cruising in the arctic circle

 

For Geir Kaasa and his family, the need for protection, safety and comfort sent them the way of Axopar.

 

Geir’s boat Ferd ( “journey” in English) has opened the gateway to breathtaking cruising grounds and wildlife that most of us could only dream of seeing.

“We have seen polar bears, walruses and different types of whale during our cruises,” he says. “When the weather is bad it is like being trapped in a black and white movie but when it’s good it is very beautiful.”

Svalbard, an archipelago roughly the same size as the UK with a population of around 3,000 people, is about as remote a place as you could keep a boat.

It is some 3,000km north of Oslo and closer to the North Pole than it is to mainland Norway. In a harbour full of Botnia Targas and Nord-Stars, Geir Kaasa’s 2017 Axopar 37 Cabin and its twin 300hp Yamaha outboards cuts a dash.

The first recorded landing on the islands of Svalbard dates to 1604, when an English ship landed at Bjørnøya, or Bear Island, and started hunting walrus. Annual expeditions soon followed, and Spitsbergen became a base for hunting the bowhead whale from 1611.

The archipelago features an Arctic climate, although with significantly higher temperatures than other areas at the same latitude. The flora take advantage of the long period of midnight sun to compensate for the polar night.

“You don’t cruise in this region without knowing exactly what your destination is,” he explains, “and I wanted a boat that could cruise at high speed but offer excellent comfort and protection for my family."

“In good conditions I can cruise at 25 or 35 knots and there isn’t a big difference in fuel consumption but the boat is also comfortable cruising at 22 knots in 1.5m seas,” he continues. “Having twin outboards also gives me peace of mind in terms of reliability.”

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Geir’s boat Ferd ( “journey” in English) has opened the gateway to breathtaking cruising grounds and wildlife that most of us could only dream of seeing.

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When the weather is bad it is like being trapped in a black and white movie ...

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... but when it’s good it is very beautiful.

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With air temperatures, even in the summer, dropping as low as -1 degrees Celsius at times Geir is glad of the Webasto heating system which keeps both of the cabins warm and cosy.

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Geir’s boat Ferd ( “journey” in English) has opened the gateway to breathtaking cruising grounds and wildlife that most of us could only dream of seeing.