september 4 - 18. september 2022
This expedition from Iceland to Norway follows the same route as the Vikings and others have sailed for thousands of years between east and west, and offer a good and well-balanced mix of coastal sailing and ocean crossing. The historical ties between Norway and all these places like Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Shetland, are strong, and as modern Vikings from Norway we are used to being welcomed along the way.
We begin by exploring the fjords on the north and east coast of Iceland, before heading for the beautiful archipelago of the Faroe Islands. The crossing of the sea takes 2-3 days, and in the Faroe Islands we will spend another 2-3 days to see and explore. We continue to Shetland where we spend a couple of days on land before we set sails across the North Sea with course for Norway and Ålesund.
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. 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 newest addition to our fleet, the expedition vessel Alma. This slightly smaller replica of Amundsen’s expedition ship “Gjøa” is a newly-built traditional sailboat. It is a really solid 52-foot wooden boat at 45 tons, and has plenty of deck space to enjoy the view of arctic volcanoes, waterfalls, coastal cliffs and whales! Comfort onboard is ensured, with ample space under deck, central heating, a social galley midship, and comfortable beds with warm duvets and pillows. For photos and more information about Alma, check this link.
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 autumn's long distance trip from Iceland to Norway, via the Faroe Islands and the Shetland?
On this trip last year we had several days with a lot of wind and heavy weather, and for some it became a strenuous trip. However, everyone agreed that it was a wonderful experience that no one would have been without. In particular, they never forget about the encounter with a big fin whale in the midst of the big waves at sea. A small film clip from this encounter can be see here.
The first time i Sailed arctic ocean in a sailing boat perfectly built for it. I look forward new adventures with the perfect organizer Sail Norway!
Day 1: Trip start in Isafjordur
We meet at 16:00 on the quay in Isafjordur. 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 set sails as soon as we are ready.
Day 2 - 4: Northeast coast of Iceland
From Isafjordur. we sail eastward and gradually southward and get to know this part of the Icelandic coast. We expect to see a good amount of whales along the way and we can spend time getting to know these big animals well. If we for some strange reason, do not find whales by ourselves on our own boat, then we can invite onboard someone from one of the many whaling-towns along the coast who has more knowledge than us. We also have time to be flexible and stop at some of the more interesting places and villages in these areas, or just go for a hike somewhere if we want to.
Day 5 - 6: Ocean crossing from Iceland to the Faroe Islands
The actual crossing is 240-250 nautical miles and takes 2-3 days depending on the weather. As we approach the Faroe Islands, wave height and direction determine where we can go ashore first. There are heavy ocean currents around the Faroe Islands, and if we do not take into account the waves, weather and wind in combination with the currents, we can put the boat and crew at risk.
Day 7 - 9: Island hopping and time on land on the Faroe Islands
There are several great places, but the most interesting to most sailors is the capital of Torshavn. The amount of time we can spend on land depends on the weather forecast for the next few days and the continued ocean crossing to Shetland and Norway. But one thing is for sure; we are going ashore on more than one of the Faroe Islands.
Day 10 - 12: Ocean crossing to Shetland and time ashore on Shetland
The ocean crossing is 150 nautical miles, and after our previous experience, this is a distance we now eat for breakfast. It takes about one 24 hours. When we get to the fjords of Shetland we will see what we will do and how we spend time, but we will try to stop by the capital of Lerwick. We are not quite home yet so we have to pay attention to the weather forecast in terms of the last stage home across the North Sea.
Day 13 - 15: Sailing across the North Sea towards Stadtlandet and Ålesund
The last stage across the North Sea is 180 nautical miles to Bergen, and a little more to Stadt and Ålesund. Wind and weather conditions will determine where we first hit land in Norway, but the trip will end in Ålesund. If we have time to stop elsewhere on the Norwegian coast then that's a bonus. The last night we spend together with a good dinner and drinks. Thank you for a great adventure in the wake of the Vikings!
The program should be seen as a rough itinerary that we can adapt to the weather and conditions. We also reserve the right to change and improve our itineraries. We will have a dinghy for beach trips and small expeditions, fishing gear for cod, and gear to hike or make bonfires on the beach on all our trips - we are ready for adventure! Are you?
Deposit and payment
You pay a 6000NOK deposit when you book the trip, and the rest of the payment is due 60 days before the trip begins.
Travel - in general
Sometimes we have to fly, but not always. If you have the luxury of time, we always encourage you to travel as environmentally friendly as possible. Traveling slowly also allows you to start your holiday in a special way. Cycling, taking the train, or driving a car together can be good options! Feel free to add some extra time before and after your trip, since up north the weather can be unpredictable and might affect your plans!
To and from Iceland there are many different routes. One option is the daily ferry route from Denmark via Faroe Islands. There are also several daily departures and arrivals by plane from the Nordics, Europe and America.
From Ålesund there are many alternatives regards to public transportation. There are buses going to Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim; the train departs from Åndalsnes (with bus correspondence from Ålesund); the coastal express ferry Hurtigruten sails north and south; and there are flights from Ålesund airport to multiple destinations.
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 a boat and on trips, everyone must know what to do in potentially dangerous situations. For us it is important that you as a guest and participant are trained quickly enough to be a participant - not a passenger. It contributes to learning, a sense of achievement, and increased safety for all. It's also why our trips are considered to be sailing courses: you are trained to be one of the crewmembers on board. Feel free to contact us to discuss risk.
Safety and risk - expeditions
On our expedition trips, we often spend multiple days on sea-crossings, and we sail into areas far from people and with extra risk factors, such as sea ice and unreliable navigations charts. This requires our crew to have extra focus and awareness of the potential situations that might arise. We sail in these areas only in the most optimal seasons, and use only our largest and most sturdy boats, which are both equipped and dimensioned to cope with this type of expedition sailing. We are fully aware that sailing is the safest and most accessible way to visit these very inaccessible places. However, sailing in general, and especially sailing in the Arctic and over the high seas, involves a certain risk that you must be willing to take. Feel free to contact us for a chat and guidance regarding risk.
Level of this trip
This is a sailing expedition where we will undertake multi-day sea crossings, which can be an incredibly wonderful and special experience! You do not need to have sailed before to be on board, and we are joined by both people who have never sailed before and experienced sailors. If you are a beginner, we want to make you a seaman / woman as soon as possible, and if you are experienced, you will quickly get more responsibility and greater challenges. The group and crew will be divided into watch teams so that we can learn from each other and help each other out.
The boats we sail on our expeditions are large, robust, and sail well in the open seas.. However, we do not control the weather, and we must be prepared for wind and potential heavy seas that we might encounter offshore. From light breezes to sailing in hard weather with several meters of swell, and the proximity to the forces of nature on such an expedition is something most people find very unique and rewarding!
As with all activities, there is plenty of specialized equipment and clothing for sailing. We do not expect you to buy lots of new equipment to join any of our trips, so, use what you have, borrow what you need from a friend, try to purchase used equipment, and if you have to invest in new equipment - buy quality items that will last. What you need is something waterproof and windproof on the outside, and layered clothing underneath. Some jackets may not be waterproof enough, or might not perform well in saltwater, so you might want to consider purchasing or renting a set of “oilskins” from us to use on the wettest days (included for borrowing onboard Alma). A pair of higher rubber boots for landings from the dinghy is very nice to have, in addition to slippers to wear below deck. Out on the high seas and in the Arctic, it is cold even in summer, so bring both swimwear and plenty of warm clothes. We will send you a detailed recommended packing list in good time before departure.
Food and cooking
On our trips you will be part of the crew onboard and get the chance to participate in all aspects of the running of the sailboat. This includes the cooking, where everyone is taking turns in the galley! Skippers and guides assist as much as they can along the way. Before the trip we set up a menu and purchase what is needed. We offer good menus with healthy “boat friendly” food. If you have allergies or preferences, let us know in the registration form and we will take that into account. During the trip, we often sail by a good restaurant or two where we stop and eat.
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, cleaning the boat, or contributing in other ways when required. You will be split into a watch team, with the teams working in rotations of 4 hours on and 8 hours off, with a rotating system to make sure that the night-shifts are divided equally among all watch teams. Our trips require a little work from the participants - and you must be open to contribute and open up a bit socially. We have many different people with us on our trips, and most people get along very well. Our experience is that doing things with others out in nature, and not least doing 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 one should 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 boat as soon as possible. It requires some patience, generosity, and an open mind to thrive, but the new acquaintances and completely raw nature experiences will take your focus as soon as you become comfortable with life at sea.
Accommodation on the boat is part of the fun. Accommodation is in separate single berths in two large cabins / common rooms, with several shared bathrooms. Figuring out who sleeps where can be a bit of a puzzle, but we do believe we’ve gotten quite good at it. Let us know if you have any special needs or reservations.
We have plenty of heating and good food on the boat, but not always abundance of fresh water. This means it will not be possible to shower every day, but more or less every other day we are either in a harbor with fresh water or we sail through a place where we can borrow showers or enjoy a sauna. A morning swim in the sea is free and is available all year round!
What kind of people join this trip - and how many are we on board?
Many come alone, some travel as couples, and others travel as a group of friends. The common denominator for everyone is that these are fun and interesting people you will become friends with almost no matter what. Sharing grand experiences creates strong ties! Many people wonder about the age composition of our trips, but this isn’t 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 in making this a great trip for everyone. Most of our participants are usually between 25-55 years old. The number of participants varies from trip to trip, but on these trips we are usually between 6 and 11 people.
Environment and sustainability
In general sailing is an environmentally friendly activity,, 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 much as we can. We also run 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 sustainably, knowledge, patience, flexibility, and hard work are required. The same can be said about many other things that one tries to do in a sustainable way.