Spring (14th May – 20th May 2021)
Autumn (27th Sep – 04th Oct 2021)
Mission: Become an Ocean Ambassador
OM is looking for 12 enthusiastic souls that feel the responsibility to make a positive impact on marine conservation, to become a knowledgeable inspiration source for the others and for those who want to join the change (for example, by choosing a more sustainable lifestyle). This program is recommended for people studying or just interested in Marine Science, Oceanography, Marine Biology and traditional sailing. However, we believe that everyone can and must be onboard for a change!
Feel the ACTION!
Route: West and North Iceland (400 nm aprox)
Take a deep breath and immerse yourself in to a full mind-blowing experience in wild North Iceland. Hold fast and sail Schooner Opal into some of the most unexplored and remote waters and landscapes, the stunning natural reserves in the Westfjords or crossing the edge of the Artic in Grimsey Island. This route is of special interest due to its high biodiversity and wildlife at this time of the year, including some of the biggest seabird’s colonies in the world, different species of seals, dolphins and whales as they start migrating to Iceland for the summer feeding season.
During this time of the year we start seeing the first northern lights and a constant explosion of colors in the landscapes that dictates the arrival of the autumn. It is probably the calmest time of the year, with few tourists and great chances to discover. This is a unique opportunity to look for and study wildlife in places of difficult access where almost nobody else dares to go. Whales, winter birds, even foxes and seals could be spotted if we are lucky!
Together for a change!
This is not a typical tourist trip. Our priority here is the environmental values. This is not necessarily a luxury trip and is not about you, it is about the oceans and all of us. As a participant, you will be trained through an exciting citizen science program where you will learn deeply about the Ocean, the marine life, the problems we are facing and how you can be part of the solution. All, in an inspiring environment surrounded by the natural elements… the wind and the seas!
You will sail the ship in old school style and learn about traditional navigation. You will participate in the research and make your own mini project. You will learn how to become more sustainable and make a difference to protect the oceans. We focus specially on wildlife identification, the plastic problem, fishing gear and noise pollution, but if feasible we could do some other exciting activities like whale tagging, artistic projects… etc. We are open for suggestions as it is all about getting inspired and learn from each other! Our specialist OM team is formed by whale scientists, marine biologists, expert sailors, wildlife guides and professional photographers, aiming to provide you with an experience of a life time.
Price: 1800 Euros. (1500 Euros if you are under 25 years old!). Included: up to 7 nights onboard, food, warm sailing suit, professional crew and transport from Húsavìk to Reykjavík.
As part of OM team, you will get the “Ocean Missions Membership”, with free Whale Watching activities and discounts in the Whale Museum and other activities in Hùsavík – The Whale Capital in Iceland. Flights are not included.
Notice that this is not to make us rich! Your contribution will be used to cover basic costs of this operation: the boat rent, insurances, food, equipment, fuel, crew etc. Part of it will be designated to maintain the NGO running and to develop educational programs with the schools and small communities in Iceland.
What can you expect from us?
BE PART OF THE CHANGE
We offer an action plan where you will be trained mentally and physically to become an Ocean ambassador and raise your voice for the Seas.
We will teach you everything about the sea and the marine life, bring you the tools and knowledge to react, change your course to become more sustainable and spread the message around the world… We will guide you through an adventure full of stories stunning landscapes and the hidden places…You will take part of an intense citizen science course where you will be actively collecting plastics and helping us collect data on threats to the oceans.
CREATE YOUR OWN STORY
Inspired by photographers, enthusiastic marine biologist and expert sailors, our mission is to transport you to a different world where wind seas, ice and fire are the protagonists. And you will be part of the that atmosphere, creating your own story to make a BIG change.
CHOOSE RESPONSIBLE TOURISM
We believe in responsible tourism where the priority is to understand and connect with nature from the fully respect and curiosity. We want our guests to fall in love with the oceans and the art of sailing in order to raise the voice and speak for our Oceans… By observing, photographing and exploring land and seas you will witness some of the still pristine magnificent and wild places in the world.
What can we expect from you?
Sailing at the Arctic Circle can be once in a lifetime experience. Dealing with the cold and rough seas is not always easy, but this is just part of your adventure and your personal challenge. We expect you to be brave and ready for the arctic weather. We want you to overcome any fear (inside and out) and explore your own limits. Sailing expertise or scientific experience is NOT required! We love curious people and we will teach you everything you need to know about the seas, sails, life onboard and much more! As well we want to hear your story, learn from you and help each other onboard! Basically, enjoying and working as a team for the oceans in this inspiring atmosphere!
Sail training and Traditions
Traditional sailing is one of our main passions and we want to share that with you! Opal Schooner is a strong and elegant wooden schooner with an authentic spirit and strong personality, definitely made for adventures! With her 10 sails and her hybrid propulsion system (diesel- electric-) she offers the perfect platform for our mission. Plus, she is cozy and warm inside. Everyone falls in love with her. Once you are onboard this will be your home and the people become your family. You become ONE with the ship and the elements. Sometimes, you will be leading the navigation, being part of the watches systems, climbing the rig, and of course sail handling, all done at old style. By transmitting this knowledge our aim is to keep the sailing traditions and the inspiration´s for the sea, ALIVE!