Sail around the world with Rubicon 3 – the world ARC
Full Round the World – 06 Jan to 10 April (£55,000)
Demi World: 07 Sept ’20 to 10 April ’21: £20,999
L1: The Caribbean to Panama City – 06 Jan to 07 Feb (£5,300)
L2: Pacific, Galapagos & Polynesia – 10 Feb to 30 Apr (£12,640)
L3: French Polynesia (Tahiti to Fiji) – 04 May to 01 July (£9,520)
L4: French Polynesia to Australia – 06 July to 03 Aug (£4,930)
L5: Whitsundays & Great Barrier Reef – 05 Aug to 31 Aug (£4,750)
L6: Coral Islands of the Indian Ocean – 07 Sep to 24 Oct (£6,900)
L7: Mauritius, Reunion and South Africa – 26 Oct to 29 Nov (£4,950)
L8: St Helena and The South Atlantic – 30 Dec to 11 Feb (£6,900)
L9: Brazil to the Caribbean – 14 Feb to 10 April (£6,900)
Sail around the world with Rubicon 3
The World ARC is a rally that runs every two years, taking fifteen months to complete a full circumnavigation. The full circumnavigation is divided into legs, so if you can’t come the whole way with us you can certainly come for part of it. In doing so, you will be taking part in some of the finest sailing you will ever experience and exploring parts of the world that remain mythical to most sailors. Sail the Pacific Ocean, visit the Galapagos, explore French Polynesia, the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef. Head across the Indian Ocean to Lombok, Christmas Island, the Cocos Keeling and South Africa. Finally, take on the mighty South Atlantic, visiting St Helena, before arriving in Brazil for the Carnival. All this and more in the true adventure of a lifetime. You can book individual legs, the full Round the World, or a Demi World (4 legs). All the legs run consecutively so that you can stay on for as many legs as you wish.
FULL ROUND THE WORLD VOYAGE
06 January 2020 to 10 April 2021
Starts: St Lucia
Ends: St Lucia
Sign up to the full round the world voyage and you will be in for 15 of the most memorable months of your life. In the World ARC, you will sail the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans. You will explore the Galapagos and French Polynesia. You will cross the Doldrums and the Equator (twice). You will sail the Great Barrier Reef and the mystical islands of Indonesia. Christmas Island, Cocos Keeling, Mauritius then head to Cape Town, South Africa then St Helena in the middle of the South Atlantic, carnival in Brazil and the gorgeous Caribbean to finish.
THE DEMI WORLD VOYAGE!
07 September 2020 to 10 April 2021 (Legs 6,7,8,9)
Starts: Darwin, Australia
Ends: St Lucia
Sign up to the ‘demi’ world voyage for the second half of the World ARC and the most incredible sail from Australia to the mystical islands of Indonesia. Christmas Island, Cocos Keeling, Mauritius then head to Cape Town, South Africa then St Helena in the middle of the South Atlantic, carnival in Brazil and the gorgeous Caribbean to finish. The ‘Demi’ includes provision of a shared apartment in Cape Town for the month of December, including Christmas!
LEG 1: THE CARIBBEAN TO PANAMA CITY
06 January to 07 February 2020
Starts: St Lucia
Ends: Panama City
Mix the Caribbean, the fabulous ABC islands, Santa Marta in Columbia and the Panama Canal and you have the intoxicating first leg of our World ARC circumnavigation. A wonderful mix of coastal and offshore sailing in the warm Caribbean trade winds and a spectacular shift in culture from the reggae and spices of the Windward Islands to the hustle and bustle of Panama City.
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January 06-11 2020: Exploring St Lucia
Rodney Bay is a lovely marina and there will be a huge buzz with the start of the World ARC just about to arrive! The first couple of days will be about finding your feet on the boat, learning what goes where and some gentle day sailing to learn about tacking, gybing, reefing and all the other manoeuvres that will soon enough be second nature to you. We’ll anchor under the Pitons and get to see some of this gorgeous island.
January 11 – 23 2020: Sailing south to Santa Marta, Colombia
Now what an exciting first passage! We have just over 800nm to go and we have the wonderful warm, reliable trade winds behind us for the journey. If the situation allows we will stop at the ABC islands for a few days, which refer to Aruba (“A”), Bonaire (“B”), and Curaçao (“C”). Each of the ABC islands is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (though they are not in the European Union themselves). Bonaire is a “special municipality” of the Netherlands, while Aruba and Curaçao are autonomous. Culturally, all three islands are a mix of Dutch, Caribbean, and South American influences. Beyond these islands, we will stay well offshore as the coast of Venezuela is troubled and a place for yachts to steer well clear of. The passage should take about four days and you will experience the magical Caribbean Sea with its perfect shades of blue, white caps, sun beating down and starscapes you will never forget. Once we have arrived we should have a good few days to explore the city and its surrounding attractions such as the stunning Tayrona National Park. Here, thick jungle comes right up to the white sandy beaches and the water is famous for its fabulous turquoise colour.
January 23 – 31 2020: Exploring the San Blas islands
We now sail the 300nm or so to the San Blas islands, just north of the Panama Canal. This is an archipelago of 365 islands and cays, of which only 49 are inhabited. This is a land of the most amazing turquoise water matched by perfectly soft and white sand. You will see starfish everywhere. The Guna people live on the islands just as they did hundreds of years ago, fishing with line and chopping down trees with their machetes. We have about a week here to explore the archipelago before the day sail down to Colon, Panama.
February 1 – 6 2020: The Panama Canal
The next week is all about the bizarre experience of transiting the Panama Canal, with its huge amount of paperwork, bureaucracy and rules and regulations. It is quite the experience as narrow cuttings give way to the vast inland Lake Gatun, and our yacht will feel minuscule as vast cargo ships motor carefully by under the blazing sun! When we get through, there should be some time to enjoy the intoxicating Panama City before those leaving us have to depart for home. For the rest of us, the adventure is about to head into the Pacific!
Fly into St Lucia (IATA code: SLU or UVF), ready to join the boat any time after 1200 midday on January 06
Fly out of Panama City (IATA code: PTY), by 1200 midday on 06 February. The boat will be in Flamenco Marina.
LEG 2: THE PACIFIC OCEAN, GALAPAGOS & FRENCH POLYNESIA
10 February to 30 April 2020
Starts: Panama City
Could there be a more exciting adventure at sea? Starting from the hustle and bustle of the crowded streets of Panama City, we set sail across the wide expanses of the Pacific Ocean bound for Tahiti. En route we stop and explore the Galapagos Islands, the Marquesas, Tuomotos and the Society Islands. 6000nm of sailing, an Equator crossing and some of the most beautiful islands in the world.
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February 10 – 12 2020: Las Perlas Islands
It’s time to leave Panama City and we have a nice, easy 35nm sail to Las Perlas islands. This is an archipelago that covers around 250 small islands of which most are uninhabited. The islands are famous for their spectacular white sand deserted beaches, snorkelling, marine life (whale watching) and delicate ecosystems. We will have a couple of days to relax and explore them.
February 13 – 19 2020: Sailing to the Galapagos
We have about 850nm to sail until we arrive at these incredible islands, so we can expect to be at sea for around six days. This is our first taste of Pacific Ocean sailing and a great opportunity to relax into life at sea. We’ll use the sextant to navigate, finding our position using the sun, moon and stars. Working in a watch system, we’ll cover close to 200 hundred miles a day. We’ll cross the Doldrums, the vast belt of low pressure and light wind that girdles the Equator, accompanied by pods of pilot whales and dolphins. We’ll steer with one eye on the Southern Cross and at night stare out over the dark water and the eerie green glow of the bioluminescent sea creatures stirred up by our passing. As the sun rises over the horizon on day six, rising 500 feet straight out of the still water, we should see the volcanic tuff cone León Dormido, “Sleeping Lion.” The rock serves as a sentinel to the Galápagos archipelago. Behind it the low green island of San Cristóbal will slowly come into view.
February 20 – March 04 2020: Exploring the Galapagos
The Galapagos Islands have many animals native only to the archipelago, such as the marine iguanas, Galapagos tortoise, Galapagos penguins, Darwin’s finches, and Galapagos fur seal. On these extraordinary volcanic islands you can play with baby sea lions at their colony on the tiny island of Isla Lobos. You can snorkel with hammerhead sharks and sea turtles and eagle rays off of León Dormido. Above huge forests of candelabra cactus and saltbrush, watch male frigate birds with their bright-red neck pouches and marvel at the blue-footed boobies dive-bombing for fish. We have around twelve wonderful days here that you will never forget.
March 05 – 25 2020: Sailing across the Pacific Ocean
Ahead of us lies one of the great ocean passages for any sailor – the mighty Pacific Ocean. We have nearly 3000nm of open ocean ahead of us and can expect to be at sea for around three weeks. Working in watches, you will helm, tend to the sails, hope to catch some fresh fish, keep watch, monitor the weather and relax into the extraordinarily timeless bubble that is life at sea. The electrical storms, squalls and dead calms of the Doldrums give way to the south easterly trade winds and exhilarating days and nights of sailing. Then, over the horizon, you will see the vast mountains of Hiva Oa. Land Ahoy! We have arrived at the Marquesas.
March 26 – April 29 2020: The Marquesas, Tuamotos and Society Islands
The Marquesas Islands are a group of volcanic islands in French Polynesia, an overseas territory of France. Fatu Hiva is probably one of the most beautiful anchorages in the world but is only the preface to the rest of these majestic islands. Hiva Oa, Tahuata, Ua Pou, Nuku Hiva… all magical islands, with idyllic white beaches, palm trees, jungle and mountains. Over the next month, we will sail and explore these islands. We will also explore the Tuamotos and Society Islands. In no particular order there is Huahine, known as “The Garden Island”, Huahine’s lush rainforests and dramatic terrain surround sacred sites and legendary landmarks that are among the best-preserved archeological sites in French Polynesia. Bora Bora in the Society Islands is immediately recognisable by Mount Otemanu rising from the ocean. This half-atoll, half-mountain is surrounded by a spectacular lagoon and a series of smaller islands. Ancient Polynesians called it Parapora, or “firstborn”, because they thought it was the first island created after Raiatea and it is often said to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. The Tuamotus are known as the “Dangerous Archipelago” for their shallow passages. Today, that same characteristic makes Fakarava a diver’s paradise. Those who prefer to stay on dry land can explore charming villages, ancient temples, and a 19th century coral church.
April 30 2020 Disembark in Tahiti
Finally, our incredible adventure across the Pacific Ocean is over. It’s time to disembark in Papeete, the capital of Tahiti. This island of emerald hillsides, sapphire waters, and warm breezes is so blissful, you have to stay a few days before leaving!
Fly into Panama City (IATA code: PTY), ready to join the boat any time after 1200 midday on February 10. The boat will be in Flamenco Marina, Amador.
Fly out of Pape’ete airport (IATA code: PPT), leaving the boat by 1200 midday on April 30. The boat will be in Marina de Pape’ete.
LEG 3: FRENCH POLYNESIA (TAHITI TO FIJI)
May 04 to July 01 2020
Tahiti to Fiji is a 2000nm sail in paradise. French Polynesia really is the holy grail of cruising and not many sailors are ever lucky enough to get there. Visit Bora Bora, the Cook islands, and one of the largest raised coral atolls on earth. This is a world of impossibly beautiful, rarely visited islands and atolls. Robinson Crusoe-style hideaways, vast forests, white beaches, turquoise sea, blue sky and, of course, spectacular sea life.
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Join us in Tahiti’s capital city Pape’ete. We will spend a day getting everything squared away on the yacht and then have a day of training, where the crew get to grips with parts of the boat, tacking, gybing, reefing and more. This is a fun, relaxed day where everyone can learn and polish skills and get to know each other a little more.
May 04 – 15 2020: Sail west to Bora Bora
We’ll spend the first ten days or so gently sailing north toward Bora Bora. As well as exploring beautiful Tahiti, we’ll see islands such as Mor’ea and Taha’a. This island in particular is a true botanical beauty. Her land is incredibly fertile and the sloping hillsides are covered with banana, watermelon and coconut groves. Shaped like a flower, the island is also an immense natural greenhouse for the highly prized Tahitian vanilla orchid and nearly all of French Polynesia’s vanilla is grown here. On the island of Ra’iatea we may be able to explore its lush jungle interior with a guided kayak excursion down the Faaroa River, French Polynesia’s only navigable river. We can also see the remarkable lagoon and Faaroa Bay as well as the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Taputapuatea, the largest marae in French Polynesia. Finally we arrive at Bora Bora itself. Undoubtedly the most celebrated island in the South Pacific, Bora Bora is very much French Polynesia’s leading lady. Described as the most beautiful island in the world, Bora Bora is a volcano set on a beautiful lagoon with a million shades of blue. The huge motu of Bora Bora’s white sand beaches lined with coconut trees encircle the emerald lagoon populated with myriad fish and multi-coloured corals.
May 15 – 28 2020: Suwarrow
From Bora Bora, we have about 700nm (four days) of glorious open ocean sailing in the Pacific as we head west to the Cook Islands and the stunning island of Suwarrow where we will anchor and explore for around three days. Suwarrow is a real treasure island, described by Robert Louis Stevenson as the most romantic island in the world. It is a nature-lover’s paradise, home to huge colonies of seabirds and some of the country’s richest marine life. Truly the only way to visit here is by yacht.
May 29 – June 04 2020: Niue
Some 600nm south west of Suwarrow is the island of Niue. Niue is a Pacific Island paradise like no other, one of the smallest countries and one of the largest raised coral atolls on earth. The island’s isolation and coral origins create an exciting coastline. There are no rivers or lakes which ensures crystal clear water year round. The whole island is dotted with a myriad of caves, sheltered rocky coves and secret beaches, some of which have yet to be explored. The Huvalu Rainforest is home to some amazing indigenous trees and has been designated as a Conservation Area to protect and conserve the island’s primary rainforest and natural fauna and flora.
June 05 – July 01 2020: Vava’u, Tonga
We set out into the Pacific once more for the playground of Vava’u, Tonga. The capital is Neiafu, which is the second largest city in Tonga. We will see the fjord-like Ava Pulepulekai channel, explore the Ene’io Botanical Gardens and have some of the very best snorkelling in the world. Visibility is often 30m or more and you will see stunning mantas, coral and shipwrecks. A stunning place where we will stay and explore for around three days.
We now have a good few weeks from here until we have to be in Fiji. Luckily Tonga has 175 more islands to explore! Get ready for pristine beaches, stunning coral atolls, active volcanoes and untouched rainforests. With an abundance of marine life, deserted islands, national parks, caves, authentic villages, impressive mountains, rugged cliff faces and ancient lava tubes, this will be a month of your life you will never forget! Finally we’ll arrive in Fiji by the end of June, ready for those departing the yacht at the end of this leg.
Fly into Pape’ete airport (IATA code: PPT), joining the boat any time after 1200 midday on May 04. The boat will be in Marina de Pape’ete.
Fly out of Denarau (IATA code: NAN), leaving the boat by 1200 midday on July 01. The boat is expected to be in Denerau Marina.
LEG 4: FRENCH POLYNESIA TO AUSTRALIA
July 06 to August 03 2020
Ends: Mackay, Australia
Starting in Fiji and finishing in Mackay, Queensland, Australia you will explore the Vanuatu islands, which are both remote and gorgeous. Consisting of 82 islands, this stunning archipelago boasts various active volcanoes, many of which are accessible by foot, freshwater lakes and waterfalls, and tribal communities quite unaffected by the western world but where the locals are hugely welcoming and offer an insight into their unusual lives. There are some of the best-preserved underwater caves in the world and snorkelling that knows no end. The chance to visit these fascinating islands by yacht is something that few people will ever experience.
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July 06 – 18 2020: In and around Tanna
Starting in Musket Cove, we have a few days to sail around and explore the wonderful island of Fiji before we embark on a 450-mile trip to Vanuatu. This gives us a couple of days at sea before reaching this extraordinary archipelago of 82 islands. The island of Tanna is where we’ll start. It is home to Mount Yasur, one of the world’s most accessible active volcanoes, and the crater can be reached on foot. It is also fascinating to visit the island’s remote villages, where the locals lead a very traditional way of life that is largely unaffected by western culture. Further down the slopes there are wild horses to see, and at the water’s edge some all-but untouched underwater caves. A truly spectacular place to explore!
July 18 – 20 2020: Erromango and smaller islands
Erromango is a day sail further north and the fourth largest island in Vanuatu – yet it is rarely visited. It is covered in extensive native forests and jungle. The island’s main source of income is sandalwood (the season runs from June to August each year), supplemented by lobsters and coconut crabs. It is an island rarely visited by tourists but you will be enthusiastically welcomed.
July 22 2020: Port Vila, Vanuatu Rendezvous
Port Vila is the capital of Vanuatu, on the island of Efate. Having spent a few days sailing and exploring some more remote locations, it should be a welcome return to civilisation to visit the local market, national and historical museums and much more. We’ll enjoy the ARC rendezvous as well. In 2003, UNESCO announced Vanuatu’s sand drawings to be a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”, so make sure you catch sight of the artists in action! Once you have gotten back into the swing of things, there are blue lagoons, waterfalls, active volcanos and a never-ending supply of beautiful dive sights.
July 24 to August 1 2020: Vanuatu to Mackay
After some fascinating island hopping, we set off across the big wide ocean once again for a 1000nm sail to Australia. For those new to longer passages, every ocean passage is a journey and there is a definite sense of “beginning, middle and end”. You can never predict the weather, the wildlife or the unexpected culinary treats that appear from the galley. Furthermore, night sailing under a blanket of stars and using a sextant to navigate is simply a unique experience that will never be forgotten. After about a week at sea, sailing non-stop day and night, we will arrive in Mackay, Australia.
Fly into Denarau (IATA code: NAN), joining the boat any time after 1200 midday on July 06. The boat is expected to be in Denarau Marina
Fly out of Mackay (IATA code: MKY), leaving the boat by 1200 midday on August 03.
LEG 5: CRUISING THE WHITSUNDAYS AND GREAT BARRIER REEF
August 05 – 31 2020
Starts: Mackay, Australia
Ends: Darwin, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef is a place that needs no introduction. It is one of the natural wonders of the world and the largest coral reef system on the planet. With almost a whole month to sail and explore, we’ll be following in the trail of Captain Cook and Endeavour. There is incredible wildlife with giant clams, manta rays and crocodiles, remote settlements and of course spectacular sailing in the warm trade winds.
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Mackay to Thursday Island
Mackay is also the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands, an archipelago of 74 beautiful islands . The winds are normally southeasterlies which makes for some great sailing in the generally sheltered waters. The clear waters of the Great Barrier Reef are full of colourful tropical fish, giant clams and fantastic coral and and are a snorkelling wonderland and we will spend around two weeks sailing up through them and exploring. We’ll surely stop at Port Douglas and maybe even head continue upriver and anchor. This is crocodile country and there is a good chance of seeing crocodiles sunning themselves on the shore. No swimming here…! Most of this next part of the Great Barrier Reef will be sailed in the wake of Captain Cook, who passed through here in 1770, charted and named land features in this entire area, and nearly lost his ship Endeavour when it ran onto a reef at night. Fortunately the large piece of coral got lodged in the hull allowing the crew to nurse the ship into a nearby river where repairs could be carried out. This is now the site of Cooktown, set on the banks of the Endeavour River. Claimed to be the site of the first European settlement in Australia, the small town, which is also the northernmost town in Queensland, is well worth an overnight stop. One of the next highlights is Lizard Island, which lies approximately 50 miles north of Cooktown. Discovered by Captain Cook and named by his botanist, Joseph Banks, after the large number of lizards encountered, the island is now a nature reserve. Giant clams and manta rays are everywhere, while a visit to Cod Hole will bring the snorkeller face to face with the massive Potato Cod! As we continue in a general northwesterly direction there will be several good anchoring opportunities, either at the offshore Hilder or Crescent reefs, at Howick Island or tucked in behind Point Barrow in Ninian Bay.
Past Cape Melville we’ll sail to Cape Direction, Cape Grenville and on to Cape York and the northern tip of Australia. Many places, especially in Australia, deserve the description of ‘frontier town’, but none comes closer to it than the settlement on Thursday Island. Today’s population is just over 3000 people, some of whom are the original Torres Strait Islanders, a Melanesian people related to tribes in neighbouring Papua New Guinea. The island experienced a brief period of prosperity towards the end of the 19th century when it attracted a multinational force of pearl divers.
Thursday Island to Darwin (8-10 days)
There is always a steady easterly wind blowing through the Torres Strait, backed by a strong west-setting current. The change from the dark blue waters of the Pacific to the green waters of the Arafura Sea is abrupt and unexpected. Even the wind feels different and after the boisterous trade winds experienced along the Great Barrier Reef the light winds almost feel like having a different texture. There is a distinctive feeling of entering not just a different ocean but a different world. The sail from Thursday Island to Darwin is straightforward and the winds generally lighter and steadier than the first half. We’ll probably start with a 35nm run to Cotton Island. We’ll need to play the tides the following day to pass between two islands – an area called ‘The Hole In the Wall’ or ‘The Gugari Rip’ – and then on to Guruliya Bay – Raragala Island. The next day maybe the 50nm sail to Cape Stewart, or even on to Liverpool River. We can head about 9nm up the river and anchor off the settlement of Maningrida where we can visit the township. It is a typical Aboriginal outback settlement and very interesting. The following day we can sail on to the Gouburn Islands some 69nm away, followed by a 45nm leg to Valentia Island just south west of Cape Cockburn. Port Essington is 30nm further on. Here are the ruins of Victoria – a settlement which the British tried to establish here in 1838. The settlement was the third at the ‘top end’ which the British tried to establish, but in 1849 they abandoned this one as well, and those who had not died of disease exhaustion or despair left. It is impossible to imagine how anyone could have survived here those 11 years in the middle of nowhere, with next to nearly no contact with the outside world, unreliable supplies and one of the harshest climates on earth. From here, it is a short sail into the spectacular city of Darwin.
Fly into Mackay (IATA code: MKY), joining the boat any time after 1200 midday on August 05.
Fly out of Darwin (IATA code: DRW), leaving the boat by 1200 midday on August 31.