|Thu 11-07-2024, 18:00Reykjavik, Iceland||Thu 25-07-2024, 10:00Nuuk, The Capital of Greenland||Tecla||14 Nights||TC110724|
Starting from Iceland and sailing to Greenland aboard Arctic specialist Tecla. Teamwork is what it takes, making sure you are well rested for your watches. You will enjoy some of the most spectacular Northern light displays as you sail on the ocean with no light pollution whatsoever. This 15 day trip is a fantastic taster of high latitude sailing, with a great mix of deep ocean passages, coastal explorations, trips ashore and cracking sailing.
Rounding Cape Farewll
Skirting the sea ice and icebergs
Excellent whale watching potential
Exploring Nuuk with its fascinating history
Intrepid sailors who know they like being at sea. East Greenland is virtually uninhabited South of Scorseby Sound apart from Kulasuk. The whole coast is icebound until about June-July when the sea ice breaks up, so the first half of this voyage is mostly continuous ocean sailing where the coast may be inaccessible until you round Cap Farvel, Ideal for adventurers who like the unexpected and true sailors who want to sail one of the world’s famous capes.
If you are a wildlife lover with good sea legs that can handle 3 weeks mostly at sea then you are maximising your opportunities for spotting wildlife like blue whale, Humpbacks or orca Once around the Cape to West Greenland the huge fjords are 50-70km deep into the interior with many side fjords. The sea ice can still be a problem near the Cape but as you get nearer to Nuuk the coast becomes relatively free of ice flows in the summer and the shore landings options are all in spectacular mountain scenery with some of the biggest glaciers on the planet. A mecca for wilderness trekkers and landscape photographers.
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, especially in places like Greenland where there are very few places to re provision or ask for local knowledge and charts may be sparse with depth information.. Caution and constant vigilance is needed on changing weather, sea ice drift and iceberg hazards at anchor.
Tecla’s skippers have genuine interest in all things Arctic and the history of exploration in these parts. Debbie in the Classic Sailing office has sailed on Tecla in places like Faroes, and Iceland and also sailed in East 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. It is also interesting to ponder on how various cultures have survived these harsh but beautiful lands from the Vikings to the Inuit and European explorers, Whalers, and fur traders
Reykjavik is a fascinating city, and easy to reach by plane. We recommend arriving a day or two early to explore the city and stunning surrounding landscapes.
Stepping aboard Tecla here there may well be time to take in, by sea, some of the other delights Iceland has to offer, all while learning the ropes ahead of striking out into the deep ocean.
Hrafnsfjordur anchorage is part of the voyage through Hornstrandir. A vast area largely abandoned in the 1950 and left to look after its self. There are no roads, making a ship, the only possible way into the reserve. The people who used to live here cultivated small pieces of land to support their cattle with hay during the darker months. After the abandonment, the flora slowly started to recover its former and original state. The now 260 flowering plants and ferns are a good summer hiding place for the arctic foxes who made a remarkable recovery and there are more here than anywhere else in Iceland. A hand full of houses abandoned and restored are the last reminder of the small scale civilisation that once lived here
Depending on the weather and wind forcast we, shape our course. Our first destination might be Hornbjarg and its towering bird cliffs. It is home to many sea birds during the short and intensive summer. Razorbills, Guillemots, Kittiwakes and Fulmars are the main inhabitants. They are fair game for the Arctic fox and her cups. Always luring and risking their own lives to secure an evening meal. The walks up the cliffs are breath taking. It gives a great view into the Greenland Sund and over the bay and mountains to the East.
The journey to Greenland is a proper ocean passage. You will angle South towards the Southern tip of Greenland or a bit higher up the coast if it looks like there is a possibility of landing on this side. Most likely Tecla will have to stay 100 miles out of the coast until we reach the bottom of Greenland as there is to much drift ice along the coast and the entrances to the fjords are hazardous, but it depends a bit on the Ice prediction at that time. The cold current that sweeps down the East side brings with it a lot of broken sea ice and giant ice bergs, but it is the smaller growlers in rough sea to watch out for as they don’t always show on radar.
Tecla skipper will be making use of ice charts as well as forecasts to plan the route and make decisions on how close to the coast the ship goes and whether it is safe to work her way into the shore on either coast.
Making our way to Nuuk, there will be several fjords we can attempt to visit.
Nuuk as a city is the largest and fastest growing cities of Greenland. With over 17.000 inhabitants, it is still a small city compared which gives you the opportunity to really see the live of the local people in Greenland.
Historically Nuuk has had inhabitants long before the Vikings came there, even before the Iniuts settled nearby, Nuuk was already a place where people gathered.
Flights from Nuuk to Reykjavik are daily. And although in winter time the ice wins land and spreads out also into the bay of Nuuk, in the summer time Nuuk is free of most forms of ice. The city houses a large part of the population of Greenland. Once founded by early settlers and called ‘Good Hope’, it was only after the second world war, when the Greenlandic National identity was reawakened that the city was renamed, Nuuk, translated this means Cape. The National museum has a collection of Inuit mummies dating back to the 15th century. The Cultural Centre of Nuuk displays the work of a different Greenland Artist each year, which is well worth a visit.
This Voyage is South of the Arctic Circle. You are out the range of Arctic species like Polar Bear, Narwhal and Beluga whales but the West coast of Greenland is good for Blue Whales, Humpbacks and Orca.
There is excellent bird watching opportunities in Iceland at the beginning of you voyage and ashore is a botanists delight.
As you would expect from a ship that has sailed around the world, rounded Cape Horn under sail and is planning to sail the North West Passage, Tecla has an interesting library of books in different languages. There is a lot on Arctic exploration and a bit about the Inuits and what they taught European explorers like Dr John Rae, who were prepared to learn polar skills in hunting and over wintering. In Nuuk you will find a lot more with the National Museum and the Inuit Art Museum
Even better! Last year we were sailing the Hornstrandir fjords on Tecla, it was fantastic! This year our three-week voyage to Greenland (2017) has been even better. Awesome!!! We’ve been sailing through the ice, passing massive icebergs, seeing magnificent glaciers … with the tranquillity of being guided by an experienced skipper and his great crew, in the company of a group of friendly and funny guest mates.” Maria and Manuel C
This voyage is nothing like sailing in Greenland Scorseby Sound. You are in the open sea with potential for strong winds and waves as well as huge icebergs and broken sea ice. If Tecla stays well offshore (100 miles plus) you may avoid most the ice and you are just dealing with Atlantic Ocean in June – July. Daylight hours will be good and air temperatures not dissimilar to Faroes or Shetland in summer. Cap Farvel is on the same latitude as Stavanger and Shetland- which is why the Vikings could find it. Nuuk is a similar latitude to Reykjavik. The whopping great Greenland Ice Cap affects the weather and the Greenland high Pressure can create very stable,dry weather with sunshine and incredible visibility.
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
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.
Nuuk, the capital city of Greenland, offers a unique blend of stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and modern amenities. It’s well worth spending some time here before or after your voyage. Here is a brief guide to experiencing a memorable day out in Nuuk:
1. Morning Exploration:
Begin your day by exploring the city centre. Visit the National Museum of Greenland, which houses exhibits showcasing the history, culture, and art of Greenland. Take a leisurely walk along the colourful harbour area, admiring the picturesque view of the surrounding mountains and the charming houses. Don’t miss the iconic statue of Hans Egede, the founder of Nuuk, located near the harbour.
2. Cultural Immersion:
Immerse yourself in Greenlandic culture by visiting local art galleries and craft shops. Nuuk Art Museum showcases contemporary Greenlandic art, while the Katuaq Cultural Center hosts various events, performances, and exhibitions. Explore the Nuuk Cathedral, a beautiful modern church known for its impressive stained glass windows.
3. Greenlandic Cuisine:
Indulge in Greenlandic cuisine during your lunchtime. Visit one of the local restaurants and try traditional dishes like mattak (whale skin and blubber), Greenlandic seafood, or reindeer meat. You can also sample local delicacies such as dried fish or “kaffe-mik,” a traditional coffee gathering with cakes and pastries.
4. Outdoor Adventures:
In the afternoon hike up nearby mountains like Lille Malene or Store Malene for breathtaking panoramic views of Nuuk and the surrounding wilderness.
5. Nuuk’s Cultural Landmarks:
Discover Nuuk’s cultural landmarks, such as the Nuuk Art Museum, which houses an impressive collection of contemporary Greenlandic art. Visit the Nuuk Cathedral, a modern architectural gem known for its unique design and serene ambiance. Explore the Greenland National Theater and enjoy a performance showcasing traditional Greenlandic music and dance.
6. Evening Relaxation:
End your day by unwinding at one of Nuuk’s cozy cafes or restaurants. Sample Greenlandic specialties like crowberry desserts or sip on a local beer brewed with Arctic ingredients. Take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront promenade and enjoy the peaceful evening atmosphere with stunning views of the sunset over the mountains.
Remember to dress warmly and bring appropriate outdoor gear, as the weather in Greenland can be cold and unpredictable.
1. UK: You will typically need to take a connecting flight from a major airport such as London Heathrow or Manchester. There are no direct flights from the UK to Nuuk, so you would first fly to a major European hub, such as Copenhagen, Denmark, or Reykjavik, Iceland. From there, you would then take a connecting flight to Nuuk, which is the capital city of Greenland. It is advisable to check with airlines for the most convenient routes and schedules.
2. Canada: There are direct flights available from several Canadian cities to Nuuk. For instance, Air Greenland operates flights from both Montreal and Copenhagen to Nuuk. Alternatively, you could fly to Reykjavik, Iceland, which serves as a common connecting hub for flights to Nuuk. From Reykjavik, you would take a connecting flight to Nuuk, completing your journey.
3. USA: From the USA, you can reach Nuuk in Greenland by taking a connecting flight. Similar to Canada, there are no direct flights from the USA to Nuuk. Your best way is to fly via one of the Canadian airports mentioned above.
4. Europe: Several airlines, including Air Greenland, Air Iceland Connect, and Air Canada, operate direct flights from European cities like Copenhagen, Denmark, Reykjavik, Iceland, and Keflavik, Iceland, to Nuuk. The availability of direct flights may vary depending on the airline and the time of year, so it is recommended to check the schedules and book in advance to secure your preferred travel dates.
Please note that flight schedules and routes can change, so it is essential to check with airlines or travel agencies for the most up-to-date information before planning your journey to Nuuk.
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.
This trip fulfilled my desire for adventure sailing as we transited the north coast of Iceland, along the Arctic Circle. Even though it was rough, the boat and crew performed admirably.
An enjoyable week in less than ideal weather conditions. The crew were competent and friendly, the catering excellent. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a voyage on Tecla.
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.
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.
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.
Brilliant. 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.
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.
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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Nuuk, The Capital of Greenland
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Nuuk, The Capital of Greenland
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