by Pete Green
One of our yacht delivery skippers has recently fallen in love with sailing in the Arctic Circle. Although it is not a place we typically think of when planning our summer cruise, Michele is now on a mission to share his passion with like-minded sailors.
Michele was first inspired when he joined a 2-month expedition in 2018. He sailed from Cowes all the way to Scoresby Sund in Greenland and back again. Michele says “I was blown away by the ruggedness of the coastline, the beautiful fjords and the incredible wildlife. This is one of the most unspoilt cruising grounds on the planet. Sailing here is pure paradise and for any adventurous people it will be a trip of a lifetime”.
Accessing the Arctic Circle is not an easy task. It is a long way to sail there from the Solent and you really do need a yacht that is equipped for the conditions. Michele has teamed up with a friend and they now run a 21-metre custom built aluminium expedition yacht that is perfect for the job. “The boat has been designed for the experience. An observation area allows guests to look out at the scenery whilst staying out of the elements. There is even a sauna onboard to warm up after a day out in the cold!”
A typical cruise from Svalbard will involve visiting remote settlements. The spooky Russian ghost town of Pyramiden lays frozen in time. It was abandoned in the early ’90s when the Soviet Union collapsed. Today the buildings still stand much the way they were. You can wander the empty streets and explore some of the buildings that have been left open.
For any wildlife lovers, this really is the place to go. Blue and humpback whales frequent the rich waters to feed creating a spectacular sight as they breach. Polar bears are commonly sighted on the sea ice and along the coastline as they hunt for food. Walruses, beluga whales, arctic foxes and Svalbard reindeer can also be spotted.
Part of the Svalbard experience is getting up close to the retreating glaciers. It’s a life-changing experience to witness huge chunks of ice calving off and tumbling into the tranquil waters below.
The summer temperatures in this region are more clement than you might think (approximately 3 to 7 degrees) and of course, the sun shines all day long!
If you are interested in finding out more about this area and perhaps booking a trip of a lifetime then please visit: https://www.secretatlastravel.com
If you have already sailed in the Arctic Circle then we’d love to hear your comments below.