yacht seal sailing in front of icebergs

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Life Aboard the yacht

Seal in Greenland

interior layout

interior layout

We describe Seal as an expedition sailboat, but that word has been diluted by cruise ships who describe their tours as "expedition cruising," meaning, it is not necessary to wear a jacket and tie to dinner.

Sailors and mountaineers who travel with us aboard Seal tell us they are surprised by the level of comforts aboard (heating, showers, no freeze dried food...). But non-sailors may be surprised by the constraints of living aboard a yacht. When we describe our trips as "expeditions," it's not just a marketing phrase. All guests are part of the expedition team. There is no hostess and steward aboard, as you might find on a Mediterranean crewed charter. All guests are expected to participate in the voyage by standing watch and helping with sail handling and boat keeping to the extent of their abilities (no experience necessary).

Below decks, all guests help out with food preparation and clean up, as well as look after their own cabins and equipment.

SMOKE FREE: For all trips booked after 1 January 2008, there is no smoking permitted aboard SEAL. (Note that in many of our cruising regions, smoking is also prohibited ashore.)

A Word on Remote Chartering

Excepts from an article originally published in 1998 in Soundings Magazine:

Remote chartering is different from chartering in the Caribbean. There is no safety net. You must have air evac medical insurance, but remember there are places where you cannot be evacuated. You must be in good health, and you must go to the doctor and the dentist beforehand to make sure there are no obvious time bombs ticking, but remember that's not a guarantee.

If you're used to chartering in the Caribbean or sailing your own yacht, a charter in remote areas may be "roughing it" more than you're used to. Your showers may be salt water. You'll be sleeping in the same sleeping bag for 35 days without washing it. You will be standing watches at three in the morning. You will be hauling in frozen shore lines.

And, oddly enough, you have to be the sort of person who doesn't chafe at inactivity. For four or more days in a row, you may have to sit down below and read a book while a full storm howls outside. (Of course if a shore line needs re-doing, you'll have to help sort it out.) Few of these Southern Ocean charter yachts have the videos and amusements you might find on a Caribbean cruise.

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