Adventure Sailing Holiday: Iceland, Faroes, Scotland
Sail between Iceland and Scotland, with the Westmann islands and volcanic Faroes in between. A fantastic mix of offshore and coastal sailing.
Sailing between Iceland and Scotland, you are in for a real treat and one of the classic Rubicon 3 sailing expeditions. Discover the majestic coast Iceland, the extraordinary Westmann Islands, the soaring volcanic cliffs of the Faroe Islands with their swirling fogs and millions of birds, and the beautiful west coast of Scotland with its stunning landscapes and world famous whisky distilleries.
These are the available dates and routes. To book your place, please select the dates from the drop-down above the ‘Add to Cart’ button.
TRIP CODE: STO23082021
- Start date / place: August 23 2021. Seydisfjordur, Iceland
- Via: Faroes
- End date / place: September 03 2021. Oban, Scotland
- Full price: £2,399
- Deposit: £960
TRIP CODE: RTO06092021
- Start date / place: September 06 2021. Reykjavik, Iceland
- Via: Westman Islands
- End date / place: September 17 2021. Oban, UK
- Full price: £2,399
- Deposit: £960
Please see ‘TRAVEL – GETTING TO & FROM YOUR TRIP’ tab for advice on start and end points.
All crew must produce a negative Covid-19 test result within 72 hours before the start date.
This is 40% of the trip price and is non-refundable. On making payment, your berth is guaranteed.
Paying the balance
The balance of the invoice can be paid at any time. It must be received by Rubicon 3 90 days before the trip start date or your place will automatically be cancelled. We will remind you of the date nearer the time.
Cancellations and moving trips
Our expedition sailing yachts only have between 7 and 10 berths on them. When you book, you are committing to take one of these places. Due to these very limited numbers, we will often have turned away someone else who would have liked the berth. Unlike many other holidays, please understand this gives us little if any flexibility to make changes or to move trips. We will always endeavour to assist you (& the earlier you tell us the better), but unless we can find someone else to take your place, we usually cannot move your booking.
This is a typical itinerary for the route from Sedisfjordur, Iceland to Scotland via the Faroes. (If you are doing Scotland to Iceland, please just reverse it!) The route from Reykjavik is very similar but goes via the Westman Islands. Check the Dates & Prices tab for exact start and end locations for your trip. What makes expedition sailing so special is that there can be no fixed itinerary and so the detailed itinerary below can be indicative only. The wind and the weather ultimately shape actual timings and what’s possible each day.
Training and a day sail to Nordfjord
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. Before long, 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 or maybe even make it to lovely Nordfjord with its hot springs.
Offshore sailing from Iceland to the Faroes
Now the adventure really ramps up and we set off into the Atlantic Ocean. It’s one of its remotest and wildest patches; the home of whales, arctic fishing fleets and little else. We have about 250nm on a south easterly heading and that means two full days and nights of top class sailing. With almost 24-hour sun the nights barely exist, making this a relatively easy and enjoyable passage. It’s a great way to start experiencing offshore sailing and is a great opportunity to practise your celestial navigation. Before you know it, the extraordinary and beautiful volcanic cliffs of the Faroe Islands will appear over the horizon and we drop anchor somewhere on the north coast, ready to explore!
Exploring the Faroes (Seydisfjordur route)
The northern Faroes are particularly beautiful and if the weather is good to us we will have time to sail and explore for quite a few days here. It is a wild, green, untamed land with grass on roofs, whales, puffins and a totally unique way of life. You will fall in love with the Faroes! As we explore we will work our way down to the capital Tórshavn where we can refuel, buy some more food and prepare for the next sail south to the western isles of Scotland.
Exploring the Westman Islands (Reykjavik route)
There are eight islands, but only one — called Heimaey — is inhabited. Blessed with a fantastic natural harbor — hemmed in by steep sea cliffs — Heimaey is kept afloat by its thriving fishing industry. If you’ve heard of the Westman Islands, it’s probably because of the 1973 eruption of the Eldfell volcano. In the middle of one dark, frigid January night, the islanders awoke to the thunderous sound of a volcano erupting overhead, shooting geysers of lava 500 feet into the air. Heimaey was evacuated, and for the next several months, the world watched as a slow-creeping wall of lava gobbled up part of the town, enlarged the island’s size by one-fifth, and threatened to seal off the harbor. You can even climb all the way up to the summit of Eldfell, which is still warm to the touch. It’s about a 30-minute hike up from the museum. On the way up, you enjoy higher and higher views over the dramatic islandscape, and pass technicolor chunks of volcanic rock
Sailing from the Faroes to the Hebrides
It’s another very special sail south, with 250nm from Tórshavn in the Faroes to Stornoway on the north east coast of the Hebrides. This again gives us around 36 hours of offshore sailing and it is always such a pleasure to arrive in the Western Isles of Scotland. For now, we will head ashore for fish and chips and a beer and make our plans for our last four days.
Sailing and exploring the western isles of Scotland
It’s 130nm from Stornoway to Oban, so we may do one more 24-hour sail and give ourselves two full days to explore the beautiful island of Skye or Islay, visit a distillery or two, and relax and enjoy these beautiful islands. On the evening of the penultimate day, we will moor in Oban for a fun last night out as a crew.
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).
JOINING & LEAVING THE BOAT
Join the boat promptly at 0900hrs on the start day.
It is important you are not late as the pre-trip briefing will start promptly at that time. You will probably need to arrive at your start point the day before your trip begins and get a hotel or B&B.
Disembark by 1200hrs on the end day.
We ask you to stay on board until then if possible to help with packing away the boat but recognise sometimes due to flights you may need to leave earlier that day. Please just let the skipper know in advance.
For exact start and end locations, please see the ‘Dates & Prices’ tab
INFORMATION TO HELP GET TO AND FROM THE START AND END POINTS
- The closest airport to Seydisfjordur is Egilsstaðir. There is a bus that runs between the two and which takes around 45 minutes. Icelandair fly between Egilsstaðir airport (IATA code: EGS) and Reykjavik (IATA code: RKV).
- From Reykjavik (the internal airport) you need to transfer by bus or taxi to Keflavik (IATA code: KEF) which is the international airport.
The international airport is actually called Keflavik (IATA code: KEF)
Stornoway airport (IATA CODE: SYY) is served by direct flights from the mainland (all less than about an hour’s duration) from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness. Flights are by Flybe (operated by Loganair) and Eastern Airways.
Caledonian MacBrayne sails at least twice daily in each direction between Ullapool and Stornoway (one each-way crossing on Sundays).
Scottish Citylink coaches operate service number 961 from Inverness to Ullapool, with luggage handling through to Stornoway arrivals hall. Citylink connects with coach services from Glasgow and Edinburgh, which in turn connect with the National Express network. Booking for coaches is essential
The nearest rail station is at Inverness, where railway passengers will need to transfer to the coach service shown above.
- A train service connects Oban to Glasgow, and takes about 4 hours.
- Rubicon 3 will also have a minibus that will depart for Glasgow at 1200 promptly. This should arrive in Glasgow around 1430 hrs. Tickets are £30 and can be booked here.
AGE & EXPERIENCE
These adventure sailing holidays are open to anyone aged 18 – 70 years. Although this trip is open to beginners, we recommend that you have some sailing experience before, even if it is just an introductory weekend. This will enable you to be confident that a prolonged passage at sea is something that you will enjoy.
CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT
We provide the foul weather clothing, life-jackets and all other technical equipment you will need. You need to bring a sleeping bag and some waterproof boots.
FITNESS TO SAIL
We believe that as many people as possible should be able to head out to sea and have a great adventure. However, it is essential for everyone’s safety that you are in a fit enough state to be on board. Ability to complete the five exercises below is a pre-requisite for joining as a crew member. They are not designed to be physically taxing and almost everyone should be able to complete them. Rather they are in place to check that you have the stability and basic physical condition to be on-board. If when you join the vessel the skipper believes you are not capable of completing these exercises, you will probably not be allowed to embark. If you have any doubts at all about your ability to complete these exercises safely, you must contact your doctor before attempting them.
Four weeks before your trip start date, you will be sent final joining instructions. At this time you will be asked to complete our medical declaration. At the time of booking, it is your responsibility to be sure that you will be able to pass all the criteria at the start date of your trip. If you cannot pass the criteria you will probably be refused permission to board.
- All crew must have adequate travel insurance in place for your sailing holiday.
- We strongly recommend that you arrange insurance as soon as you book. This ideally will cover you for any mishaps, medical or otherwise, in the build-up to your holiday so that should you have to cancel, you can reclaim your fees.
- Please note we will not refund your money or cancel your invoice due to medical issues that disqualify you from joining your trip.
- For our latest guidance on travel insurance, please read here.
TRIP CATEGORY: OFFSHORE SAILING
For a full explanation of what to expect with the various trip ratings please click here.
INCLUDED IN YOUR SAILING HOLIDAY
- 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 can be earned 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 and Trip Notes before booking.