Sailing the Edge of the Arctic
3-day Expedition in North Iceland
Cross the Arctic Circle during Summer Solstice onboard the award-winning sailboat Opal.
Set sails into the remote wilderness of the Arctic Coast of Iceland. Rugged and untouched nature, otherworldly landscapes. Slow down and discover the authentic North; Viking settlements, arctic wildlife and the original coastal culture.
There is nothing like sailing at the Arctic Circle during Summer Solstice with endless days and the magical midnight sun!
Slow down, rewind, recharge
This is the only notification you really need. Let the authentic sailboat Opal take you on a journey to reconnect with the elements of nature. The true spirit of adventure and exploration will bring you on a new route to discovery.
Since the beginning of our journey at North Sailing, sustainability has been the key destination. We are proud to invite you onboard the only hybrid-electric sailboat in Iceland for an innovative approach to the original way of travelling.
Wind in the sails, green electricity, local ingredients, all we can do to reduce the carbon footprint of the tour. And we want you to participate in the mission to only leave behind great memories and a life-changing experience.
Respect the oceans
On this expedition, we have teamed up with Ocean Missions, an organization that conducts marine environmental research and education. They will share their knowledge and inspiration and passengers can even participate in their onboard research projects such as microplastic surveys and examination.
Sailing on the adventurous Opal is an experience that leaves no one untouched. Bringing together the best of both worlds; Opal has an authentic charm and feel while driven by an award-winning hybrid-electric engine. Under full sails or running by the hybrid-electric motor, we minimize disturbance to nature and wildlife, enhancing the experience of passengers.
Arctic Island Hopping
The Islands at the Edge of the Arctic have always played an important role in the life and culture of the local people. During the expedition, you will get a chance to visit some of the Islands for a closer look at life by the Edge of the Arctic.
Cross the Arctic Circle in Grímsey Island
The northernmost Island is Grímsey. Now home to a small community of around 80 people, Grímsey is famous for the fact that the Arctic Circle crosses the Island. We will visit the local village, hike around and take a zodiac ride along the majestic bird cliffs.
Seek tranquillity in the peaceful Flatey Island
Flatey Island (meaning flat Island) reaches only 22 m above sea level at its highest point. Once home to a small community of mostly fishermen, the Island became uninhabited in the year 1967 when the last people left.
The old church and schoolhouse are still standing and so are several houses used as summer houses. The Island is a bird watchers paradise with over 30 different species in the summertime.
Close encounter with the Atlantic Puffin at Puffin Island
More than 60% of the Earth’s entire Atlantic puffin population lives in Iceland. During the breeding season around 100.000 puffins can be seen around Puffin Island. We will sail around this puffin paradise for a closer look at these funny little fellows.
Whales, birds and wildlife
While travelling through the arctic waters you will witness surprising wildlife with numerous seabirds and whales of all sizes.
Skjálfandi Bay is by many considered the best place in Iceland for whale watching. With superb feedings conditions, it attracts a variety of whale species into the bay all year round. During the high summer, there are great chances of seeing numbers of humpback whales, dolphins, harbour porpoises, minke whales and even the mighty blue whale.
A close encounter with the biggest animal on the planet is a rare occasion. On our route, you might be one of the few lucky ones to spot the mighty blue whale as it finds its way into the bay exactly at this time of the year. No promises made, always remember that this is wild nature.
Life onboard the sailboat Opal
It is quite an experience to live onboard the amazing Opal. On an expedition like this passengers and crew quickly become like one happy family sharing the adventures along the route.
The journey will be full of exploration and experiences
Learn how to sail a traditional tall ship.
Enjoy world-class whale watching along the way.
Cross the Arctic Circle in Grímsey Island.
Visit the deserted island of Flatey.
Swim in the Arctic Sea.
Soak in the onboard hot tub!
Go on land to explore Viking settlements and abandoned farms.
Hike the history in remote valleys.
Catch your meal and barbecue onboard.
Sail around the majestic bird cliffs of Grímsey.
Witness the summer solstice at the Arctic Circle.
- At 8.00 in the early morning, we will board the schooner Opal in Húsavík harbour. Meet and greet with the crew and fellow passengers. Safety instructions, a light refreshment from the chef before we head out to sea.
- Sail by Puffin Island.
- Cross Skjálfandi Bay over to the Víknafjöll mountains while on the lookout for whales.
- Sail towards Flatey Island where we will do an evening hike, have dinner and spend the night on anchor.
- Early rise for a nice breakfast onboard and prepare for sailing.
- Landing in a deserted bay in Flateyjarskagi Peninsula.
- Sail towards Grímsey Island, try our luck with fishing and lunch onboard the schooner.
- Arrive in Grímsey in the late afternoon. Dock at the pier.
- Visit the local village and hike around this fascinating Island.
- Dinner onboard surrounded by beautiful scenery in the midnight sun.
- Relaxed morning with breakfast on deck.
- A zodiac tour around the majestic bird cliffs of Grímsey Island.
- Return onboard for a delicious lunch.
- Set sails and say goodbye to Grímsey Island.
- Estimated arrival in Húsavík in the evening.
Note that all activities are dependant on weather and sea conditions. Especially landings on zodiacs that might be moved to an alternative location or cancelled if conditions do not allow a safe access/transfer. Whale watching on the way is also not guaranteed but chances are pretty high at this time of year. The captain and crew will always have the final decision to change or alter the estimated itinerary.
Let’s explore the arctic coastline together!
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