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53 Day Sailing Expedition - Shore landings & prolific wildlife in Antarctica, South Georgia & 5500 miles to Cape Town

This ultimate Antarctic adventure stretching from Cape Horn to Cape Town visits some of the most pristine and prolific wildlife havens on the planet. You will be an active crew member on tall ship Tecla for 5500 miles so this is an experience for keen sailors, modern day explorers or hardcore wildlife enthusiasts. There are some big ocean passages of continuous day and night sailing, as well as exploration ashore and anchoring overnight in more sheltered waters on Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland and South Georgia. 

From Punta Arenas there may be a chance to land on Cape Horn, before setting of  across the Drake Passage.  This trip we will not only visit the Antarctic peninsula but also South Georgia.  South Georgia used to be home to many whaling factories not so long ago. Today South Georgia, like Antarctica is highly protected! This enabled the flora and fauna to start to recover. The only human inhabitants are scientists. The Elephant and fur seals are again king on the beach! From South Georgia we will start our crossing of the South Atlantic ocean with one more possible stop before Cape Town SA, the Island of Tristan da Cuhna, a tiny dot in the middle of the ocean!

Embark
Sat, 01-02-2020 - 18:00
Punta Arenas
Disembark
Tue, 24-03-2020 - 10:00
Cape Town
Duration
53 Days
Vessel
Tecla
Voyage No.
T2020-2

Berths and voyage availability

TYPE: 2 berth cabin ensuite -pp under 26yrs. AVAILABILITY: Last Place - Male Berth. PRICE: 8,424 EUR. BOOK NOW
TYPE: 2 berth cabin ensuite - pp over 25yrs. AVAILABILITY: Last Place - Male Berth. PRICE: 9,360 EUR. BOOK NOW

Tecla - Antarctic Peninsula -South Georgia - Cape Town

IDEAL VOYAGE FOR...

Sailors who to experience Antarctica and South Georgia as part of a combined guest and professional crew of only 20 people. Adventurers with a sense of history who want to explore Antarctica in an authentic way, as close to their polar heroes as possible. Wildlife enthusiasts and wilderness lovers who want to see penguins, whales and seals in a pristine wilderness and tread lightly on the planet by travelling under sail as much as possible. Experienced sailors who want the ultimate adventure and a chance to test their mettle in some of the wildest seas on the planet and go aloft with a backdrop of mountains, glaciers and icebergs.

VOYAGE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Extended time in Antarctica and South Georgia
  • Over 5000 miles sailing in Southern Ocean
  • downwind roller coaster, epic seas and albatrosses
  • Antarctic waters with a small crew 
  • 12 Guest Crew and Professional crew working side by side
  • 2 berth cabins with radiator for heating and drying clothes and WC and shower ensuite
  • zodiac safaris around icebergs and ice cliffs
  • snowy walks for great views into the wilderness
  • shorelines packed with penguins and seals
  • Good opportunities to see different whale species
  • possible landing on Tristan Da Cuhna
  • Warmer water sailing towards Cape Town
tecla sailing amongst the mountains

DRAFT VOYAGE DESCRIPTION

Tecla family crew have been planning to go to Antarctica for some time. We think it is awesome that in 2019-20 they are offering polar tall ship voyages in the Arctic and the Antarctic. And if that was not enough, they have created some of the most exciting sailing challenges on the planet, as part of their world route.

  • North West Passage attempt - Summer 2019 (expedition crew already selected)
  • Around Cape Horn from 50 degrees South in Pacific to 50 degrees South in Atlantic (places left)

This Longer 55 day Antarctic Expedition on Tecla is really two major expeditions with numerous landings in the South Shetland Isles, Antarctic Peninsula and the mountainous wildlife oasis of South Georgia. It is also quite a challenge as you will be on board a sailing ship as participating crew for 55 days involving some pretty hardcore sailing. It is 800 miles between Antarctic and South Georgia. After exploring the anchorages of South Georgia you then start an ocean passage across the whole South Atlantic, with no guarentee that a landing on Tristan Da Cuhna half way will be possible. You need to love open ocean sailing and revel in its beauty and elemental power.

Tecla has sailed around the world before
Tecla has sailed around the world before

Sharing Expertise

If this programme look similar in route to Bark Europa Cape to Cape Voyage then that's because is is a proven route and Europa and Tecla are both Dutch ships. Their operational staff exchange information. Apart from significant experience commanding his own ship Tecla in the sea ice and icebergs of Greenland for 3 seasons Tecla Captain Gijs has worked as the 1st Mate on Bark Europa in Antarctica and South Georgia. Several of his crew this summer have also worked on Europa in this exciting but potentially dangerous environment. 

Tecla sailed around the world in company with Europa and Oosterschelde and had no problem keeping up with the bigger tall ships , and was sometimes ahead. Tecla professional crew of 4 will run their version of this iconic voyage their own way. 

tecla in greenland

 

Icebergs are likely on several legs of this voyage
Icebergs are likely on several legs of this voyage

This is not an Itinerary 

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 below, but you have to go with Mother Nature, not fight her.

In Antarctica the situation is a bit different in that larger ships like Europa have to get their chosen route and landing approved by  IAATO (a member organization founded in 1991 to advocate and promote the practice of safe and environmentally responsible private-sector travel to the Antarctic). They do try and stick to a plan if possible, but you can imagine the weather does cause some big revisions. . As Tecla is a smaller 'yacht' she may have more freedom in where she can go.

The description below is based on what the Classic Sailing team might be possible, based on past trips, or experience. It is purely to inspire you to the possibilities of this voyage and we will have to completely revise it once we have Tecla's own version.

humpbacks in antarctica
Humpback by Tecla crew Maria Cerrudo

Get Closer to Wildlife on a Tall Ship

If you have been captivated by BBC Wildlife programmes like Frozen Planet, be prepared to be blown away by the boldness and sheer numbers of wild creatures that inhabit Antarctica and the rich seas that surround it. With modern digital cameras and wildlife that is totally unfazed and curious about humans, it is surprisingly easy to take wildlife photos as good as the professionals. 

Tecla is 90ft (27 metres) on deck and  is tiny vessel compared with modern expedition ships with only about 2 m freeboard in the middle of the ship, so when a humpback whale pops his head up to look at you they are damn close and you can feel the spray. You could be sipping a cup of coffee when a fur seal does a back flip right next to you or a skua waddles down the deck looking for trouble.

Sound of silence under Sail

The experience is even better if there is enough room and wind to sail silently between ice floes, with nothing to disturb the wildlife other than our visual presence.  Whales seem to have a strange affinity for sailing ship hulls. I think it might be because there is no engine noise and the hull travels at a similar speed and lifts and plunges a bit like a sea creature, unlike expedition cruise ships in open waters.

Captain's that spend their life on open decks (instead of wheelhouses bristling with plotters and radar screens) are beedy eyes scouring the horizon for cetaceans and are often first to spot whales, and identify what type from the blow characteristics).   In the rigging is great for taking photos and you can see where the next whale, leopard seal or penguin is going to surface. The bowsprit is an easier vantage point if you don't have a head for heights.

Adelie Penguins making a run for it as a tall ship comes through at 6 knots.
Adelie Penguins making a run for it as a tall ship comes through at 6 knots

 

Zodiac Safaris and Beach Landings

Tecla has a zodiac with a powerful engine and her crews are used to getting crews ashore on surf swept beaches or finding a natural rock dock. Beach landings can be very entertaining with crowds of fur seals and penguins entering and leaving the surf around you. Your ships guide will be with you ashore and brief you on what to see and how to behave around very curious animals ashore but it is still a pleasant shock when they come right up to you. (Penguins don’t read the rules).

 

Antarctica as an Ecosystem

Antarctica is one of the oldest continents on our planet, but humans have always been unable to live here because of its extremely cold climate. It is the last great wilderness on Earth. The wildlife is fearless of humans so you can end up incredibly close to creatures going about their daily lives in the frozen planet. There are rules for tourists on how to behave near the wildlife to maintain this happy state of affairs....but penguins and elephant seals have not read the rules! 

Tecla has a electricity generator on her propeller shaft so you can charge batteries under sail as the propeller turns, so you don't need to run the diesel generator for domestic lighting and navigation electrics so often or use so much diesel.

You don't need a lense this big as it is easy to get very close to wildlife.
You don't need a lense this big as it is easy to get very close to wildlife.

Penguins

All penguin species are restricted to the Southern Hemisphere, but the greatest concentrations are on Antarctic coasts and sub Antarctic islands; On the Peninsula Gentoo and Chinstrap Penguins are the most common. Near the colder Weddell Sea we also find Adelie and Emperor Penguins, although the Emperor penguin is seen more rarely.

On the island of  South Georgia you will see King Penguins in their millions and Macaroni Penguins with the tufted crest. Check out our pages on South Georgia as the climate is warmer, the island is not completely surrounded by sea ice in winter and supports a broader range of wildlife and becomes the breeding ground for a large number Southern Ocean species of birds and mammals.

Chinstrap Penguins in South Shetland
Chinstrap Penguins in South Shetland. photo by Debbie Purser

Seabirds

The Antarctic waters support a vast variety of seabirds. Only a few species are adapted to breed regularly on the continent. Skuas are widespread and prominent in the Antarctic. They prey heavily on the eggs and chicks of penguins and small petrels. Also prions, fulmars, and shearwaters are often seen, as well as terns, sheathbills, and two species of cormorants. Europa has to be very careful at night as the lights of the ship can attract birds which can stun or injure themselves in the rigging. In some anchorages we have to put the metal shutters on the deck house windows at night and rescue any surprised birds for re launch in the morning light.

Albatrosses are not found down around the Antarctic Peninsula but you will find them in the Drakes Passage and on the Falklands and South Georgia.

skua cruising for eggs in South Shetland Penguin colonies
skua cruising for eggs in South Shetland Penguin colonies

New Southern Ocean Wildlife Sanctuaries

In 2017 the first Antarctic Ocean Wildlife Sanctuary was created in the Ross Sea and pressure groups and sympathetic Governments are pressing for another in the Weddell Sea and around the Antarctic Peninsula. If you want to add your name to the campaign you can check out Greenpeace Antarctic Sanctuary Campaign 

Fish and krill in the Antarctic are important components of the marine ecosystems. Factory size ships can hoover up krill in huge quantities in the Southern Ocean which can have a devastating effect on the whole ecosystem. Krill is a major prey for higher predators, including the baleen whales, as the Humpback, Minke and Fin Whale.

peaceful wilderness

Whales and Dolphins

Antarctic in the Southern hemisphere summer is a rich feeding ground for whales. Humpbacks make a regular appearances with acrobatics and feeding frenzies. They also seem to like Europa and have great fun diving under the ship and coming up to eye ball you. and huge fin whales occasionally cruise on by. The Orca or Killer Whale tends to hunt and live in small pods and a sighting is a major highlight....although a bit scarey if you are in an inflatable boat. 

Dueling Elephant seals, Penguin tossing leopard seals, and more

The seals in Antarctica are awesome and sometimes come a bit too close. Depending on the species seals feed on fish and squid or krill. The Leopard Seal is a predator of penguins and other seals. It seems to revel in the chase, often tossing penguins and then snatching them again.

Fur seals are everywhere and very different from the seals we see in Europe. Muscular and fast they can porpoise out the water like dolphins and love to do back flips. There are thousands breeding on South Georgia and walking across the beaches between harems can be quite challenging with huge beach master males fighting with young pretenders. The Ships guides teach you how and where to walk and how to be assertive enough to scare off any fur seal that makes a charge at your kneecaps. 

Elephant seals are the huge mountains of blubber that are easily mistaken for a rock. Never go between them and the waters edge as they can move quite fast. The males have huge proboses (noses) and fight each other in the breeding season. The females are smoother and quite cute looking.

Weddell Seals can be found out on the ice flows.

Seals can leave the water and move on dry land to breed, rest and moult.

sex wars. males fighting over female seal
sex wars. males fighting over female seal

The big difference between Antarctica and South Georgia is Flora

The greater part of the Antarctic continent is covered by permanent ice and snow. Less than 1% is available for colonisation by plants. Most of this ice and snow free land is found along the Antarctic Peninsula. There are no trees or shrubs and only two species of flowering plants; Antarctic Hairgrass and Antarctic Pearlwort are found. The vegetation is predominantly made up of lower plant groups (mosses, liverworts,lichens and fungi).

On South Georgia there are coarse grasses, kelp in the ocean, mosses.

plants on South Georgia
plants on South Georgia

Antarctic Wildlife in Specific Regions

Drakes Passage & Southern Ocean Wildlife

In the Beagle Channel, Drakes Passage and South Atlantic you will be accompanied by many types of albatross (e.g. Black browed Albatross, Wandering Albatross), cape petrels, white chinned petrels and tiny Wilson’s storm petrels – soaring low over the waves and circling the ship. We can help you identify these impressive birds of the Southern Ocean and Tecla has a good reference library too..

The sea temperature dips as you cross the Antarctic Convergence Zone and the likelihood of seeing icebergs increases and lookout duty becomes both a joy and a worry. Fortunately between 59 and 61 degrees latitude south the summer nights are short and the adrenalin of looking for looming white bergs keeps most lookouts warmer ! As the seas around Antarctica are rich in krill sightings of Humpback Whales, Fin Whales, Sperm Whales, Orcas and Commaren’s Dolphins are all likely possibilities.

Drakes Passage Birdlife - Photo Valery Vasilevskyi
Drakes Passage Birdlife - Photo Valery Vasilevskyi

Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands Wildlife

There are less flying birds in Antarctica compared with the breeding cliffs of South Georgia, but this is more than compensated by the penguin antics.  South Shetland Islands are famous for Elephant seals, colonies of chinstrap and gentoo penguins, patrolling leopard seals and killer whales.  Giant petrels breed and skuas fly over the pengiun colonies looking for unattended eggs.  This is a land of life, death and survival of the fittest.  See penguins and seals in their element as they porpoise alongside the ship, easily overtaking us and showing us the way ashore. 

On anchor watch in the moonlight listen to the penguins - a sound that will never leave you, and the barks and howls of fur seals.  Ice often tinkles along the hull with a slight current or movement from a glacier carving.

Chinstrap Penguins in South Shetland
Chinstrap Penguins in South Shetland

Antarctic Peninsula 

The West side of the Peninsula has many possibilities for landings. The actual process of getting ashore by dinghy and staying dry is an adventure in itself. Sometimes it is just as much fun to go on a zodiac safari and not even set foot on land. Astrolabe Island, Trinity Island with its stranded icebergs in a rocky gorge, or cruising under the glacier ice walls in Nekko harbour all have their thrills and wildlife sightings.

Nekko Harbour is often the first chance to stand on the Great White Continent. At least 5 glaciers feed a constant supply of ice into the fjord so Tecla at anchor will make a great photograph.

Deception Island is a live volcano with steaming black gravel around a sunken caldera. This was a whaling station but the buildings and oil vats are now derelict and home to seals. The scene is errie in the swirling mists and you can take a dip if your are brave.

There are some Scientific Research Bases of all nationalities that you can visit. Port Lockroy is a historic British Base and a post office. The mountains here are steep and some of the most dramatic sea passages can get blocked with wind blown ice, so plans can change rapidly.

We are sure Tecla will find some new places to anchor too.

Elephant Island to South Georgia

If conditions permit we are sure Elephant Island will be on Tecla's hit list. This is where Shackleton and a few from the survivors of the Endurance set off in the ships lifeboat 'The James Cairn' to find help. Follow in the wake of James Caird sail Tecla 800 miles across iceberg strewn Southern Ocean to South Georgia.

Every day at sea is different. We will learn to see the difference between the Black browed Albatrosses and Light-mantled Albatrosses. Nature decides the daily work on board. It forces us to adjust the self-image of the human being and that can be very refreshing. Then, on the horizon the ice-covered mountains of this Sub Antarctic Island will be visible.

Please note there is a landing fee for South Georgia (price set by the UK Government) which is payable in advance, the price will be confirmed to you well before your voyage starts. It was about €240 euros in 2018.

landing on Salisbury Plain, South Georgia
landing on Salisbury Plain, South Georgia

Introducing South Georgia - Antarctic Wildlife Oasis 

One of the most prolific places for wildlife on the planet, South Georgia remains sea ice free on part of her coast so almost every Antarctic sea creature and bird comes to this mountainous island to breed.

We expect that Tecla will want to spend about a week to explore the rough landscape of the island. South Georgia offers many spectacular places to land. Here are a few landing spots they may chose (sailing from north West to South East along the more sheltered North coast)

Elsehul

This might be a first anchorage. Elsehul has steep cliffs protecting the Inner Bay. Grey-headed Albatrosses nest on a peninsula between the tussock grass. The beaches of South Georgia are inundated with fur and elephant seals, so you have to learn how to cross the beaches safely.

Bay of islands - Prion Island

Tens of thousands of King Penguins live in the Bay of Isles. Hopefully we can make a landing still today on Prion Island. Together with Albatross Island, this island is an important breeding ground for the Wandering Albatross. Albatrosses lay their eggs in the middle of the summer; their chicks stay from December, until the next spring on their nests. These birds need an open area of 30 square metres around the nest for taking off and landing. While visiting Prion Island we will follow the even more strict rules to protect these delicate birds.

Wandering Albatross on Prion Island. Photo Debbie Purser
Wandering Albatross on Prion Island. Photo Debbie Purser

Salisbury Plain for King Penguins in their Millions

Whilst almost every expedition ship aims to land here, the sheer number of King Penguins make it exceptional. A curved bay backed by mountains provides an amphitheatre full of breeding penguins and seals on a vast scale.

Only St Andrews Bay, further down the coast comes close to the impact of wandering amongst millions of penguins. 

Stromness - Shackleton's salvation

Shackleton landed on the more inhospitable side of the island and with 2 colleagues had to climb over the 2000 metre mountain chain and down the other side to find other humans at Stromness Whaling Station. You might have time to walk some of his trek on the lower slopes..

Grytviken Whaling Museum

There is even a jetty here so you might be able to moor up for a change. You can wander the deserted Norwegian Grytviken whaling station. The Whaling musuem is run by volunteers and there is a small shop to buy your souvenirs. Relics and memorabilia from the Antarctic whaling industry are preserved. Its well worth to visit the romantic whaling church dating from 1913. The graves of the polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton and Frank Wild are here so you can toast their courage with more understanding of what they have gone through now you have sailed the same waters. The whole bay is rich in penguins, fur seals, and elephant seals who come very close, so you need to be vigilant not to upset them or accidentally tread on them.

Norwegian chapel at Gryitviken whaling station.
Norwegian chapel at Gryitviken whaling station.

Ship Wrecks & Katabatic Winds

Whilst many of the habours look perfect little havens, the winds can rustle down the mountains. Look for lenticular clouds on the mountain summits and beware sudden katabatic winds. There are constant reminders here of a ships fate it they drag their anchor.

One of the most beautiful shipwrecks is in Ocean Harbour. She is a fully rigged ship and was one of the first to be built in steel. The ‘Banyard’ was constructed in 1864 in Liverpool and in her we clearly see the conversion from wood to steel built ships. In that time many people didn’t believe in modern steel. Other wrecks in South Georgia include the ‘Brutus’ (1883) in Prince Olav Harbour and the wooden ‘Louise’ in Grytviken. Blue eyed shag gratefully use this industrial monument as a place to built there nest. Ashore between the wallowing elephants seals we find an old locomotive which was used by the whalers to transport tran oil and other cargo back and forth between the station and the dock.

Cooper Bay & Cobblers Cove

In this bay at the south-eastern point of South Georgia there are rookeries of Macaroni Penguins, but its quite a trek. They nest at the bottom of steep cliffs and can be watched and photographed quite easily. We will probably also come across various small colonies of Chinstrap Penguins, one of the few colonies of its kind on South Georgia. If the weather is calm you might get a chance to take the ship through a narrow entrance into nearby Cobblers Cove. This circular natural harbour is very deep but the cliffs are almost all around.

There are still more places to possibly visit like Drygalski Fjord, Prince Olavs harbour, but there is a lot of ocean to cross and eventually Tecla will have to set off on the biggest ocean journey of the voyage so far.

Ocean Passage to Cape Town 

Arching up towards Tristan da Cuhna means the weather gets warmer.  You might even feel like sandals on deck. This remote Island has a small community living here that loves to meet the rare visiting ship. The swell makes it difficult to land here, but it is a pretty special stamp on your passport if you do.

Roll on down the Westerlies towards Cape Town.

tecla

 

Crew on Tecla in katabatic winds

WINDS, WAVES & WEATHER

South to the Antarctic Peninsula you cross the Antarctic convergence zone and seas drop to zero degrees. Air temperatures and wind chill can feel very cold but often warmer than a high altitude ski resort in Europe.

Antarctica to South Georgia - Could be very big seas but sea and air temperatures will be above freezing.

South Georgia to Tristan Da Cuhna - getting warmer but remains very windy most the time.

Read our website page on Antarctic climate and weather conditions

HANDS ON HOLIDAYS

Whether you are an experienced sailor or a complete beginner, the professional crew will train you to be guest crew from the moment you arrive, with the intention that everybody works together to sail the ship. The common thread to all Classic Sailing holidays is ‘Hands on’ participation on ships that use ropes, blocks and tackles and ‘people power’ to set sail.

Captains Gijs and Jet have been hauling the main sheet since kids

SAILING STYLE & LIFE ON BOARD

We cater for a wide range of ages and physical abilities and how much you are expected to do varies a bit between vessels. See the vessel tab above which explains all about the ‘sailing style’ and what to expect in terms of hands on participation. There is a lot of information about day to day life, the ships facilities and accommodation on the vessel pages.

On these long and remote voyages Tecla has some restrictions on what they can cater for:

They regret they will not accept people with the following dietary or allergy diets:

  • No vegans
  • Only vegetarians that are prepared to eat fish
  • No gluten allergies

Any other diet requests will need to be considered by Tecla crew before an application can be confirmed.

AGILITY & FITNESS

Every customer sailing with us will need to fill in basic medical questions on their booking application. If you are not sure if your current level of fitness and agility are up to a voyage, then please ring the Classic Sailing Office on 01872 58 00 22 and we can chat through your concerns and possibly find options that might suit you better.

We have written a recent article on 'How Agile do I need to be for Antarctica?'

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Skipper & professional crew
  • Personal Safety Equipment
  • Sailing Instruction
  • All meals, snacks and refreshments
  • Port and landing fees
  • Linen and duvets
  • Third Party liability insurance

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

  • Travel to Joining Port
  • Travel from end port
  • Alcoholic Drinks but you can buy beer and wine from a bar on board
  • Towels
  • Waterproofs

 

 

Punta Arenas, Chile

Latest port updates

Puntas Arenas is the main port on the Magellan Straits and was only given to Chile in 1949 by the British. There is a nice green park with a memorial plaque commemorating the event.

Today the docks service and maintain many ocean going fishing ships. (Too big to call fishing boats!) There are many day tours operated from Puntas Arenas, Viator Guide

How to get here

By Road & Parking

You can drive to Puntas Arenas from anywhere on the mainlands of North and South America.

Rail & transfers

Not applicable.

Air & transfers

Get to Santiago the capital of Chile and then fly LATAM to Puntas Arenas

 

Places to stay, Things to do, Travel companions

Classic Sailing invites to a private facebook group where you can connect with other sailors who have booked with us. If you want to find a travel companion or share ideas on accommodation options before your trip, then posting a request on this is this is a safer option than our public facebook page. (due to data protection laws we cannot pass on contact details for other sailors on your trip directly)

Your travel responsibilities

Passports and Visas***

*** “Classic Sailing cannot cover every possible visa scenario as customers may have dual nationality, or be working or living in a country different from their passport nationality.

To avoid any last-minute stress, we advise you to contact the local embassies of the countries you will be visiting in your country to find out which travel documents you need. Please start early, obtaining a visa can take some time. It is your responsibility to have the right travel documents for all countries you visit during your stay on board.

If you plan to travel onto other destinations please check you have a right to stay in the country too as you may be classed as arriving in a country as ‘yacht sailors in transit’ and not have same rights as a tourist.

Even if you don’t need a visa, please check your passport expiry date is sufficient for country entry requirements.”***

Travel, Health, Vaccinations and Safety

Security for tourists in certain countries, regions or cities can change rapidly. Please check with your own Government Foreign Office for their latest advice for travellers.

UK travellers check under specific destination at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Likewise we suggest you check if there are any recommended or required vaccinations well before departure as some take more than one jab. For UK travellers check out ‘Fit for Travel’ http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations

Travel Insurance

It is compulsory that you have travel insurance to sail on any of our voyages, but you do not have to buy the insurance from us. If you purchase your own please make sure it covers sailing as an activity, and racing if you are racing crew. Most our voyages sail further than 3 miles from the shore so check that you will be covered sailing outside territorial waters.

Classic Sailing recommend Topsail Insurance http://www.classic-sailing.co.uk/travel-insurance They have policies designed for sailing crew on yachts or tall ships, whether you want an annual policy or a single trip. These are suitable for UK based sailors but the page also has links to alternative companies and recommended insurance companies for non UK citizens.

Cape Town, South Africa

Latest port updates

For vessels using Cape Town, it is likely you will be joining your ship in the Victoria and Albert docks area. 

Any changes will be communicated to you before your voyage start date. Make sure you make a note of the ship's number found in your confirmation email in case of any problems on the day.

Located on the shore of Table Bay, Cape Town was originally developed by the Dutch East India Company as a victualling station for Dutch ships sailing to Eastern Africa, as such Cape Town is a very historic port of call for a ship such as Europa. Cape Town has continued to be a classic stopping point for many ocean wanderers, from tall ships to modern race boats and commercial shipping.  It is now the Provincial Capital of the Western Cape and the second most populous city in South Africa. Legal tender is the Rand and most major credit cards are accepted throughout.

How to get here

Air & transfers

Cape Town International Airport serves both domestic and international flights. It is the second-largest airport in South Africa and serves as a major gateway for travellers to the Cape region.

Email: classic.sailing@flightcentre.co.uk

Phone: 0800 188 4533 for personal advice.

Places to stay, Things to do, Travel companions

Beaches for Surfing & Kite Surfing

Cape Town is a mecca for kite surfing due to the windy South Easterly 'Cape Doctor' which blows between the mountains and is usually a welcome 'breath of fresh air' when the city is getting  too hot. 

Table Mountain - Hike or Cable Car ?

You must find time to go up Table Mountain if is not covered in its 'tablecloth' of cloud. You can hike up or take the cable car.  Uncover the Cape is a good website for walking hikes in the Cape Town area.

Victoria & Albert Docks

It is likely you will be joining or leaving your ship in this historic dock complex which has been transformed into a buzzing waterside playground of restaurants, shops, hotels, street entertainers and boat trip jetties.  You can book day trips out to Robben Island when Nelson Mandela was imprisoned or simply enjoy one of south Africa's chilled white wines whilst watching the antics of the sea lions in the harbour. Like most tourist honey spots, watch your wallet pockets as there are many wonderful distractions.

Classic Sailing invites to a private facebook group where you can connect with other sailors who have booked with us. If you want to find a travel companion or share ideas on accommodation options before your trip, then posting a request on this is this is a safer option than our public facebook page. (due to data protection laws we cannot pass on contact details for other sailors on your trip directly)

Your travel responsibilities

Passports and Visas***

*** “Classic Sailing cannot cover every possible visa scenario as customers may have dual nationality, or be working or living in a country different from their passport nationality.

To avoid any last-minute stress, we advise you to contact the local embassies of the countries you will be visiting in your country to find out which travel documents you need. Please start early, obtaining a visa can take some time. It is your responsibility to have the right travel documents for all countries you visit during your stay on board.

If you plan to travel onto other destinations please check you have a right to stay in the country too as you may be classed as arriving in a country as ‘yacht sailors in transit’ and not have same rights as a tourist.

Even if you don’t need a visa, please check your passport expiry date is sufficient for country entry requirements.”***

Travel, Health, Vaccinations and Safety

Security for tourists in certain countries, regions or cities can change rapidly. Please check with your own Government Foreign Office for their latest advice for travellers.

UK travellers check under specific destination at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Likewise we suggest you check if there are any recommended or required vaccinations well before departure as some take more than one jab. For UK travellers check out ‘Fit for Travel’ http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations

Travel Insurance

It is compulsory that you have travel insurance to sail on any of our voyages, but you do not have to buy the insurance from us. If you purchase your own please make sure it covers sailing as an activity, and racing if you are racing crew. Most our voyages sail further than 3 miles from the shore so check that you will be covered sailing outside territorial waters.

Classic Sailing recommend Topsail Insurance http://www.classic-sailing.co.uk/travel-insurance They have policies designed for sailing crew on yachts or tall ships, whether you want an annual policy or a single trip. These are suitable for UK based sailors but the page also has links to alternative companies and recommended insurance companies for non UK citizens.

Tecla

Tecla has circumnavigated the globe, sailed around Cape Horn, won numerous tall ships races, and is now carving her name as a great expedition ship. At 127ft overall she has the live-aboard comfort of a tall ship but with only 12 guest crew it feels more like a shared adventure with the multinational professional crew.  Tecla's sailing programme is always bold, often in the wake of famous explorers and always with a love for wild nature. She is an original Dutch herring drifter built in 1915 to fish the North Seas under sail.

Statistics

 

  • Length overall: 127ft (38.00m)
  • Length on deck: 90ft (27.00m)

 

  • Year built: 1915
  • Vessel type/rig: Gaff Ketch

 

  • Guest berths: 12
  • Crew berths: 4

 

 

Tecla exploring the wild coast of Iceland

What Tecla Does Best

Pushing the Frontiers of Adventure Charter Holidays

Tecla is only 90 feet long on deck, but she punches above her weight in terms of adventurous sailing programmes. She is really hooked on sailing in the Arctic and all the exploration history associated with it. After a couple of seasons sailing in East Greenland she is following the pack ice down this virtually uninhabited coast to Cape Farewell and around the corner to West Greenland as far as Disko Bay. This will put her into position to be the first tall ship to make an attempt on the North West Passage (dates soon) through to the Pacific and beyond. Make sure you sign up for our e newsletters (see footer at bottom of the page) to recieve the details as soon as they are released.

Tecla amongst the ice in Greenland
Tecla amongst the ice in Greenland

Pioneered Coastal Sailing Around Iceland

Tecla are as close to being our Iceland coastal sailing specialists as you can be without actually being an Viking. They have invested 3 whole summers into creating and proving their iconic voyages around the West and North coast which all include a chance to enjoy the NW Fjords and the mighty Hornstrandir cliffs and National Park. Sailing along this wild coast for leisure and adventure in Iceland is something fishermen do all year around, but is not particularly common amongst Icelanders and we think they are really missing a trick. The West Coast and NW Fjords are where where the Viking's settled as there were fjords, anchorages, huge seabird populations and rich meadows.

Tecla is a homely ship because for 12 months a year she is the family home. The saloon and galley is the warm heart of the ship below decks, but you also have en suite cabins with hot showers and radiators. When the sun is out there is 90ft of deck space to curl up with a book or journal. With a guest crew of 12, exploration ashore can be as physical as you want: Whether you prefer beach-combing at sea level, or climbing with the more energetic to the highest sea cliffs. Gijs is Tecla's main skipper in the summer and loves hill walking and mountaineering is irrepressible when it comes to exploring ashore.

The North Coast of Iceland is one of the most reliable places in Northern Europe for whale watching, especially if you want the chance to see larger species like blue whale, humpbacks, . Don't just take Tecla's, or our word for it....see the statistics for North Sailing Whale watching day trips in Skaljfandi Bay . Just think how much more wildlife encounters can be possible a longer Icelandic sailing voyage.

Whale sighting from Tecla in Iceland from guest crew Maria Cerrudo
Whale sighting from Tecla in Iceland from guest crew Maria Cerrudo

Wanderlust in the Wake of Great Explorers

The Tecla crew are an energetic bunch. The owner-skippers are ‘up for adventure’ and their sailing programme really reflects that ambition. This is not a tall ship that sits on its laurels. Skippers and siblings Gijs and Jet, research their destinations well, and have a great sense of history and place. The library on board reflects their constant wanderlust, but they also like to really get to know a cruising ground. Their parents, former skippers Janette and Jan, keep a steady hand on the tiller back at base, or you can find them occasionally on board. They have two ships dogs which can join them in some countries.

After carving a name for herself as a winning contender at tall ships races (read about her tall ship victories), she undertook a world voyage with charter crews in 2013-14. Tecla has been island hopping in Cape Verde; explored the Brazilian coast; crossed the South Atlantic to Cape Town. Sailing in company with her bigger companions Europa and Oosterschelde she not only kept up with these ocean going tall ships, but was frequently ahead of them.

Charter crews went looking for the 'Sardine Run' off Mauritius, crossed the Indian Ocean to Australia and took part in a tall ships race from Sydney to New Zealand.  Tecla braved the Southern Ocean, crossing the South Pacific and Rounding Cape Horn, so she proved she was a tough ship, and fast enough to keep up with and often beat her bigger companions Europa and Oosterschelde.

Sailing Expeditions 2018 climbing high in the Faroes with the Tecla Crew

Experienced Ice Pilots

In the winter, Skipper Gijs has sailed as mate on square rigger Europa in Antarctica and South Georgia, and makes no secret about his fondness for high latitudes and wild places. Sailing the iceberg strewn waters of the Weddell Sea and navigating a square rigger in the broken sea ice, fog and blizzards around the Antarctic Peninsula have hugely added to Gijs's ice pilotage experience.

Landing crews by zodiac in remote Antarctic locations with potentially dangerous wildlife is another useful skill he has brought back to his Tecla Arctic Expeditions. The ocean passage between Iceland and Greenland Scorseby Sound brings different pilotage problems. Gijs has run three summer season in high latitudes and added the Denmark Strait, East Greenland Coast and Scorseby Sound to his ice pilot experience. Navigating through the icebergs and sea ice as it breaks up and drifts down the Greenland East Coast requires a certain patience, experience and respect for the elements.

Another added bonus is that Gijs has worked with some of the best polar wildlife guides with Arctic and Antarctic expertise, and he is well read in historic and contemporary polar exploration journals and wildlife conservation.

Greenland sailing on tall ship Tecla
Tecla on the way to East Greenland

 

 

Style of Sailing

Tecla is very much an adventure charter ship so the style of sailing is 'hands on' but her well trained staff recognise that her expedition style voyages attract all types and ages of guest crew. Whether you are a keen traditional sailor who want to learn all the ropes, a bird watcher or a sea lover who just wants to experience a romantic way of travelling, you can all feel part of this little ships community and do what you can manage to help sail the ship and contribute to life on board. She originally sailed with 16 but now prefers to keep guest crew numbers to only 12, so you find the ship pretty spacious. She is about the same length on deck as Irene.

Tecla does some big trips with fairly small professional crew of four for the size of the vessel, so there is more expectation for everybody to help sail the ship on these offshore voyages. Guest crew will be divided into groups called watches and on a passage there will be a watch keeping routine. Watch keeping means that when it is your turn to be on watch you will need to be out on deck trimming sails, steering and helping navigate if that is your interest. You will always have the skipper or mate with you as the watch leader, so they is plenty you can learn, and its a great time to get a bit more individual attention, sailing tuition or if the sailing is straight forward, put the world to rights. It means the other watch team can relax on deck or below decks. knowing you are concentrating on getting the best out of the ship, and notching up the miles towards your next destination, day or night.

On a fore and aft rigged ketch there is more sail trimming, tacking and gybing than you might find on a square rigger, so at times on watch you may be very busy. 

Most of the deck layout of the Tecla has been kept in a traditional style from her days as a herring drifter and then cargo ship. On deck you will find traditional details like dead-eyes rather than bottlescrews, and a lot of wood work. Sails are set by hand, a big part of the electricity used on board is generated by the dynamo on the propeller.

Tecla has a tough riveted steel hull and a lot of sail so she is both powerful and lively to sail. She has a decent sized RIB (check type) for trips ashore. . 

 

Learn to steer a gaff ketch on holiday. Tecla has a big ships wheel

Life on Board

The saloon is a nice place to socialise and relax below decks.  Upholstered seating and a large library of exploration and wildlife books in several languages add to the homely feel and a radiator keeps things warm, as does the galley area opposite.  You can chat to the cook, but don't try pinching the cakes till they are ready.  

There are two person cabins with cozy duvets and linen provided. The cabins have heating (radiators) and a huge amount of headroom. You can latch the door open for more air in hotter climes and there is an opening porthole for natural light. All cabins have a toilet (that doesn't need any pumping!) and a shower en-suite.

Read more about the accommodation below.

Gijs and Jets mum Janette is often the cook on board, when she is not running the sailing business from home.  On some trips the family dogs might be on board, but it depends a bit on the shore-side regulations.

All the family speak good English and the working language on board is English. Some special diets can be catered for, but many of Tecla's voyages are 3 weeks away from provisioning ports and sailing in remote areas with no human habitation or fresh food shops so they cannot accept those who require a strict vegan diet.

Voyages in places like Greenland or even NW Iceland are a long way from any hospital, so you do need to be in good health for these voyages.

Life on board Tecla is a mix of active sailing holiday and exploring ashore

Accommodation on Tecla

Accommodation down below on tall ship Tecla
Tecla Saloon and a library to feed the explorer in all of us

Below Decks Accommodation

The companionway steps dive down to the living accommodation quite a long way, so there is ample headroom for taller sailors. There is a main corridor that all the cabins lead off from. At the far end is the galley and saloon. the professional crew have separate accommodation at the stern of the ship (aft).

Two person en suite cabins with heating

Each two berth cabin is has heated with a radiator and there is an en-suite toilet and shower room with hot and cold water in every cabin.   In the cabin itself you will find a simple basin and tap and mirror. Your bed will be either the higher or the lower bunk. All beds are over 80cm wide and 2 meters long. Each bed has a reading light for the evening hours. Your clothing can be stored in cupboard and your bag or suitcase can be stored under the bed.

Tecla cabins have heating and en suite shower wc

Saloon and Galley

The heart of the ship on Tecla is the saloon.  The galley is open plan in the same room as the saloon, so its a very warm social space. There is a big saloon table and seating with cushions all around. On the other side of the room is more seating and tables for meals or for writing journals and hobbies.  Tecla has a ships library full of books that will bring out the explorer in you. Many of the books are in English and there are some great 'coffee table' style books about nautical adventures.

Tecla's crew  love to read up about their sailing destinations whether it is Icelandic sagas or boat building in the Orkneys, so if you run out of your own novels there is plenty to dip into.

Laundry on longer trips is normally divided by cabin, one cabin at a time so easy to sort if a sock strays!

Tecla interior - saloon
Tecla interior - main saloon table

 

Ships Dogs

The Tecla family have two ships dogs who are sometimes on board, if regulations permit. Generally they are at home in Holland.

Tecla's Ships dog Sadie enjoying walkies on Skye.
Ships dog Sadie enjoying walkies on Skye.

 

Tecla - Ship Specification

Photo by Howard Gear - Tecla from the air
Photo by Howard Gear - Tecla from the air

Worldwide Operating Licence

Tecla is equipped to sail the world’s seas and holds all the safety certificates required by Dutch Law. She carries 4-5 professional crew. As you are part of the guest crew you also will be fully trained in some aspects of emergency procedures.

 

vessel type - gaff ketch    
year built 1915 Winkel, NL
length overall 124ft 38m
length on deck 90ft 27m
beam 22ft 6.55m
draft   2.7m
sail area   370 sq m
tonnage 92  
guest crew overnight 12  
professional crew 5  

 

Tecla has a riveted steel hull and deck with watertight bulkheads. She has a fantastic underwater hull shape for deep water sailing. She is a fast ship and has won many awards at Tall Ships Races. When she sailed around the world and all the way to Australia in company with larger Dutch tall ships Europa and Oosterschelde she was more than capable of keeping up with them despite their longer waterlines. Quite often ahead of them!

Sails & Spars

The bowsprit is huge but fully retractable in a few minutes for small harbours.

She has 3 sizes of flying jib, a fore staysail with a sheet on a sliding bar. The main and mizzen are very heavy canvas and gaff rigged. They can be reefed. There is also a storm tri-sail. The topsails are jackyard topsails so you hoist the sail and an extra mast (or jackyard) extending both mizzen and main mast. This is quite an exciting sail hoist and also fun coming down.

Shaft Generator for Carbon Free Electricity

When sailing Tecla can charge her batteries without the diesel generator as the movement through the water spins her propeller and a shaft generator captures the free energy.

Tecla has a normal generator too, but there is no need to have it running all the time. 

Water makers and Radiators

Tecla can make fresh water from sea water which enables her to go on long expeditions. She has big water tanks too.

Navigation & Communications

Tecla has Sat C communications plus saterlite phone for Greenland Expeditions

She also has VHF for coastal and HF long range radio. 

For the NW Passage she will carry a Yellow Brick Tracking device so your friends and family can track the ship.

You can currently follow her on Marine Traffic App as she has an AIS transmitting her position, spread, status etc.

We will give customers fuller information in 2019 as she will be updating some of her equipment for her NW Passage and Antarctic seasons in 2019-20

Gijs - Captain on the Tecla
Gijs - Captain on the Tecla

Tecla - a Family of Captains!

Skippers are Jan, Jet, Janet and Gijs, all one family but two generations!  Don't worry. They take it in turns to be in charge!

Together the Sluik family of Jan, Jannette, Gijs and Jet, muster a large number of years of traditional charter sailing experience and invite everybody to join them aboard to be a part of the history of Tecla. 

The Tecla crew consists of three or four permanent professional sailors. This crew is partially made up of the family and completed with some dedicated sailors that we have met around the world.

The crew give their heart and live to sailing the Tecla and can show all the tricks of trimming the sail to the fullest and teach anybody how to bake some amazing homemade bread.

Gijs -Captain of the Tecla.

Gijs shares the command of Tecla with his sister Jet.

Gijs started sailing when he was a young boy. Professionally he started sailing in 2001 as deckhand on the Aagtje, Eenhoorn and later Stad Amsterdam. He worked on the Stad Amsterdam as deckhand, quartermaster and third mate over a period of 3 years.

After that his full attention was directed to the Tecla, where he has been the full time captain for several years. Gijs has a passion for fast sailing, he is devoted to the Tecla and loves working on her deck as well as in the chartroom.

Debbie in Classic Sailing office has sailed with Gijs when he was the first mate on a square rigger sailing from Brazil to Antarctica, and also more recently in Orkney, Shetland and the Faroes. If you can't pronounce his name Dutch style then 'Heiss' is close. He speaks great English, loves to sail every ship he works on to the max....is happiest when he can run around the deck and pull sails with the guests. Gjis has a strong interest in maritime history and exploration and always wants to take Tecla to new places.

Jet is relief captain on Tecla.

Jet started sailing professionally in 2005. Before that she spent many weeks a year sailing with her parents. Sitting next to Jan steering, was the best spot on board. After getting her bachelor degree in Communication, Jet worked in the office of Amnesty International for 2 years. Jet could not resist the call for adventure when the opportunity came to buy the Tecla. Jet has sailed as cook and first mate but after experience on other ships she now sails as skipper too. Jet uses her marketing and communication skills to advantage to promote Tecla and the family business too.

Captain of Tecla - Jet receiving an award
Captain of Tecla - Jet receiving an award

Jannette - co-owner and manager of the Tecla.

Janette started sailing after she met Jan. Together they bought an old Dutch vessel, the “Aagtje” and restored her to full sailing condition. For more than 10 years they sailed together on the Ijsselmeer and Waddenzee. After a short adventure with the Eenhoorn (Unicorn) the step up to the open ocean and the Tecla, was not difficult. Until recently Janette was always on board, but now she spends more time as shore manager, together with the pensioned dog Nyske and the young springer spaniel Sadie, to organize better contacts between ship, authorities, trainees etc. Missing the sailing? Of course, but she does make a few guest appearances during the season.

Tecla manager Janette and Jan have run charter sailing ships for years
Janette and Jan have run charter sailing ships for years

Captain Jan - With Us in Spirit

Jan Sluik sadly passed away in 2018 but he is such an important part of Tecla's story, we feel you should know how it all started.

Jan  sailed and owned vessels from an early age on. Rebuilding and repairing traditional beauties is in his blood, he used to work on old timers together with his dad. In 1991 Jan and Janette launched the two mast tjalk Aagtje as a charter vessel from Hoorn. Later they switched homeport to Harlingen to sail on the Waddenzee more. In 2002 the sold the Aagtje and bought the Eenhoorn. Which they sailed from Harlingen as well and sold in 2005, after which they bought the Tecla to start a new project together with their children, Gijs and Jet.  Gijs and Jet have grown up with the sea in their blood and now are the full time skippers of Tecla, replacing their parents out of the water.

Tecla sails with a Captain, Mate, Cook and deckhand and for Iceland and Greenland a wildlife guide.

Current sailing grounds

Tecla - Kit List

tecla-sourcetecla-iceland-skipper.jpg

Kit List for Tecla 

THIS IS TECLA standard voyage kit list. Specialist Antarctic kit list to follow shortly

Included

  • Sailing instruction 
  • Safety Equipment (Life jackets and harnesses)
  • All meals to including refreshments throughout the day.
  • Bed linen, duvet, pillows and towels. 

What's Not Included

  • Travel to and from the start and end port. 
  • Optional trips or tours taken ashore
  • Meals ashore
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Personal towels

 

What to bring

There is limited storage space on Tecla so please pack all you belongings in a soft rucksack or bag.

  • Footwear: Shoes with a good grip e.g. trainers or sailing deck shoes. (Sandals are great for beaches but you do need toe protection for sailing). Tecla has steel decks so waterproof walking boots are fine at sea in moderate winds and dry conditions and great for voyages where you might do some rough terrain walking like Iceland and Scotland. 
  • Rubber Boots or second pair of shoes for wet weather or getting in/out of dinghies. 
  • Swim suit & beach towel
  • Suntan lotion & sunglasses
  • Sun hat / warm hat, scarves, gloves
  • Clothes that dry quickly like fleeces and thermals. Mix of warm, waterproof & windproof layers. Wool jumpers are warm, even when wet, but can take a while to dry. Merino wool type shirts are good for under layers.
  • Small rucksack for going ashore
  • Travel insurance documents/any travel tickets
  • Personal medicines/ spectacles/ seasick tablets –check which brand if you suffer from asthma or are on regular medication.
  • Camera/binoculars etc
  • Modest quantity of alcohol for evening meals
  • You are welcome to bring musical instruments

 

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Tecla - Reviews

Tecla crew enjoying afternoon sun

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What did you enjoy the most?

Very difficult to separate out the various events but certainly the fjord voyage was better due to the increased variety of the programme.

What was the worst bit?

A shore-to-ship rib transfer in rough and windy conditions.

Why do you sail?

Freedom, adventure, commonality of purpose.

Summary of the voyage.

Any initial doubts as to the number and experience of the crew were very quickly dispelled and we were impressed with the knowledge and the handling skills of the skipper and the 2 mates. Every opportunity was taken to enhance our enjoyment on both voyages and at every stage we were made to feel relaxed and under no obligation to crew the ship under sometimes testing (but enjoyable) conditions. As an observation, we must congratulate the skipper for her culinary skills under difficult conditions..........the food was perfect for the voyage.

Two voyages on Tecla Spring 2019 

 

This was a great voyage.  A great mix of sailing in Scottish waters, some super hikes and an opportunity to see some of the immensely important historical sites in the Orkneys and Sheltands.  Mooring alongside in Fair Isle was a great privilege.  The ocean passage to the Faroes was quiet but as a result we were blessed with clear skies whilst slinking in and out of the islands and some of the best coastal views one could hope to see anywhere.  The ocean passage to Iceland was a bit of a bimble until we were 60 miles off and then it got exciting.  Thanks to a great skipper and permanent crew we snuggled into a fjord whilst the cruise ship ran aground in Reykjavik harbour.  A good holiday, an adventure and fun. K Barker, Tecla Ullapool to Reykjavik, May 2018

What was the best bit?

Sailing under the Skye Bridge on a windy, sunny morning. ..

What was the worst bit?

Being sea sick on the first day, but I can't blame the boat or the crew for that - just the stormy weather.

Why do you sail?

I have never sailed before, this was a 'give it a try' holiday - it hasn't put me off doing it again sometime

Any other comments

An enjoyable week in less than ideal weather conditions. The crew was competent and friendly, the catering excellent - I wouldn't hesitate to recommend a voyage on Tecla." Jonathan E. Sailing in Scotland

 

"Brilliant, I would do it again tomorrow. And good value too. Food was excellent. I loved the spicy meat balls and my wife loved the fresh langoustines." Steve.

The voyage was " a delight. A competent and engaging professional crew, an interesting voyage with some challenges and some great rewards. Good companions to make the log spin around." Mike 

What aspects did you enjoy most? "The sailing from Faroes isles to Iceland in perfect weather." What aspects did you enjoy least? "cannot answer this question as enjoyed every single moment"  If you could sum up the trip? "It was my first voyage. I just thought I like being out, I like being active, and I like the sea, so I will have a look at sailing.  After that marvellous experience I will certainly continue." Annon feedback form  May 2015

Sailed on Tecla to St Kilda in June - amazing crew (Gijs, Janet, Barbara) and great company. I loved everything about the trip and strongly recommend to join the Tecla folks. Most enjoyable classic sailing with great food, true sense of teamwork, great guidance and good sense of humour. Can't get any better." Cheers, Thomas M.

"Best Experience Ever (5 stars for sailing, crew and food) " David on TC28/04/14

I sailed aboard Tecla from Oban to the Scillies in very early May. It was cold, wet and mostly pretty windy. It was thoroughly excellent. The Tecla is a great little ship, but it was the skipper and crew (paid and "trainees") that made it for me. Great job, thanks guys. I plan to come again. Steve W

I‘d never been sailing in Iceland or on Tecla so this was a double first for me. What I like about remote places is that the people you meet are welcoming and pleased to see you. They seem to be secure in their communities and proud of where they live. In 8 days in Iceland I only saw one policeman very very briefly. Not at the airport but following us for about 30 seconds in a police car in Reykjavik. Was it cold in Iceland, Yes and No, on arrival there was no need for more than 2 layers on top and one below. But later when sailing and the wind picked up from the north it did require 5 top layers and 2 below but we were less than 30 miles from the Arctic Circle!  Overall I really enjoyed the voyage and the wildlife. Adam Purser June 2018

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