• Wave icon Trip Type: Offshore
  • Speech bubble icon Instructors: 2
  • People icon Crew Size: Max 9 (10 for ocean)
  • Cake icon Ages: 18-70 ish
  • Pin icon Region: Caribbean & The Americas
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Adventure Rating:
High

Low to some

Experience Required:
Low to some

31 Days from £5,999

Dates, Prices & Travel

Sail the Atlantic in the ARC

Sail across the Atlantic Ocean with Rubicon 3 as we participate in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC). The event attracts around 100 yachts all congregating in the Canary Islands then setting sail en masse to the Caribbean, some 2000 miles to the west. For most crew, it’s their first ocean crossing and a unique chance to complete this bucket list adventure. Initial training in the Canaries prepares you for the voyage, then once you set sail you’ll be in a routing of navigation, weather watching, helming and trimming sails, punctuated by moments of sheer beauty, such as dolphins playing in the bow wave or a sunset filling the sky. You arrive in St Lucia around 17-18 days after setting off, as an ocean navigator and having had the adventure of a lifetime.

This is an RYA Yachtmaster Ocean qualifying passage for those who sign on as a watch leader.

Ready for the adventure of a lifetime with the offshore sailing experts?

Rubicon 3 are renowned as the offshore sailing experts, renowned in the sailing world for our extensive experience, comprehensive training, dedication to discovery, and fantastic sailing adventures. Our expert team, highly experienced sailors in ocean passage making, the Arctic, North Sea, and Norwegian Sea, offer hands-on instruction in all aspects of offshore sailing, catering to those new to offshore sailing and more seasoned sailors.

Our selection of unique bucket lists and less-traveled routes sets us apart, ensuring offshore sailing that’s both exhilarating and full of discovery. Our ethos is an unwavering commitment to safety and environmental sustainability, ensuring every voyage respects the sailors and the sea. Additionally, we are as focused on individual skill-building as a sailing school so that everyone is fully involved in every aspect of the passage. This holistic approach built Rubicon 3’s reputation as the go-to experts for anyone seeking the highest level of offshore sailing.

Want to join?

Go to the Dates & Prices button to see this trip’s dates. It will also give you information on connecting travel, including where to fly and when and where to join the boat.

 

Sailing Area

ARC sailing route
The Yachts
Key Information
What’s included
  • All food and accommodation on board

  • All fuel & berthing fees

  • Your own bunk and storage area

  • Use of oilskins

  • Use of lifejacket

  • Sailing tuition

  • RYA Competent Crew (supplementary fee)

What’s Not included
  • Your connecting travel to & from boat

  • Sailing & travel insurance

  • Meals you choose to eat ashore

  • Alcohol

  • Visas where required

  • Discretionary tip

Interested in dates & availability?

To see when this trip runs, its start and end locations, price to join the crew and availability, click on the ‘Dates, Prices & Travel’ button up top.

Discretionary tipping of the Rubicon 3 crew

The trip price is 5% less than we would normally charge. This is to allow you at the end of your adventure to offer a combined 5-10% tip to the Rubicon 3 skipper and mate if you feel they have delivered exceptional performance. This tip is entirely discretionary. See our FAQs here.

Got some questions?

Joining a big sailing adventure is a big thing, so don’t be surprised if you have lots of questions before you book. Who else joins, what to expect, and so many more queries are entirely normal. The home page has loads of info on this (scroll to the bottom), there are our FAQs and never hesitate to contact us by email, phone or live chat. The team are here to have a chat, discuss options, answer questions and help make sure you get on the exact right sailing trip for you.

Pre departure preparation

Sailing across the Atlantic in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) begins with preparation and lots of it! Setting off across the ocean is a serious challenge, and not one to be taken lightly. With Rubicon 3, you are operating at a high level of professionalism, so you will be part fo the process as we rigorously inspect the boat, service equipment, buy in supplies and generally ensure that everything is ready.

Victualling and supplies

We have 12 people to feed for up to three weeks at sea, so we need food for some 750 meals! That’s right, there’s a huge shop to be done and when it arrives on the dock it can seem like an impossible amount of food to put away. We will only buy fresh produce for around 4-5 days worth as it will not last beyond that. After that, we switch to longer lasting veg, fruit and tinnned and packet food. We have a powerful watermaker on board, but we always prepare for mishapps, so we also load up many jerrycans of spare water, just in case, along with nearly a thousand litres of diesel, spare oil and many other essential supplies. By the time we’re finished, the yacht is bursting at the seams!

sailing in the arc

Pre departure activities

In the build up to departure, we also take time to get out sailing and really work with the crew to build skills, develop as a team and answer as many questions as we can. It means that when we finally set sail for the big crossing, you are as prepared as possible.

In the afternoons and evenings, there are also many events and talks laid on by the World Cruising Club. This includes educational seminars, parties and and many fun events. Between these, the preparation and the training, you will find you build a strong sense of camaraderie with everyone from the very start. We usually have around four days of preparation in Gran Canaria before we set off across the Atlantic.

navigating at sea with sextant

Daily Routine at Sea

The departure is a huge event, with yachts everywhere and a sense of organised chaos often ensuing. It’s amazing therefore, how quickly the fleet spreads out and withing a day we may only be seeing the occasional yacht. Life at sea quickly settles into a routine governed by the elements and the necessities of sailing. Each day is structured around watches, navigation checks, sail adjustments, and some boat maintenance. You’ll have day watches and night watches, when you will see star scapes unlike any you have ever seen before. When you’re not on watch, you can rest, read, gaze out over the endless horizons and spectacular sunrises and sunsets and immerse yourself in the experience of being out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

under sail

Helming and Navigation

Helming, or steering the boat, is a shared responsibility, with crew members taking turns to keep the yacht on course. Modern navigation aids complement traditional methods, ensuring the yacht remains on the best path across the Atlantic. GPS, chart plotters, and weather forecasting tools are used to make well informed decisions and it’s fun to get the sextant out and learn how to navigate just using the Sun and stars.

ocean sunset

Trimming Sails and Keeping Watch

We need to keep moving as quickly and efficiently as we can, so trimming sails to suit the wind conditions is a constant task that requires attention and teamwork. Efficiency and speed depend on correctly setting the sails, a skill you will be honing with your ever-increasing experience and knowledge. Keeping watch always involves more than just watching for other vessels; it’s about monitoring weather changes and sea conditions and keeping us going fast and well.

cooking at sea

Cooking and Meals

Meals are always central events of the day, providing not just welcome food but a chance for all the crew to come together, chat and share experiences. Cooking at sea, in a confined and moving space, challenges crews to be creative with limited ingredients. It’s fun and becomes ever more fun to see what can be made with the remaining food.

Relaxing and Leisure

Despite the demands of sailing, there is plenty of time for relaxation and introspection. The vastness of the ocean offers a unique backdrop for reading, contemplation, or simply enjoying the solitude and beauty of the ocean. Watching dolphins play in the bow wave or marveling at the unobstructed view of the stars at night are experiences that stay with sailors long after the crossing is over.

arriving in the caribbean under sail

Arrival in the Caribbean and possible cruising

How fast we get across the Atlantic is entirely dependent on the north easterly trade winds that power us across. They can be strong and consistent or light and hard to find. If we get across in good time, there can be 4-5 days spare and we use this to cruise up to somewhere like Martinique and explore, adding a special extra dimension to the crossing.

A brief overview of the ARC

The Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) is an annual sailing event for cruiser yachts that has been held since 1986. More than just a boat race, it also has the cruising division that we enter. The event starts at the end of November in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and ends before Christmas in Rodney Bay, Saint Lucia, in the Caribbean. It is the largest trans-ocean sailing event in the world, attracting over 1-200 boats of various sizes and shapes. The route takes between 8 and 31 days, aided by trade winds, and covers around 2500 nautical miles. The event was founded by Jimmy Cornell and is now organized by the World Cruising Club, which also arranges a World ARC.

The first race was organized in 1986 by Cruising World Magazine under the name Atlantic Race for Cruisers (ARC). Jimmy Cornell created the event to add some excitement to the long and lonely voyage across the ocean, strengthen bonds between cruising sailors, and increase safety and confidence by organizing a passage of a large number of yachts at the same time.

Dates, Prices & Travel

Start Date & Location

November 20, 2024
Gran Canaria

End Date & Location

December 20, 2024
St Lucia

Price

£5,999

Deposit

£2,299

Availability

Available

Trip Information

Start Date: November 20, 2024

Start Time: 09:00

Start Country: Gran Canaria

Start Port: Las Palmas

Start Marina: Las Palmas

End Date: December 20, 2024

End Time: 10:00

End Country: St Lucia

End Port: Rodney Bay

End Marina: Rodney Bay

Find Flights For This Trip
Fly Into: Gran Canaria (IATA code: LPA)
Fly Out of: St Lucia (IATA code: UVF)

* Flights are not included in the trip price.

Important Notes
Joining the boat
  • You will join the boat in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria
  • It is easy to get there from the airport
  • The trip starts at 9:00 AM on the start day, so you will need to be Las Palmas by November 19 2024.
  • The rally starts on Sunday 24th November 2024 and the days leading up to the start will be packed full on training and prepping of the vessel. You are welcome to stay ashore in the days leading up to the start.
  • You have two options for accommodation on the night before the start date:
    • Stay in a hotel or AirBnB in Las Palmas
    • Alternatively, you can stay onboard the boat from 6:00 PM on a bed & breakfast basis. Select this option during your booking process.
Leaving the boat
  • You will leave the boat in Rodney Bay, St Lucia by 10:00 am on December 20 2024
General Notes
  • We have a very strong track record of meeting the scheduled end date, with only a few exceptions over a decade of sailing and across hundreds of thousands of miles of sailing. However, given the nature and distance of ocean crossings, we can’t guarantee it and recommend booking flexible onward travel back from St Lucia or at least allowing an extra day in your itinerary as a precaution.
  • You cannot stay on the boat after the trip end date.
  • Once you have booked, we will connect you up with other crew so you can liaise regarding connecting travel, meet up in advance etc.
  • If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
5-Point Pre-Booking Checklist

Before you finalize your booking, we suggest you run through our pre-booking checklist:

  1. Check Flights: Make sure you have found the right flights for your trip. Book them as soon as you have booked your Rubicon 3 trip.
  2. Travel Insurance: Once you’ve booked your trip with us, buy some sailing travel insurance. Read our full guide here.
  3. Passport Validity: Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned return date. Some countries require this for entry, so it’s crucial to check and renew your passport if necessary.
  4. Visas: Most sailors will not require any visas for this trip. However, if you are concerned, check any visa requirements for both your destination and any transit countries. If you do need a visa, processing times can vary, so it’s advisable to apply well in advance of your trip.
  5. Vaccinations and Health Checks: There are no vaccinations required for this trip. Make sure you have an acceptable level of fitness and agility. You can read our guide here. This is for the safety of all on board.
Add Trip Extras

Sub total:

Start Date & Location

November 19, 2025
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

End Date & Location

December 19, 2025
St Lucia

Price

£5,999

Deposit

£2,299

Availability

Available

Trip Information

Start Date: November 19, 2025

Start Time: Time TBC

Start Country: Las Palmas de Gran Canaria

Start Port: Las Palmas

Start Marina: Las Palmas

End Date: December 19, 2025

End Time: Time TBC

End Country: St Lucia

End Port: Rodney Bay

End Marina: Rodney Bay

Find Flights For This Trip
Fly Into: Gran Canaria (IATA Code: LPA)
Fly Out of: St Lucia (IATA Code: UVF)

* Flights are not included in the trip price.

Important Notes
Joining the boat
  • You will join the boat in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria
  • It is easy to get there from the airport
  • The trip starts at 9:00 AM on the start day, so you will need to be Las Palmas by November 18 2025.
  • The rally starts on Sunday 23rd November 2025 and the days leading up to the start will be packed full on training and prepping of the vessel. You are welcome to stay ashore in the days leading up to the start.
  • You have two options for accommodation on the night before the start date:
    • Stay in a hotel or AirBnB in Las Palmas
    • Alternatively, you can stay onboard the boat from 6:00 PM on a bed & breakfast basis. Select this option during your booking process.
Leaving the boat
  • You will leave the boat in Rodney Bay, St Lucia by 10:00 am on December 19 2025.
General Notes
  • We have a very strong track record of meeting the scheduled end date, with only a few exceptions over a decade of sailing and across hundreds of thousands of miles of sailing. However, given the nature and distance of ocean crossings, we can’t guarantee it and recommend booking flexible onward travel back from St Lucia or at least allowing an extra day in your itinerary as a precaution.
  • You cannot stay on the boat after the trip end date.
  • Once you have booked, we will connect you up with other crew so you can liaise regarding connecting travel, meet up in advance etc.
  • If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
5-Point Pre-Booking Checklist

Before you finalize your booking, we suggest you run through our pre-booking checklist:

  1. Check Flights: Make sure you have found the right flights for your trip. Book them as soon as you have booked your Rubicon 3 trip.
  2. Travel Insurance: Once you’ve booked your trip with us, buy some sailing travel insurance. Read our full guide here.
  3. Passport Validity: Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned return date. Some countries require this for entry, so it’s crucial to check and renew your passport if necessary.
  4. Visas: Most sailors will not require any visas for this trip. However, if you are concerned, check any visa requirements for both your destination and any transit countries. If you do need a visa, processing times can vary, so it’s advisable to apply well in advance of your trip.
  5. Vaccinations and Health Checks: There are no vaccinations required for this trip. Make sure you have an acceptable level of fitness and agility. You can read our guide here. This is for the safety of all on board.
Add Trip Extras

Sub total:

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