These trip notes are for guidance only and are accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time of writing. They are not a legally binding contract, however, and you should ensure that you have read and fully understood our Terms & Conditions before booking a trip.
The trip, routes and stop-overs described by Rubicon 3 is our intended itinerary but is meant as a guide only. The nature of sailing, its reliance on weather and travel at sea generally means that we cannot guarantee any particular routes, stops, or timings. This includes us being unable to guarantee how long we spend in any destination that we do stop at.
No prior experience of sailing is required (unless stated otherwise), as our pre-departure training will get you to the skill and experience level required. For those who do have prior experience, the training will act as a useful revision and introduction to sailing on a larger yacht than you may be used to.
You should be in reasonable physical condition to sail with us. The yacht is a moving surface and you will need decent balance and leg strength as you help to move sails and equipment around the boat and haul on lines to hoist and trim sails. However, to give you a guide, if you are physically fit enough to walk around during the day, lift some bags and generally carry out your day to day duties without struggling too much, then you are probably fine to join us. You may need to provide a doctor’s note stating your fitness to go to sea, but if you have any special medical conditions or impairments, you can discuss these with us before confirming your booking. Make sure you have had a look at the Rubicon 3 medical declaration.
It is your responsibility to ensure you have the visas you need for your time on the voyage. Any visas will need to be obtained before you leave home and cannot be obtained en route. Where you do need a visa, we recommend that you use a visa agent, as this will make the process much easier for you. We will give as much advice as we can about the visas you require however you must check what the requirements are for your specific nationality for every country listed on the itinerary before you book with us and you will not be allowed to travel with us on a trip where you require a visa unless you do have it. Rules regarding visas do change, often at short notice, and so you must check with the relevant embassies that you have what you require at every stage. For non EU citizens, be aware that the United Kingdom operates a separate visa policy from much of the rest of Europe. Depending on which trip(s) you have signed up to, you may well need a visa to the UK and a visa to the Schengen countries. You must ensure that your Schengen visa allows entry into multiple countries.
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, People's Republic of China (unless they hold a passport issued by Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or Macao Special Administrative Region), Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea (North), Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Peru, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of South Sudan, Republic of Sudan, Russia, Rwanda, Sao Tome e Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra, Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Surinam, Swaziland, Syria, Taiwan (unless they hold a Taiwan passport which includes the number of the identification card issued by the competent authority in Taiwan), Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vatican City, Venezuela (unless they hold a Venezuelan passport which contains biometric information held in an electronic chip), Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe, The territories formerly comprising the socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan,Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burma (see Myanmar), Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, China (PRC), Colombia, Comoros, Congo (Brazzaville), Cote d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji Islands, Gabon, The Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar (formerly Burma), Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Northern Mariana, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Palestinian Authority, Papua New Guinea, Peru, The Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Samoa, Sao Tome e Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South
Africa, Sri Lanka, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria,Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe
You will also need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the end of your trip and that has at least one blank page. If you are on a trip that visits multiple countries, you should have at the very least six spare pages in your passport. Many countries will refuse you entry unless you have a passport that meets these requirements.
Except where stated otherwise, you are provided with accommodation (a berth) on the yacht from 1200hrs local time on the Start Date to 1200hrs on the End Date. During these dates the crew will be provided with the money to buy food for three meals a day, soft drinks and some snacks. This provision is included in the cost of the trip and the crew will take turns in doing the shopping and preparing these meals. Heading off into the shops and markets of a new country is often great fun, and when you cannot understand the label on a tin, can occasionally lead to some real surprises! If you do have any dietary requirements, you must tell us at the time of booking and we will do our best to accommodate the request. However, we do travel to areas where food selections are far more limited than may be available in your home country, so if you do have very specific requirements that may be difficult to obtain, do bring your own supplies. If your requirements are very unusual, it may not be suitable to join a trip. You should check with us first. When we are ashore, you are of course welcome to eat off the boat, but any meals, drinks or other expenditure off the boat is entirely at you own expense. 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 dry but functional. There are no separate cabins and privacy is limited. The yacht is equipped with two heads (toilets) and a small shower. When we arrive at marinas, there are nearly always hot showers available.
The number of crew on board the yacht will vary from leg to leg. You will always have a full time professional skipper and 1st mate on board to ensure that the yacht is safe and well run. On the majority of our routes, you can expect to be part of a crew of 8, plus skipper and mate. On ocean voyages we may increase this to ten crew, to allow us to run three watches.
Anyone over the age of 18 is welcome to join a Rubicon 3 sailing adventure. We find that most of our crew are aged between 35 and 65 years old, with an even split of men and women. Most people have limited sailing experience or rusty qualifications, although around twenty percent have never sailed before. Chief Executives, milkmen, nurses and musicians: the range of backgrounds is enormous, but everyone has the common bond of a desire to head out on to the open sea and sail a fantastic yacht to some really special places. It is an environment that leads to very strong bonds and often life long friendships.
Any skipper and first mate hired by Rubicon 3 will have huge experience at sea and among the highest qualifications around. The skipper will have an RYA Yachtmaster Ocean Instructor as a minimum and often much more. The first mate will have a minimum of an RYA Cruising Instructor. Both of them will have sailed tens of thousands of miles and crossed many oceans and seas in all sorts of conditions. When we set up Rubicon 3, however, we saw this type of experience and qualification simply as an entry point. We only hire people who also have a real sense of humour, and who are kind, patient and can really teach. This transforms your experience at sea and makes Rubicon 3 one of the very best companies out there for you to be with.
You are very much part of the crew of the yacht and will have plenty to do each day. While sailing, it is a constant process of helming, navigating, trimming sails and keeping a look out. As the weather deteriorates or improves, we will need to change the headsails and reef or unreef the main sail and this involves a moderate degree of physical exertion. Either the skipper or first mate will always be on watch and various lessons and courses will be given as and where suitable, meaning that you are constantly mixing the fun of sailing with learning the skills and techniques you need. Everyone pitches in with the cooking and cleaning and there are no support staff to do your washing up or cleaning! When we get to shore, after a clean up of the boat you are free to head off and explore, whether visiting restaurants, museums and art galleries or finding the beaches, bars and nightlife. We are visiting some great destinations and we encourage you to get out there and discover them. We may run some further lessons in port from time to time, but these are always optional and we try to do the majority of our learning at sea leaving you as much free time to explore as possible.
For longer passages you will generally be divided into two or three watches, one of which will always be ‘on watch’. At sea, this watch will look after the navigation, the helming and the general care of the boat, along with the cooking of the meals. Meanwhile, the other watch will be resting, sleeping or up on deck relaxing. A watch will generally last from 3 to 5 hours, and then they will switch with the members of the ‘off watch’. When we sail overnight, this rotation will continue 24 hours a day. At the end of the trip, good seamanship requires that the crew will all help to clean up the boat and return it to the condition in which they found it.
We are visiting some great places and you are certain to want to go ashore, have some drinks, explore and have some recreation. How much money you bring for these purposes is entirely up to you. A Visa or Mastercard can be used in most places wither for spending or to take out money. Check which currencies you need and we would suggest bring a little of each in case you cannot access funds immediately.
Each trip has a start and end date. These will be listed on your itinerary. You should join the yacht between the hours of 1200hrs and 2000 hrs local time on your start date. The closer to 12000hrs you can join the better. as it maximises the time for everyone time to meet each other, pack away kit and get settled in. We know that flights and other travel plans do not always allow you to get to the boat by 2000hrs. Don't worry! When we send out your final joining instructions two weeks before the start date we will ask you to let us know what time you expect to arrive at the boat. It is never allowed to join the yacht the day before your start date and it is never possible to join the boat after the start date as you will have missed critical safety training. We always aim to arrive at the final destination the day before the end date, giving us spare time in case of problems and the chance to all head out for a last night out. Only one trip in the last five years has not arrived on time but do remember that these are voyages at sea and we can be delayed and we may arrive in port later than expected. You can just about always safely book a plane for the afternoon of the end date but just be aware that if you are very unlucky indeed, you may miss it. For those crew members staying on board for the next trip, you still have the use of your berth on the yacht and the same food allowances as normal. You should expect to be off the yacht during the day time as essential maintenance and repairs will be taking place.
Security on the expedition
Property on the boat is generally pretty safe. However, we are travelling in a large yacht to areas in which it will draw a great deal of attention. While the yacht can be locked, it is inherently less secure than a house. Therefore you must ensure that your belongings are well packed away and adequately insured. Anything that you do bring onto the boat is entirely at your own risk and Rubicon 3 will not be responsible for its safekeeping or for any damage that might occur. Ashore, we recommend that crew members always travel in groups of two at a minimum. The areas that we visit are generally very safe, but situations can change very quickly and you should check the latest advice for every country on your trip before booking and before travelling.
Everything about life at sea is based on a respect of nature and we take this exact same ethos with us when we go ashore. We always look to our crew members to conduct themselves in a way that preserves, respects and benefits the destinations and the local people. As such, everyone must obey the laws and respect the customs of whichever country we are in. See our policy on responsible tourism.
Being at sea can be a dangerous environment and it is forbidden to be under the influence of alcohol once we leave the dock. This may mean not drinking too much the night before we are due to head off to sea. Anyone found contravening these rules will almost certainly be asked by the skipper to leave the voyage immediately and will probably not be permitted to return.
While sailing is a safe and enjoyable sport, being out at sea and often far offshore does mean that we can be some time and distance away from medical assistance. It is vital therefore that you let us know about any medical conditions that you have. See the medical declaration here.
We want you to have the experience of a lifetime on your voyage and we have put together a combination of yacht, instructors and operation that we are very confident will deliver it. However, even then there are times at which you may feel unhappy with some aspect of the trip. This may be related to the yacht, the itinerary, other crew members or Rubicon 3 more generally. In the first instance, have an informal chat with the skipper.. They are usually by far the best placed to explain and resolve issues in a timely manner and will greatly appreciate you raising your concerns. Being highly experienced, they may well be aware of them already. If you do not feel this has resolved the issue, or the issue is with the skipper, you should then contact the company by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. By putting the issue in writing, we can be sure we have understood the detail of the issue and we will have the best chance possible of then resolving it.
The yacht will usually be fitted with a sat comms system which allows crew members to send and receive emails or calls in an emergency. Other than that, mobile phones will work intermittently when we are at sea, and nearly always when ashore or very close to land. Normal mobile phone charges will apply and crew should be careful to check their contract and phone settings. Most marinas and cities along the way will offer some form of web and email access for a charge.
Rubicon 3 will provide you with the number for the boat phone. You should always carry this on your person. Relatives at home can always contact you, via us, should an urgent situation occur. There is never usually more than a 30 minute delay in us being able to contact the boat wherever it is.
You must have full travel insurance before you join the yacht and this insurance must cover you for the type of sailing we will be doing. Unless you have this cover you will not be allowed to join the voyage. See our travel insurance page for more details.
You will have to pay a deposit at the time of booking. This deposit is non refundable and cannot be exchanged for any other trip with Rubicon 3. If you do need to change trips we will always do our best to assist, but you should presume that you cannot. The full balance must usually be paid no less than 60 days before the start of your trip. When you pay the deposit, you are entering into a legally binding contract with Rubicon 3 and you may well be liable to pay a percentage of the full invoice (up to 100%) even if you subsequently cancel. Please ensure you have read and understood the terms and conditions.
The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT) provides financial protection under the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 for Rubicon 3, and in the event of their insolvency, protection is provided for the following:
1. non-flight packages commencing in and returning to the UK;
2. non-flight packages commencing and returning to a country other than the UK; and
3. flight inclusive packages that commence outside of the UK, which are sold to customers outside of the UK.
1, 2 and 3 provides for a refund in the event you have not yet travelled. 1 and 3 provides for repatriation. Please note that bookings made outside the UK are only protected by ABTOT when purchased directly with Rubicon 3.
This varies hugely depending on what trip you are on. See our kit list for more details. Please note: We will not accept hard cases or cases with frames or wheels on the boat under any circumstances
If you have any other questions, do not hesitate to contact us. We are always very happy to chat about the trips, what to expect and make sure they are right for you!
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The smoking of any form of tobacco is forbidden on board or on the dock next to the boat. We also very strongly discourage the smoking of any tobacco at any time between the start and end date as the smell comes on-board into confined living space. The use of e-cigarettes is fine.
The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT) provides financial protection under The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 for WZ Lmited t/a Rubicon 3, and in the event of their insolvency, protection is provided for the following: 1. non-flight packages and 2. flight inclusive packages that commence outside of the EU, which are sold to customers outside of the EU. ABTOT cover provides for a refund in the event you have not yet travelled or repatriation if you are abroad. Please note that bookings made outside the EU are only protected by ABTOT when purchased directly with Rubicon 3. In the unlikely event that you require assistance whilst abroad due to our financial failure, please call our 24/7 helpline on 01702 811397 and advise you are a customer of an ABTOT protected travel company. You can access The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018 here.
Working with Rubicon 3
If you are interested in working with Rubicon 3 please go to the recruitment page.