Sail the Atlantic Ocean in the ARC
Gran Canaria to St Lucia. 18 November – 18 December 2020. £4,299
Gran Canaria to St Lucia. 17 November – 17 December 2021. £4,399
NO PRIOR SAILING EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
JOIN SOLO OR AS PART OF A GROUP
Sail the Atlantic Ocean with the ARC (and Caribbean cruising when you arrive).
To sail across the Atlantic Ocean is a dream for so many people and there are few better ways to do it than as part of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers. We sail in the warm trade winds just north of the Equator to give us a beautiful downwind sail all the way to the Caribbean, sometimes all alone and other times with other yachts in the fleet passing by on the horizon. Sailing across the Atlantic Ocean is a serious business and you'll truly appreciate the safety and security of doing it in a Clipper 60,NO PREVIOUS SAILING EXPERIENCE REQUIRED. FULL TUITION GIVEN.
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 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. There are always some fantastic pre-ARC parties to enjoy along with the warm sun of Gran Canaria.
Days 2-4: Training and pre-departure briefings
These first few days are 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 sailing holiday. We’ll be working through all the key sailing manoeuvres such as tacking and gybing, reefing and knot tying! There are seminars, talks and safety kit demonstrations. By the end of the period, everyone on board should feel comfortable on board – even though there’s more to learn and practice every day.
Pre-departure social events
The ARC is famous, not just for its wonderful sailing but for the extraordinary atmosphere that surrounds it. Crews from all around the world are converging to share a month at sea together, and the ARC organisers put on some very special events.
“I made so many new friends, came back with endless stories and had so much fun beyond just the sailing. I loved getting such expert instruction underway and I’ve fulfilled a lifetime’s ambition by crossing the Atlantic – but the fantastic social side to the whole event was also such a key ingredient to why I found it so special” MH
Days 5-23: Crossing the Atlantic Ocean in the ARC 2018!
We set off for the main event, in the company of 50 or 60 other yachts. It is an incredible spectacle with so many yachts so close to together. Pretty soon however, the fleet spreads out and we can expect to find ourselves in the front quarter of the fleet for most of the way. We’ll be pushing just hard enough to have fun and overtake boats near us, but we are not racing and this is all about having a wonderful sail across the Atlantic Ocean. We can expect it to take around 17 days, although we could get there quicker or slower, depending on the winds and weather at the time. You will experience the magic of life on the ocean and will soon become proficient with all aspects of ocean sailing. There may be lessons on sail repair, splicing, diesel engines, celestial navigation, spinnaker work and who knows what else. There will also be lots of time for you to rest, read, contemplate and enjoy this unique experience. Finally, the wonderful mountains of St Lucia will appear on the horizon and our crossing will have been completed.
Days 24-30: Cruising the Caribbean
We will certainly have some serious R&R in St Lucia first, but then we will surely head off for some day sailing and exploration while we wait for the rest of the fleet to arrive. Our options are St Lucia itself or Martinique.
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
- You should join the boat in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria after 1200 hrs on the start 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.
- You will disembark the boat in Rodney Bay, St Lucia by 1200 hrs on the end day
- Fly into Gran Canaria (IATA code: LPA)
- Fly out of St Lucia (IATA code SLU or UVF)
- It can sometimes be cheaper to make the short journey to Martinique (IATA code: FDF) and fly back from there
We can sometimes find very cheap long haul flights so do ask if you cannot find the flights you need.
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 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.
TRIP CATEGORY: OCEAN SAILING
Longer periods of time offshore with limited access to facilities ashore. If you have not sailed before, please check with us before booking.
INCLUDED IN YOUR SAILING HOLIDAY
- All ARC entry fees.
- 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 and read the Trip Notes before booking.