Sail across the Atlantic Ocean: New York to London
Join the crew for this spectacular offshore adventure, as we sail from the heart of New York, across the Atlantic Ocean, to London, England. In between lies 3000nm of open ocean. The route could take us south via the Azores or north via Newfoundland. This is one of the classic ocean crossings and a genuine adventure of a lifetime.
This is a typical itinerary for sailing across the Atlantic Ocean. What makes this type of adventure holiday so special, however, is that there can be no fixed itinerary and no timings within this can be guaranteed. The wind and the weather ultimately shape what’s possible and the exact route we take.
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. You’re about to sail right across the Atlantic Ocean from New York to London. Adventure travel literally doesn’t get any more exciting than this!
Days 2-3: Training and pre-departure briefings
Staying safe is obviously always at the top of the list and the first few days are an intensive sailing course to get everyone up to speed, both with their individual skills and with our abilities as a crew. These first few days are all about getting up to speed with the boat.
Your skipper and mate are two highly experienced instructors who will guide you through everything that you need to know to have a great sailing holiday. We’ll be working through all the key sailing manoeuvres such as MOB recovery, tacking and gybing, reefing and knot tying! It’s drills, drills, drills to ensure everyone is ready. By the end of the period, everyone on board should feel comfortable to start this awe-inspiring voyage.
Days 4-5: Sail north to Martha’s Vineyard / Nantucket
Now we start with a shortish sail to gain some invaluable crew sailing experience. It’s about 180nm northeast to these islands, which is a perfect length to start to get our sea legs, iron out any training issues and start to get properly acclimatised to life at sea. It will take us a full 24 hours, so we’ll spend our first night at sea and gain valuable experience in night sailing.
Weather permitting, we’ll hope to spend 24 hours at one of these islands to have a debrief, make final preparations and have a good old look round. This is a holiday after all! Martha’s Vineyard is an island in the state of Massachusetts, just south of Cape Cod. It is a famous and much-loved summer island for New Englanders, with bucolic harbour towns and lighthouses, sandy beaches and rolling farmland.
Days 7-13: Sail 800nm north and explore Newfoundland
The exact route we take to cross the Atlantic will depend on the weather conditions at the time. We will either take a more southerly route and head for the Azores, the central route and head straight for England or the more northerly route via Newfoundland (our preferred route).
If we take this route, it is about 800nm northeast and this should take us about 5 days. It’s a spectacular sail up the coast of Novia Scotia, with its vast mountain ranges and pulling into Newfoundland is a rare and exciting adventure. If we are making good time, we hope to have a couple of days here to rest, prepare and explore.
We will most likely be based in St Johns, the capital. Vikings, Indians, Eskimos, the English, French, and Irish have all claimed Newfoundland at some point in time and it has given it a wonderfully cosmopolitan feel. There’s Quidi Vidi, a charming village-within-a-city and we can hike up to Signal Hill, through the famous Battery, where tiny wooden homes still cling valiantly to cliffsides ravaged by ocean waves.
The unmistakable, iconic Cabot Tower guards the top of Signal Hill and from here we can gaze out over the vast expanse of the Atlantic and see what lies before us! It was right here in 1901 that Marconi received his first transmission across the Atlantic Ocean.
Days 14-30: Sail 2000nm across the Atlantic Ocean
Now it’s time for the big one. We are obviously far north of the reliable trade winds, so things are a little less predictable, but we expect to take around 12-14 days to make the crossing. This is a serious voyage and we can expect everything from gale-force winds and large seas to flat calm and swelteringly hot blue skies. Whales and sea birds will be our companions as we take on one of the world’s greatest oceans.
You will sail under spectacular starscapes, see sunrises you will never forget and have time to sit and look out over the ocean. This two week period is a time you will value forever. The likelihood is that we will pul into Falmouth on the south-west coast of England. We will spend a day here resting, refuelling, re victualling and having a good old celebration to mark our crossing.
Days 31-34: Sail the south coast of England to Portsmouth
With the big sail done, the pressure is off and we have four days to make the last 140nm to the Solent, home of English sailing. We can stop wherever we like – we will be a super-competent, battle-hardened crew by this point, so we could nip across the Channel to France for some Moules Frites or just gently cruise our way home. Either way, we’ll aim to be in Portsmouth on a penultimate night, ready for a big, hugely deserved crew party.
Day 35: Clean up and disembark
It’s the final day and it can be emotional to say goodbye to each other and goodbye to the boat. As a group, we will have been on a huge adventure together and have made friends for life. It’s time to go though and today we clean the boat, sign logbooks, trade contact information and then it’s off home.
We can often find long haul flights at cheap prices. Ask us!
You should join the boat in New York, USA between 0800 and 0900 hrs on the start date. We will ask you closer to the time to let us know your travel details.
You will disembark the boat in London, UK at 1200 hrs on the last date
PLEASE NOTE: Sailing long distances on the ocean is very different from flying and our timings are subject to many factors, not least weather conditions. We build a very realistic schedule with lots of spare time but we strongly recommend that you book your flights home on arrival, book flexible flights or give yourself two to three days in London before flying home.
New York is well served by many airlines. You have various choices of airport from:
- John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
- LaGuardia Airport (LGA)
- Newark International Airport (EWR)
Portsmouth Harbour railway station is a 30-minute train ride from Southampton airport (IATA code: SOU) or a 90-minute train ride from London airports. There are high-speed ferries that transport passengers
Rubicon 3 runs expedition yachts to remote locations and on serious ocean passages. They are tremendous fun to sail and the skipper and mate are real experts from whom you will learn a huge amount. The routes themselves are adventurous, unusual and, for the most part, far from the beaten track. You will be joining the yacht for a couple of weeks at some point on its 11-month long voyage. It is important that you understand that this is true ocean and expedition adventure sailing, not a sanitised charter sailing holiday. You will be a full part of the crew, helming, navigating, trimming sails and more. You will also be fully involved in cooking and keep the boat clean as we go. If the weather is strong you will be living life at an angle and may have waves landing on you while you work on deck. (Our foulies will keep you dry as much as possible and the boat is always warm down below.) Conversely in hot regions, you may be trying to keep cool and wishing for that wave! Adventure sailing and life at sea is far more basic than life at home. It is amazing, extraordinary and life-affirming but you will be living in close quarters with the rest of the crew, need to be able to deal with the occasional discomfort or mishaps that inevitably come with being on the sea or in remote regions and should come with a ‘can-do’ attitude. The boat itself is on a long voyage far from home and will always have certain jobs, maintenance and repairs being done on it. This is the reality of adventure sailing. The rewards though are beyond what you can imagine and you will have experiences, memories and new friendships that will last a lifetime.
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.
YOU MUST HAVE RYA DAY SKIPPER OR ABOVE (ASA 104 OR ABOVE) TO JOIN THE CREW
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 onboard 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 your fees.
- Please note we cannot refund your money or cancel your invoice due to medical issues.
- For our latest guidance on travel insurance, please read here.
TRIP CATEGORY: OCEAN SAILING
Extended periods offshore and a greater possibility of encountering bad weather.
INCLUDED IN YOUR SAILING HOLIDAY
- 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 endpoints.
- 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.
- 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 downgrade you to a standard crew member.
WATCH LEADER TRAINING DAY
- 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.
If you are planning to proceed to Yachtmaster Ocean, there are various requirements. Please read this guide carefully before boarding: Rubicon 3 Yachtmaster Ocean overview
DO I NEED PRIOR SAILING EXPERIENCE?
Yes. as this is a serious, long-distance voyage you must have a minimum of RYA Day Skipper or ASA 104.
DO PEOPLE COME ALONE?
Almost everyone comes alone. Couples and groups are very welcome and we do get them. On the whole, however, most crew join solo and so if you are coming alone, you will be one of the crowd!
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE ON BOARD
Except in exceptional circumstances, we limit the crew size to 9 (except for Atlantic crossings) plus two instructors. This means that there are enough people to sale the boat safely, but you will still have lots of time helming, navigating, trimming sails and such like.
IS THIS A SAILING HOLIDAY?
Absolutely. First and foremost, we are here to ensure everyone has an amazing time. Sailing is about having fun, experiencing nature at its most majestic and gently pushing yourself to try and learn new things. Rubicon 3 voyages are a unique mix of sailing and training, and you will get far more involvement and training than on any other sailing holiday you may try!
WHO ELSE JOINS?
We have a remarkably similar group of people who join all our trips. They come from all around the world, are an even mix of men and women and with an average age of 35-65. As we said above, most come alone and experience varies from none at all to Yachtmaster. Most of the crew would describe themselves as having a rusty Day Skipper.
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO BOOK A PLACE?
Go the ‘BOOK NOW’ button near the top of the page. This will take you through to our booking system, and it will ask you for a deposit of £400. As soon as this is paid, your place is reserved. The balance of the trip must be paid by 60 days before departure.
ANY OTHER QUESTIONS? DON’T HESITATE TO CALL OR EMAIL US. WE ARE REALLY VERY HAPPY TO CHAT AWAY ABOUT THE TRIPS AND MAKE SURE THAT THEY ARE EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE AFTER