The Arctic. Sitting at the top of the world, it’s a fairytale region of extremes. Covered in sea ice the Arctic is a seemingly unwelcome place for sailors, but sailing the Arctic is actually the perfect way to explore this wilderness region.
See its rich wildlife up close, travel into remote areas otherwise inaccessible to the adventure traveller and stop off to explore on the way. Sailing is also one of the most environmentally friendly ways to travel the region particularly if you’re joining a sailing boat and will be using your own physical efforts to set the sails and hoist and lower dinghies when going ashore.
Here are some more reasons why sailing the Arctic should be on your adventure list this year and a few trip ideas to help you make that polar-bear spotting dream come true…..
An Arctic winter has days without sunlight but in the summer there are days when the sun never sets allowing plenty of time on deck to wildlife spot or just take in the natural beauty of the region.
Make the most of the long days and explore the northern hemisphere’s most dramatic coastline on this sailing trip to Norway’s far-flung Lofoten Islands. Sail from Bodø to Tromsø anchoring in blue lagoons and sparkling bays, barbequing on remote white sand beaches, and watching Arctic peaks come into view as you learn the ropes on this hand-on sailing adventure.
Despite the extreme conditions the Arctic is teeming with wildlife–from polar bears and walruses to birds, fish, foxes, whales and seals to name a few. Because of the extreme climate and months of darkness, many animals migrate away from the dark cold Arctic for the winter, returning in the summer to take advantage of the 24 hour sunshine to breed.
Iceland’s Hornstrandir nature reserve in the remote north west of the country is alive with is large bird colonies in the summer months including Puffins, Black Guillemots and Arctic Terns as well as mammals such as the Arctic Fox. On this Hornstrandir Wildlife Escape a 60ft sailboat will be your base for the week allowing you to get up close and personal to the wildlife as well as offering lots of opportunities for hiking and kayaking. A dream for wildlife enthusiasts, nature photographers and active adventurers alike.
If you’re looking to spot the region’s iconic polar bear, you’ve good chance on this sailing expedition from Tromsø to Spitsbergen. It’s a full two week sailing adventure exploring the west coast of Spitsbergen with icebergs, whales, polar bears and walruses all likely to make an appearance.
The east coast of Greenland is an awesome wilderness. Fewer than 4,000 people live in this region, scattered among small towns and settlements. Exploring its 2,600 kilometres of stunning coastline by sail boat is a perfect wilderness experience filled with breath-taking scenery. This fantastic sailing expedition through the fjords of East Greenland welcomes people of all ages and sailing experience and with varying interests. Explore by kayak, spend the day hiking, spend time with local Inuit people or simply observe nature from the yacht.