Sailing the Edge of the Arctic

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.

Summer Solstice at the Arctic Circle. Endless days and the magical midnight sun. There is nothing like sailing at the Arctic Circle during Summer Solstice.

Husavik harbour © Aleš Mucha

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.

Sustainable travel

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.

Silent sailing

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.

Whale Watching onboard schooner Opal © North Sailing

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.

Eco-friendly operation

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.

Sunset on Opal © Aleš Mucha

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.

Grímsey village © Friðþjófur Helgason

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 200.000 puffins can be seen around Puffin Island. We will sail around this puffin paradise for a closer look at these funny little fellows.

Humpback whale in Skjalfandi Bay © Nick Bondarev

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

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.

Blue whales

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.

Grimsey Bird Cliffs © Friðþjófur Helgason

The remote Arctic Coast

There is a unique feel to the coastline of North Iceland. While sailing by the vast landscape where sea meets mountains you get a real sense for the spirit of these historical and remote places.

Viking settlements

The coastline has been inhabited since the first Vikings came to Iceland. It is incredible to drift by these settlements and try to imagine how it all felt and looked back in the days.

Hike the history

We will go on shore to hike the historic areas where Icelandic farmers and fishermen have lived throughout the centuries in rough and demanding conditions.

Puffin Island © North Sailing

Majestic mountains

The Víknafjöll mountains are majestic. In a distance, they look cold and uninviting but once the boat brings you closer you will see freshwater rivers and green valleys hidden between the rocky shoreline.

Aura of past times

Ruins of old farms and settlements can be found along the coastline. Even a few abandoned houses where big families kept a lively home less than a century ago. It is awe-inspiring to visit these places for a glimpse back in time.

Life onboard Opal © Nick Bondarev

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.

Meet the crew

Onboard, you will meet our passionate and experienced crew. They will make sure to give you a great experience and are always willing to share their sailing and wildlife knowledge.

Learn how to sail

Opal is Iceland’s largest sailing ship with 10 sails measuring over 500 square meters in total! When the wind is favourable you will have the opportunity to help the crew with pulling the ropes and adjusting the sails. They will teach you the old ways of sailing and give you an insight into the rigging of Opal.

Enjoying the view from the hot tub © Aleš Mucha

Hot tub onboard!

Yes, this is not a misspelling. There is actually a wooden hot tub on the deck. Imagine how wonderful it is to relax and unwind in the warm water after a long day .

Your very own arctic chef

All meals onboard are cooked to perfection by our very own arctic chef. We strive to use local ingredients and traditions to bring you a taste of the local North Icelandic cuisine.

Adventurous accommodation

Opal has six double/twin cabins with made-up beds. There are three bathrooms onboard and two showers. All facilities are very authentic and will give you the feeling of a real but comfortable adventure.

Hoisting the sails © Rafnar Orri Gunnarsson

Zodiac rides ashore

The sailboat Opal gives us access to remote and secluded areas. With the two onboard zodiacs we will be able to take you even further to explore grounds that are nowadays hardly ever visited.

Swim in arctic waters

Ready for a quick morning swim in the chilly sea? Those who like a refreshing start or an evening challenge can take a dip in the sea for the ultimate arctic experience.

Catch your meal!

With the onboard fishing gear, we will try our luck with catching some fresh fish during the trip. The catch will be prepared by the chef and barbecued onboard for everyone to enjoy.

Are you interested in joining this expedition?

Feel free to contact our Sales Manager, Líney, for any questions you might have.

Líney Gylfadóttir
liney@northsailing.is
+354 849 4424

Arctic Coast Way Hero Experience

Departures

19 – 21 June 2020

20 – 22 June 2021

20 – 22 June 2022

Price

Price per person:
270.000 ISK

(11% VAT included)

Booking and requests

For booking requests, charter price and further details please contact:

Líney Gylfadóttir
liney@northsailing.is
+354 849 4424

Summary and highlights

Live and sail onboard the award-winning electric sailboat Opal for 3 days and 2 nights. Set sails from Husavik harbour to explore the remote Islands and majestic coastline at the Edge of the Arctic. Our experienced crew will guide you along to discover the hidden treasures and historical settlements of the north. All meals onboard cooked by our very own arctic chef – inspired by local traditions and ingredients.

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.

Itinerary

Day 1 – June 19 2020:
Set sails from Húsavík

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.

Visit Tungulending, a unique guesthouse in a renovated fishermen’s shelter at Tjornes Peninsula where we will have lunch.

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.

Day 2 – June 20 2020:
Destination Arctic Circle

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.

Day 3 – June 21 2020:
Sail back to Húsavík

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.

Reviews

“Don’t miss the chance to experience this incredible schooner by North Sailing which is a one of a kind, equipped with a hybrid-electric engine. It’s the perfect marriage between the past and the future; exactly how modern-day exploration should feel like!”

Gunnar Freyr, photographer (Icelandic Explorer)

“Our trip to the ‘Edge of the Arctic’ was a fantastic experience, never have I been so close to dolphins, whales and birds. So, being at the edge of the arctic is also being right in the centre of wildlife.”

Ute Zimmer, traveller

Location

Starts and ends by the harbour in Husavik, North Iceland.

Included

Accommodation is in made-up beds in double/twin cabins for two nights and all meals onboard during the expedition.

We will also provide everyone with a warm overall for the trip.

Extra activities

To make the most of your stay in and around Húsavík we offer you some complimentary and/or discounted extra activities.

GeoSea Husavik

A complimentary ticket to GeoSea, the geothermal sea baths in Húsavík.

Husavik Whale Museum

A complimentary ticket to the Húsavík Whale Museum.

Restaurant Gamli Baukur Husavik

25% discount at Restaurant Gamli Baukur in Húsavík.

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