august 23 - 4. september 2022
This is an exciting expedition with ocean crossing from Svalbard to Greenland, and a whole week of exploration and discoveries along the coast of East-Greenland. During the voyage we really get a feeling of the big ocean. In recent years the actual edge of the pack ice has been too far north for sailing along it towards the west, but we will still get close to large ice sheets, icebergs and glaciers when we arrive in Greenland.
On this expedition we also get to feel Greenland's greatness. In the fjords, and among the mountains and glaciers along the north east-coast, we will spend several days. This is an area very few have been before us and we are vulnerable, far from civilization and quite alone. We must be careful and maneuver slowly, but we have the southern Greenland stream with us on our way south. In these waters at this time of year we no longer have the full midnight sun, but it will be very bright 24/7 which is always a good starting point for an adventure trip.
After some good days sailing south along the coast we arrive at the inlet of Scoresby Sound, a huge and magnificent fjord system with glaciers, fjords and mountains. Here, the large icebergs float calmly back and forth and there is much to see and discover. At the entrance to Scoresby we also find the northernmost settlement of the east-coast. The village is called Ittoqqortormiit and has more than 400 inhabitants. Everyone lives in small wooden houses with the world's coolest colors, and we arrive at the warmest days of the year. The inhabitants are mostly outside to enjoy the sun before the tough winter returns.
After a couple of days in Scoresby Sound we set sails again and head for Iceland and the port of Isafjordur. The crossing takes less than 2 days and at arrival we spend a fair amount of time ashore, stretch our legs and discover what Isafjordur has to offer.
From SeilNorge we will be 2-3 skippers and crew, of which all are great sailors, and of which at least one of us has solid experience from similar expeditions. We will work as guides and polar bear guards when we are ashore in the terrain. Along the way, sailing or on motor, we will include all participants in the sailing. We will generally sail at all times of the day, and everyone onboard will be running watches of 4 hours on and 8 hours off.
It's not just any sailboat we use on this trip, but our 70-feet expedition boat Valiente. She is a very steady and comfortable boat built in steel, made for sailing in arctic waters. The boat is well equipped and has a large outdoor area, a wheelhouse and a 360-degree-view lounge. For pictures and more info about Valiente see link here.
This expedition is like our other adventures, primarily a major exploration, but also a great opportunity to learn a lot about sailing and navigation, and not least the use of a boat as a starting point for explorations and experiences ashore. Are you ready for the summer's expedition to Greenland and Iceland
See a nice short film from Svalbard that we made in 2017 here.
The Arctic is a vulnerable area under pressure from people and climate change. In SeilNorge we are committed to taking care of the environment as much as possible and we believe that small boats with few people and little pollution and waste are much less harmful to the environment, climate and local wildlife, than larger boats and cruise ships. We also try to gather garbage at the places we visit, instead of leaving something behind. On Svalbard and Greenland we follow AECO's guidelines for encounters with wildlife, beach cleaning, cultural heritage sites and for arctic operators. More about AECO's guidelines can be read here.
Great program, nice atmosphere, fantastic nature experiences, professional and skilled skipper and co-skipper that involve the crew in a good way. Memories for life with great people in a good atmosphere”
Day 1: Trip start in Longyearbyen
We meet at 12:00 on the harbor in Longyearbyen. We start with getting to know each other, before we go through the schedule for the week. We get to know the boat and the equipment, and finish packing provisions and equipments. The life onboard requires cooperation, and before departure we go through routines and procedures onboard, for sailing and emergency situations. We depart and start sailing out the Ice fjord this first evening.
Day 2 - 5: From Longyearbyen to Shannon Island and Cape Wynn
This will be some ocean crossing from Svalbard to Greenland(!), but with a twist; we will cross quite far north so that we hit Greenland high up on the north-east coast around the Shannon island. The actual distance is about 430 nautical miles, and depending on the weather we spend 3-5 days, but most likely around 4 days.
Day 5 - 8: Exploration among the fjords on the north-east coast of Greenland
On this part of the expedition we will sail in the fjords, among glaciers, snow-capped mountains and icebergs. This is an area very few people have been to, and not a very common place for sailing, especially not for commercial operators. The maps are poor and it is far off the beaten track, we have to be careful. On the boat we have installed a type of forward-looking sonar that shows the depths also in front of the boat, which is nice to have when navigating in waters with poor maps. On our way south we sail by places like Daneborg and Mosquito Bay, and places where Norwegians and others have been before in history for various reasons.
Day 9 - 10: The fjord of Scoresby Sound
Scoresby Sound is worth several days exploration. The inlet to the fjord is 27 kilometers wide and there is an enormous system of fjords and glaciers. Here at the inlet of the fjord is also the eastern coast's northernmost settlement; the village of Ittoqqortormiit. The site has more than 400 inhabitants, all living in small wooden houses in the coolest colors. We arrive at the warmest days of the year, and the residents spend most of the time outside and enjoy the sun before the tough winter returns.
Day 11 - 13: Sailing from Scoresby to Isafjordur on Iceland
We leave the huge fjord system of Scoresby and arrive Isafjordur on Iceland well in time. The distance is about 230 nautical miles and it will take us around 2 days depending on the weather. Along the way, we can expect to see more icebergs, but also whales that sleep in the surface, swim and dive. Isafjordur is the largest city on the north side of Iceland and when we are well moored we make time for caring both body and soul; here we find both good swimming pools with hot and cold tubs, and good restaurants and bars that we can check out. Good job, well in port!
In Longyearbyen and on Iceland
If you haven't had the opportunity to experience Longyearbyen in advance of the trip, then we recommend staying an extra day or two before traveling home. It's always smart to add time for some rest and calmness before and after such a trip, to let the impressions sink in and see what's happening.
The program may change according to weather and conditions, but it gives an indication of how we spend the days.
Trip deposit and payment
You only pay deposit (NOK 6000) at booking, the rest is due 60 days before departure.
Travel - in general
Sometimes we have to fly, but not always. If you have the luxury of time, we always encourage to travel as environmentally friendly as possible. Traveling slowly also gives another start to a holiday. Cycling, taking the train or driving a car together are good alternatives! Feel free to add some extra time before and after, since up in the north weather that can sometimes change your plans…
The trip starts on Svalbard and ends in Iceland. Both places are islands in the sea far from Norway. A few row to Svalbard, a few more sail, but most fly. Norwegian and SAS fly to Longyearbyen, check out www.norwegian.no or www.sas.no.
From Iceland there are many different routes. If you want to sail more, you can join us on the rest of this expedition, which goes from Iceland and all the way home to Norway, via the Faroe Islands and Shetland.
Safety and risk - in general
We take safety seriously and on our trips we train on handling different situations that can occur at sea. On board the boat and trips, everyone must know what to do in potentially dangerous situations. For us it is important that you as a guest and participant is trained quickly enough to be a participating crew, not a passenger. It contributes to learning, sense of achievement and increased safety for all. This is also why our trips are considered to be sailing courses, you are trained to be one of the crew members on board.
Mountain hikes and alpine/backcountry trips involves a certain risk, as does sailing. However, we as an operator, and our skippers and guides, do everything we can to minimize the risk in a professional manner. Everyone gains on this and we have no one to lose.
In terms of risk, we sail a safe and sturdy steel boat that is well equipped for this type of trip. However, all sailing in general, and sailing in arctic regions, involves a certain risk that you must be willing to take.
Feel free to contact us for a chat and guidance about risk.
Level of this trip
Sailing wise, our trips are not difficult, and you are always welcome to join us! We have with us both people who have never sailed before and experienced sailors. However, you must be prepared for everything from no wind to sailing in harsh weather. If you are a beginner, we will try to make you a seaman/woman as soon as possible. If you are experienced you will be given responsibility and greater challenges.
In Northern Norway and the Arctics we must be prepared for all seasons, often during a single day. It’s a part of the experience; it’s wild, beautiful and raw – in all aspects, also with regards to weather. Prepare for the contrasts! For us the most important thing is to enjoy the ride and the sailing. Use what you have, borrow if you can, and invest in something new if you must. In good time before departure we will send you a detailed recommended packing list for this trip.
Food and cooking
On our trips everyone contributes to the operation of the boat, so as long as you have not booked one of our trips with a designated chef, all take their turns in the galley during the trip. Skippers and guides assist as much as they can along the way. In advance of the trip, we set up a menu and shop what is needed. We try to offer good menus with healthy and “boat friendly” food. If you have allergies or preferences let us know in the registration form, and we will take that into account. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
What we expect from you
We want you to take part in the routines onboard the sailboat, whether it is sailing, docking, navigating, looking for whales and icebergs, washing up, cooking, clean the boat or contribute in other ways when required. Our trips require a little effort from all participants - and you should be open to contribute and open up a bit socially. We have many different people with us on our trips, and most people go very well together. Our experience is that doing things with others out in nature, and not least do things with new people with different personalities than one might be used to, is what creates the best, most interesting and memorable stories :)
Life on board and accommodation
Life on board a sailboat is social and pleasant, but for some it can be perceived as quite intimate and crowded, which is important to be prepared for. On our trips everyone participates in the operation of the sailboat and everyone is considered crew. We would like to get to know you well and hope that you will get to know everyone else on the sailboat as soon as possible. It requires some patience, generosity and an open mind to thrive, but the new acquaintances and completely raw nature experiences are quickly what will take your focus as soon as you become comfortable with life at sea.
Accommodation on the boat is part of the fun. The accommodation is generally in shared cabins, some of which have a double bed and some have a bunk bed solution. The distribution is quite a puzzle, but we do believe we are quite good at it. Let us know if you have any special needs or reservations.Any accommodation before and after the trip must be arranged on its own. If you have any doubts about where to stay, we’re happy to give you some recommendations.
On the boat we have a lot of heat and a lot of good food, but not always abundance of fresh water.
What kind of people join this trip - and how many are we on board?
Many come alone, some travel as couples, some travel as a group of friends. The common denominator for everyone is that these are fun and committed people you become friends with almost no matter what. Sharing grand experiences creates strong ties! Many people wonder about the age composition of our trips, but that is not so important to us. It doesn't matter if you are young or old as long as you want to go on a trip and intend to do your part so that you and the rest of the crew will have a good trip together. The number of participants varies from trip to trip. If we get many participants, we will expand with more boats and skippers. On most trips we sail more boats in a fleet, with 7-9 people onboard each boat.
ECO, Environment and sustainability
Both sailing and hiking/alpine/backcountry trips are environmentally friendly activities and we sail as much as we can and use the engine as little as possible. We encourage crew and participants to travel as environmentally-friendly as possible, and we use local ingredients and resources as far as possible. We also have our own trips where we collect litter and clean ocean trash from beaches.
Philosophically we often say that sailing is an exercise in sustainability; we move with the wind and we have limitations on things like water, diesel, electricity and food. In order to run sustainable - knowledge, patience, agility and hard work are required. The same applies to almost everything you try to do in a sustainable way.
Changes to the program
The program should be seen as a starting point that we adapt to weather and conditions. We also reserve the right to constantly improve our itineraries. On board with us we always have a dinghy for beach landings and small expeditions, we have fishing gear for the cod, and gear to hike or make a bonfires on the beach - we are ready for adventure! Are you?