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Sail across the English Channel

Sail across the English Channel

Coastal Sailing



Sail from England to France and the Channel Islands on our super English Channel special

This is a fantastic opportunity to experience the thrill of sailing across the Channel from England to France. You will get to explore some of the French coast, sail to the Channel Islands and then re cross the Channel back to England.  Lots of training, build your experience and have a fantastic week of sailing. If you're a beginner you can earn your RYA Competent Crew certificate.

Route Map Image

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: March 28 2021. Portsmouth, UK
  • End date / place: April 07 2021. Falmouth, UK
  • Full price: £999
  • Deposit: £400


  • Start date / place: May 31 2021. Portsmouth, UK
  • End date / place: June 11 2021. Portsmouth, UK
  • Full price: £1,299
  • Deposit: £520


  • Start date / place: June 01 2021. Portsmouth, UK
  • End date / place: June 11 2021. Falmouth, UK
  • Full price: £999
  • Deposit: £400



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 for our English Channel sailing holiday. Please note that some routes end in Falmouth while others finish in Portsmouth. This may lead to very slight differences in the itinerary but the wind and the weather ultimately shape what’s possible each day!

Joining day, training and a sail to the Isle of Wight

Join the boat by 0900hrs on the start day. Get your belongings packed away and relax. There’s plenty of things to do in the future but right now it’s about meeting the crew, getting your bags packed away and we’ll do lots of safety briefings. In the afternoon, we’ll slip lines and head out into the Solent to learn all about the essential skills and drills, tacking and gybing, and general sailing manoeuvres. We’ll stop in Cowes on the Isle of Wight that evening for a crew meal in the local pub.

Sailing west to Poole, Dorset

Today we’ll make the lovely sail 30nm west to Poole. This gives us a great opportunity to build our experience as individuals and as a crew. We’ll pass the iconic needles as we go and should be mooring up along the harbour wall in time for a lovely dinner on board and with time to walk the seafront.

Off across the English Channel to Cherbourg

It’s a good 60nm across the Channel to the French coast, so we have a full day of sailing ahead of us. Due south, we have to find our way across some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. You can be guaranteed to see huge cargo ships passing ahead and to astern of us, and our 60′ expedition yacht will be in her element as we speed through these famous waters. The tides can reach 9 knots as we approach the coast of France so it’s superb navigation exercise, too, and soon you’ll be piloting us into this famous French port.

Cherbourg to Alderney, the Channel Islands

Today we’ll make the shorter 40nm sail to Alderney, one of the famous Channel islands. Once more our departure time is totally governed by the incredibly powerful tides. As we round the cape, we will be flung west at up to 10 knots, so we can expect to make very good time! This is a beautiful island, shaped by the sea with breathtaking scenery, unspoilt beaches and an easy pace of life. We may spend a day here to explore ashore

Alderney to Guernsey

Just 18 nm or so today as we head to the island of Guernsey, another wonderful island to explore. We will try to get to hilly St Peter Port, with its cobbled streets and Regency architecture and surely one of the prettiest harbour towns in Europe. There is also Castle Cornet, the 800-year-old fortress that guards the harbour and Hauteville House, eccentrically designed by its one-time owner Victor Hugo.

Explore Guernsey

It might be time for a day ashore by now, so whether it’s Guernsey, Jersey, Alderney or another of the islands, the Channel Islands are a great place to have a wander ashore and enjoy the various attractions.

Sail across the Channel to the west country (or Portsmouth depending on dates)

Our final day of sailing and once again we set off across the English Channel for the south coast of England. It’s another 60nm passage, so we should be sailing for another 9-10 hours and once more the boat will be under the maximum sail possible to ensure a really exhilarating passage.

Packing up and saying goodbye

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).


  • You should join and leave the boat in Portsmouth at 1000hrs on the joining day and 1700hrs on the leaving day



  • Portsmouth has a mainline rail station at Portsmouth Harbour which is around a 90-minute train ride from London and has a direct rail link to London Gatwick Airport. (LON). It is also around the same journey time to London Heathrow although this is not a direct train line. Coaches terminate at the Hard Interchange next to the railway station.


  • Falmouth has trains and buses running to London Paddington, and Newquay Cornwall Airport (IATA code: NQY) is also nearby.


These adventure sailing holidays are open to anyone aged 18 – 70 years. No previous sailing experience is required for this route


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 you 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.

  • 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.