Scotland to Arctic Norway
Crew: May 16th – May 30th 2020 (£2,240)
Watch Leader: May 15th – May 30th 2020 (£2,390)
NO PRIOR SAILING EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
JOIN SOLO OR AS PART OF A GROUP
Ocean Sailing Adventure: Scotland to Arctic NorwayThis is one of our absolute favourites at Rubicon 3, as we sail and explore three of the most spectacular cruising grounds in the world: the western isles of Scotland, the incredible Faroe Islands and the archipelagos off the north west coast of Norway. In between we have some lovely open ocean sailing, with a shorter passage to the Faroes and a 600nm ocean passage up to Norway. En route, we will cross the Arctic Circle at sea.
This is a typical itinerary. What makes an adventure holiday so special however is that there can be no fixed itinerary and no part of this is guaranteed. The wind and the weather ultimately shape what’s possible each day but everything is very flexible within that.
Day 1: Joining day
Join the boat between 1200 and 2000hrs (the closer to 1200 the better but we know flights and such like don’t always work like that, so don’t worry!) Get your belongings packed away and relax. There’s plenty to do in the future but right now it’s about relaxing, finding your way around the boat and enjoying the surroundings. Scotland and the Hebrides are such a special area with so much to see and do. Watch Leaders please note you must join the boat 24 hrs earlier (see below).
Day 2: Briefings and training
Today is all about getting up to speed with the boat. Whether you are a complete novice or more experienced sailor, everyone benefits from detailed introductions, safety briefings and training sessions. You will have two highly experienced instructors to guide you through every aspect that you need to know to have a great ocean sailing holiday. By lunchtime we should be casting off the lines, hoisting the sails and working through all the key sailing manoeuvres such as tacking and gybing, reefing and knot tying! By the end of the day everyone on board should feel comfortable with the basics – even though there’s more to learn and practice every day. We’ll find a beautiful anchorage for the night.
Days 3-5: Sailing, training and exploring in the western isles and Hebrides
We should now have a few days sailing and exploring in this most beautiful area of the world. There are amazing anchorages, famous whisky distilleries and wonderful views as we sail around. All the time we will be keeping an eye on the weather, ready to charge north to the Faroes.
Days 6-7: Sail to the Faroes
When the wind is right, we will set off on the approximately 350nm passage to the volcanic archipelago of the Faroes. This is a great introductory offshore passage, taking about two days. You will start to get a feel for the open ocean, living and sailing in a watch system and learning how to run a ship offshore. The near vertical cliffs and millions of sea-birds will soon appear over the horizon and we will probably make landfall in the capital – Tórshavn.
Days 8-10: Exploring the Faroes and preparing for the main passage to Norway
The northern Faroes are particularly beautiful and if the weather is good to us we will have time to sail and explore a little here. It is a wild, green, untamed land with grass on roofs, whales, puffins and a unique way of life. You really do have to visit the Faroes! All the time we will be watching the weather and making final preparations for the big voyage north.
Days 11-15: Ocean passage to Arctic Norway
It’s time to say goodbye to the Faroes and set off north for one of the most rewarding passages possible. Land will soon disappear over the horizon and we will be all alone except for the puffins, auks, common guillemots and kittiwakes as they see us on our way. We may well spot a whale or two as day turns into night and we helm under the stars and via the moon. Ocean life is a wonderful and timeless rotation of watches, navigation and routines. It’s the perfect time to learn from our hugely experienced instructors who are on hand at every stage of the way. Then, at 66° 33’N we cross into the Arctic Circle, and morning, noon or night we’re cracking open a bottle of bubbly and taking some photos! But we need to keep heading north east, for just over the horizon now is the goal of north west Norway, in all its beauty. If we make good time, we may even have the opportunity to visit some of this beautiful archipelago.
Day 16: Debriefs, clean up and goodbyes
It’s always amazing how quickly everyone has become firm friends and the boat and its routines seem so familiar. Yet it’s time to wrap it all up and head home. We’ll get the boat back to how we found it, sign logbooks, exchange emails and disembark by 1200hrs (we prefer if you don’t, but if you need to catch a ferry or flight, you can leave as early as you need to on the last day).
We can often find long haul flights at cheap prices. Ask us!
JOINING & LEAVING THE BOAT
- You should join the boat in Oban, Scotland after 1200 hrs on the joining day. 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, that is fine. We will ask you closer to the time to let us know your travel details. (Watch leaders please note you must join 24 hrs earlier at 1000hrs).
- You will disembark the boat in Bodø, Norway on the last day at 1200hrs.
GETTING TO AND FROM THE START AND END POINTS
- The closest airport to Oban is Glasgow (IATA code: GLA). From there or the railway station, it is around a four-hour train journey to Oban (a very beautiful one).
- Bodø (IATA code: BOO) is well served by Norwegian Air and SAS. The airport is around one mile from the boat.
Rubicon 3 runs expedition yachts to remote locations and on serious ocean passages. They are tremendous fun to sail and the skipper and mate are real experts from whom you will learn a huge amount. The routes themselves are adventurous, unusual and, for the most part, far from the beaten track. You will be joining the yacht for a couple of weeks at some point on it’s 11-month long voyage. It is important that you understand that this is true ocean and expedition adventure sailing, not a sanitised charter sailing holiday. You will be a full part of the crew, helming, navigating, trimming sails and more. You will also be fully involved in cooking and keep the boat clean as we go. If the weather is strong you will be living life at an angle and may have waves landing on you while you work on deck. Our foulies will keep you dry as much as possible and the boat is always warm down below. Conversely in hot regions, you may be trying to keep cool and wishing for that wave! Adventure sailing and life at sea is far more basic than life at home. It is amazing, extraordinary and life affirming but you will be living in close quarters with the rest of the crew. You will need to be able to deal with the occasional discomfort or mishaps that inevitably come with being on the sea or in remote regions and should come with a ‘can do’ attitude. The boat itself is on a long voyage far from home and will always have certain jobs, maintenance and repairs being done on it. This is the reality of adventure sailing. The rewards though are beyond what you can imagine and you will have experiences, memories and new friendships that will last a lifetime.
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.
INCLUDED IN YOUR SAILING HOLIDAY
- Top quality 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.
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 before booking.
- To be a watch leader on a Rubicon 3 ocean passage, we require you to have sufficient skills and experience to be able to approach the role meaningfully. This means you should have a minimum of RYA Coastal Skipper practical and theory. We accept international equivalents. After booking, you will be asked to provide evidence of your qualifications.
- On arrival, we will ask you to complete a short theory test to ensure that you are at the required level. If you are able to complete RYA Yachtmaster Coastal theory questions, you will be fine. If you are not at the required standard, we will downgrade you to a standard crew member.
WATCH LEADER TRAINING DAY
- On booking, you will receive a copy of the Rubicon 3 Watch Leader’s training manual. This is an invaluable resource and you should try to read as much of it as you can before joining.
- You should arrive at the boat the day before the advertised start time, being ready to start studying at 1000 hrs. You will spend a full day learning about passage planning, the yacht and helping to prepare the yacht. You will be able to stay on the boat that night.
- There is an additional fee of £150 to cover these extra training costs.
DO I NEED PRIOR SAILING EXPERIENCE?
No. All of our trips are designed to be accessible by anyone, whatever their previous sailing background. We will train you in all the key skills you need, allowing you to be an active member of the crew from Day 1.
DO PEOPLE COME ALONE?
Almost everyone comes alone. Couples and groups are very welcome and we do get them. On the whole, however, most crew join solo and so if you are coming alone, you will be one of the crowd!
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE ON BOARD?
Except in exceptional circumstances, we limit the crew size to 9 (except for Atlantic crossings) plus two instructors. This means that there are enough people to sail the boat safely, but you will still have lots of time helming, navigating, trimming sails and such like.
IS THIS A SAILING HOLIDAY?
Absolutely. First and foremost, we are here to ensure everyone has an amazing time. Sailing is about having fun, experiencing nature at its most majestic and gently pushing yourself to try and learn new things. Rubicon 3 voyages are a unique mix of sailing and training, and you will get far more involvement and training than on any other sailing holiday you may try.
WHO ELSE JOINS?
We have a remarkably similar group of people who join all our trips. They come from all around the world, are an even mix of men and women and with an average age of 35-65. As we said above, most come alone and experience varies from none at all to Yachtmaster. Most of the crew would describe themselves as having a rusty Day Skipper.
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO BOOK A PLACE?
Go the ‘BOOK NOW’ button near the top of the page. This will take you through to our booking system, and it will ask you for a deposit of £400. As soon as this is paid, your place is reserved. The balance of the trip must be paid by 60 days before departure.
ANY OTHER QUESTIONS? DON’T HESITATE TO CALL OR EMAIL US. WE ARE REALLY VERY HAPPY TO CHAT AWAY ABOUT THE TRIPS AND MAKE SURE THAT THEY ARE EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE AFTER