For joining Oosterschelde and Blue Clipper, and usually, any ship on the island of Sal see the above map for the port of Palmeira. It is about a 15-minute taxi ride from the airport (€15 approx). If you are staying over on the island before joining your ship, please see advice below on where is best to stay.
Voyages start and end from Palmeira which is a bay and small fishing port on the west of the island, nearer the airport. The large concrete commercial breakwater is cordoned off.
Wait under the shady tree near the bar, Chiosco, near the Chapel 'Capela De Sad Jose' where the local fishermen unload their catch on a little stone jetty. The ship's dinghy will come in to collect you at joining time.
Air & transfers
Fly either with Thompsons from either Gatwick, Birmingham or Manchester. 14 day charter flights are the cheapest if you can get dates that fit your voyage. You will need a few days on Sal to use these. Thomas Cook also offers flight routes.
Or with Portuguese airline TAP which has daily flights from the UK or other European Countries but often go via Lisbon with long stop-overs and arrive late at night.
None are required for Cape Verde. The winds and dry climate mean there are less mosquitos than the Caribbean in the evenings.
Since the 1st January 2019 EU passport holders staying not longer than 30 days will not need a visa.
Please check with your own consulate or embassy for other nationalities.
Everybody entering the country will need to pay a tourist tax of €30
If you are arriving a few days early then the majority of accommodation, beach bars, restaurants and shops are in Santa Maria, it is about a 30 minute taxi ride to Santa Maria from Palmeira and about a 20 minute taxi ride from the airport.
If you want to stay near to the port, then the "Yacht Club Sal" has been personally recommended to us by previous Classic Sailing guests. David and Nelly who run the hotel, do not have a website, but you can see the details on their:
They are also featured on booking.com.
Call them directly on Whatsapp or Viber: 002389952625.
There is an old town and a local population, living in low rise housing, but it has been rather consumed by beach side development and apartments. The town does resemble a building site, but the 3 mile beach still offers a perfect place to unwind before your voyage. The sea is a stunning turquoise with local fishing boats still bringing in a daily catch of wahoo and tuna. There are several fish restaurants on the beach or in the local squares and a couple of harder to find restuarants with quality menus. Many of the hotels are run by Italians or Portuguese and some have small restaurants too. You can buy snacks from small local shops or street vendors.
You can have windsurfing or kite surfing lessons - the conditions are excellent if you are not a beginner - but it is not cheap.
Classic Sailing invites to a private facebook group where you can connect with other sailors who have booked with us. If you want to find a travel companion or share ideas on accommodation options before your trip, then posting a request on this is this is a safer option than our public facebook page. (due to data protection laws we cannot pass on contact details for other sailors on your trip directly)
The currency is the Cape Verdean Escudo or CV Esc which can only be obtained in the islands. You can take Sterling or Euros to exchange. The fixed exchange rate is 110 CV Esc to €1. Euros are widely accepted throughout the islands but be careful as credit cards are not.
Passports and Visas***
*** “Classic Sailing cannot cover every possible visa scenario as customers may have dual nationality, or be working or living in a country different from their passport nationality.
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 same rights as a tourist.
Even if you don’t need a visa, please check your passport expiry date is sufficient for country entry requirements.”***
Travel, Health, Vaccinations and Safety
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 travellers.
UK travellers check under specific destination at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
Likewise we suggest you check if there are any recommended or required vaccinations well before departure as some take more than one jab. For UK travellers check out ‘Fit for Travel’ http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations
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.
Classic Sailing recommend Topsail Insurance http://www.classic-sailing.co.uk/travel-insurance They 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.