A thirty six years old dream became true this year.
A journey to Greenland, in this beautiful boat, that was wonderful.
Nothing like it !
Lydia & Hjálmar
Stunning! This trip did not only meet all the (high) expectations we had before leaving, but went even further. We have been taken to discover beautiful sceneries, incredible landscapes, unspoiled and pristine nature, accompanied by a nice and caring crew (how about ending having great food always surrounded by majestic landscapes?) : we could even visit such awesome places on a beautiful boat that gives the opportunity to have a feeling of how the adventurous and tough expedition times must have been. We were totally taken by this trip. It really changed our life
Michele & Paolo
Things I have learned on the trip:
Things I have left behind in Greenland:
- one week without phone and computer is very recreative,
since it is not even an option up there.
You can't - even if you wanted.
- one week without private bathroom - very easy to adapt!
- bad-hair-week? It SO does not matter up there.
- watching icebergs is more entertaining than any TV broadcast!
- the concept of shopping is highly overrated
- hiking in Greenland is so liberating, you just go as you please.
- Musk Ox tastes yummy!
- you CAN swim in the Scoresbysund, well, sort of
- there IS life beyond the arctic circle, wild life!
Things I brought back home from the cruise:
- the urge to constantly check what time it is
- unsorted thoughts
- the wonderful green semi-precious-stone we found on a hike, which I didnt dare take home.
- a camera full of beautiful pictures
- a head full of wonderful experiences
- a heart full of fond memories
- a bag full of unused clothes (pack for a week, than remove half of the stuff, you wont need it!)
- a face with a wide grin and smile, that still lasts
- a bunch of new friends
Ship ahoy !
I would like to thank you and the great crew once again, for this great experience! The ship Hildur, the crew, the landscape; everything was just perfect. It is great, to wake up in the morning step on deck and slide from one dream world into the next one: The beautiful Scoresby Sund landscape - The sun was shining on the deep blue sea, big Icebergs were passing by, birds fly along and the mountains look like mystic castles. And than enjoy a delicious breakfast on deck of “Hildur”. Every day was like a big surprise. The hikes ashore were perfect to discover this fantastic land. And I will never forget my meeting with the big musk ox (less than 10m from me).
Thanks for a wonderful trip and trully lifechanging experience. Vastness and opennes are keywords in this trip, in perfect harmony with friendship on board this cosy ship. A fast sailing wooden ship, wonderful cooking, wonderful views and all explanations you can wish for. The strong nature presenting itself, snow haze, grouse and musk ox, flowers and other vegetation, the unreal view of icebergs nearby and the light at dusk and dawn gave the trip a very strong impression.
Thanks for a wonderful experience, I trully recommend it to anyone!
I have been over large parts of Greenland, but I have never tried a sailing ship in the worlds largest fjord Scoresbysund. An amazing journey with a fantastic crew. It was not just another trip, but a unique experience.
Mads Nordlund, Editor, greenland today
This has been a journey that more than fulfilled my expectations. Apart from the spectacular scenery, the boat was comfortable and spacy. The security, both on board (we were provided with a combined warm- and floating suit) and on shore (always accompanied by a "gun man") was focussed by the crew. It was also a pleasure to wake up every morning to the smell of freshly baked bread. I would have loved to stay for another week.
Best regards, Hanne
The most obvious testimonial to our Scoresby Sound sailing adventure on the schooner Hildur is the fact that all 15 of the participants (passengers and crew) have been in frequent contact with one another - sharing stunning photos and stories – in a subconscious effort to prolong our enjoyment of the unique experience. The current (October) issue of Smithsonian Magazine features Greenland’s attractions along the west coast, the article’s author stating that “Greenland is one of the last frontiers of the tourism industry.” If so, we might qualify as “pioneers.”
We had the distinct advantage of seeing a remote area of East Greenland - the breathtaking scenery throughout Scoresby Sound, six degrees above the Arctic Circle - unspoiled as yet by even a hint of commercialism. The fact that our group of 15 (representing 10 different countries and ages ranging from 28 to 86) was such a compatible lot led to a close feeling of “family” by the end of the cruise.
The hardworking crew, from cooks to captain, went above and beyond to keep us comfortable, well-fed, and more than satisfied with their cheerfully rendered services. While quarters were tight below decks, we spent most of our time topside where there was plenty of room to walk around, or sit – even dance – while the parade of icebergs, glaciers, and majestic mountains glided by. What a life! No TV, no email, no news to bother us...not a care in the world except to wonder what was around the next bend in the Sound.
Thank you, North Sailing, for introducing us to a very special place on this Earth!
The crew are great guys. If you are nice to them they will allow you to join the cosy dishwashing on the deck.......
The food was exactly to my liking. Light, green and tasty. And always freshly baked bread for breakfast.
The trip with Hildur was a "once-in-a-lifetime-adventure" that I without hesitation would do another time.....
There is a short window of opportunity each year when the arctic waters of Scoresbysund in eastern Greenland are sufficiently ice-free to allow cautious passage of a sailing vessel.
In 2010 the schooner ‘Hildur’, based normally in Husavik, northern Iceland, pioneered an exploratory visit to these waters. The ground-breaking voyage of discovery was a success and, in 2011, a few berths were offered to guests wishing to repeat the experience.
Quite understandably, considering my less-than-perfect record of water/sailing-related odysseys over the years, Anne was not immediately enthused; but, encouraged by Mathew and Ben, both of whom had led big-wall climbing expeditions to Greenland in the past, and reassured by the knowledge that we would be crewed by fellows experienced in arctic forays, she acquiesced and we were off.
By means of a complicated series of flights via Reykjavik in Iceland, we joined ship at Constable Point airstrip, a bleak and desolate place, far, very far, from the nearest – and only – village of Ittoqqortoormiit, an ice-and -wind blasted settlement of 469 souls whose forefathers had been forcefully settled there in 1925 by the Danish government.
‘Hildur’ was moored offshore flanked by immense, slowly drifting icebergs. She is a graceful ship, a schooner built of sturdy oak in Akureyri 1974, and is blessed with remarkable sea-going properties which, later in the voyage when we were storm-tossed, were much appreciated.
The sun hung low on the horizon as we lifted anchor and motored into huge, magnificent, awe-inspiring Scoresbysund, the largest fjord system in the world, piercing 350 kilometres inland. Calving glaciers shed massive icebergs into our path, and a 24-hour watch was maintained.
Below deck was warm and snug. The berths were, er, ‘cosy’. Some had a coffin-like dimension; Anne and I were fortunate to be allocated the ‘captain’s cabin’. Described as a ‘double’, it necessitated us sleeping head-to-toe, with a mutually agreed sequence of careful manipulations when changing position. We could hear the rush and slap of water through the oaken planks by our heads, and the scraping graunch of the occasional sheet-ice splintered by the prow.
Food was plentiful and rather good on the whole. We were greeted on board with a feast of dried salt-cod and a fiery aquavit. Blessedly this was the one and only time it made an appearance.
Good bread was baked every evening and we dined on musk ox, arctic char and gravadlax, seated around the large cabin table. Good banter, a polyglot of languages, and tales to tell at every meal. Sometimes we enjoyed a barbecue on deck, moored in a peaceful but spectacular bay. We walked, always accompanied by a rifle bearer or two (polar bears are a common occurrence) high into remote and lonely hills, creeping up downwind of peacefully grazing musk oxen, great shaggy beasts enjoying the brief few weeks when the ground was not quite frozen. White arctic hares let us approach almost to within touching distance. We assumed they had never seen humans before.
Anne & Alan Heason
Scoresbysund opens an incredible view of the northern regions. Endless"wow !" experience, contrast between resources and size and tranquility and beauty. The travel and the tourism captivated me completely and I see more trips to Greenland in the future.
Indeed, the crew was excellent. They did great efforts and succeeded to make this trip a wonderful experience. Martin and Sebastian prepared excellent cuisine. The local guide, Steen Pike, I appreciated very much his knowledge about settlements, hunting, socioeconomic etc. aspects of the Scoresbysund town and area.
The participants, different peoples and nationality, the team play was very well..
The Hildur has both drawbacks and advantages, however, the latter prevailing. The wooden ship is wonderful, and beautiful with all sails set. On deck there is a lot of space with several seatings and possibility to move around. Even possibility for having meals. Below the ship is narrow but ok with meals etc. The bunks above table/bench I experienced less optimal, at least I had not imagined that tight space in advance. It needed some habituation and adaptation. Maybe future participants should be prepared for this in the information material. I enjoyed the 2 nights in guesthouse Scoresbysund afterwards. Confessed, I have an age not more able to sleep anytime anywhere.
The survival suits available were very valuable to keep warm on deck when windy.
Kind regards - Carl Christian