Exploring China by Sailboat

... to make documentaries for Danish TV

Christian met with world famous (in Denmark), three times circumnavigator, old salt, and author Troels Kløvedal in Hong Kong in 2001. Troels was trying to get permission to sail to China in order to make documentaries for Danish Television, but that was proving impossible. Christian advised Troels that without either the sponsorship of Maersk or the Danish Government he would never get such a permit.

Subsequently, when Denmark changed Ambassador to China, the new Ambassador asked the Chinese Government for a favour; to allow Troels Kløvedal to sail “Nordkaperen” to China. This worked, and Troels was granted the most extensive cruising permit to China since the Founding of the People’s Republic in 1949.

Cruising and filming our way up the Coast of China


Christian sailed with Troels as watch leader and interpreter for part of the voyage in 2002. He also organised Troels wedding to Else Marie at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. It was a great experience for Christian to sail with Troels, as he had been an avid reader of Troels’ travel books growing up. Regrettably, Troels passed away in 2018 at the age of 75, having lived an unusual and adventurous life. Troels’ children continue to sail the world and make documentaries for Danish Television.

Nordkaperen is possibly the best known sailing yacht in Denmark. Before his death in 2018, Troels Kløvedal had sold more than 1 million books in Denmark about his adventures with Nordkaperen to a population of 5.6 million. He had also made several television series about his travels, so for decades Danes have explored the world vicariously through Nordkaperen and Troels Kløvedal.

In his will Troels Kløvedal left Nordkaperen to his five children and 10 men and women who have sailed extensively with Nordkaperen over the years.

Nordkaperen is a steel ketch. She was built in Poland in 1905.

L.O.A. 58 ft – Beam: 11 ft – Draft. 8 ft

The voyage started in Hong Kong, then went to Macao, Xiamen, Fuzhou and Wenzhou. From Wenzhou an attempt was made to reach Japan, but due to bad weather and a tight schedule, this part of the voyage was abandoned.

Then on to Shanghai and up the Yangtze river to Wuhan. From there past the Three Gorges Dam at Yichang and on to Chongqing. From there back again.

No other pleasure yacht has so far made a similar trip in China.