|Sun 22-09-2024, 18:00Reykjavik, Iceland||Mon 14-10-2024, 10:00Ullapool, Scotland||Tecla||22 Nights||TC220924|
A very different time of year to be sailing through these island groups. If you want an intrepid way of exploring the Faroes, Shetland Isles, and the ever welcoming anchorages of the Orkney Isles then this is your sailing expedition. A great excuse to buy and wear an Icelandic jumper and a woolly hat from the Fair Isle knitters. The seas around Iceland can be epic and you will earn the respect of the hardy local inhabitants when you step ashore. The birds are migrating South and the stone circles of Callanish on Lewis, Outer Hebrides are moody and mystical. You might even see the Northern Lights.
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.
Tecla sailed around the world in 2012-13 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.
If you can grab a few days in Iceland before you sail, then 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. Departing Reykjavik you may stop on the Westmann Isles.
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.
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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 Butt of Lewis.
Leaving Cape Wrath well to port with Stornoway our new destination. From here we will have the next day to explore the sites of Gearannan black house village and the Callanisch standing stones. When we set sail for Ullapool we end an epic journey. Passing the Summer Isles in the footsteps of ancient explores!
The crew of Tecla were made very welcome by the local community in Ullapool in 2015, so the ship is back in the harbour in 2016 and starting all her Outer Hebrides and St Kilda voyages from here. Even further North than Eda Frandsen’s summer base in Mallaig. Ullapool is North of Skye, North of Torridon and level in latitude with the Shiant Islands.
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.
Reykjavik is a vibrant city, and the world’s most northerly capital. We’d highly recommend taking a couple of days to explore at the start or end of your voyage.
Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland, offers a delightful array of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. Here is a brief guide to experiencing a memorable day out in Reykjavik:
1. Morning Exploration:
Start your day by exploring the charming city center of Reykjavik. Take a leisurely stroll down Laugavegur, the main shopping street, lined with trendy shops, cafes, and restaurants. Don’t miss the iconic Hallgrímskirkja, a striking church with a panoramic view of the city from its tower. Take in the unique architecture and enjoy the peaceful ambiance.
2. Cultural Immersion:
Immerse yourself in Icelandic culture by visiting some of Reykjavik’s cultural sites. Head to the Harpa Concert Hall, a visually stunning glass building that hosts various concerts and events. Explore the Reykjavik Art Museum, showcasing contemporary and modern Icelandic art. Additionally, the National Museum of Iceland offers insights into the country’s history and heritage.
3. Delicious Icelandic Cuisine:
Treat yourself to Icelandic cuisine during lunchtime. Explore local restaurants and try traditional dishes like fresh seafood, hearty lamb stew, or the famous Icelandic hot dog.
4. Natural Wonders:
In the afternoon, venture out to explore the unique natural wonders around Reykjavik. Join a guided tour to witness the stunning beauty of the Golden Circle, which includes the awe-inspiring Gullfoss waterfall, the Geysir geothermal area, and Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site where you can walk between tectonic plates.
5. Relaxing in Thermal Pools:
End your day with a relaxing dip in one of Reykjavik’s geothermal pools. The most famous one is the Blue Lagoon, located a short distance from the city, although this can be incredibly busy and a bit commercial. We much prefer the ‘hot river’ of the Reykjadalur Valley which is more secluded if you have the time to walk there. Enjoy the warm mineral-rich waters and rejuvenate your senses amidst a surreal volcanic landscape. Alternatively, you can also visit one of the local thermal pools in the city, such as Laugardalslaug or Vesturbaejarlaug, to experience a slice of Icelandic daily life.
6. Evening Delights:
Reykjavik’s vibrant nightlife offers an array of entertainment options. Head to the downtown area to explore cozy bars, live music venues, and trendy clubs. Enjoy live performances by local bands, sample Icelandic craft beer, or try the unique Icelandic schnapps called “Brennivín.” Experience the friendly and lively atmosphere that Reykjavik is known for.
Remember to dress appropriately for the weather, as Iceland’s climate can be changeable.
Travel and Reykjavik
1. UK: There are direct flights available from various airports in the UK, including London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, and Glasgow. Several airlines, such as Icelandair, British Airways, and easyJet, operate direct flights to Reykjavik. The flight duration is typically around 2-3 hours, making it a convenient and accessible destination from the UK.
2. Canada: There are direct flights available from major Canadian cities, such as Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, to Reykjavik. Air Canada and Icelandair are among the airlines that offer direct flights. The flight duration from Canada to Reykjavik varies depending on the departure city but generally ranges from 5 to 7 hours.
3. USA: Several airlines, including Icelandair, Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, and WOW Air, operate direct flights from various US cities such as New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Seattle, and Minneapolis to Reykjavik. The flight duration from the USA to Reykjavik is typically around 5 to 7 hours, depending on the departure city.
4. Europe: Many European cities offer direct flights to Reykjavik, making it easily accessible. Airlines such as Icelandair, SAS, and British Airways operate direct flights from cities like Copenhagen, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Barcelona. The flight duration from European cities to Reykjavik can vary, typically ranging from 2 to 4 hours.
It’s important to note that flight schedules and availability may change, so it is recommended to check with airlines or travel agencies for the most up-to-date information before planning your journey to or from Reykjavik.
For Joining any vessel, head to the harbour where your ship will more than likely be the only sailing vessel. Address: The Pier, Ullapool IV26 2UH
As a base for starting a sailing holiday, Ullapool rewards those who take the trouble to travel this far North. On the entrance to Loch Broom are the Summer Isles and if you head out West you come to the Shiant Islands before your reach Harris and Lewis. From here, it is a relatively short hop to St Kilda, or the Flannan Isles. The sailing grounds are virtually empty and in June it feels like the sun hardly sets. At nearly N 58 degrees latitude Ullapool is further North than Moscow. Its a long way up from Edinburgh, but not as difficult to get to as you might think.
Ullapool is nestled on the shores of Loch Broom. Whatever the weather, you are immediately struck by Ullapool’s whiteness and by its regularity of design and layout. This is a legacy of the town’s origins, being designed and built in 1788 by Thomas Telford and the British Fisheries Society to exploit a boom in herring fishing at the time.
The town is also the main terminus for the car and passenger ferry to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. The ferry operates seven days per week so all the public transport to Ullapool is good and there are plenty of accommodation options in the town.
As a base for exploring the north west of Scotland, Ullapool is ideal. It has accommodation to suit all tastes and pockets, including one of the best (and best located) campsites in this part of Scotland. And since the upgrading of most of the roads further north it is within reasonable reach of many parts of the region that twenty-five years ago would have needed a major expedition to reach.
Ullapool offers some very nice pubs, including the Ferry Boat Inn. It also has a range of shops from the smallest right up to a well-stocked supermarket: anyone on a self catering holiday is sure to be visiting the latter at some point during their stay.
For those wanting to know more about the area the excellent Ullapool Museum & Visitor Centre on West Argyle Street can be highly recommended. This is in the old parish church, and tells the story of the people of Loch Broom and the history of Ullapool.
Getting to Ullapool
To travel from South East England to Ullapool in Scotland using a combination of public transport and planes, you can follow these steps:
1. **Train or Bus from South East England to a Major Airport**: Start your journey by taking a train or bus from South East England (e.g., London) to a major airport with flights to Inverness, the closest airport to Ullapool. Airports in London, such as Heathrow, Gatwick, or London City Airport, offer flights to Inverness. Check the flight schedules and choose the most convenient option for you.
2. **Flight to Inverness**: Book a flight from the chosen airport in South East England to Inverness. Flight durations may vary, but it generally takes around 1.5 to 2 hours to fly from London to Inverness.
3. **Travel from Inverness to Ullapool**: After arriving at Inverness airport, you can continue your journey to Ullapool using public transport options.
– **Bus**: Take a bus from Inverness airport to Inverness city center. From there, you can catch the Stagecoach service 61 bus, which operates between Inverness and Ullapool. The journey takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic and stops.
– **Taxi**: Alternatively, you can take a taxi from Inverness airport directly to Ullapool. This option is more expensive but offers convenience and a faster journey time.
It’s essential to check the flight and bus schedules in advance, as they may vary based on the day of the week and season. Plan your connections carefully to ensure a smooth journey, and consider leaving some extra time for any potential delays or unforeseen circumstances.
By selecting sustainable travel options and actively participating in carbon offset initiatives, you can make a positive impact while journeying to or from your voyage.
Here are some suggestions for carbon offset websites.
UK: One popular carbon offset website in the UK is “Clear” who offer a range of carbon offset projects and solutions for individuals, businesses, and organisations. They provide detailed information about their projects and allow users to calculate and offset their carbon footprint online.
North America: In North America, “Terrapass” is a well-known carbon offset website. Terrapass offers carbon offset projects across the United States and Canada. They provide options for individuals, businesses, and events to calculate and offset their carbon emissions. Terrapass also offers additional resources and information on sustainable living.
Europe: A popular carbon offset website in Europe is “MyClimate.” MyClimate provides carbon offset projects and solutions for individuals, businesses, and travel. They offer a carbon footprint calculator and allow users to support various sustainable projects worldwide. MyClimate focuses on promoting climate protection and sustainability.
Australia: “Greenfleet” is a prominent carbon offset website in Australia. Greenfleet focuses on planting native forests to offset carbon emissions. They offer individuals and businesses the opportunity to calculate and offset their carbon footprint by contributing to tree planting projects across Australia. Greenfleet provides detailed information about their projects and the positive environmental impacts they create.
Please note that these carbon offset websites may vary over time, so it is recommended to research and explore multiple options to find the most suitable one for your needs.
If any of these links do not work it would be kind of you to inform us, many thanks.
Not all sailing areas require the same gear, the same foul weather equipment or even the same shorts. But some items you must always bring. In this kit list we hope to give you a small insight in what to bring, but of course, please consider this list might not encumber all that you would wish to take!
Very important is that your bag or small suitcase needs to be stored in the room, under your bed, there is limited space – so bring a foldable bag! the following is Tecla's standard included/excluded and kit list. Below this you can find more specific info and kit lists dependant on sailing area.
When the ocean crossing is not part of the Southern Ocean sailing (so no South Georgia or Antarctica included) the crossings are usually in warm weather. Going from North to South, please be advised that the weather in the Falkland Islands is cool and wet! So also bring at
least one set of warm clothing.
If there are any items you usually take on your hikes, and they are easy to take in your luggage, don’t forget to bring them!
On the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica there are different levels of Bio-Security we will have to comply with. To make it easy on yourself we recommend you bring one set of hiking gear that you would like to use on shore, that is completely cleaned at home. This means Velcro is cleaned and does not contain any seeds or pollen. Your pockets are empty of any seeds, pollen, sand etc. Your boots are cleaned, no sand or mud on them.
This way, getting ready for the first landing becomes a walk in the park. For more information on Bio Security, please contact us.
These surroundings can be very cold, especially on longer watches. And also because these areas are protected, we ask you to take at least two sets of wet weather gear, with one of them at least completely clean. If you have sailing gear, perfect, but also bring some light weight, waterproof hiking gear. We recommend goretex pro of any brand. This is tough and durable. Often easy to clean and light weight.
In the cold, making layers is important. If there is no rain, most 800gr down jackets with a merino wool layer underneath are warm enough. If it rains, most jackets do not fit over the down jacket. Therefore we recommend layer one merino wool, layer two a woollen sweater, layer three a thinner down jacket or wind stopper and layer four your water proof jacket.
Of course we understand that not everybody has these items in their closet. Please contact us if you are unsure what to pack.
Summer in the Northern Territories of Canada can be cold, but they can be beautiful and warm as well. During the 2019 voyage we have had days of 2 degrees and days of 19 degrees. We had nights of 0 degrees, but also nights with a warm land breeze, where a woollen sweater and merino under layer were enough.
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.
Sail round the top of the Highlands - TNS652
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