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Lord Nelson Sailing Programme -Norway & Iceland 2019

Explore Norway and Iceland on a British square rigger

Lord Nelson is designed to take able bodied and disabled crew together on adventures as equal crew. Her voyage programmes are certainly not tame and include travel destinations that would appeal to anyone's holiday dreams.

Beyond Bergen Tall Ships Festival

Lord Nelson is racing in leg one of the International Tall Ships Race and taking part in the cruise in company to Bergen, but afterwards she has some exciting plans with a Viking flavour.

If you race to a location as lovely as Bergen it makes sense to stick around. Lord Nelson will stay in Norway after the Tall Ships Fleet have left to race back to Denmark. She has an awesome 13 night summer voyage around the iconic Western Fjords. If you want an even longer adventure you can join her in Bergen to sail to Iceland. Shetland and/ or the Faroes could be stops on route.

Lord Nelson chasing her sister ship Tenacious. Photo by
Lord Nelson chasing her sister ship Tenacious. Photo by

Sail the Norwegian Fjords on a Tall Ship

The highest ground in Norway is Jotenheimen National Park. Classic Sailing director Debbie remembers travelling the length of Sognefjord on local car ferries to get deep into the mountains. Sognefjord is regarded as the jewel in the crown of Norwegian Fjords when it comes to scale, nothing surpasses it. Imagine being in fjord where the sheer cliffs on either side of you rise over 1000 meters, that’s over 3,000 feet in old money, straight up. It’s the largest fjord in Norway and is over 200 km long and goes down to a depth of 1300 meters in places, so don’t drop your camera overboard looking up at the cliffs!

Naeroyfjord is a branch of the Sognefjord and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is renowned for its unparalleled natural beauty.

Hardangerfjord runs inland from Bergen and is over 179km long and is one of the most populated of the fjords with many little towns and hamlets along its shore line. A very different character to the other fjords you may visit. But still with some amazing rock formations as you can see!

Follow the sheltered fjords as they carve their way deep into the mountains; the sight of the sun rising behind an impossibly steep wooded cliff, going aloft or out on the bowsprit to watch the reflection of hills in the water, waterfalls cascading down sheer rock dissolving into the black depths without ripple, this is a  photographers dream. Villages with wooden wharves, fisherman's houses on stilts, local farms perched precariously on the few bits of flat land, all illustrate why the only way to travel through Norway is by boat!

Classic fjord country around Bergen
Classic fjord country around Bergen

In the Wake of the Vikings

This is the big expedition voyage of the summer on Lord Nelson. Sail West from Bergen and the distinctive landmarks of the Shetland Isles would be the first to appear to help the Vikings navigate. The next even bigger stepping stone would be the Faroes which loom out of the sea. The grain of the land in both island groups create these long narrow straits called Voes in Shetland.  It is perfectly possible to sail through the dramatic flat water sounds in the Shetlands and Faroes and marvel at the mountains and cliffs without stopping, but it would be much more fun to stop and explore.

Exploring Iceland on Lord Nelson

There are few roads in Iceland, so almost everywhere is off the beaten track and hard to reach by land. Exploring by sailing ship is simply the best way to see the coasts of Iceland and explore this wonderful country. 

On a sailing voyage we never use the word itinerary, as skippers will always be aiming for the best sailing and shore landings for the forecast and most idyllic or sheltered anchors and ports. They are as keen as you to include some of the highlights described, but you have to go with Mother Nature, not fight her. The description below is based on what we think might be possible, based on past trips, or experience, but nothing is guaranteed on a sailing voyage.

Iceland is one of the most reliable locations in Northern Europe to spot cataceans close to the coast. As you leave the Reykjavik, whale sightings are highly likely including hump backs and mike whales. Reykjavik is the most populated city in Iceland, and from here is is likely that Lord Nelson will continue North to explore the West and North West coast. 

The West Coast has the Reykjanes Peninsula to sail around and then the snowy Snaefellsnes Peninsula with its distinctive icecap. Beyond it is the Breidafjordur. This vast bay has many islands and fjords facing in all directions - an attraction that would not have been missed by the captains of Viking longships. 

The other arm of the bay is the start of the North West fjords  - a mountainous region and giant nature reserve that even the Icelanders call remote.The North Coast, has fishing ports with dramatic rocky entrances and the whole coast and bays are prime whale watching territory.

Just South of Reykjavik is the Westman Isles which are geologically interesting.

The Westman Islands (Vestmannaeyjar) are surrounded by 15 other uninhabited islands and around 30 rocks and skerries which are rich in seabird life. The Westman Islands allegedly have the largest Atlantic puffin colony in the world. 

Puffins in precarious places. Photo Debbie Purser
Puffins in precarious places. Unst in the Shetlands. Photo Debbie Purser

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