Welcome to

Polar Tall Ships

Welcome to our website about sailing in the Polar regions and the higher latitudes of our planet.

We launched this new website to share our ‘polar fever’ for a pristine wilderness where the wildlife is bold and brave.

Our main aim is to persuade you that the best way to experience the Arctic and Antarctic is as guest crew on a tall ship.

Polar Tall Ships has been created by the Classic Sailing staff team. Our knowledge comes from over 20 years of experience in the traditional sailing world as skippers and travel consultants. Our personal obsession with the Southern Ocean and Arctic grounds means we go there regularly and can give you first hand advice. Classic Sailing is a company that offers ‘hands-on’ sailing voyages in hot and cold destinations. Since 1997 we have introduced over 10 000 people to exploration holidays under sail.

A growing number of our customers are discovering the allure of sailing in Antarctica, South Georgia, Svalbard, Iceland, Greenland and even more remote polar sailing grounds. We hope Polar Tall Ships will spread the word that you can see penguins and polar bears through a very different porthole.

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High Latitude sailing

The Arctic is a vast ocean ringed with islands and the icy frontiers of Scandinavia’s North Cap, Russia, Canada and Alaska. While the Antarctic is a vast un-spoilt wilderness, teaming in curious wildlife, dazzling glaciers and snowfields, vertical cliffs and ice capped mountains where humans have yet to tread.

See how different they are and how they will inspire you!

Whilst the Antarctic has been on the adventure traveller’s bucket list for years, sailing in Iceland or the High Arctic is only just opening up….literally as the ice melts. Climate change is happening on Europe and North America’s doorstep and the more ambassadors for the Arctic we can create by real life experience, the greater the campaign to save this precious ecosystem.

Our Polar Tall Ships

We work with seven different sailing ships that operate in polar regions. They all have tall masts and ratlines so you can climb aloft and take incredible photos.

Step back in time to the days of Shackleton, Nansen and Scott and enjoy the silence and awe of sailing through the polar landscape under topsails and t’gallants.

Grip the spokes of a ships wheel tightly as the Captain gives you helm orders to steer between icebergs or a narrow fjord. Pull on ropes together to keep you warm and outdoors for longer.

Our polar tall ships have heated cabins, hot showers, ships libraries, a bar or sociable deckhouse to relax out of the elements and fast modern zodiacs to get ashore.

Learn more about them and how they can inspire your exploration.

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What to expect

Our knowledge and passion for sailing in the polar region comes from a variety of sources:

Bark Europa has been sailing in Antarctica with charter guests since 2002. There are three captains who have amassed a huge amount of knowledge, and we have sailed with all of them. Europa has pioneered voyages to South Georgia, South Orkney, the Weddell Sea and both sides of the Antarctic Peninsula.

In the Arctic each destination has its specialist vessels that have worked hard to open up exciting new sailing areas. They employ the best wildlife guides and professional sailors to enhance that experience.

Classic Sailing team often sail with the ships crews and we get regular feedback, photos and stories from professionals and the guests.

We deal with your booking queries ourselves, so you can ring us for an enthusiastic chat and we can give you a realistic insight into what to expect and help you find the right polar voyage or vessel.

The People

What are the people like that come on a polar tall ships voyage? Our guests and professional crews can be younger and adrenalin seeking than you will find on a comfortable cruise ship. However we also have plenty of intrepid travellers over 70 who want a bit of the action and a more authentic way of experiencing the polar regions. A willing heart, a sense of wonder and boots with good grip would get you a place in our crew!

No sailing experience is needed to travel with us.

People from all walks of life sign up for the adventure, but we are guessing you want to know more about your potential shipmates and the professional crew than their job title…..

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The Wildlife

Our ships offer a unique and intimate viewing platform to experience the spellbinding and awe-inspiring wildlife opportunities that are available in these polar regions.

Your camera angles can be just that bit more interesting from the bowsprit, crow’s nest, or framed through the ships rigging.

The main decks are typically 1-2 metres above the sea so you are very close to acrobatic seals and over friendly humpback whales that love to dive underneath us. When we say small group travel we really mean it. Guest crew varies between vessels from 11 on Hildur to a maximum of 40 on Europa, so your shore landings are less intrusive in these vast landscapes.

The beauty of taking part in setting sails is it keeps you warm and it is easier to acclimatise and spend longer on deck. The more time outdoors you spend the more wildlife encounters you can experience.

Stories from the boat

Get a better insight to life onboard the boats by reading ships log entries, news articles, and useful blogs.

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Stories from the Boats
In 2019 Tecla is looking for 12 intrepid explorers to take on the North West passage with them!

Looking for 12 Modern Day Arctic Explorers Classic Sailing are excited to announce the launch of one of those sailing opportunities that should stir the blood of all true adventurers….and

Antarctic Wildlife – What Can I see?

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

Oceans with Icebergs- A pure pristine Wilderness

Why do we like sailing with Icebergs? It’s not for the risk adverse, but they hold some strange draw. Glittering cliffs or floating icebergs the size of Belguim, playing Russian Roulette

Not just any expedition ship! join a community of like minded adventurers

All of our Tall ships offer a hands on, involved experienced in a smaller, more intimate environment. A great way to explore the polar regions! Read about Kate’s experiences of