Join our mailing list

Help me choose!

About us

Adventure Sailing Holidays: Rubicon 3 style

Every year an incredible group of men and women from all round the world join us for an adventure holiday like no other: to sail, train and explore on a Rubicon 3 sailing expedition. From complete beginners to experienced sailors, the crew are a part of something unique. Have you dreamt of what it must be like to set sail across the Atlantic Ocean, with nothing but thousands of miles of open ocean ahead of you?

Maybe your dream is winding through the archipelagoes of Norway, sailing just a few miles each day as you explore each nook and cranny. For some the allure is getting in amongst the icebergs and polar bears, for others it’s arriving at sun bleached white sand, turquoise water and deserted atolls in the Pacific Ocean. The point is – you have a dream and our mission at Rubicon 3 is to make that dream come true, whether you are a sailor or not.

“When people talk about the biggest obstacles to the growth of sailing, I’d suggest one word for starters: shouting. The best sailors don’t need to raise their voices, except if there’s a real emergency.”
Elaine Bunting, editor Yachting World

A true adventure holiday, at sea, that anyone can join, no matter their previous sailing experience.

Who hasn’t dreamt of being far out to sea, headed for distant shores? The sea has always exerted a primal force on us. As Jacques Cousteau said, “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” Adventure travel generally is special, but there is a magic in sailing from Iceland to the east coast of Greenland or a night passage along the coast of Africa, with the distant lights and scents of the shore drifting out on to the ocean.

For too many people, heading off to sea for a proper adventure can seem an impossible dream. Rubicon 3 was set up specifically to help that dream come true. This year, don’t just head off on your usual sailing holiday. Make it a genuine adventure on a Rubicon 3 expedition.

How Rubicon 3 came about

Serious about sailing adventures: Rachael and Bruce

Both Rachael & Bruce had worked for many years in the sailing industry before meeting at a sailing school in the UK where they were both instructing. Some years later, they met again in the midst of a bitter winter in Newport, RI USA and as a storm raged outside, they sat down and talked through the night about what worked in the industry and what didn’t. Both of them found they shared the same basic beliefs.

Too many people weren’t fulfilling their dream

People were learning to sail with the dream of heading off to distant shores, sailing through island chains or crossing an ocean – but then finding that the training and experience they had signed up to hadn’t really delivered the skills and experience they needed. Sailing schools could teach the core skills and this first step was well served by the industry.

But what then? A flotilla holiday in the Greek islands can only provide so much and ultimately, most sailors have that yearning to head off to more exciting shores, experience the open ocean and arrive at a little visited island or drop anchor in a deserted bay. How and where could this be done? For too many people, the dream stopped right about here.

Rubicon 3 was born in 2013 to enable everyone to Sail, Train & Explore

Dawn the next morning saw the room strewn with charts, drawings, pilot books and endless scraps of paper covered in scribbles. The concept of Rubicon 3 had taken shape through the night. Why not take people out on the true sailing adventures? Not as passengers though, but as genuine crew.

Everyone is involved at every stage: this is no ordinary sailing holiday

From the very start of the expedition, they would be navigating, planning, helming and more, all under the expert guidance of a skipper and mate. Previous experience would be no bar to getting involved, but more experienced sailors would also be able to get a huge amount out of it. Asking around over the next few weeks, it quickly became apparent that the idea was a winner. It ticked all the boxes. It just made huge sense. Suddenly, true adventure at sea was available to everyone.

Mixing adventure and tuition in a calm, professional environment

On too many adventure holidays, you are really just a passenger on a glorified tour, protected from the difficult decisions and reality of true expeditions. With Rubicon 3, this is no ordinary yacht charter. You are an integral part of the operation from the very start, even if you have never sailed before.

Under the expert guidance of the skipper and mate, you will be in a small group, island hopping along an awe inspiring coast line or crossing mighty oceans in a  powerful 60′ expedition yacht. You’ll be trained to become a fully operational crew member and throughout the expedition you will take on an ever increasing amount of responsibility. For more experienced sailors, there is the chance to operate in a serious environment and further develop your skills and experience.

Sadly, too many crew join us having had bad experiences in the past with other companies

Shouting and aggressive behaviour usually comes with inexperienced and / or under-skilled skippers. The truth is that most new skippers and instructors have gone through a shouting phase at some point. They are not unpleasant people; they are simply under a great deal of stress and lacking in sufficient experience. The good skippers generally look back on those early periods with a feeling of regret and a determination to act better in the future. With increased skill, experience and maturity comes the calmness and situational awareness that allows for a very calm, very professional environment.

Rubicon 3 skippers are unfailingly calm, professional and kind

Rubicon 3 skippers are what we would call great skippers. A great skipper is far more than just a very skilled ocean-going sailor. They have that calmness and professionalism that comes from years of experience. They also have the personality that allows them to understand and interact with crew really well on a personal level.

What this means in practice is that not only are you in great hands out there on the open ocean, but you can be absolutely assured that you are not going to be shouted at or have anyone even raise their voice at you. Instead expect top quality tuition as you learn the ropes and a superb time at sea under the guidance of a real professional.

What do our customers say?

It’s no secret that we take every single crew member’s experience with us personally. As a result, we have feedback that we’re very proud of. We use Feefo, the independent review company to monitor our feedback and we delighted that we have won their gold award for our feedback, making us one of the highest ranked companies in the country. It doesn’t stop us trying to improve all the time, but it’s a good place to be and we hope it gives you the confidence to come and invest some of your hard earned money and holiday time on one of these nautical adventures! You can see our Feefo reviews below or by clicking here

A Spitsbergen adventure that I think will change my life

“Dear Rubicon team. I have just finished my three weeks on board as we sailed from Norway up to Spitsbergen and I just want to tell you how much I enjoyed, how impressed I was and just to say ‘bravo’! I was so nervous in the build up to the trip and nearly didn’t join. I don’t do activity holidays! As a single 50 something woman, these types of things can be bloody intimidating (excuse the French) but from I got on board and had a cup of tea pushed into my hand, I just felt so looked after. My nerves quickly turned to this huge sense of excitement and wow – what an adventure it was. Last month, I was just plain old me from Birmingham, but now I’m arctic sailor, I’ve crossed the Baring Strait, I’ve found my way ashore through icy moraine, carrying a rifle for bear protection and I’ve sat on deck, casually pushing icebergs away from our anchored yacht. Oh what magic! Thank you thank you thank you. You have awakened something in me that had been dormant for a long time”.

Eloise R, 2019

See our routes and dates here – it’s your turn next!