a few days before. You will be informed as soon as possible of their exact joining location.

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.

Joining Morgenster in August 2018- She will be berthed at the “Nieuwe Wilhelmskade” at the Cruisepontoon. Just next to the main stage.

Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik Port Pdf

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.

Kit List

Kit List for Tecla 

THIS IS TECLA standard voyage kit list. Specialist Antarctic kit list to follow shortly


  • Sailing instruction 
  • Safety Equipment (Life jackets and harnesses)
  • All meals to including refreshments throughout the day.
  • Bed linen, duvet, pillows and towels. 

What's Not Included

  • Travel to and from the start and end port. 
  • Optional trips or tours taken ashore
  • Meals ashore
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Personal towels


What to bring

There is limited storage space on Tecla so please pack all you belongings in a soft rucksack or bag.

  • Footwear: Shoes with a good grip e.g. trainers or sailing deck shoes. (Sandals are great for beaches but you do need toe protection for sailing). Tecla has steel decks so waterproof walking boots are fine at sea in moderate winds and dry conditions and great for voyages where you might do some rough terrain walking like Iceland and Scotland. 
  • Rubber Boots or second pair of shoes for wet weather or getting in/out of dinghies. 
  • Swim suit & beach towel
  • Suntan lotion & sunglasses
  • Sun hat / warm hat, scarves, gloves
  • Clothes that dry quickly like fleeces and thermals. Mix of warm, waterproof & windproof layers. Wool jumpers are warm, even when wet, but can take a while to dry. Merino wool type shirts are good for under layers.
  • Small rucksack for going ashore
  • Travel insurance documents/any travel tickets
  • Personal medicines/ spectacles/ seasick tablets –check which brand if you suffer from asthma or are on regular medication.
  • Camera/binoculars etc
  • Modest quantity of alcohol for evening meals
  • You are welcome to bring musical instruments



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.

Geoff R 2018

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 the Fair Isles 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 seasick 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

I would do it again tomorrow. And good value too. The food was excellent. I loved the spicy meatballs and my wife loved the fresh langoustines.


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.


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 2018

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, a true sense of teamwork, great guidance and a 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

Double first
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.
Was it cold in Iceland, Yes and No, on arrival, there was no need for more than 2 layers on top and trousers. But later when sailing and the wind picked up from the north it did require 5 top layers and trousers with thermal leggings beneath. BUT we were less than 30 miles from the Arctic Circle! 
Long Days
This far north the summer days are so long you can go for a good hike after supper!
Overall I really enjoyed the voyage and the wildlife.

Adam Purser June 2018

Vessel Gallery

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.

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