august 24 - 5. september 2023
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 massif of Scoresby on track to return to Iceland in good time. Along the way we can expect to see more icebergs, but also whales that both sleep on the surface and swim and dive. Ísafjörður is a charming little port town where we will get the chance to rest both our bodies and souls: here we find both good swimming pools with both hot and cool water, as well as delicious restaurants and bars that we can check out. Well done, and welcome back ashore!
In Longyearbyen / on Iceland
We recommend everyone that is joining us on a trip to/from Longyearbyen to staying an extra day or two before traveling home/before the trip starts. Longyearbyen is a thriving little Arctic village, with the raw arctic natre It's always smart to add time for some rest and calmness before and after such a trip, to relax and let the impressions sink in. The same goes for Iceland when we arrive there after this trip.
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!
A few row to Svalbard, a few more sail, but most fly. Norwegian and SAS fly to Longyearbyen.
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!
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 - expedition
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.