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Henri-Lloyd - For the Obsessed

Unique guide introduced for sailing the Viking Route Across the Atlantic

by Cruising Club of America 7 Jul 2023 18:27 UTC

The CCA Essential Passage Guide to the Viking Route, created by members of the Cruising Club of America, provides mission-critical information for the high-latitude crossing between the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland.

Published by CCA Nautical Publishers, the CCA Essential Passage Guide to the Viking Route is the first guide to distill and precisely present the information sailors need to passage the high-latitude waters between the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland. The guide is also unique in that it focuses on and pursues a specific route across the North Atlantic—the route the Vikings took all those years ago.

Edited by Viking route passagemaker William Strassberg, MD, with several other Cruising Club of America members who have sailed this route, the Guide dispenses information in a logical, manageable format, featuring the essential information that sailors need to know when stopping to explore the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland.

Successfully navigating the Viking route—and sailing through ice—requires a skill set very different from long-distance voyaging in more temperate waters. Skipper, vessel, and crew must be fully prepared and have an understanding of the vagaries and challenges of high-latitude sailing and ice navigation. If you are considering outfitting your boat for the high latitudes, or have it on your long-range bucket list, this book is for you.

In the Foreword to the CCA Essential Passage Guide to the Viking Route, the Reverend Captain Bob Shepton, a Blue Water Medal winner, answers the question, "Why another guide?":

...because this guide is different; it does not follow the pattern of a general Pilot. It stands alone, and is perhaps unique in that it pursues a different course—literally. It follows a specific route across the, but not complex or complicated, and therefore suitable both for those who have not been to the Arctic before, and also for those who have, as there is much included that would be useful additional information.... This really is a valuable additional resource for Arctic sailors of whatever vintage, and I strongly recommend it.

A substantial portion of the 284-page guide is focused on topics unique to sailing high-latitude waters. A chapter on timing and passage planning begins the guide, allowing a skipper contemplating the voyage to consider potential itineraries. The next topic is weather, a chapter describing high-latitude weather patterns, how they are different, and how to keep out of trouble. Chapters on ice and Arctic navigation follow, and the subjects continue—equipment, communications, safety, skippers, leadership, overwintering, and embracing a culture of safety.

More than half of the guide delves deeply into selected harbors along the way, with lists of necessities available for the boat and shoreside opportunities for skipper and crew. Harbors are chosen for location, accessibility, activities, history, and passagemaking benefits.

Editor Bill Strassberg assembled the Guide's focused, mission-critical information while preparing for his own passage in 2019, with help from Shepton, Steve Brown, Sally and Simon Currin, Dick and Ginger Stevenson, and several other CCA members who know the Viking Route waters well. "Our goal," he says, "is to help prospective Viking Route sailors prepare thoroughly and minimize those things they did not know they did not know."

Copies of the CCA Essential Passage Guide to the Viking Route may be ordered through Paradise Cay Publications. In Europe, order through Imray.

For all other CCA Guides by CCA Nautical Publishers, visit

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