Sail the Atlantic Ocean in the ARC
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,
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: ARCD181120
- Start date / place: November 18 2020. Gran Canaria
- End date / place: December 18 2020. St Lucia
- Full price: £4,299
- Deposit: £1,720
TRIP CODE: ARCD201121
- Start date / place: November 20 2021. Gran Canaria (exact dates TBC but will be very close)
- End date / place: December 20 2021. St Lucia (exact dates TBC but will be very close)
- Full price: £4,399
- Deposit: £1,720
- This trip meets the RYA Yachtmaster Ocean for a qualifying passage, so long as you are a watch leader.
- If you wish to join as a watch leader, you must meet the criteria as detailed on our ‘Watch Leader‘ page.
- You must book the watch leader place at the same time as you make your main booking. Please ensure you have added a ‘watch leader’ module to your cart.
- There are only three watch leaders spaces available
Please see ‘TRAVEL – GETTING TO & FROM YOUR TRIP’ tab for advice on start and end points.
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. 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.
Join the boat and 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. After lunch, we’ll start to show you the boat, issue lifejackets and oilskins and teach you the most important skills when on board.
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
Crossing the Atlantic Ocean in the ARC!
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.
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 at 1100hrs on the start day. It is important you are not late.
- You will disembark between 0700 and 1200hrs on the end day.
- For exact start and end locations, please see the ‘Dates & Prices’ tab
INFORMATION TO HELP GET TO AND FROM THE START AND END POINTS
- Fly into Gran Canaria (IATA code: LPA)
- Bus number 60 operated by Global takes travellers twice per hour to and from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and takes about 30-40 minutes. The airport bus stop is located in front of the Departures hall.
- Fly out of St Lucia (IATA code SLU or UVF)
- It can sometimes be cheaper to make the short ferry 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 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.
- 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 or equivalent skills and experience. 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 downgrade you to a standard crew member.
- There are only 3 watch leader places available on each yacht.
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.