• 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: Europe & the Baltic
High

Adventure Rating:
High

Low to some

Experience Required:
Low to some

14 Days from £2,699

Dates, Prices & Travel

Sail to the Canaries using celestial navigation

Set sail on a unique offshore sailing trip from Spain’s Atlantic coastline to the Canary Islands, using only celestial navigation to find your way. Beginning with a two day course on this ancient art (so no prior celestial knowledge is needed) you will head out into the Atlantic Ocean and use the sun, moon, stars and planets to navigate your way 1,000 miles southwest to Gran Canaria. This is the perfect opportunity not just to learn celestial navigation but also to use it for real, all while sailing offshore on a powerful 60′ yacht, with the weather getting warmer every day as you head south to the trade winds.

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

sailing spain to canaries area map
Sailing spain to canaries route map
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.

Celestial Navigation Course

All crew congregate in Spain as we start with two days of intensive theory, learning the fundamentals of celestial navigation. No prior celestial training is required as we will take you from first principles. You will learn how to use the Sun and stars to find your position and how to use the sextant to enable you to do so. There is a lot to learn so these are intensive but fascinating study days.

Training and preparation in the Spanish Rias

Having studied celestial navigation, we turn our attention to the 60′ yachts we will be sailing on and start our training on them. After extensive safety briefings we head out into the Rias and

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.

 

Arrival in the Canary Islands

 

The difference between Rubicon 3 and a yacht charter

This is not a luxury yacht charter vacation on a private yacht but a proper sailing adventure. 

  1. Tailored Experience: Unlike many yacht charters, the Rubicon 3 team works daily to tailor the experience to your interests and skill level. Whether you’re interested in learning advanced sailing techniques, exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations, or focusing on particular activities like snorkeling or fishing, we look to help you achieve it.
  2. Expert Knowledge: Yacht charter companies will send you off with minimal instruction. Rubicon 3 has extensive local knowledge and expertise. We can find hidden gems, secluded anchorages, and the best spots that might be off the radar of the charter companies. This insider knowledge significantly enhances the sailing adventure. 
  3. Learning Opportunities: Sailing this route with Rubicon 3, you don’t need any previous sailing experience. If you’re interested in learning about sailing, navigation, or seamanship, the expert Rubicon 3 instructors ensure a hands-on, educational experience. This is ideal if you see your sailing trip as a vacation and a learning opportunity.

 

 

Dates, Prices & Travel

Start Date & Location

October 27, 2024
Vigo, Spain

End Date & Location

November 9, 2024
Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

Price

£2,699

Deposit

£1,499

Availability

Available

Trip Information

Start Date: October 27, 2024

Start Time: 09:00

Start Country: Vigo, Spain

Start Port: Vigo

Start Marina: TBC

End Date: November 9, 2024

End Time: 10:00

End Country: Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

End Port: Las Palmas

End Marina: Las Palmas

Find Flights For This Trip
Fly Into: Vigo (IATA code: VGO)
Fly Out of: Las Palmas (IATA code: LPA)

* Flights are not included in the trip price.

Important Notes
Joining the boat
  • You will join the boat in Vigo, Spain
  • The nearest airport is Vigo, but you can also fly into Santiago de Compostela (IATA code: SCQ), Porto (IATA code: OPO), or A Coruna (IATA code: LCG)
  • The celestial navigation theory course starts at 9:00 AM on the start day, so you will need to be Vigo by October 26 2024.
  • You have two options for accommodation on the night before the start date:
    • Stay in a hotel or AirBnB in Vigo
    • 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 Las Palmas, Gran Canaria by 10:00 am on November 09 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 offshore passages, we can’t 100% guarantee it. If you are concerned, we recommened booking flexible onward travel back from Gran Canaria 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 2, 2025
Vigo, Spain

End Date & Location

November 15, 2025
Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

Price

£2,699

Deposit

£1,499

Availability

Available

Trip Information

Start Date: November 2, 2025

Start Time: 09:00

Start Country: Vigo, Spain

Start Port: Vigo

Start Marina: Marina TBC

End Date: November 15, 2025

End Time: 10:00

End Country: Las Palmas, Gran Canaria

End Port: Las Palmas

End Marina: Las Palmas Marina

Find Flights For This Trip
Fly Into: Vigo (IATA code: VGO)
Fly Out of: Las Palmas (IATA code: LPA)

* Flights are not included in the trip price.

Important Notes
Joining the boat
  • You will join the boat in Vigo, Spain
  • The nearest airport is Vigo, but you can also fly into Santiago de Compostela (IATA code: SCQ), Porto (IATA code: OPO), or A Coruna (IATA code: LCG)
  • The celestial navigation theory course starts at 9:00 AM on the start day, so you will need to be Vigo by November 01 2025.
  • You have two options for accommodation on the night before the start date:
    • Stay in a hotel or AirBnB in Vigo
    • 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 Las Palmas, Gran Canaria by 09:00 am on November 15 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 offshore passages, we can’t 100% guarantee it. If you are concerned, we recommend booking flexible onward travel back from Gran Canaria 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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