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Offshore sailing  holiday between Madeira and Spain

Offshore sailing holiday between Madeira and Spain

Offshore & ocean sailing




Jump aboard a 60' expedition yacht for two weeks of high adventure as we sail between the beautiful Galician coast of NW Spain, just south of the Bay of Biscay, and the Portuguese island of Madeira, with its subtropical climate, flower-filled landscapes, emerald canyons and sparkling waterfalls - living up to its name as the pearl of the Atlantic

If you've ever wanted to know what it's like to be charging through the ocean waves on a yacht, hundreds of miles from shore, with blue skies above and dolphins playing in your wake, then this is the passage for you. This is a two-week holiday sailing, training and exploring between the beautiful Rias of NW Spain, and the archipelago that is Madeira. As well as exploring the main island, we should also get to see the lovely island of Porto Santo and the magical Islas de Desrtas. In between, you will have a full 5 days (700nm) of exhilarating open ocean sailing.

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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.


  • Start date / place: May 16 2022. Muros, Spain
  • End date / place: May 27 2022. Madeira
  • Full price: £1,899
  • Deposit: £475


  • Start date / place: March 06, 2023. Quinta Da Lorde, Madeira
  • End date / place: March 17, 2023. Muros, Spain
  • Full price: £1,899
  • Deposit: £475


  • Start date / place: August 14, 2023. Muros, Spain
  • End date / place: August 25, 2023. Quinta Da Lorde, Madeira
  • Full price: £1,899
  • Deposit: £475


This is an entirely optional day prior to the start of the trip where we train you in the navigational and passage planning skills needed for an ocean passage.

Find out more about the day here.

If you wish to attend the Ocean Theory Training Day (please ensure you add the module to your basket), you will need to join the boat at 0900hrs the day before the main start date. You will be allowed to stay on the boat that night


  • 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.
  • It is also compulsory to attend the ‘Ocean Training Day’ which gives you in depth training on how to run an ocean passage.
  • 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 per yacht.


Please see ‘TRAVEL – GETTING TO & FROM YOUR TRIP’ tab for advice on start and end points.



This 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 this type of sailing adventure 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.


You need to join the boat promptly at 0900hrs on the start day. We will have a cup of tea and get to know each other and the skipper and mate will talk you through what to expect, find you your berth, help you get your kit packed away and issue you with oilskins, lifejacket and immersion/abandon ship survival suit.


You will disembark the boat at 1200hrs on the last day.

Briefings and sail training

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 guide you through every aspect that 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 may well anchor in the Isles de Clies, a truly beautiful nature reserve.

Exploring the Rias and preparation for the big crossing

We’ll spend the next few days sailing in and exploring the charming Rias. It is usually still lovely and warm at this time of year but we will have the water to ourselves. There are endless lovely towns and anchorages to explore each day. We’ll end in Baiona. It is a beautiful fortified town, there are loads to see with its special history and the weather is usually perfect for tapas and a cold beer or two prior to our big ocean passage. There are also the beautiful islands of the nature reserve where we can anchor and explore. This is a very special place. With over 700nm of open ocean sailing ahead of us, we’ll spend a full day 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.

Ocean sailing passage to Madeira

The actual days we make this passage will depend entirely on the weather at the time. Once we set off into the Atlantic Ocean, you will settle into a 24-hour watch system where you will alternate between navigating, helming and trimming sails, galley duty and cooking up a hearty meal for the crew and off watch time where you can sleep, rest, read and contemplate. Life at sea is very special and you will soon be into the rhythm and a fully involved member of the crew. You can expect to be at sea for around five days and nights, depending on conditions.

Exploring Madeira

If we have made good time, it’s lovely to spend a day sailing to Funchal, the capital. Wherever we go, it’s a matter of relaxing and exploring all that this island has to offer. The weather is usually warm and after all those days at sea, there is nothing better than some serious rest, recuperation and fun with the crew. Every adventure holiday needs some downtime, too!

Debrief and clean up

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.


  • 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


This is open to everyone and is an intensive day of theory. If you wish to attend this, (please ensure you add the module to your basket) you must join the boat at 1000hrs on the day before the main start date.



    • The closest joining airport is Santiago de Compostela (IATA code: SCQ). From there, there is a bus that runs every hour. You can see the timetable by clicking on the link here
    • You can also fly into Vigo (IATA code: VGO) and travel to Muros. You need to take the bus to Santiago de Compostela (link here) and from there take the bus to Muros


    • The boat will dock at Quinta da Lorde on the south east corner of Madeira.
    • The nearest airport is Funchal (IATA code: FNC) which is a 20 minute taxi ride from Quinta Da Lorde


    If you are joining as a watch leader, you should be at the boat ready to start lessons at 1000 hrs the day before the crew start date


    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.


    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.

    See more information and the full kit list here


    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.

    Fitness to sail


    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.

    See the Medical Declaration here


    • 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.


    For a full explanation of what to expect with the various trip ratings please click here.


    • Oilskins
    • 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.


    • 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.


    • 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.
    • You must attend the ‘Ocean Training Theory Day’ to be watch leader
    • 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.