Join our mailing list

Help me choose!

Advanced sailing course in Norway – Passage Making Masterclass

Advanced sailing course in Norway – Passage Making Masterclass


August 30 – September 13 2020 (£2,099)

Bodo to Alesund. 05 – 19 September 2021. £2,099




A superb sailing course along the coast of Norway that will transform your existing sailing qualifications into real world skills.

Once you have your RYA or ASA qualifications, it is hard to take the next step into skippering your own passages with no instructor on board to guide you. Added to that, skills fade without constant use. For a great many sailors with their RYA Day Skipper or Yachtmaster, that jump has not been made and there is no obvious way to progress. The Rubicon 3 Passage Making Masterclass was designed to address this exact problem. You will spend two weeks with our leading expedition skippers refreshing your previous skills, learning new techniques and getting huge amounts of real world skills and experience in real life challenges.

Make sure you check out the 'MORE ABOUT THE MASTERCLASS' tab below for more details

Sailing location image
Route Map Image

This is a typical itinerary. What makes a Passage Making Masterclass so special, however, is that there can be no fixed itinerary with long distance sailing and so this is indicative only. The wind and the weather ultimately shape what’s possible each day but everything is very flexible within that.

Day 1: Joining day

Join the boat between 1200 and 2000hrs (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 to do in the future but right now it’s about relaxing, finding your way around the boat and enjoying the surroundings.

Day 2: Briefings and training

Today is all about getting up to speed with the boat. Whatever your previous experience, 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 course. By lunchtime we should be casting off the lines, hoisting the sails and working through all the key sailing manoeuvres. By the end of the day everyone on board should feel comfortable with the yacht – even though there will be more to learn and practice every day. We will probably anchor in a gorgeous spot just west of Bodø.

Day 3: Intensive theory

From chart work to COLREGs, this is going to be a really intensive session where we evaluate your current skills set and push you to higher standards. It is always a very supportive environment, though, and at no time will you be left to flounder. This is about pushing you hard to improve, not showing anyone up. Most of all, we know the areas people usually struggle or aren’t that confident in… and that’s where we’ll go straight to! We’ll be sailing along while we do this, but come the evening you will be ready for a cold beer!

Days 4-8: Passages and exercises

The Norwegian coast has an almost limitless number of channels, islands, anchorages and ports. Every day you will be asked to take the boat from one area to the next, to decide where is safe to go and to be able to explain why. There will be lots of anchoring, parking, manoeuvring and tidal calculations to contend with. In the evenings, when we have parked up for the night, you will be asked to present on a topic or run an exercise. Don’t worry, with near 24-hour sunlight, there’s still time after this get the fishing rod out, have a cold beer and take in the beauty of this area.

Days 9-10: Extended passage

At some point during the course you will undertake an extended passage. You will experience sailing in a watch system 24 hours a day, with all the challenges that entails. It is a different skill set and mindset to day sailing and you will gain the critical skills and experience in this type of sailing.

Day 12-13: Sailing and exploring

By this stage, you will all have made huge gains in your seamanship and the skipper and mate will be sitting back and letting you make the plans and run the boat. This is still great learning as making the decisions is when you really have to think about what to do and why. It’s also a time to relax a little and just enjoy the sailing and exploring of this amazing place – this is a sailing holiday, after all! We will pull into Alesund on the afternoon of the penultimate day, giving us the opportunity to have a last fun night out as a group.

Day 14: 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 (if you need to catch a ferry or flight, you can leave as early as you need to on the leaving day, though we rather you don’t).


  • You should join the boat in Bodø harbour by 1000hrs on the start day. We will ask you closer to the time to let us know your travel details. The boat will be about 1 mile away from the airport.
  • You will disembark the boat in Alesund, Norway at 1200 hrs on the end day. The boat is a short taxi ride from the airport.


  • Bodø airport (IATA code: BOO) is well served by SAS and Norwegian airlines.
  • Alesund airport (IATA code: AES) is also well served by SAS and Norwegian airlines.

Airline websites




The Passage Making Masterclass™ is open to everyone aged 18 years and over who has the RYA Day Skipper qualification or above. (International  equivalents are accepted).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.


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.

See more information and the full kit list here


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 on board 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.

See the Medical Declaration here


  • 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.


Intensive training and skills development. Full days of sailing and some overnight passages. Some time to head ashore and explore.


  • Top quality 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.


  • 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 read the Trip Notes before booking.

    Terms & Conditions

    What do you do with a rusty Day Skipper? After a year or so has passed, the skills you had begin to fade and suddenly you find you haven’t sailed for a few years and the confidence has gone. Alternatively, you may have got to Coastal or Offshore Yachtmaster. These are great qualifications to have but 90% of those who achieve them still have very limited real time experience. The Passage Making Masterclass is all about getting you a rapid increase in skills and experience, so that you can pass those higher level sailing qualifications or go off and charter yachts and take on more challenging passages with extra confidence. The syllabus includes:














    Most yachts these days have radar but few amateur sailors have the skills to use this invaluable tool properly. As part of your Passage Making Masterclass, you will look at how to set up the radar  and how to use it both to aid collision avoidance and for pilotage in poor visibility.














    Pilotage is both technique and art form. Entering a foreign port late at night in bad weather when the crew is tired can be a very taxing exercise. Similarly, weaving one’s way through rocks to a small anchorage. We will show you the techniques we use to produce simple, easy to follow pilotage guides that work.














    Helming is so much more than holding a steady course. With every slight change in wind speed, apparent wind direction changes and you need to be wise to these shifts and have some techniques for how to gauge and react to them. More than anything, you need to learn to minimise your inputs.














    Anchoring is a skill that many people are nervous to try which is a great shame as it completely transforms one’s cruising range and a night at anchor can be  a truly special experience. We’ll explain what size anchor you should be carrying, what type of anchor, how much chain and rope and what sea beds to anchor in. You’ll also learn how to anchor and how to ensure you stay safe through the night.














    Should you file paperwork before leaving your home country and if so, what? What is one expected to do on arrival in a foreign port and when? What paperwork needs to be carried or shown? We give you the detailed low down on what is required and when.














    There is a world of difference between a classroom exercise on a Day Skipper course and proper, good quality passage planning. We will bring you a level of practical techniques that will help you sail safely from A to B.














    Dealing safely with commercial shipping is an essential skill. Cargo vessels are big, fast and dangerous. Yet, they are only 1-200metres long and 40 metres wide. There is no need to end up in front of them! We will help you translate collision regulations learnt by heart into practical skills.














    We’ll help you get to grips with this so that you can maximise the performance of your sails. Which sail do you trim first? Is twist important, What do those cars do? Lots of questions and we’ll explain everything in clear simple lessons .














    Previously you may have been taught about how low pressure systems form and that’s great. What we’ll teach you is really up to date, practical weather skills. You’ll compare weather apps, learn about their strengths and weaknesses and get familiar with the various official weather sources, too.


    Yes. For our Passage Making Masterclasses we ask that you have a minimum of RYA Day Skipper or ASA103. It doesn’t matter if they are very rusty – this is what this course is all about!


    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!


    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 sail the boat safely, but you will still have lots of time helming, navigating, trimming sails and such like.


    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!


    We have a remarkably similar group of people who join all our trips. They come from all over 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.


    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.