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The Wild Islands

The Wild Islands

Coastal Sailing

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Take part in a true sailing adventure as we sail from Norway to the Scottish Hebrides, via the Shetland Isles and the Orkneys.

Spend two weeks exploring the magnificent islands of Norway and Scotland in the beautiful late summer / early autumn period in which this area is often at its most beautiful. Two days of sailing and exploring the archipelago around Bergen is followed by an exciting 190nm offshore passage to the Shetland Isles. A few days to sail around and explore these islands is followed by the 60nm passage to the Orkneys where we can explore further. We finish with a passage around Cape Wrath and our arrival in the Hebrides. Superb sailing, gorgeous islands to explore and wildlife such as puffins, otters, rare seabirds and even a whale if you're lucky!

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This is a typical itinerary for the Wild Islands. What makes an adventure holiday so special however is that there can be no fixed itinerary. The wind and the weather ultimately shape what’s possible each day and where we go!

 Day 1: Welcome on board in Bergen

Join the yacht between 1200h and 1800h in Bergen. Today is all about settling in, meeting the crew and finding your way around your home for the forthcoming voyage. Bergen is a really beautiful city with some amazing views so do come and make the most of it

Day 2: A day of sail training and a Norwegian anchorage

As ever on Rubicon 3 trips, there’s no previous sailing experience required to get fully involved. Every Rubicon 3 trip encompasses a full sailing course and today your skipper and mate will guide you through all the basics. You’ll learn about points of sail,  tacking, gybing, reefing and even how to recover a casualty over board. For those who have sailed before, this is all great revision and a chance to develop as a crew. If it sounds a lot, don’t worry as you have the rest of your time on board to practise and develop your skill!. Tonight we’ll likely anchor off one of the many beautiful islands that surround Bergen. These are almost deserted, often with only one small house to each island and are a spectacular place to anchor.

Day 3-4: Passage to the Shetland Islands

We now set off for the 170nm sail to the Shetland Islands, crossing one of the main Killer Whale migration routes as we go, so fingers crossed for a sighting! The passage will take a full 24 hours, so you will experience sailing through the night, which is always a wonderful feeling. As the sun rises on day two we’ll  see the Shetlands appear over the horizon. We’ll most likely make landfall in Lerwick, the capital.

Days 5-8: Exploring the Shetland Islands

Shetland offers a remote and totally unspoiled cruising ground, with its 100 small islands and 900 miles of coastline. We will have to pick one or two highlights, but we are spoiled for choice and this is one of Europe’s unique wilderness environments. Birds, seals, otters, dolphins and whales are everywhere.

Day 9: Sail to the remote and rugged Fair Isle

If the weather is kind to us, we will be able to sail to the wonderfully remote Fair Isle, of British maritime forecast fame. It has two very small harbours which are not always calm enough to enter, but if we are lucky it is a really lovely place to stop for the night

Days 10-13: The Orkneys

It is a short sail from Fair Isle to Orkney, and now we are in another wildlife and historical hotspot. You can expect to see white tailed sea eagles, fulmars, kittiwakes, and otters. There’s the famous Old Man of Hoy while the whole Atlantic facing side of the island has wonderful  red sandstone cliffs. There is also the famous Scapa Flow – a huge  natural harbour where the German fleet was scuttled. We have an almost unlimited choice of anchorages here and with the long summer days, there are wonderful evenings to be had. Visits to archaeological sites at Maes Howe, Skara Brae, and the towns of Kirkwall and Stromness are a must when visiting here.

Day 14: Passage to Stornoway

It is now time for our final passage, and it is around 100nm to Stornoway on the northern tip of the Hebrides. With a fair wind and tide, we can make this a long day sail, but it may be that darkness has fallen and we gently glide into Stornoway under the stars. A magical end to this most spectacular of trips


  • You should join the boat in Bergen after 1200 hrs on the start day.
  • You will disembark the boat in  Stornoway at 1200 hrs on the last day


  • Stornoway airport 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 and Eastern Airways.
  • Caledonian MacBrayne ferries sail at least twice daily in each direction between Ullapool and Stornoway (one each-way crossing on Sundays).
  • Scottish Citylink coaches operate service number 961 (booking essential) from Ullapool to Inverness (& v-a-v), 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.

Travel websites


Eastern Airways

Caledonian MacBrayne


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.



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.

See more information and the full kit list here


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.

See the Medical Declaration here


  • 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 you fees.
  • Please note we cannot refund your money or cancel your invoice due to medial issues.
  • For our latest guidance on travel insurance, please read here.


Mostly day sailing, shorter mileage and more time to head ashore and explore.


  • 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.


  • 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 read the Trip Notes before booking.

Terms & Conditions

Trip booking summary

  • Total Cost: £1,799
  • Deposit to pay now: £400
  • Balance to pay: £1,399

(Balance due 60 days prior to departure)

Use the yellow button above to book now

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