september 6 - 20. september 2023
The desire for adventure is genetically coded into humans, and now we get to follow in the footsteps of the Vikings and expand our horizons. We will take you on an unforgettable voyage among the islands of the North Atlantic. From Iceland's volcanic rocks and hot springs, via the Faroe Islands’ green-clad mountainsides and waterfalls that plunge straight into the sea, and to the Hebrides' unbeatable sandy beaches and world-famous whiskey traditions. On this trip we really get to experience the open sea with several days of ocean crossing. We sail through areas rich in animal and bird life, and ashore we will see how our Norse ancestors have influenced the culture of these archipelagos.
We start this voyage from the saga island of Iceland. Here we explore the northwest and west coasts as we sail south and east. Iceland has an exciting landscape and is known for volcanic activity with associated hot springs, which makes the visit completely unique. The Faroe Islands offer spectacular rocky shores and views we do not find in many other places. Here it is clear that the open sea has battered the ocean cliffs and shaped the landscape for thousands of years. Once in the Hebrides, we spend the rest of the time hopping between these traditional islands, visiting some of the world's leading whiskey distilleries, and sailing with the tidal currents.
On this expedition we have two stages with offshore sailing, Iceland - Faroe Islands and Faroe Islands - Hebrides / Scotland. During the cruises, we will work in watch shifts around the clock and learn a lot about navigation, sailing, and seamanship. We also learn about wind, weather, waves and the sea. It's a bit of an experience to surf down the waves with this huge expedition ship!
This is the expedition for those of you who are curious about sea sailing and for those of you who have always wanted to visit the Faroe Islands, the Hebrides, or Iceland. This is a trip for those of you who want to combine an active holiday in exciting ports and experiencing different cultures, with Norse elements and experiences as you cross part of the North Atlantic. You do not need any previous experience with sailing to join this voyage, but if you have sailed a whole lot before, we will still be able to challenge you on board our expedition boat!
From SeilNorge we have a skipper, co-skipper and guide / crew. All are good sailors, and at least one of us will have solid sailing time and experience from similar expeditions. Along the way, whether sailing or on motor, we will include everyone on board in running the boat. We will mostly sail at all hours of the day, and distribute everyone into watch teams. We rotate between the shift teams and go 4 hours on and 8 hours off. In addition, we add a couple of shorter shifts in the rotation in the afternoon, so that we also rotate the night shifts between the shift teams.
It is not just any sailboat we use on this trip, but our 70 foot large expedition boat Valiente. She is a very stable and comfortable boat built in steel for sailing in Arctic waters. The boat is very well-equipped and has large outdoor areas, a wheelhouse, and a saloon with 360-degree views. For photos and more info about Valiente see the link here.
This expedition, like our other longer trips, is first and foremost a great voyage of discovery, but also an excellent opportunity to learn a lot about sailing and navigation, and not least to use a boat as a starting point for discoveries and experiences on land. Are you ready for the late summer expedition from Iceland to the Faroe Islands and Scotland?
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Our northern sea areas are vulnerable and under pressure from people and climate change. At SeilNorge, we are concerned with 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 clean up rubbish in the places we visit, instead of leaving something behind. Join us on an exotic, unique, sustainable, environmentally friendly and unforgettable holiday with us!
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: Welcome aboard in Iceland!
We meet in the harbor in Isafjordur in Iceland at 12.00, where the boat is ready and waiting. We get to know each other and go through safety routines and basic boat handling. Before we set off, we must also finish storing all the supplies and equipment we need for the trip. On our expeditions, everyone is part of the crew and participates in tasks on board, so the first day we go through routines, practice man-overboard drills, etc. We set off on the first evening to begin our adventure!
Day 2 - 3: Along the coast of Iceland
We spend the first sailing days along the northwest and west coast of Iceland, where we explore the inaccessible Westfjords and the unique landscape here. We sail further south along these western areas, where we find some of Iceland's most volcanically active areas. Here, the Snæfellsnes peninsula is a natural stop, with the towering Snæfellsjökull mountain located at the far end of the peninsula. The national park around the mountain extends all the way from the shoreline up to the 1446 meter high glacial peak! Depending on weather and what we want onboard, it can be possible to arrange a glacier hike to this peak one of these first days!
Day 4 - 7: From Iceland to the Faroe Islands
After the first leg sailing along the coast of Iceland, we arrive at Vestmannaeyjar and the lonely lighthouse Pridrangar which stands all by itself on top of a pinnacle in the middle of the sea. From here we head southeast towards the Faroe Islands! The crossing is around 370 nautical miles and will take about 3 days. Perhaps a bit more or a bit less, depending on the wind! During the crossing we really get to feel what it is like to be at sea with a large sailboat, and we will feel the forces of nature and experience the wildlife! Maybe we will receive a visit from a whale or two, and the seabirds will make the journey with us. When we finally reach the coast of the Faroe Islands, we will find a good harbour, perhaps in the well-known traditional village of Saksun, or on the island of Vágar.
Day 8: Faroe Islands; coastal cliffs and waterfalls
In the northwestern part of the Faroe Islands we find some of the most spectacular sights the archipelago has to offer. Here, the Atlantic Ocean has formed steep cliffs and pinnacles that plunge straight into the sea. We sail past the village Gásadalur with its world-famous waterfall, Múlafossur, and the formations Drangarnir and Tindholmur. Other nice stops are Vestmanna, with its famous bird mountains, and Midvagúr with the hike to Leitisvatn.
Day 9: Thorshavn
Before we sail further south, we have to stop by the capital of the Faroe Islands, Thorshavn. This is a very charming city, which could easily be the backdrop for the latest Hollywood movie about Vikings. The old town is very intact and features narrow streets between log houses with peat and grass on the roof. The town is bustling with life, and we spend some time exploring what this historic city has to offer.
Day 10 - 11: From the Faroe Islands to the Hebrides
From the southern tip of the Faroe Islands it is about 170 nautical miles to the Hebrides on the northwest coast of Scotland. This is a significantly shorter crossing than the previous one, and this stretch will take us one and a half to two days. We get another chance to connect with nature out on the ocean, without cell phone coverage, but maybe with dolphins playing in front of the bow!
Day 12 - 14: Whiskey-sail around the Hebrides and the west coast of Scotland
We spend the last days of the trip exploring the beautiful Hebrides. Here we sail between medieval castles and small villages with grassy hills and rocky shores as a backdrop. The Isle of Lewis and the Isle of Skye are among the places we will sail to on our way through the sea area which the Scots call The Minch. Here we can find whiskey distilleries like pearls on a string, and we take time to sail by and taste the goodies.
Day 15: Bye for now in Mallaig
The trip comes to a close as we dock in the lively harbour city of Mallaig. If we have enough time as planned, we arrive the night before and end a successful expedition by going out to eat at one of the local restaurants. In any case, we will arrive at Mallaig in time to pack our things, clean up the boat, and disembark by 12.00. For your way home we definitely recommend you to catch the picturesque Jacobite Steam Train towards Glasgow/Edinburgh, which is the trainline used as the Hogwarts express in the Harry Potter movies. Thank you for an adventurous and memorable voyage!
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!
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.
Oban on the northwest-coast of Scotland can be easily accessed from both the UK and from abroad. In the UK there are both trains and buses to Glasgow, Edinburgh, and London. From Glasgow, Edinburgh, or London there are flights in all directions.
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.
Sikkerhet og risiko - ekspedisjon
På våre ekspedisjonsturer krysser vi havstrekk over flere dager, og/eller seiler vi inn i områder langt fra folk og med ekstra risikomomenter, som sjøis og dårligere sjøkart. Dette er ekstra risikofaktorer, som vi håndterer ved å ha ekstra fokus på de situasjonene vi kan komme opp i blant alle våre mannskaper som seiler denne typen turer. Vi seiler i disse områdene kun i de mest optimale sesongene; og benytter oss av større og svært solide båter, som både er utstyrt og dimensjonert for å takle denne typen ekspedisjonsturer og farvann svært godt. Vi er helt klare på at seiling er den tryggeste og mest tilgjengelige måten å besøke disse svært utilgjengelige plassene. Imidlertid innebærer all seiling generelt, og særlig seiling i arktiske strøk og over åpent hav, en viss risiko som du må være klar over og villig til å ta. Ta gjerne kontakt med oss for en prat og veiledning om risiko.
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. The accommodation is generally in shared cabins, some of which have a double bed and some of which have bunk beds. 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?
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.