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Ocean sailing from Madeira to Morocco

Ocean sailing from Madeira to Morocco

Offshore & ocean sailing

November 29 – December 12 2020: Crew (£1,959)

November 28 – December 12 2020: Watch Leader (£2,109)

Madeira to Morocco. Crew. 05 – 18 December 2021. £1,999

Madeira to Morocco. W/Leader. 04 – 18 December 2021. £2,149




Join this incredible sailing adventure from the Portuguese island of Madeira to North Africa & Europe's most southerly shores

Two weeks of sailing, training and exploring. Starting on the south eastern shores of Madeira, we will do some training, skills and drills, exploring the southern shores of Madeira, maybe the island of Porto Santo and the stunning Islas de Deserthas. Starting from the westerly most point of the island, we then head out onto the open ocean for 600nm of exhilarating open ocean sailing to the Moroccan port of Tangier. We'll explore this fascinating north African city with its bustling souks and medina before sailing to the fascinating town of Gibraltar.  (This is a Yachtmaster Ocean qualifying passage for watch leaders).


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Route Map Image

This is a typical itinerary. What makes ocean sailing so special however is that there can be no fixed itinerary; 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 2000 hrs (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 of things to do in the future but right now it’s about relaxing, finding your way around the boat and enjoying the surroundings. Madeira is a great place to be at this time of year with sea pools, beaches and there’s lots to do and see ashore.

Days 2-3: Briefings and coastal sail training

The fiest  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 of what you need to know to have a great 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 likely anchor and explore the stunning Islas de Dersethas the first night and dock in Funchal, the capital the second.

Day 4: Preparation and planning for the ocean passage in Funchal

With a good 600nm of open ocean sailing ahead of us, we’ll be making detailed passage plans, preparations and victualling the boat with all sorts of lovely food and meals. It’s fantastic training for everyone and we’ll be checking sails, storm sail, drogues and all the other equipment needed for this type of voyage. All the time we’ll also be checking the weather, looking for the ideal window for the passage.

Days 5-8: Passage to Tangier, Morocco.

Our passage starts from a wonderful anchorage on the south western edge of Madeira, and as soon as the weather is right, we will cast off the lines and set sail south east to Tangier. Once underway, you will settle into a 24-hour watch system. On watch you will alternate between navigating, helming and trimming sails, galley duty and cooking up a hearty meal for the crew. Off watch is time to sleep, watch the open ocean glide by and relax into the wonderful life that is the open sea. It is a very special environment and you will soon be into the rhythm of the yacht and a fully involved member of the crew. You can expect to be at sea for around 5 days and nights, depending on conditions. There’s whales and dolphins to be spotted, celestial navigation to be tried and there’s still plenty of time just to gaze out over the ocean and muse!

Days 9-10: Arrival in Tangier, gateway to North Africa!

Guarding the Strait of Gibraltar, Tangier is the gateway to Africa. Its blend of cultures and influences is unique in Morocco. It is a fascinating city that has always carried an exciting allure, in part because of its time as a semi-independent international zone that attracted eccentric foreigners, artists and spies. We’ll spend a full  day here to explore and enjoy the city.

Days 11-14: Exploring Gibraltar and the coast of Andalucia

The Andalucian coast is the most wonderful cruising ground. There’s the wonderful cathedral city of Cadiuz, and from the all the way to  Gibraltar, the sailing is wonderful.  There is the Spanish enclave of Cueta, the sun drenched white stone village of Rota, and more. The exact stops will be dictated by the weather at the time. On the penultimate night we’ll have a big meal and party out in Gibralat, trading memories, laughter and future plans.

Day 15: 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 1200 hrs (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).


  • You should join the boat in Quinta Da Lorde, Madeira after 1200 hrs on the start date. (Watch leaders see below). 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.
  • The marina is a short taxi ride from the airport
  • You will disembark the boat in Gibraltar at 1200 hrs on the last day.


  • Funchal (IATA code: FNC) is served by various airlines including Easyjet.
  • Gibraltar (IATA code: GIB) is served by many airlines, including Easyjet.

Airline websites

British Airways






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.


Extended periods of offshore sailing with night watches.


  • 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 reluctantly downgrade you to a standard crew member.


  • 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 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.


  • Foul weather or oilskins 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