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Ideas to Help Your North West Passage Crew Selection

arctic crew ashore

Tecla North West Passage Expedition 2019 - Reasons for Joining

If you are thinking about applying to be part of the first Tecla crew to sail through the North West Passage on a tall ship, then there are some criteria that you must fit for this specific voyage:

  • Fit and healthy (without any medical conditions that could be an issue in such a remote location)
  • Without any allergies
  • Without any Special Dietary Requests (except for vegetarian)

The next part of the application form includes two key questions in the application form that allow a certain amount of creativity from you to say why you should be selected. Below are some ideas on the sort of motivations and skills that might apply to you....or trigger similar thoughts on how to apply.

Please send your 'Reasons for Joining' as a Microsoft Word document as an attachment to the Crew Selection Form

Classic Sailing are not the people making the selection, but we have a fair idea of the sort of skills and personal traits that make a good crew member and add interest, resourcefulness and enjoyment to the whole team experience. 

As you are applying via Classic Sailing, we will take a look at your application first, and if we think you are not selling yourself as well as you could, we can talk to you about how to expand on your answers, before we send the application on to Tecla. 

If you prefer, we are happy to discuss your application on the phone - for an independent view, in confidence, before you fill it in. Tel 0044 (0)1872 580022

After we pass your application form on to Tecla expedition leaders the selection process process may include a call or visit in person to Tecla. The objective being to make sure you like the Tecla team as much as they like you. Details to follow.

Jan 1st 2019 UPDATE - 12 people were selected for 2019 attempt  but 2 have dropped out since then. We have 2 possible berths free - ideally for a female sailor


NW Passage 2019  - Full Voyage & Vessel details


Crew Selection Form


Captain and expedition leader Gjis
Captain and expedition leader Gjis


1. What is it about the North West Passage that makes you want to join the Tecla Expedition ?

Every individual will have different motivations. The text in bold are from the wording on the application form (see the link above to view the whole application form). The rest are purely our ideas here in the Classic Sailing office.  Here are a few possible angles that might strike a chord with you.

Proving why you are up for this adventure by giving evidence of your adventurous spirit and you proudest past achievements.

Perhaps it appeals for a specific sailing ambition, physical or mental challenge.

Hoping the unique experience will help you in a Career or progression towards a life goal: It might be that you want to gain polar experience in the widest sense or learn to more about the NW passage / see the effects of climate change / learn more about running expeditions in remote areas / or gain first hand experience for your own future travel in the region.

Honouring a distant relative that has some connection with Arctic exploration, mapping the arctic the Inuit people or the region

Gain real life experience of something you have already studied or to gather evidence for an academic field of interest or a university dissertation.

Artistic interest – looking for inspiration for your own art, music, photography, craft or writing

Follow in the path of polar explorers and gain a deeper understanding of what they went through.

A wilderness journey for you own emotional or spiritual needs

Your next bucket list adventure ( will probably help if you give examples of what adventurous travel you have already done and why this is next on your hit list)

Scientific interest – If you want to gather data or conduct experiments on route, it might be best to talk to classic sailing staff before you apply to the Tecla expedition leaders with your ideas. We can give you an idea if it is practical on this voyage or a vessels of this size.

Environmental or conservation concerns – perhaps you are an activist or a wildlife campaigner

Education – if you are a teacher or youth leader – you may want to have your school or students get involved back home.

Break a world record


tecla offshore tall ships race

Creating an Interesting Expedition Crew

The expedition will only have 16 expedition members


Tecla Captain and vessel owner Gjis Sluik

Tecla's other Captain and vessel owner Jet Sluik



The other 12 crew will be paying expedition crew, but just as important to the success of the expedition. It might be that you have a profession or skill you might end up with a specific role or assistant role on board. It might just be something you are good at that you can share.  It is always more enjoyable when there are people on board that can teach others or involve them in an interest project or pastime.

There may be days when you have to wait for ice or weather to clear. You are isolated on a small boat - being able to teach guitar playing, a foreign language, wildlife photography skills or stand up and do a talk or lecture is great. Think how would you transfer your knowledge to others? Have you tested it on an audience before! What would you need to bring with you.

The application form asks:

2. What will be your contribution during the expedition?

  • What will be your role?
  • What are your strengths?
  • What can we learn from you?
  • What do you like doing?
  • What is your special talent?


Sailor or Not?

If you have sailing experience this would be one area to expand on:

  • Have you sailed Tecla or a similar style vessel before and in what capacity? charter crew, trainee, voluntary mate or watch leader, paid crew
  • Any sailing qualifications / unique voyages
  • How resilient to seasickness
  • Have you sailed in cold weather/ ice / ocean crossings or other environments to test your stamina
  • Navigation skills / communications / cooking at sea?
  • Small boat skills / rope work / sail repairs
  • Sailed on long voyages before – reliable watch keeper
  • seafarer on motor vessels

Other professional skills

  • Engineering / electrics /diver/
  • Experience of similar Arctic environments
  • Resourceful - Voluntary work in remote locations
  • Medical skills
  • Meteorology

Artistic or creative skills

  • Photographic or movie making skills
  • Artist in Residence - how would you illustrate the voyage. Could you teach others 
  • Specialist Knowledge / related topics you could run lectures on or wildlife guiding specialism
  • Gun licence / hunting skills (polar bear protection)
  • Ashore survival skills / military training / other expeditions / climber / rescue services /
  • Social and people skills – are you life and soul of the party/ a good listener / good team player / easy to get on with / sense of humour
  • Keeping others sane – musical talents – story teller – yoga teacher – masseur – good at scrabble – stand up comic
  • Have a project in mind that will be interesting to others on board – either watching or participating and helping with
  • Have a project in mind that will be interesting to people following the voyage ashore
  • Have a project in mind that will promote the voyage, Tecla or adventure charter generally.


Please send your 'Reasons for Joining' as a Microsoft Word document as an attachment by email to subject 'Reason for Joining'.


Tecla NW Passage Application Form



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