Starting in Iceland sail the Faroe Islands, Shetlands, Orkneys and onwards to Ullapool. Mix hands on sailing with cultural exploration and wildlife spotting on this magical tall ship voyage.
Breathtaking coastal scenery, fascinating historical sites and rare wildlife will all be commonplace on this trip to sail the Faroe Islands and other wild island groups between Iceland and Scotland. See standing stones and spitting geysers, golden eagles, otters, arctic foxes, whales and of course puffins! Witness a geological transformation as you leave the Mid Atlantic Ridge with its volcanic wilderness and arrive at the gentle basaltic slopes of Scotland. No experience is needed to join this sailing voyage and you’ll learn everything you need to know on the go.
Once you’ve got acquainted with the ship and settled into your comfy bunks your first stop after leaving the mainland of Iceland will be the nearby Westman Islands created only 12,000 years ago with fascinating geology and a large Puffin colony. Then its time to experience the real North Atlantic as you join the watch system and sail over 400nml over the open Atlantic to the Faroe Islands – voted top destination by the readers of National Geographic Traveller in 2015. This group of 18 wild islands are fully exposed to the raw power of the ocean giving them a truly isolated and untouched feel.
Sail the Faroe Islands
If the weather is fair the cliffs off Slaettaratindur will be visible from a great distance. These are Europe’s highest sea cliffs at 882 mtrs above sea level. First port of call will be Torshavn, the capital of the Faroe’s. After clearing customs and immigration we will explore the Islands and magnificent fjords. You’ll take in the Viking excavation site at Kvivik, Gannets dive bombing at their largest colony at Vestmanna, a hike to Ambadalur valley, then on to Mykines to the west with its bird colonies of Puffins, Gannets, Fulmars, and Black Guillemots.
Explore the Shetlands
Leaving this north Atlantic archipelago another 190nml stretch of open water lies ahead of you to reach the Shetlands. Likely to take up 36 hours of non stop sailing, its a great opportunity to practice key skills and contemplate the world as you look out on to the ocean. Keeping the ship on an south easterly heading, Lerwick is your next stop, a famous old herring port. Lerwick is a good base from where to start exploring the mainland with sites like Jarlshof-Prehistoric and Norse settlement and Unst with the Hermaness National Nature Reserve which has a great variety of wild live, birds as well as mammals.
Discover the Orkneys
Depending on the wind and weather Westray or Sanday will be your first stop on the Orkney’s. Both Islands offer great cultural history as well as unspoiled beaches with a large range of wildlife. Navigating between the rocks, Stromness is your next port of call from where yo can visit sites like Skara Brae, Ring of Brodgar and Maeshowe. That evening you’ll make the short hop to Hoy. Orkney’s second largest Island rises dramatically from the sea with Ward Hill towering 480 mtrs above sea level. A day in Stornoway will be your final stop before you set sail for Ullapool and come to the of end of your epic journey.
Birdlife you’re likely to spot on the trip includes, Skuas, Puffins, Razorbills, Guillimots, Auk, Gannets. Sailing among these Islands also you’re likely to stumble across sea mammals include common and grey seals, otters, orcas, dolphins and porpoises. Whales are commonly spotted as you sail out of Reyavik – some Minke Whales or Humpback whales are easy to see. Even a Killer whale can be spotted along the coast of Iceland and around the Scottish Islands.