It's simple when we show you how.
Don’t worry if you are not an experienced traveller.
This article gives a complete “how to guide” of traveling to your first voyage.
Classic Sailing always plan to start and finish our voyages in ports with good transport connections. Some of the voyages to remoter destinations may be more difficult but the reward when you join the voyage will more than make up for it.
Simple advice for your first time traveling on your own.
- Book your flights through comparison web sites.
- Choose a voyage that is not too demanding on your time or experience.
- Ask us for advice 01872 580022 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Make a Travel Plan – detailed in this article.
- Book hotels in advance, sometimes you can get good deals via your flight booking, but check it out.
- When traveling it is good to talk to people.
- Fellow travellers are excited about where they are going just like you are.
- People providing the travel appreciate bring talked to as they like to be regarded as individuals, just like you do.
- Let someone know where you are. That should be part of your back up plan.
- Don't draw attention to yourself.
- Go with your instinct.
Now read on for the details .....
Before you go
Kit List, Passports, Visas, Safety, Vaccinations and Travel Insurance
Kit list – each vessel has a recommended kit list which is provided on line.
Kit List Advice – We have a fantastic article explaining Kit Lists in more detail
To avoid any last-minute stress, we advise you to contact the local embassies of the countries you will be visiting in your country to find out which travel documents you need. Please start early, obtaining a visa can take some time. It is your responsibility to have the right travel documents for all countries you visit during your stay on board.
If you plan to travel onto other destinations, please check you have a right to stay in the country too as you may be classed as arriving in a country as ‘yacht sailors in transit’ and not have the same rights as a tourist.
You will need to have a passport that runs at least six months beyond your return home date for most countries.
Safety of Countries visited
Security for tourists in certain countries, regions or cities can change rapidly. Please check with your own Government Foreign Office for their latest advice for travelers.
We advise you check if there are any recommended or required vaccinations for the countries you will be visiting well before departure as some vaccinations take more than one injection.
It is compulsory that you have travel insurance to sail on any of our voyages, but you do not have to buy the insurance from us. If you purchase your own please make sure it covers sailing as an activity, and racing if you are racing crew. Most our voyages sail further than 3 miles from the shore so check that you will be covered sailing outside territorial waters.
Topsail Travel Insurance for Sailors
Topsail Insurance have policies designed for sailing crew on yachts or tall ships, whether you want an annual policy or a single trip. These are suitable for UK based sailors but the page also has links to alternative companies and recommended insurance companies for non UK citizens.
The Background to your Travel Plan
Why you need to arrive on time.
All our voyage information state a joining time. The ships plan is based on everyone arriving just before or at that time. This allows the paid crew to have finished preparing and victualing the ship for your voyage and to be on hand to greet you and show you to your accommodation. You may be able to leave your bags with them earlier in the day if you can reach the ship. (Some ships maybe anchored offshore and will send ribs to collect you at the appointed time.)
As on an airplane everyone has to attend a safety briefing and tour of the relevant parts of the ship. It is obviously best if everyone is there at the same time to complete this essential task together in one period. You will be shown how your lifejackets work, where they are stored, what to do in various safety situations etc.
Delayed flights and trains.
All ships realise that delays to your public transport are beyond your control and if you can inform the ship they will suggest how to proceed. It helps if we know your travel plans.
Joining Notes and finding the ship
Joining Notes will be emailed to you before you set out by the ship’s office or Classic Sailing. Last minute changes may be notified to you by your mobile phone. You should have a good idea of the ships location or rendezvous point before you plan your travel.
Getting to the starting port
This is where you work backwards.
Plan to arrive in the port 2 or 3 hours before the joining time if you travel distance is not great, do able in a big morning for instance.
You may find it more economic for longer journeys to arrive the evening before and book overnight accommodation in the joining port. More on accommodation later.
Task 1 – The I’m there leg!
How far from the station airport is it to the port? How long will it take and how frequent is the service?
I can’t answer that but Google can, go to Google Maps and enter your arrival point and the area in the port you want to get to as the destination – get directions. You will get information on walking, public transport and by car which is how long a taxi would take.
From this you will learn how much time to allow to travel to the port.
Don’t forget to add on the time it takes you to collect your baggage and pass through any customs controls.
Action 1 Note down – Time to arrive at Airport or Station
Action 1a Note down – If required how long to get from your accommodation to the ship.
Task 2 – the Big Leg
The big bit of your travel plan.
Now you know the latest time you can arrive at your destination station or airport.
Find your flights and make notes of preferred flight.
It may take more than one flight, just use the same principals and work back to your starting airport or station.
Action 2 Note down the details of your chosen travel service.
If there are two or more legs have you allowed a sensible transfer time?
Task 3 – The Local Leg
Getting to your train or plane.
This will be in your own locality so you should be able to find out about this more easily.
Action 3 Note down your local travel plan.
Task 4 - Make those bookings
Yes this is the scary bit but if you have planned well it will all come to pass as you wish.
Now you have a plan, book your travel in backwards order so that any complications are taken care of.
Travel is one of the worlds biggest industries and a lot of people have a big investment in making it work smoothly for you.
Action 4 Note down your big travel plan.
Task 5 – Return Journey
Repeat in reverse the process for returning home.
Action 5 Note down your return travel plan
Task 5 – The Travel Plan
Action 6 Write up a complete Travel Plan for your journey to the ship and returning home.
- Leave a backup travel plan or email it to a friend or partner.
- You can arrange pre-arrange “safe arrival check points” with your partner so that if you miss a “check point” they can begin to investigate.
- If you have this plan on your person and you become ill it would be very handy for medical staff. But remember to keep it securely.
- Try to keep it all on one sheet of paper, its no good on your phone if no one else can access your phone.
- Your details, mobile/cell phone and email
- Passport details should it become lost
- Visa or permit details
- Any important dietary requirements, allergies, medications and medical notes.
- The name and numbers of the person you have told us to contact in an emergency. (Next of kin details.)
- Credit Card cancelation numbers if you lose your cards, just list by the last four digits of your 16 figure number and the Providers name- (Visa Mastercard etc)
- Your travel/health insurance details
- Name of the policy
- Company provider
- Policy Number
- 24 hour worldwide emergency telephone number
- email contact detail
For each leg note
- flight codes
- ticket numbers or reservation numbers
- extras paid for
- weight restrictions
- other important criteria
- contact email and telephone numbers of the travel providers.
- when and how you can check in
For flights you need to check the following things
- Baggage allowance –
- Under 20 kilos (44 lbs) is possible with care for very cold weather voyages.
- Around 15 kilos (33 lbs) for most other voyages
- You may find your vessel has wet weather gear provided which will save quite a bit of weight.
- Check you are not packing any banned items for aircraft etc.
- Label your baggage with and address that is hidden from the casual observer but if lost it can be returned to you. (I’ve only lost my baggage twice in 40 years of traveling! I got it back later and used my travel insurance to cover the purchase of essential items.)
- See our what to pack article for more information
- Meals – on many economy flights you will either need to take your own food or pay extra for the meals.
- On economy flights it is normally possible to buy refreshments and snacks.
There lots of good accommodation providers online, booking.com, kayak.co. skyscanner.net to mention but a few.
Also look for the official tourist website for your town or city.
Sorry to say but with over 400 ports Classic Sailing are unable to give recommendations for accommodation.
These are the accommodation details to add to your Travel Plan
- Accommodation name
- Date from
- Check in times
- Type of accommodation
- Price your booking company is charging you.
- Any local charges you may be asked to pay.
- Check out date
- Check out time
Many accommodation providers can look after your baggage before checking in and for some time after check out.
- This can give you a chance to explore your location without lugging your baggage around.
Have a great trip and an amazing sailing adventure.
I hope this helps, any questions please give me a call on 01872 58 00 22 and ask for Adam.