This wonderful spring voyage offers the chance of sailing the Orkney Islands on a traditional tall ship. Setting sail from Amsterdam, this voyage will take you north to the Orkney and maybe even Shetland Islands before finishing in Ullapool.
Set sail across the North Sea and spend some days on some of the most majestical islands of Scotland – the Orkneys and Outer Hebrides. Vikings used to roam here and history can be absorbed on the islands. The Orkneys were first inhabited the fourth millennia before Christ. Archeological finds are scattered all over the islands. Skara Brae offers some of the best views, finds and walks.
Sailing the Orkneys in April is still rather unpredictable, so the exact route of this voyage will really depend on wind and weather. It might mean you will have to wait out a good wind on the Orkney Islands, while sheltering in a bay (and sampling from Higland Park Whiskey Distillery!).
The ship is a small an old Herring drifter built in 1915. At 28 meters over deck, she takes just 16 guests and crew on board so is smaller than some tall ships and is sailed by a family of four professional sailors. Her crew has a special love for traditional sailing and know how to combine this with modern techniques and equipment. The voyages work on a sailing training programme so you’ll be able to get fully involved in all aspects of sailing this beautiful ship as you make your way to Scotland.
Why We Love This Adventure
- Family run ship with a love of traditional tall ship sailing and sail training
- Chance to visit the beautiful Orkney Islands in spring time
- Opportunity to spot common and grey seals, otters, orcas, dolphins and porpoises
Sailing from the Netherlands to Scotland you will cross the North Sea. A stretch of over 400 nautical mile between the last port in the Netherlands and the top of Scotland where the Orkneys lie.
Sailing between the Netherlands and Scotland does not mean you will be just sailing. It also means you are on an adventure where you get the chance to see some extaordanary places!
You will be welcomed on board the ship in Amsterdam at 18:00 hours local time. Dinner will be served after you have met you travel companions and have been introduced to the crew.
The captain will discus the plan for the first few days, noting all the possibilities between the Netherlands and Scotland. Wind and weather will influence your whole voyage and so depending on the wind you will head straight for the Orkneys or stay on the Dutch coasts a little longer before crossing the North Sea.
Depending on the wind and weather the first stop on the Orkney’s can bee in the south or north islands - Westray and Sanday. Both Islands offer great cultural history as well as unspoiled beaches with a large range of wild live. Sailing among these Islands you will stumble across sea mammals include common and grey seals, otters, orcas, dolphins and porpoises and the occasional lost sperm whale. Navigating between the rocks and stacs, Stromness is our next port of call. From Stromness you will set out on an excursion around the main Island, visiting sites like Skara Brae, Ring of Brodgar and Maeshowe. An evening sail could be made with a short hop to Hoy. Orkney’s second largest Island rises dramatically from the sea with Ward Hill towering 480 mtrs above sea level. Leaving the “Old men of Hoy” on the horizon, the Butt of Lewis can soon be spotted. Leaving Cape Wrath well to port with Stornoway as new destination. From here you will have the next day to explore the sites of Gearannan black house village and the Callanisch standing stones. When you set sail for Ullapool the voyage will come to an end.
The last evening on board will be in Ullapool or anchored close by as you will depart the ship at 10:00 hours in the morning. From Ullapool you can take the bus to Inverness, from where you can fly, or you can take a train to one of the bigger cities of Scotland for a connection to the South of Great Britain.
- Accommodation in a 2 person (shared) bedroom, ensuite
- Full pension
- Coffee and tea
- Blanket, sheets, pillow and covers
- 3-4 crew members guiding the group
What's Not included
- Soda and alcoholic drinks
- Paid excursions ashore
- Transfer to and from the vessel
- Visa if needed
- You can not wash clothes on board
Trip Duration9 days
Start LocationAmsterdam, the Netherlands
End LocationUllapool, Scotland
Average Group Size12
The ship has 2 person cabins. If you are travelling alone you’ll be paired up with someone else to share with. If you are travelling as a couple or two persons you can choose to share a cabin together. The rooms on board have a small sink, an ensuite toilet and shower and enough space to store your luggage.
The living area is a shared kitchen / common room where you can get cosy on the couch reading a book, or play a game with your fellow travellers.
Meals are prepared by an on board cook. The cook makes a varied menu throughout your stay on board. If you have any allergies, please inform in advance to make sure your needs can be met. The meals on board include a breakfast with mostly porridge, bread with savory and hearty spreads, coffee, tea and juice. Lunch is normally something warm like a soup or oven treat, with a bread spread. Dinner can be anything between a Spaghetti Bolognese and a Sunday roast. In between meals there will be snacks, some healthy, some sweet.
Your transport to and from the ship will have to be arranged by yourself. During stop offs the ship will arrange transfers to take you ashore.
This Trip is Suitable For
- All ages
- All nationalities
- All levels of sailing experience (even if you have never sailed before, this can be an amazing voyage!)
Your sailing adventure is more then just sailing. Crossing the North Sea will take about 4 days to the first stop. Once anchored or moored in a harbour, you will have lots of time to spend on shore. So please bring your hiking boots.
Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat is the language spoken on board?
The ship’s crew is mainly Dutch, but sometimes international. The language spoken on board is English. The crew on board speak Dutch, English and German.I am traveling with someone. Can we book the same room?
Yes, as long as there are two person rooms available, you can book your voyage on board and say you are traveling with someone. You will be placed in the same room.What kind of clothes do I need?
The ship does not provide sailing clothes on board, so please bring your own waterproof clothing. This does not have to be a sailing suite, waterproof and warm clothing will suffice. Please be prepared for some rainy days, but also hopefully for some sunny days!
Dates & Availability
- 13 Apr 2019 – 22 Apr 2019
An old Herring drifter (Logger) built in 1915, the ship is 28 meters long over deck (38 meters overall) and takes 16 trainees on her voyages. No previous sailing experience is needed and experienced and new sailors love her equally.
A family of four professional sailors have owned and run this vessel since 2006 and sail her with true passion. Built for the North Sea she’s a fast sailor and her rigging is as traditional as it gets.
We love that the boat’s appearance is kept as traditional as possible yet combined with modern techniques and equipment. Everyone on board is part of the informal sail training program that is designed to get the best out of everyone whether you join for 2 days or a longer ocean crossing.
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