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Oosterschelde Sailing Programme 2020 - Cape Verde & Winter Sun

Cape verde holiday on a three masted schooner

Christmas in the Sun Next Year?

Oosterschelde has just launched her winter sailing programme for 2019-20. This stunning three masted topsail schooner heads South into the tropics to her favourite sailing ground.  Cape Verde is on the same latitude as St Lucia in the Caribbean but a lot drier. The hot sun is tempered by breezy NE trade winds which are great for sailing large tall ships.

Oosterschelde is only offering five 11-day cruises during the winter of 2019-20, which is 3 less than last year so we suggest you book early.

She is great for couples in twin berths or individual bookings in two or 4 person cabins. The voyages offer a mix of active, but comfortable sailing and exploring at least six islands. Each day of sailing will be followed by a full day on the island of destination. At night this 300 ton sailing ship is happy at anchor and sits quite steady in the ocean swell, where smaller yachts would roll. On most islands an excursion with local guides will be organized. Sunscreen and shades are a must when sailing in Cape Verde.

Oosterschelde in the lee of an island. Photo by Arthur Smeets
Oosterschelde in the lee of an island. Photo by Arthur Smeets

The islands of Cape Verde are situated in the Atlantic Ocean, over 600 kilometres west of Senegal at approximately 16 degrees North. Cape Verde consists of 9 inhabited and a few uninhabited islands. The official language is still Portuguese, however most inhabitants speak Creole and sometimes some English or French. Cape Verde has approximately 450.000 inhabitants, a mixture of African ancestries and Portuguese, French and Italian descent. A voyage to Cape Verde is a voyage to Africa. On this voyage we are able to see the most idyllic spots on these tropical islands, but we will also be confronted with the poverty of most of the population.

the locals are used to the ocean swell in Cape Verde
Local boat comes visiting. Photo by Arthur Smeets


Cape Verde has a tropical climate. The sea temperature stays around 25 degrees Celsius and the often-strong Trade winds originate from the northeast. It rarely rains and the bright sun shines constantly. On some days the fine dusty desert sand limits the sunlight (and even your sight). All islands are volcanic, but at the same time the terrain varies widely. The landscape consists of steep terrace fields with bananas and coffee plantations, sand deserts, black volcano’s and a fierce deep blue ocean. On some of the islands rare seabirds can be found. The waters are full of fly-fish, tuna, sea turtles and whales.


Trade winds in Cape Verde are typically force 4-7
Trade winds in Cape Verde are typically force 4-7. Photo Arthur Smeets

Recommended by Classic Sailing Office Staff

We think the islands of Santiago, Sao Antao, St Nicholas, St Vincent and Boa Vista are refreshingly unspoilt with hard working people, surprisingly lush vegetation and an African vibe very different from the Caribbean. The island of Sal is a bit barren and the only island most tourists ever see, but has excellent kite surfing beaches and package flights from all over Europe.

In Classic Sailing Office three of us have chosen Oosterschelde in Cape Verde for our own holidays.

Adam and Debbie spent Christmas there in 2010.

Becky Prizeman sailed on her as deckhand more recently in Cape Verde in February 2018.

Obviously a favourite with those of us 'in the know' about what makes a good sailing charter, the Chief Executive of the RYA and her boyfriend also chose historic sailing ship Oosterschelde in Cabo Verde for a New Year holiday a few years ago.


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