ARCTIC CRUISING

TIPS FOR

YACHTOWNERS & CAPTAINS

The Arctic is one of the most special regions on the planet.
It is also one of the most challenging, ever-changing and potentially dangerous areas.
Work with a team of experts & invest in advance planning, people, and specialized equipment to maximize
the experience.
We have heard that an ice-class rating is increasingly popular on new builds for explorer yachts. Rather than the polar
regions being an after-thought, more ships are now being built with the specific intent and design to maximize the potential for polar adventure!

PLAN TO COME BACK MORE THAN ONCE!

THE ARCTIC IS A HUGE REGION

Many Different Latitudes: Subarctic, Arctic, High Arctic, Extreme High Arctic, Polar Ice Cap.

Arctic Cruising Regions:

  • Labrador, Davis Strait, Baffin Bay (West Greenland/East Baffin), Lancaster Sound, Jones Sound, Hudson Strait, Hudson Bay, James Bay, Foxe Basin

  • East Coast of Greenland

  • Svalbard

  • Alaska’s North Slope

  • Aleutian Islands

  • Northwest Passage

Once you’ve enjoyed all the polar regions have to offer, you are said to be bitten by the “polar bug,” and it is an
addiction and a calling that stays with you. But first, you need to “break the ice”!

TALE OF LOCAL EXPERTISE:

Two yachts travelling at the exact same time of year and region

 

The Spendthrift

Invited guides aboard only if unpaid in exchange for experience.
Guides decline, and yacht owner subsequently complains how there is “absolutely nothing to see”…..

The Professionally Guided

Has an amazing experience full of wildlife, cultural experiences & geography. Can’t wait to return.

TALE OF ADVANCE PLANNING

Advance planning to the extreme! Arctic Kingdom worked with one megayacht that transited the NWP three times, each time without the owner, who decided to join on the fourth transit of the passage.

GETTING TO THE YACHT

A jet with gravel kit offers a greater number of potential runways, though most are still too short for heavy jets. Depending on the jet, an owner may be able to install a gravel kit, which would also allow for gravel landings at more remote tropical locations.

Chartering a jet that comes with a gravel guard is possible to journey farther north by jet.

Typically onwards charter by ATR or King Air to the village airstrip closest to the yacht, or for more remote rendez-vous, by Twin Otter on tundra tires to an off-strip esker or beach adjacent to the yacht or by long-range helicopter.

There are also a few old paved runways left from the military that are still usable, subject to airplane insurance and an advance visit by bush plane or helicopter for inspection and weather report prior to jet landing.

 

There are very few paved runways in the arctic where private jets can land.

 

  • Goose Bay/YYR

  • Kangerlussuaq/SFJ

  • Reykjavík/KEF

  • Barrow/BRW

  • Kuujjuaq/YVP

  • Narsarsuaq/UAK

  • Longyearbyen/LYR

  • Iqaluit/YFB

  • Churchill/YYQ

  • Inuvik/YEV

GUEST ROTATIONS

If the owner wishes to invite guests, it is common to have 2-3 different groups that would arrive and depart from
different gateways along the journey. One yacht journey broke the adventure into three segments with (1)
Labrador coast (2) Baffin’s east coast along the Arctic Cordillera mountain range followed by the return trip (3) Down the
west coast of Greenland.

IMMIGRATION &CUSTOMS CLEARANCE

Most of the paved runways offer immigration and customs clearance. If using alternate aircraft that can land at more
remote locations, then planning to clear at designated customs points is important if not pre-cleared. If conducting any
crew change, potential issues of visa requirements based on nationality and potential issues with work visas should be
considered. Arctic Kingdom has worked with Canada’s Border Service Agency for a ruling that allowed the treatment
of megayacht crew on a private yacht to be treated equivalent to crew aboard a commercially bonded ship.

PLAN TO PARK!

Plan to park the yacht for days.
Moving is not always better. See what comes to visit.
Plan to do long-range flying day trips.
Plan for at least one overnight away from the ship.
Fiords can make wonderful spots to wait out the weather at sea.

FLYING SIDE TRIPS

  • Bush Plane
    • Wildlife scouting
      • Longer range ice surveillance for navigational route planning
    •  Create/manage remote fuel caches for heli
      • Act as a flying gas tanker for helicopter
    •  Bring cultural performers from more distant communities to yacht
    • Bring owner, guests or staff from jet runways to off-strip beaches adjacent to the yacht.
  • Long Range Double Engine Helicopter(s)(ie. 212, 214ST, S61, Super Puma)
  • Get off the ship and visit more remote regions that have good weather when the yacht is in bad weather or when the yacht is transiting open seas such as between Baffin Island and Greenland.
  • Sling zodiacs to remote areas away from the yacht
  • Sling glass orb into the most beautiful spots for dinner, drinks, aurora viewing. Wind protection.
    • Dine on a tabular iceberg, at the top of a mountain or in the middle of an ice cap.
  • Sling glass orb into the most beautiful spots for dinner, drinks, aurora viewing. Wind protection.
    • Dine on a tabular iceberg, at the top of a mountain, in the middle of an ice cap or on an ice floe.
  •  Sling tsunami-rated survival capsule into areas of pack ice, high mountains or inland as alternates for helicopters in case of descending or incoming fog, prohibiting return to yacht.
  • Visit remote historical sites (Advance permits required)
  • Special fishing possibilities (Land Locked Cod, Arctic Char, Lake Trout)
INSURANCE LIMITS LATITUDE

Depending on the amount of ice in any given year, the ice rating (if any) of a yacht and the insurance policy on the yacht, there may be imposed limits or “ceiling” on how far north a yacht is able to be taken. Flying further north from this point provides options to explore farther north whether for day trips or overnight experiences.

HELICOPTER OUTFITTING
  • Arctic experienced pilots

  • Extended ferry fuel tanks

  • Rail skids NEVER wheels

  • Fixed floats on one machine

  • Power snorkelling

  • Pak paddle boats

  • Compact dining and food & drink service

  • Multi-talented staff (Every person aboard reduces range)

  • Cold water immersion suits and drysuits

  • Search and rescue tools for the helicopter to find PLBs

  • Lightweight emergency survival equipment

POLAR TENDERS
  1. Aluminum not fiberglass.

  2. At least one tender should have an enclosed cabin.

  3. Landing craft for ATVs or Overland Vehicles.

  4. Zodiacs (That can be moved/slung by helicopter) with sling attachment points.

  5. Floating heli-pad, islands or heli with fixed floats (not pop-outs)

  6. Semi-Submersible increases potential to see marine life (Stay much longer than a submersible)

  7. Expedition Rigid Hull Offshore Cabin – Scouting and faster exploration than with yacht.

  8. Airboat can allows moving over pack ice

  9. Aluminum jet skiis are much more rugged than fiberglass for use around ice

  10. Amphibious ATV can go from yacht to shore and further inland to a strip if a Twin Otter lands away from the

    shore. A better landing spot may require transporting guests and supplies by land from strip to shore to ship.

    An overland vehicle can also be used for going up a glacier tongue or crossing an ice cap!

Arctic Kingdom sells and rents expedition vehicles and exploration equipment.
Keep the shiny tropical fiberglass toys in pristine condition and better yet, offload them before you come north, to make
space for the expedition toys!

POLAR BEAR SAFETY ON YACHTS

  • Safety of swim decks for polar bear access.

  • Polar bear safety planning on deck in case one gets on board.

SUPPORT SHIP

  • A yacht does not require a support ship, but an ice classed ship can add a lot of capabilities to a yacht expedition.

    1. Icebreaker escort

    2. Ice strengthened trawler

    3. Small ship frozen into the sea ice over-wintering in particularly remote areas (visit by Heli)

We heard a story of a megayacht with an icebreaker escort where guests stayed on the icebreaker other than being
invited over to the yacht for time with the owner.

SEA ICE

  • Yachts that are not ice classed need to avoid pack ice and larger ice floes.

  • Interesting ecosystem within sea ice (including polar bears and walrus)

  • Smaller aluminum boats can navigate into pack ice

  • Ice radar on yacht would add to the tools for safer ice navigation

  • Experienced ice pilot always recommended, sometimes required by insurance or coast guard.

INDIGENOUS GUIDES & LEADERS

  • Learn about northern culture, history and wildlife

  • Speak to local people from the ship in indigenous language of the area

  • Invite and bring the top cultural performers aboard or do outdoor performances when possible

  • Polar bear safety

  • Minimum condition for many permits

WINTER SNOW ACTIVITIES IN SUMMER

With advance planning, it is possible to do things like drive a snowmobile, snow-cross, enjoy dog sledding or enjoy a hot
air balloon ride on top of and over an ice cap.
Sleep in an igloo built out of ice blocks!

ADVANCE PLANNING COMMUNITY VISITS AND COMMUNITY COORDINATION

Cruise ships require permitting for their routes and stop.
Communities expect yachts to follow the same procedures, even if not commercial.

DRESSING DRESSINGFORTHE ARCTIC

Arctic Kingdom can rent or sell arctic clothing packages.
Warm waterproof clothing (ie. Winter parkas that are waterproof are rare)

Qiviuq muskox wool is very warm underlayer

DIVING

  • Drysuits

  • Snorkeling & cold water free diving

  • Power snorkeling

  • Rebreathers

POLAR PROVISIONING

For the foodie, amazing arctic foods await from muskox and caribou to arctic char, turbot, arctic shrimp and thousand year old iceberg ice, just to name a few. Countryfood is unique meats, berry and water that comes from the land in the North. Although all countryfood is abundant at certain times of the year in different places, it can be a challenge to gather together at once for a countryfood feast. Arctic Kingdom works with local suppliers across the north to collect the best ingredients at the best time of year and make them available to guests as part of their arctic adventure.

Fresh produce can also take more planning for extended arctic cruising. Resupply is always part of every guest or staff changeover and also figures into aircraft selection. Although yachts travel with back-ups of almost everything, it is still
common to have immediate needs for specialized parts. Arctic Kingdom is able to manage the entire procurement chain for special requests and requirements all the way through delivery onboard.

NORTHERN PHILANTROPY

Arctic regions struggle with poverty, lack of housing, food insecurity and lack of medical resources.
Raise the bar and create megayacht competition with over-the-top philanthropy/generosity.
Make a real difference. (Ie. Build a woman’s shelter or supply the food bank for a year). Arctic Kingdom is pleased to liaise with the community and owner to find the most meaningful project.
Register the ship with regional emergency management so you can be called on to help rescue hunters or community members in distress.

If you have a Doctor and/or medical facilities onboard, the Doctor and facilities are quite possibly a higher resource than the closest community may have available. There are potential issues with the licensing of a Doctor, but donating assistance to community members can be greatly appreciated, especially in an emergency.

SUPPORT EMBEDDED NATURAL HISTORY FILM PRODUCTION

Some special places will only grant permits to film companies and so can provide access to owner otherwise limited.
Some of the world’s top arctic natural history filmmakers are also very good guides.
Aerial filming from a helicopter at very high altitude can capture totally natural animal behavior.

FOR THE SUPER ARCTIC-COMMITTED MEGAYACHT OWNER

Possibility to invest in private paved runway in High Arctic. $50M+
Possibility of super-exclusive lodge in extreme High Arctic.
Idea generated and continued enthusiasm for the potential by one industry titan.