London to St Petersburg: Adventure Sailing Expedition
Leg 1 – London to Gdansk June 27 – July 12 2020 (£1,997)
Leg 2 – Gdansk to St Petersburg July 13 – July 26 2020 (£2,150)
Full expedition – London to St Petersburg June 27 – July 26 2020 (£3,850)
NO PRIOR SAILING EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
JOIN SOLO OR WITH A GROUP
This is a classic sailing expedition from London to St Petersburg via the historic Polish city of Gdansk.Set off from Tower Bridge in the heart of London and cross the North Sea to the Hague. Then we sail past Amsterdam to the Dutch Frisian islands and on to the extraordinary Kiel Canal. Having transited into the Baltic, we explore Germany's northern coast with all its UNESCO World Heritage sites and the fascinating coast of Poland. From there it's north to Lithuania, the islands of Estonia, Tallinn and finally the golden domes of St Petersburg itself. True, amazing sailing adventure. You won't need any prior sailing experience to join us for this voyage of discovery. Our highly experienced skipper and mate will be providing world class tuition throughout your holiday and soon enough you'll be helming, trimming sails and helping to navigate as if it were second nature. Join us as a solo adventurer - almost 90% of our crew do - or come with friends or family.
Please note: This is an approximate route and timings. The exact itinerary and stops will vary depending on weather and conditions at the time. Leg 1 sails from London to Gdansk in Poland and Leg 2 runs from Gdansk to St Petersburg.
LEG 1 – LONDON TO GDANSK, POLAND
Day 1: Welcome to Tower Bridge
This is a truly exciting expedition as we sail from the heart of London to the golden spires of St Petersburg, Russia. Join the boat at 1800 on the joining day. This evening is all about getting yourself and your bags on board and packed away, meeting the other crew members and maybe having a cold beer in the lovely surroundings of St Katherine Docks, right by Tower Bridge. We’ll have a briefing and dinner on board then it’s off to sleep as we have the outgoing tide to catch early the next morning!
Day 2: Up the Thames
Such is the strength of the tide in the Thames, that we have to go with the direction of flow and that means an early start and off the dock at 0730. It is a glorious start as we pull out of the lock by Tower Bridge and turn left for Russia! As we head down the Thames, we will practice winch drills, start training and do lots of prep. It’s a good few hours and a fascinating journey as we head right up to the mouth of the river where we will likely anchor overnight.
Days 3-4: Across the North Sea to the Hague
Weather permitting, we now have a lovely introduction sail, with around 120nm to this fascinating Belgian city with all its history. Sailing through the afternoon and night, you will experience the first night at sea, with (we hope!) wonderful stars and all the commercial shipping that makes for a fantastic challenge. We should arrive late morning and will have the afternoon and evening to explore.
Days 5-6: North to the Dutch Frisian Islands
It’s around 60nm north now to the wonderful Frisian Islands, an archipelago off the coast of the Netherlands. They are beautiful in their own right and famous for their starring role in the Riddle of the Sands novel. We will pick an island and have a full day to explore.
Day 7: East to the Kiel Canal
We now have a good 160nm to get to the western end of the Kiel Canal, so we will set off early as this will take us 24 hours and we will be sailing through the night again. With a full boat we will be able to run three watches and that means you get a good six hours off and plenty of sleep.
Day 8: Transit the Kiel Canal
As dawn breaks we should be entering the mouth of the River Elbe and shortly thereafter the Kiel Canal. This incredible feat of engineering is around 65nm long and we have a lovely day of gentle motoring ahead, watching the German countryside glide past, while we dodge the vast container ships that can seem to take up the entire width of the Canal at times! This evening we will dock in Kiel for the night and head into town to a good German hostelry for a stein of beer and some hearty food!
Day 9: East to Stralsund
We have around 120nm to do to sail east to this lovely old Hanseatic trading port that is a UNESCO World Heritage site. We will be sailing through the day and warm night skies of the Baltic and by early morning we should be docking, ready to spend a full day exploring ashore.
Day 10: The island of Rugen
It’s a short sail this morning, to the east coast of the island of Rugen and the lovely harbour of Sassnitz. This is a very special seaside resort, much beloved by the Germans, and you will fall in love with its long promenade, lovely restaurants and relaxed pace of life.
Day 11: East to Peenemunde
Another short sail, this time to the fascinating, bizarre and unmissable Peenemunde. Home to the V2 rocket in World War 2, this site is steeped in history and has so much to see and do. Add in a Russian submarine that can you can get on board, you may well never see a place like this again!
Days 12-13: east to Hel
We simply can’t sail past somewhere called Hel! What you’ll find is that Hel is a wonderful Polish seaside town and a really special place to stop. It’s a good 180nm so we’ll want to be leaving Peenemunde at first light to give ourselves as much time as possible in Hel after another wonderful sail.
Day 14-15: Gdansk
If you have never been to Gdansk, you will love this city. It is an incredible entrance as we drive up the river through the massive shipyards and then, docking in the centre of town, you will be in a beautiful old Hanseatic town that is full of life, with so much to see and do. Gdansk, full of history, is a truly special place that is always a huge favourite with the crews.
LEG 2: GDANSK TO ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
Day 16: Gydnia
If you are joining in Gdansk, you will need to join the boat at 0900 in Gdansk marina. We will spend the morning getting you familiar with the yacht and your fellow crew members and then we will head out through the vast shipyards once more and head out into Gdansk Bay for lots of training and familiarisation. Tonight we will head into Gydnia, a lovely town with superb bars and restaurants. A great way to get to know your new crew mates!
Days 17-18: East to Klaipedia, Lithuania
Now we start to head far off the beaten track and it’s around 120nm to this fascinating town where the Baltic meets the Dane River. We will spend the next day here and take time to explore the old town with its wonderful collection of old wooden German buildings, the forest and the white sand beaches. It is a very special place.
Days 19-24: Estonian islands
Now we sail north and explore some of Estonia and its hundreds of islands. There’s the charming, rarely visited town of Leipaja, the party island of Parnu and the tiny islands of Kihnu and Ruhnu. Other islands are Haapsalu, Hiumaa and the Saaremaa. There is just so much to choose from and you will be sailing and exploring in areas you will likely never get to see any other way.
Days 25-26: Explore Tallinn
This majestic city, the capital of Estonia, is an absolute must see. It’s walled, cobble-stoned old town is a maze of fascinating shops, restaurants, houses and people. You could spend a week here, engrossed in all it has to offer, but we will just have 48 hours to take in as much as we can. This will be our last stop before Russia!
Days 27-28: Sail from Tallinn to St Petersburg
We have around 120nm to sail to the Russian border and we will have to make landfall at the small island of Ostrov before our final passage east to the golden spires of St Petersburg! We have done it!
Day 29: Clean up, debriefs and goodbyes
The end comes all too soon, but there’s no doubt that you’ll go home with some unforgettable memories and having had a huge amount of fun. After cleaning up, swapping photos and saying goodbye to the boat and the crew, you’ll be free to disembark from 1200h. We would suggest staying an extra day or two, if you can, to explore more of St Petersburg!
LEG 1: LONDON TO GDANSK
The boat will be in St Katharine Docks, London, close to Tower Bridge. (They do sometimes cancel on us last minute so it may be at a nearby location.) You need to join the boat at 1730hrs on 27th June. There will be an open day on the boat before this so you are welcome to come earlier and have a beer or two. You will disembark in Gdansk at 0900hrs on 12th July 2020. If you are staying on for Leg 2 you will stay on the boat.
LEG 2: GDANSK TO ST PETERSBURG
You should join the boat after midday on 12th July 2020. She will be in Gdansk Marina, right in the centre of town. You will disembark in the Central River Yacht Club, St Petersburg at 1200hrs 26th July 2020. Please note you will need a visa to enter Russia. Please see the section on Key Information below.
The nearest tube station is Tower Bridge (District or Circle line). The nearest mainline station is London Bridge. The nearest airports are London Gatwick (IATA code: LGW) or London Heathrow (IATA code: LHR).
The boat is moored a thirty minute taxi ride away from Gdansk airport (IATA code: GDN).
The boat is a 30-minute taxi ride from St Petersburg airport (IATA code: LED)
If you are on Leg 2 of the expedition you will need to get a visa (some countries are exempt – please check for your passport). We will issue letters of invitation three months before the start date. You will need to book in at your local Russian embassy and use this letter of invitation to get your visa. It is necessary to provide biometric data so you cannot do this remotely.
AGE & EXPERIENCE
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 IS REQUIRED
CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT
We provide the foul weather clothing, life-jackets and all other technical equipment you will need. We really urge you not to spend any extra money unless you are sure you want to! You need to bring a sleeping bag and some waterproof boots.
We are committed to helping as many people as possible have an amazing sailing holiday and experience the magic of the sea. Our skippers and mates have medical training and the boats have some medical supplies and equipment on board. However, the reality is that once on board access to professional medical assistance is going to be slower than if you were on land. If we are offshore it may be some days. For this reason we ask you to check through the medical disclosure form below before you book. If you answer yes to any of the questions, you should get in touch with us before you book. It will probably still be fine but it’s good to make sure. You will be asked to submit the form electronically 14 days before the start date, ensuring that we have the most up to date information.
- It is essential that you have adequate travel insurance in place for your sailing holiday.
- We strongly recommend that you arrange insurance that covers you for any medical mishaps in the build up to your holiday so that should you have to cancel, you can reclaim your fees.
- Please note we cannot refund your money or cancel your invoice due to medical issues.
- For our latest guidance on travel insurance, please read here.
TRIP CATEGORY: COASTAL SAILING
Mostly day sailing but may have an occasional night sail.
INCLUDED IN YOUR SAILING HOLIDAY
- Foul weather clothing to keep you dry in any conditions.
- 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.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- Your travel to and from the start and end points.
- Travel insurance (see our travel insurance page here)
- Any alcohol – but feel free to bring your own or buy some along the route.
- Any meals you eat ashore.
- Any visas required.
Everything’s included except for flights, travel insurance, a sleeping bag and some waterproof boots. There are no hidden extras
- These expeditions have small numbers of people on board. When you book, you are committing to being a part of the crew.
- These are genuine adventure sailing holidays and you will be helping sail the boat, planning where we go, navigating, cooking and keeping the boat clean and tidy.
- When you book, the deposit is non refundable. It is possible to cancel subsequently, however you may still be liable for the balance of the invoice, depending on how close you are to the start date when you cancel.
- Please ensure you have read and agreed to the T&Cs and read the Trip Notes before booking.
Trip booking summary
- Total Cost Leg 1: £1,997
- Total Cost Leg 2: £2,150
- Total Cost – Both: £3,850
- Deposit to pay now: £400 per leg
(Balance due 60 days prior to departure)
Use the yellow button above to book now