juli 1 - 11. juli 2024
Ísafjörður (Iceland) - Narssarsuaq (Greenland): This is the kinder-egg leg filled with both ocean crossing over the Denmark-Strait to Greenland, coastal sailing down the eastern coast and also inshore sailing in the fjords in the south-west. After 4-5 days at sea we should approach the mouth of Prince Christianssund, turn to 270 degrees and calm down in sheltered waters with trips ashore, fishing, hot springs and good food. We will also go into the well known Tasermiut-fjord.
We start with the crossing of the Denmark Strait from Iceland towards the jagged coast of East Greenland.
After 4-5 days at sea we should approach the mouth of Prince Christianssund, turn to 270 degrees and calm down in sheltered waters with trips ashore, fishing, hot springs and good food. We will also go into the well known Tasermiut-fjord.
The final destination for this leg is the village Qaqortoq from where our Greenlandic crewmembers in SeilNorge grew up. The last day we anchor in Narssarsuaq and here the aiport-shuttle will be our dinghy.
This particular leg we do in the spirit of the two norwegians Hans H. Engebrigtsen and Alf Sundt Jacobsen who fled from Norway during late summer 1940, in order to educate as pilots at camp “little-Norway” in Canada. Their journey went via Svalbard and rowing around the south Cape of Greenland.
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 from Iceland to Greenland?
We recommend all participants to remain a couple of days extra in Greenland, as there’s a lot to see and do here. We’ll send out tips and info on activities and accommodation to all participants.
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. https://www.aeco.no/guidelines/
This longer expedition to Greenland is a dream we’ve had for a long time. Last year we had to postpone - this year we set sail with our new expedition boat, the S/Y Valiente!
The sailing plan is ready, inspired by a small piece of WWII and family history.
Many have already showed their interest for the different legs so this will be very exciting!
Day 1-5: Ocean crossing from Ísafjörður to Greenlands east-coast and Prince Christians Strait.
Now we’ll cross Denmark’s Strait and sail with the southern currents downwards along Greenlands east-coast. It’ll probably be 3 days before we see land, and 1-2 days southbound alongside the coast before we’ll come to the passage of Prince Christians strait in the south. Our trip will enter a new phase with inland climate and smooth sailing.
Day 6: Aupilatog to Nanortalik
Aupilatog is the first settlement we’ll reach and this is the place where, after ten days of rowing, Hans and Alf were given help to reach Canada. We’ll disembark on land and hear the tales that still live with some of the oldest settlers. Then we’ll sail to Nanortalik, the largest of the settlements in the south.
Day 7: UNESCO area and Tasermiut-Fjord
We’ll spend a full day on the most famous of the fjords on Southern-Greenland. Here we’ll find both lush greenery, and mountains that stand tall 2000 metres above sea level, like a wall straight from the ocean.
Day 8: Sailing to the hot springs of Uunartog
This’ll be our spa-day! We’ll find the hot springs on Uunartog. and have a nice, well-earned bath.
Day 9-10: Qaqortoq and Eiriksfjord
On the morning we’ll arrive on the town Qaqortoq, where our greenland crewmembers grew up. This is also a place in which Hans and Alf had a pit-stop on their trip to Canada in 1940. From Qaqortoq we’ll go north in to Eriksfjord for an ascension of the “ironing-board” of Ipiutaq. Alternatively we’ll go for a longer ascension on the 1752 m tall mountant Illerfissalik right by Igaliku. This peak apparently has the best view in southern Greenland, but is a 10-12 hours ascension. So, if you’d rather walk around the village, there’s plenty of historical and cultural places to explore.
Day 11: Ending the trip in Narssarsuag
We’ll sail those who are travelling home straight away, to the airport, and those who’ll stay a bit longer to Igaliku or Qaqortoq. Here you’ll have plenty of activities to do before your plane leaves. You can fish on the beach, walk up the inland-ice, or rent a mountain bike and bike the historic paths in this ancient landscape.
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!
This trip start in Iceland and end in Greenland. Flights are not included, so you need to organize this yourself. You can also join the expedition further on one or several legs.
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. If you want to sail more, you can join us on our further expeditions from Iceland, towards Scotland, Norway, Faroes and Shetland!
Most people travel to and from Greenland with Air Greenland, either from Copenhagen or Reykjavik to Nuuk or Narsarsuaq. The easiest way to travel domestically on Greenland is by boat (Targa) or by helicopter. If you want to sail to and from Greenland you can also join us on all or parts of this whole expedition!
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. 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 - 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.