Set sail from the east coast of the USA for a true adventure of a lifetime. You will be sailing across the Atlantic Ocean on a 60′ yacht. The route takes us to the Bahamas, then up to Bermuda, across to the volcanic archipelago of the Azores (end of leg 1) and then east again for the final 1000nm to the Portsmouth on England’s south coast. You will be under the expert tutelage of the skipper and mate who will encourage you to be fully involved in every aspect of the voyage and you will learn a huge amount while on board. There is the option to request a position as watch leader when booking.
- Sailing across the Atlantic Ocean
- No previous experience required
- 90% come alone
- 50:50 mix of men and women
- Time to explore in the Bahamas, Bermuda and Azores
- Learn celestial navigation
- Whales, dolphins and amazing wildlife
Why We Love This Adventure
- Perfect for solo travellers
- Visit the Bahamas, Bermuda and the Azores
- Join for the whole Transatlantic crossing or jus part
The Atlantic Ocean is wild, magical and beautiful. Sailing across it is the dream of so many and now you can be someone who has done it. You will experience wide open seas, extraordinary sunsets, magical nights under the stars and a wonderful companionship amongst the crew on board. You can see awe inspiring whales and have dolphins play at the bow. There will be times when the winds and waves pick up and other times when there’s barely a breath of wind and we have to tease every knot out of the boat. There will be glorious stops in the Bahamas, Bermuda and the Azores and there is the exhilaration of arriving at the final destination. This is Atlantic Ocean sailing!
The Atlantic Crossing is divided into two legs and you can join either one of them.
Leg 1: USA to the Azores
Join the boat in Key West. You will receive all the equipment you need and be allocated a berth for the trip. The first few days are spent coastal sailing and training, and your individual skills and those of the crew as a whole will be building. We will probably stop in the Bahamas as they are just a day sail away and take a day on the glorious beaches, before we head off on a longer passage to Bermuda, which is 1000nm north and will take a good 5 days and nights at sea. We should have a few days there to rest and explore and then we sail east for the 2000nm to the volcanic Azores where leg 1 ends.
Join the boat any time after 1200 hrs in Key West, USA. Get your belongings packed away and meet the rest of the crew. There's plenty of things to do in the future but right now it's about relaxing and getting used to life aboard. There's menu planning to be done, victualling, pre departure checks and crucial on deck skills and drills to revise.
The next two days will be spent getting intensive training in celestial navigation from our expert instructors. accommodation and food is provided on board.
Before we set off from Key West, we will spend a day doing intensive sail training both at the dock and out on the water. This will enable all the crew, whatever their level, to get familiar with the boat and with the key manoeuvres required to sail the boat safely. Watch leaders will complete their passage plan and after a massive shop (!) for food, we will be all set for the start of this amazing voyage
We'll then sail the 50nm east to Alice Town, in the Bahamas. This is the ideal sail to help everyone get their sea legs, get used to life on the ocean & fine tune their celestial navigation. We should get to spend a few days taking in the wonderful Bahamian sun and culture, while looking out at the ocean and knowing that shortly we'll be heading out into the vast Atlantic. We aim to have a good 36-48 hours here before we set sail again. This gives us time to prepare for the next, more involved stage of the challenge where we have to get our sextant work spot on.
Now we must use our sextants to locate Bermuda, just under 1000nm north east. We can expect to take 5-6 days depending on the wind and weather.
• As the Florida Keys disappear over the horizon, we will be all alone on the ocean. Navigating just by the sextant, we will soon be searching out the stars and planets to take a fix every morning and evening to check our course and progress. Big Atlantic waves will help power us along, and the big 60' yacht will be in her absolute element. She was designed to charge across big oceans and with three full circumnavigations of the planet under her belt, she has an impeccable pedigree. This is the right boat to do an Atlantic crossing on.
• We'll know our celestial navigation is working once we see the small archipelago of Bermuda appear over the horizon. The Sargasso Sea has warm, turquoise water, incredible beaches and reefs everywhere that make it one of the world's top snorkelling and diving locations. We'll hope to stop here for a couple of days for some amazing R&R, before the next huge challenge.
Any sailor should have a shiver of anticipation just thinking about the next sail coming up. This is big boat, big ocean sailing and the next two to three weeks will give you experiences that will stay with your for a lifetime. Trying to find the Azores 2000nm away in the middle of the Atlantic would have seemed like finding a needle in a haystack two weeks ago, but by now the crew need to be (& should be!) proficient with the sextant.
• You will settle into a watch system - most probably three hours on, six off, meaning that you get plenty of sailing but also plenty of rest. Sometimes you'll be on watch during the day, other times at night. There is nothing quite like powering across an ocean at night, with millions of stars overhead and watching the Sun rise the next morning as we sail onward, ever eastward.
• Finally, after around another 1900 nm of open ocean and another 10-11 days without sight of land, the volcanic islands of the Azores will rise up over the horizon and the excitement and anticipation will be enormous as we close in on these famous islands.
The ocean is un-knowable and we may have encountered light winds or heavy weather or any one of a number of situations that can slow us down. in this case. we have plenty of contingency built in to get to the Azores within our schedule. If we have made good time, then we have a wonderful end to the crossing with time to rest and recuperate in the western most islands and then day sail and cruise east, exploring islands as we go until we finally pull into Ponta Delgada and a huge celebration!
This is where you leave the voyage and there will be farewells and no doubt a few tears as new found friends part ways. An amazing bond builds up amongst a crew when undertaking such an incredible passage.
- Foul weather clothing is provided. If you have your own you are very welcome to bring it.
- Fladen immersion suits. These will keep you warm in even the coldest, windiest conditions.
- Ocean-spec lifejackets. These are the best on the market.
- All on-board food and snacks.
- Daily sailing lessons and tuition from two highly experienced instructors.
- RYA sailing qualifications where applicable.
Everything’s included except for flights, travel insurance, a sleeping bag and some waterproof boots. There are no hidden extras.
What's Not included
- Your travel to and from the start and end points.
- Travel insurance
- Any alcohol – but feel free to bring your own or buy some along the route
- Any meals you eat ashore
Trip Duration28 days
Start LocationKey West, USA
End LocationPonta Delgada, Azores
Average Group Size8
You are provided with accommodation (a berth) on the yacht from 1200hrs local time on the Start Date to 1200hrs on the End Date.
The yacht itself is an expedition yacht that was previously a round the world race boat. The accommodation on the yacht is comfortable, warm and spacious. Each bunk is 6′ 7″ long and has its own USB charger and light. Sleeping is in one 8 berth cabin. There are two toilets, a shower, hot water and lots of food!
We eat very well on board and we will take as much fresh fruit and veg as we can. Ocean sailing is an exercise in using food creatively but you can expert lovely warm meals, as much as you can eat, freshly baked bread and more. We can cater for most diets and have loads of veggies on board. If you have any severe allergies you must check with us before booking.
You should join the boat in Key West, USA It is good if you can join us as close to 1200 hrs as possible, but if your flight or ferry gets in later than this on the start day, that is fine. We will ask you closer to the time to let us know your travel details.
You will disembark the boat in Ponta Delgada.
Fort Lauderdale – Hollywood International Airport (IATA code: FLL) is well served by most airlines.
Ponta Delgada airport (IATA code: PDL) is well served by Easyjet, TAP, Ryanair and others. Delta also fly there from the USA
This Trip is Suitable For
These adventure sailing holidays are open to everyone aged 18 years and over. If you are aged 70 or over, or have any concerns about your health, we ask that you get a doctor’s note before booking. This is just to make as certain as possible that you will be okay out on the water.
NO PREVIOUS SAILING EXPERIENCE REQUIRED. FULL TUITION GIVEN.
Frequently Asked QuestionsDo I need to have sailed before?
No. We do not require previous sailing experience. However, you should be aware that a crossing of the Atlantic Ocean is a major adventure and you will be away from land for many days at at time. If you have not sailed before, you will need to be confident that this is a challenge you are up for!What is the average crew like?
We get a mix of people from all around the world. Most crew have a few weeks of prior sailing under their belt but are by no means expert sailors. They join us to learn, to have fun and for some incredible sailing. There is usually a 50:50 mix of men and women and the average age is 47, but we get people joining us from 18 years through to 75 years!I am vegetarian. Is that ok?
Absolutely. Quite a few of us are vegetarian too and you will eat as well as you ever do on board – maybe better!Will I be safe?
We are Europe’s leading ocean and adventure sailing company. We run the best, safest yachts that are highly specialised and have circled the world three times. We also have the most experienced instructors running them. They are full of safety equipment and satellite communications equipment. The safety culture on board is second to none.
Dates & Availability
- 02 Apr 2020 – 30 Apr 2020
We love this sailing company’s ethos – to help people do three things: sail, train and explore. They are passionate about enabling people to experience life out on the open ocean, building sailing skills and exploring some beautiful countries. After years of training people to become professional sailors, and having covered thousands of miles between them, the company Founders realised that so many people had dreamt of setting off across an ocean, but hadn’t the skills, the boat or crew to make those dreams come true.
The company now runs expeditions on a specialised 60’ yacht to some of the most exciting places out there – often largely inaccessible from land. With no previous sailing experience required, the two instructors will guide you every step of the way as you develop your sailing skills, maybe even earning an RYA qualification during the week. Exploring on land as they go is just as important and the bikes and a kayak mean you can head off and enjoy everything there is to see along the route.
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