Schooners Hildur & Haukur
Icelandic Schooners Hildur & Haukur
The schooners Haukur and Hildur, are descendants of the first decked sailing vessels in north Iceland in the 19th century. The knowledge and know-how of handling and maintaining gaff rigged ships had been all but lost in Iceland. The two similar schooners are now the only active vessels of their kind along Icelandic shores.
The family run business that restored Haukur and Hildur and converted them to gaff rigged schooners with comfortable accommodation have now saved six Icelandic oak fishing-boats and given them a new purpose. They sail as adventure charter vessels exploring the Iceland coast and Greenland, or are in constant use as whale watching boats in North East Iceland - one of the most reliable locations to see big whales in the world. The story started in 1995 with the restoration of the wooden fishing boat Knörrinn and saving it from destruction. In the construction of these oak boats, Icelandic carpenters elevated their craftmanship to a fine art! Regulations concerning both the choice of materials and the strength of these boats, were particularly strict in Iceland, but the legacy now is that the port of Husavik has a small fleet of extremely seaworthy wooden ships and two schooners that can venture as far afield as Greenland.
Wooden Boats Around the World Unite !
Classic Sailing are excited to find another pioneering company that has a passion for preserving their national heritage and are active in supporting the coastal and maritime culture and customs by renovating their boats and building by the harbour in Husavik.
All of the fleet in Husavik are traditional wooden fishing boats, which have been carefully restored and adapted to a new role without compromising their original character. All the boats undergo strict inspection and are approved by Lloyd's Register.
Icelandic Voyages - Sail into the Arctic Circle
The small port of Husavik is home to Schooners Hildur and Haukur and the rest of their whale watching fleet. This family run business has made Husavik and Skjalfandi Bay famous for whale watching with a 98% success rate for whale sightings since 1995. Species spotted include all the big ones - Blue Whales, Humpback whales, Fin, Sei, Sperm Whales, Northern Bottlenose and ones of everones hit list like Killer Whales. North East Iceland has awesome waterfalls like the mighty Dettifoss and some great walking and pony trekking in National Parks nearby.
Classic Sailing are offering 2 day and 2 night voyages on Schooner Haukur which include a domestic flight from Reykjavik to Husavik, transport to the port and a hands on sailing voyage accross the best whale watching bay in Northern Europe to the offshore island of Grimsey. You are now officially within the Arctic Circle and have an unusual island to explore with thousands of bird on the sea cliffs. The sail back goes via the island of Flatley. Within the sailing package is free entry to the whaling museum in Husavik and your evening flight back to Reykjavik.
Sailing Expeditions to East Greenland
Each summer the larger schooner Hildur ventures North, deep into the Arctic Circle, to the rarely visited East Coast of Greenland. The ocean 'hop' from Iceland is quite challenging with icebergs being swept down from the North, but once Hildur tucks into Scoresby Sound she has a spectacular sailing ground for the short Arctic Summer. A few adventurous yachts now explore West Greenland, but the East Coast requires a more specialist commitment to run charter voyages.
These 7 day voyages include a flight from Iceland directly to Scorseby Sound in Greenland. 350 km long this extensive fjord system offers arctic wildlife like musk ox, polar bear, narwhal, spectacular rock walls, mountains and glaciers. The ship carries an experienced wildlife guide who is also a sailor and there is plenty of hiking ashore too. For more details see the individual voyage descriptions.
Ship Specification - Hildur
Rig: Two mast Schooner
LOA: 26m (85ft) length overall
LOD: 18m length on deck
Sail Area: 250 sq m (the one with white sails)
Built: Akureyri 1974. Converted to Sail 2010
Flag: Iceland. Registered Port: Husavik
Photo from North Sailing: Hildur being overtaken by Blue Whales in Skjalfandi Bay, Iceland.
Hildur was built in Akureyri in 1974 by two shipwrights, Gunnlaugur and Trausti. Trausti and sons would later become good friends and help the company convert most of it's boats into passenger vessels. The owners got to know their special skills and enthusiasm for wooden boats and set a goal to later behold one of the three big wooden boats built in their shipbuilding station. It was then in the summer of 2009 that Hildur sailed into Husavik Harbour but only for a rather short visit in the local shipyard for overhaul before a 10 day journey to Denmark where she would be converted into a two masted schooner with 250 sqm of sails in the shipyard of Christian Jonsson in Egernsund.
Ship Specification - Haukur
Rig: Two mast Schooner
LOA: 21m (67ft) length overall
LOD: 15.6m length on deck
Sail Area: 132 sq m (the one with red sails)
Built: Reykjavik 1973. Restored 1997. Converted to Sail 2002
Flag: Iceland. Registered Port: Husavik
Guests: 11 guest crew overnight
Haukur was built in Reykjavík in 1973, thus being a youngster for a wooden boat. In the beginning she was designed as a fishing boat but due to the shipbuilder's respect and enthusiasm for old sail boats the hull shape was rather unusual and in fact with a resemblance to the old shark and fishing schooners that were common around Iceland in the 19th century. When North Sailing bought the boat in 1996 it was soon clear that the boat would be a great sailing vessel and after serving 5 summers as an ordinary whale watching vessel the boat was transformed to a two mast schooner in the shipyard of Húsavík.
If you love wooden boats and restorations then have a look at our page and photos on the accomodation and the below decks facilities aboard Hildur.
PDF to come - but these pages are printable
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