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Sail Around the World via NW Passage, Galapagos Islands and Cape Horn 2019-20

Tecla in Greenland

Tall Ship Tecla – Circumnavigating the World from Arctic to Antarctic

A Circumnavigation around the world is defined as navigating around the world by water. Most people think of this in terms of sailing West – East or East - West, but it is just as far and more challenging sailing North - South from The Arctic to Antarctic and back. You can’t actually take a ship to both poles as ice and land gets in the way, but globe trotting steel tall ship Tecla is planning to get pretty close to both, in terms of navigable waters. She is not an icebreaker, just an original Dutch herring drifter, built in 1915.

Tecla - Venturing into Unknown Territory for Charter Crews

The Tecla tall ship Circumnavigation around the world has begun. Tecla is starting to eat up the miles into new territory this week. The ships crew and guests have sailed to the East Greenland Coast and managed to navigate though the sea ice to land in a few places, by the look of their satellite track. This is a bonus for the crew on board, as it looked unlikely in the planning stage, that they would be able to get through the broken sea ice and icebergs that haunts the East Coast and the tip of Greenland. (The South West Coast of Greenland is generally more accessible to vessels than the remote east coast with it strong coastal current)

Tecla exploring new shores in East Greenland

First Classic Sailing Ship to Round Cape Farewell (Greenland)

Tecla is making her way South and will shortly to be the first Classic Sailing ship to sail around Cape Farewell to West Greenland. After an 11 day voyage exploring West Greenland they will be positioned in Illuissat, ready for the most tricky part of their route: Transiting The NW Passage by tall ship – the elusive narrow route across the top of Canada to the Orient that defeated Lord Franklin’s expedition and many more attempts.

Getting in Position for North West Passage Attempt

Despite Global warming, last summer only 2 yachts made it through. Two years ago 17 vessels managed to find an ice clear route. There are no guarantees for Tecla and her selected expedition crew are under no illusions about the challenge. Her route below has a contingency plan. If the ship cannot get through the NW Passage this summer, she will be sailing via the East Coast of America and the Panama Canal to pick up the rest of her Pacific and Antarctic voyages. We obviously will be very excited if she does triumph. Especially as it means she will visit Alaska and the Aluetian Isles on the way to the Pacific.

tecla will attempt the nw passage in august 2019

Expedition Preparation

The more attentive Classic Sailing followers would point out that this epic expedition, began back in April, when this 38 metre historic sailing ship set sail from Den Helder to Ullapool. 

A small core of skippers, family and volunteers worked their socks off all winter to prepare their ship for the rigours of the North West Passage, the huge Pacific and a first Antarctic season. They would probably argue the adventure truly began back in Autumn 2018. There were guest crew applications and interviews, ice navigator certificates to gain, two new masts to build, a heap of interior improvements and specialist kit to fit to Tecla….They even found time to build a replica of Magnet, one of polar explorer John Rae’s open boats that he took to explore the Northern Territories.


Circumnavigation - Where can I join Tecla?

This is the whole route and current availability (7-7-19) on remaining legs for paying guest crew.

After this 2019-2020 Round the World voyage from Arctic to Antarctic and back to Europe, there will be a 'normal' sailing season in Tecla's favourite places (Hebrides, Orkney, Shetland, Faroes, Iceland and probably Greenland) in 2020 and a wintr refit in Holland.

Her operators intend to repeat a NW Passage and Pacific - Antarctic Circumnavigation again in 2021-22, so start saving.

If you can 'seize the day and jump on this time around, there are still a few places, and customer cancellations can occur, even on the full ones.

LEG 1: Netherlands to Scotland

Voyage leg already completed. Next opportunity 2021

LEG 2: Hebrides to Iceland

Already completed, but Tecla will be repeating this in 2020 for a summer season - sailing only in the Northern Hemisphere. After a refit back in Holland in winter 2020-21 they are planning another circumnavigation and NW Passage journey 2021-22. 

Next dates you can already book this voyage leg are 9th June- 11th July 2020  (Ullapool to Reykjavik) via Outer Hebrides, Orkney, Fair Isle, Shetland, Faroes.

This is one of our Director Debbie's favourite voyages -highlights are:

  • Visit the Outer Hebrides or possible Shiant Isles
  • Orkney - awesome sailing ground - described as the 'Scillies of the North'
  • Fair Isle - famous in the shipping news but few sailors have ever been there
  • Shetland - Best beaches in Europe (with a Shetland Jumper on)
  • The Faroes - A landfall to make Vikings nervous
  • Iceland - Land of Ice and Fire
  • Heated 2 person cabins with en-suite shower and WC

Scotland to Iceland Voyage 2020

Tecla in East Greenland 2018

LEG 3: Iceland to West Greenland

Fully booked. Tecla is sailing on this expedition with guest crew right now.

LEG 4: West Greenland Coast – Into the Arctic Circle again.

Due to a cancellation – 1 female place
20-30th July 2019 (Nuuk to Illuissat, West Greenland)

A vast sailing playground with relatively ice free fjords in the South that stretch deep into the Greenland interior with only the mountains holding back the huge ice cap. Listen to the silence being broken by glaciers carving, arctic terns screeching or the occasional iceberg rolling over. This West coast was more habitable for the Viking Eric the Red who settled here and Disko Bay is an area steeped in polar exploration history and a staging post for vessels trying to find the North west Passage. Your voyage ends in Illulissat where there are more huskies than people.

Cheapest way of getting there - easy from USA or from Europe try flights from Keflavik, Iceland.

Book now

High latitude sailing on Tecla
High latitude sailing on Tecla

LEG 5: West Greenland to Alaska via NW Passage

Fully booked. Selection process for 12 lucky crew will be required for the next NW Passage expedition in 2021.

polar seas by tall ship. NW Passage

LEG 6: Feeder voyage to Galapagos (2 alternative routes)

Classic Sailing have not actively pushed this as a charter voyage as the route could be Halifax, Canada to Galapagos via Panama if Tecla cannot get through the NW Passage or Nome Alaska to Galapagos if she does. Either route is long and only suitable for experienced sailors who can commit at short notice, as we will not know until mid Aug which route it will be. If you are interested in being on stand by for either route or both, then please fill in an application form on line here. The ships crew reserve the right to turn down applications on these feeder voyages on medical, dietary or fitness ground as these are very long, remote voyages and more akin to a delivery trip.

Alaska to Galapagos - voyage description & application form


crossing oceans on tecla
crossing oceans on tecla

LEG 6: Galapagos – Easter Island

Fully booked. Plan for next Tecla circumnavigation 2021-22.

Join tall ship Tecla on Easter Island and sail around Cape Horn
Join tall ship Tecla on Easter Island and sail around Cape Horn

LEG 7: Easter Island- Cape Horn – Falklands

4 places left.
Crew already booked are 50/50 mix of men and women. 

5th December 2019 - 2nd Jan 2020 (Easter Island - Port Stanley) 29 days

A proper Rounding of Cape Horn on a tall ship. Join Tecla in Easter Island and get some warm blue water sailing under your belt before you head for the Roaring forties, Furious fifties and Cape Horn. The albatrosses are with you and the winds too...all the way to the beautiful white beaches of the Falkland Isles. To earn your place in the Cape Horners Club the rounding of the infamous Cape must be from at least 50 degrees latitude in the Pacific to 50 degrees in the Atlantic, involving a minimum of 3000 miles, sailing as ships crew without resorting to using an engine. 

Book now - Voyage details


albatross and wild seas
albatross and wild seas

LEG 8: Falklands – Antarctic Peninsula – Chilean Fjords

This was fully booked but now 2 places left
 4-30th Jan 2020 27 day from 8190 euros

Ocean going tall ship Tecla is the first ship in the Classic Sailing fleet to sail in both the Arctic and Antarctic. This 27 day Antarctic Expedition is the culmination of several years planning. Her Captain loves to follow in the footsteps of the great explorers and on this relatively small gaff rigged tall ship teamwork is everything. If you are looking for pure adventure, active participation and a total of 16 guest and professional crew then Tecla is offering something very special.  Explore the wildlife of the Falklands before sailing the Drakes Passage towards Elephant Island. Explore South Shetland Isles, Deception Island and sail the sounds between the mountains, ice caps and glaciers of the Antarctic Peninsula. They may be a chance to land on Cape Horn on the way back to Chile. 

Voyage details - Book now


Chinstrap penguins in the South Shetland Isles, Antarctica
Chinstrap penguins in the South Shetland Isles, Antarctica

LEG 9: Antarctic Peninsula- South Georgia-Cape Town

Fully booked in 2020. Plan for next Tecla circumnavigation 2021-22. The next 53 day voyage between Cape Horn and Cape Town likely to be in early 2022.

ocean sailing on tecla

LEG 10: Cape Town – Azores

There are places left on this classic ocean passage and equator crossing. 

3rd April - 26th May 2020 (Cape Town to Horta) 54 days

A classic ocean passage from the giant rollers off Cape Town, though brisk trade winds, equatorial calms, tropical squalls and starry nights, this is a voyage for a true sailor. 54 days and 5000 miles of empty ocean, save for the albatrosses, whales and remote island communities like St Helena and Ascension Island. If you have never crossed the equator on a sailing ship you will have to ask Neptune's permission, but once you make the step from greenhorn to shellback there is no disputing you are an ocean sailor and your have earned a turtle tattoo. The Azores has been a staging post for centuries and Horta is the traditional place to stop and draw your ship on the harbour wall. 

Voyage details - Book Now

LEG 11: Azores to Ullapool, NW Scotland.

Places available on this true sailor voyage or a romantic wanting to escape to sea.

28th May - 17th June 2020 - 21 days from 2420 euros

This will be the first time we have offered a tall ship voyage travelling from the Azores, all the way across an ocean and into the Western Approaches and up the whole length of Britain. A true sailors combination of a big ocean passage towards Lands End in the UK, then options to go up the West Coast of Ireland or the Irish Sea. We love Tecla's sense of adventure. This will be the last leg of her world voyage via the North West Passage, Galapagos, Cape Horn and Cape Town, so learn from some great ocean sailors.

Voyage details & book now


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