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 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 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 sailingboat perfectly built for it, I look forward new adventures with S/Y Valiente and 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!
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…
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.
From Ålesund there are many alternatives regards to public transportation. There are buses going to Oslo, 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 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?
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.
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?