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Are you up for the North West Passage by Tall Ship?

Tecla NW Passage attempt 2019

Looking for 12 Modern Day Arctic Explorers

Classic Sailing are excited to announce the launch of one of those sailing opportunities that should stir the blood of all true adventurers….and there are only 12 places.

Are you up for the North West Passage as expedition crew on a tall ship in summer 2019 ?

Don't be deceived into thinking the North West Passage is now wide open water due to global warming. Success is not guaranteed and Tecla is looking to select 12 expedition crew with a variety of talents.  

More people have stood on the summit of Everest than have transited the North West Passage on a sailing vessel." 

Tecla is a traditionally rigged herring drifter that was built to fish under sail in the rough waters of the North Atlantic in 1915.She has won tall ships races, sailed around the world, weathered Cape Horn under sail and run adventure charter expeditions in locations as far afield as Brazil, Tasmania and Greenland. At 95ft on deck with two masts she is a bit bigger than Roald Amundsen's Gjoa that was first to sail through in 1903-1906. Unlike the famous Norwegian explorer she is very much hoping NOT to over winter in the Arctic on route !

Tecla from the air by Howard Gear
Tecla from the air by Howard Gear

The first East - West Transit Attempt on a Tall Ship since Amundsen's conquest in 1906

This pioneering voyage on 127 ft tall ship Tecla, 92 ton, is a true expedition attempting something that has not yet been achieved on a tall ship since Roald Amundsen successfully transited the North west Passage on 45 ton gaff cutter Gjøa.

The tortuous high Arctic route through the islands of Northern Canada was not open to any vessel other than icebreakers until after 2007.  Since then several private yachts have managed to get through the ice choked waters. This is the first time ordinary members of the public can apply to be expedition crew on a commercially operated sail training ship. Tecla aims to get through in 49 days in summer 2019.


  • Sail the legendary NW Passage on a tall ship
  • Be part of a close knit crew where all participate to sail the ship
  • Realm of the Polar bear, Narwhal, seabirds & Beluga Whales
  • Landings of historic significance on Canada's Arctic archipelago and the mainland
  • Complex navigation, ice and weather to negotiate
  • A sea route quest that took 500 years to accomplish
  • In the Wake of Intrepid Explorers & the ghosts of those who perished
  • Pristine Wilderness on a vast scale
  • Home of the Inuit - Arctic Masters of Survival

Expedition dates:

Join: Illullissat in West Greenland on 1st August 2019

Depart: Nome, Alaska on 18th September 2019

49 days – cost per person €14 700 euros

Don’t despair if this is too short notice to raise voyage funds. Tecla plans to make a second NW Passage transit in 2021.


Read full voyage details


Greenland icebergs on the way to the NW passage

Contingency Plans & Onwards to Galapagos & Antarctica

A passage through the North West is not to be taken lightly. And so we are calling it an attempt, until it is clear that the ship can get through. Tecla will already be positioned in West Greenland for the NW Passage attempt in August 2019. Her voyages to Greenland are already well booked but there are some places left on a 22 day expedition from Iceland to West Greenland around Cape Farewell and an 11 day expedition along the West Greenland coast from Nuuk to Disko Bay.

Tecla’s two captain’s Gjis and Jet are brother and sister and in charge of operations back in the Netherlands is Janette. The very experienced family team that own Tecla will be monitoring the early season ice conditions continually. The decision to go for the attempt in August will not just be theirs but in consultation with the Canadian Coast Guard, Ice pilots etc.

This vast journey of over 3400 NM will be littered with Icebergs, will give us the opportunity to set foot on Inuit land and historicial significant locations that chart the many attempts to find a way through to the Pacific.

There are contingency plans for those on the expedition if the route looks impossibly blocked by sea ice in 2019. Tecla will return to the East Coast. Whether she gets through or not in 2019, she has voyages heading south from Alaska (or Nova Scotia via Panama Canal) to the Galapagos islands. Her next epic from here is around Cape Horn to the Falklands and a Southern Hemisphere summer in Antarctic and South Georgia.


Tecla - Sailing Programme 2018-2019 (voyages still being added)


crew ashore in the Arctic


Expedition Crew - Who Are We Looking for ?

Adventurers, scientists or environmentalists with an Arctic project in mind, artists looking for wild inspiration, romantics with practical skills, experienced sailors, outdoor enthusiasts, photographers, writers and wildlife lovers. Those attracted to stark, vast landscapes where few humans tread. anyone wanting to meet the Inuit people in settlements and hunting land that few outsiders could cope with in the winter months.

This voyage is like nothing else that Classic Sailing or Tecla have ever offered and there will be a selection process for the 12 expedition members. If you enjoy adventure, want to really explore, are happy not knowing where you will be tomorrow and understanding that the plan changes every day, maybe by the hour then read on. This is a voyage is for those who want to be part of a team, working together, adding to a team and contributing where you can.


Interested in Applying? - Find Out More


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