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Mini Ocean Voyage and learn Astro Navigation

Join Blue Clipper in Horta, a true ocean sailors port with the wall paintings of hundreds of passing sailing ships drawn with pride on the enduring sea wall. This mini ocean voyage has all the right ingredients of ocean sailing without the long haul flights. try your hand at understanding astro navigation and taking sights with a sextant, or just enjoy the big deep blue until you arrive on the Algarve Coast of Portugal Portimao is Blue Clipper's regular refit port so it is a homecoming too.

Embark
Thu, 07-05-2020 - 14:00
Horta, Azores
Disembark
Mon, 18-05-2020 - 10:00
Portimão
Duration
11 Days
Vessel
Blue Clipper
Voyage No.
BC070520

Berths and voyage availability

TYPE: 4 Berth Cabin Per Person. AVAILABILITY: Not available. PRICE: 900 GBP. BOOK NOW
TYPE: 2 Berth Ensuite Cabin Per Person. AVAILABILITY: Not available. PRICE: 1,100 GBP. BOOK NOW

Blue Clipper - Azores to Portugal

IDEAL VOYAGE FOR...

Those looking for a proper ocean passage without long haul flights or weeks off work. Budding navigators who want to learn Astro Navigation where you can fix your position with a sextant by taking sun sights, star fixes or other planets. Romantics and solo travellers who are happy to be trained to be competent guest crew on an ocean voyage, working alongside the professional crew. Actually you don't need an excuse. Ocean sailing is a way of life away from the worries of the world.

Learn all about sailing a tall ship, work in a watch system, help to navigate the ocean, climb the rigging, mend a sail and get into the rhythm of ocean sailing. A great voyage for the career sailor too with plenty of miles, warm weather and seamanship skills to be learnt on deck and aloft. 

VOYAGE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Atlantic crossing
  • explore the Azores
  • Bring Blue Clipper back to Portugal
  • Learn Celestial Navigation
  • Night sailing 
  • good milebuilding and ocean sailing experience
Blue Clipper bow sprit

FULL VOYAGE DESCRIPTION

Sail the Atlantic from Horta in the Azores to Portugal on this mini ocean adventure on this beautiful three masted expedition tall ship. 

You really don't need any sailing experience as the professional and experienced crew will run through everything from safety drills to how to pull ropes efficiently, find the right halliard or steer the 144ft schooner. You don't even have to be super strong just bags of enthusiasm to sail a traditional ocean voyager. 

A Mini Atlantic Ocean Passage

The Azores has a rich maritime history and has always been a stopping off point for sailors sailing back across the Atlantic from the Caribbean.  The exposed tips of vast underwater mountains, the Azores lie on the nexus of the European, American and African tectonic plates, and they bear witness to the forces forever shaping our planet. This is a world of fumaroles, mudpots and scalding springs; of caverns, columns and grottoes formed from once molten rock; of blue lakes ringed by forests of laurel and cedar, and green pastures patterning the slopes of calderas.

The Azores is lush with waterfalls and crater lakes
The Azores is lush with waterfalls and crater lakes

Hotspot for dolphins & migrating whales

Leaving the Azores behind,  Blue Clipper will set sail again for the final leg of her journey to Portimao on the Algarve coast of Portugal. This is her home port for refits in the sunshine.  On this voyage, you will be very unlikely not to see dolphins and whale sightings as you crusade through the ocean.  Just imagine, waking up in your cabin after your watch to the smell of freshly cooked bread and one of the crew members alerting everyone that a pod of dolphins are playing along the side of the ship! Grab that camera and get on deck! 

 

Humpback whales migrate past the Azores

Try Astro Navigation

The great thing about ocean passages that are not in particularly rough or cloudy latitudes, is that you can have a go at sun sight or even star sights. Its a dying art, unless you are a Merchant Navy officer, but if the GPS satellites were turned off, using a sextant and accurate watch would be the only way to establish the ships position. Blue Clipper always carries a sextant or two and almanacs so you can give it a go, but on this voyage they are particularly keen to introduce celestial navigation to those interested.

taking a sun sight with a sextant on Blue Clipper
taking a sun sight with a sextant on Blue Clipper

Arriving on mainland Europe there will be a whole host of mixed emotions as the voyage comes to an end. Once ashore, those emotions can be toasted to celebrate new achievements and friends! 

WINDS, WAVES & WEATHER

Sailing from  the Azores to Portugal, Portimao is well over 900 nautical miles and covers some of the best places in the world to see dolphins and whales. The voyage starts off as a true blue water passage with ocean swells and a nice climate and chance to gain a tan.  The Azores high pressure can keep conditions pretty stable, but it can move.

HANDS ON HOLIDAYS

Whether you are an experienced sailor or a complete beginner, the professional crew will train you to be guest crew from the moment you arrive, with the intention that everybody works together to sail the ship. The common thread to all Classic Sailing holidays is ‘Hands on’ participation on ships that use ropes, blocks and tackles and ‘people power’ to set sail.

SAILING STYLE & LIFE ON BOARD

We cater for a wide range of ages and physical abilities and how much you are expected to do varies a bit between vessels. See the vessel tab above which explains all about the ‘sailing style’ and what to expect in terms of hands on participation. There is a lot of information about day to day life, the ships facilities and accommodation on the vessel pages.

AGILITY & FITNESS

Every customer sailing with us will need to fill in basic medical questions on their booking application. If you are not sure if your current level of fitness and agility are up to a voyage, then please ring the Classic Sailing Office on 01872 58 00 22 and we can chat through your concerns and possibly find options that might suit you better.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Skipper & professional crew
  • Personal Safety Equipment
  • Sailing Instruction
  • All meals, snacks and refreshments
  • Port and landing fees
  • Linen and duvets
  • Third Party liability insurance

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

  • Travel to Joining Port
  • Travel from end port
  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • Towels
  • Waterproofs

 

 

Horta, Azores

Latest port updates

The ships exact location in port is often controlled by the port authorities and they will only allocate a docking position a few days before. 

Any changes will be communicated to you before your voyage start date. Make sure you make a note of the ship's number found in your confirmation email in case of any problems on the day.

Horta harbour is approximately 10km from the airport on the island of Faial, Azores.

How to get here

Air & transfers

Horta Airport (HOR) on Faial is the airport to fly into, to join our voyages in The Azores. Regular flights link Lisbon to Faial and flights take about 2 hours. SATA, the regional airline, flies daily to Horta from S. Miguel and Terceira.

Getting Around

Horta is also a port of call for a ship that carries passengers and cargo between the Portuguese mainland and the islands. Rental cars, taxis and local bus lines are all options for getting around the island. The main bus stop in Horta is at Avenida Marginal. Minibuses cover the central area of Horta.

We would recommend taking a taxi to the harbour, and would advise that you fix the price before you depart. That way there won't be any surprises.

Places to stay, Things to do, Travel companions

Horta is used by transatlantic sailors as a good safe place to break their journey. This is reflected in the cosmopolitan feel to the town, and the many paintings that are now infamous in and around the harbour.

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)

Your travel responsibilities

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

Travel Insurance

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.

Top Sail Sailing Insurance

We are pleased to advise that Topsail Insurance Ltd offer Tall Ships Travel Insurance Policies with security provided by Canopius Underwriting Limited on behalf of Syndicate 4444 at Lloyd’s of London.

Topsail’s policies are tailor-made for tall ship holidays, whether pilot cutter, ketch, lugger or tall ship, and have no restrictions as to how far offshore you can sail including Antarctica. 

Link to Topsail Insurance

 

Portimão, Portugal

Portimão, Portugal
Latest port updates

For joining Blue Clipper or Maybe: Porto de Portimao, Doca Pesca, 8400-278 Parchal, Portimao is the provisional joining location. Any changes to this starting location will be sent to you by email.

How to get here

By Road & Parking

The easiest way to get from the airport to your ship is by Hoppa transfer with a shared shuttle service. Hoppa transfer service link. The distance from Faro to Portimão is 63 km and takes just over an hour. 

Rail & transfers

It's possible to catch the train to Portimão depending on where you are travelling from. From Faro airport you could catch the bus to the train station from just outside the arrivals door for a small cost, from there the train would take you to the centre of Portimão and a short walk across the river would bring you to your ship. 

Air & transfers

The closest airport to Portimão is Faro Airport with many budget airlines arriving from the UK and Portugal daily. The easiest way to get to Faro Airport is via Hoppa Transfer

Discount airlines

There are many airlines flying into Faro from the UK and Portugal, such as Ryanair, Jet 2 and EasyJet. 

Feeling Guilty? - Carbon Offsetting Schemes

How can you travel to Portugal without setting foot on a plane? You can reach Portugal by train all the way from London, plan your journey and arrive in Portimão in time for your voyage. There is much information online by other people who have travelled to the Algarve this way and Eurostar tickets and prices are easy to come by. 

Places to stay, Things to do, Travel companions

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)

Your travel responsibilities

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

Travel Insurance

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, further information can be found here. 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.

Kit List for Blue Clipper

Becalmed mid ocean on Blue Clipper

 Included

  • Sailing Instruction 
  • Safety Equipment (Life jackets and harnesses)
  • All meals to include cooked breakfast, lunch, two course evening dinner and refreshments throughout the day.
  • Bed linen, duvet 

What is Not Included

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Towels
  • Travel to and from the start and end port
  • Optional trips or tours taken ashore unless otherwise stated
  • Alcoholic Beverages , but there is a TAB system onboard so you can purchase drinks from the bar. 

What to Bring

In Europe, on transatlantic trips or in the Arctic warm and waterproof clothing is very important, as it can get very cold during sailing, especially at night, even in the summer. A waterproof and windproof jacket is recommended to help keep warm and dry. Waterproof rubber soled boots or shoes are also recommended to keep your feet dry and warm. It is a good idea to bring two pairs of shoes in case one gets wet!

In the Caribbean or on ocean passages in the tropics, then a lighter waterproof jacket should be fine. Waterproof trousers are probably not needed if you have several pairs of shorts. You can get occasional torrential rain in the Caribbean but it is short lived and clothes dry quickly (if it is only rain water on them and not a large dollop of salt water). 

Please remember that space on board is limited and pack accordingly. Pack comfortable and practical clothing for all weather circumstances, the key is layers!! It is recommended to pack in a soft bag that can be easily stored away as there is no room on board for suitcases. Electricity on board is European 2 pin sockets, please be sure to bring any adaptors you may need. 

LAUNDRY

We are able to do laundry on longer passages, depending on the sea conditions. If you would like to do laundry on board please speak to the hospitality manager or stewardess on board. The fee for laundry service is £5 per load. Please note that the ship's operators do not accept liability for damage to clothing caused by this service.

Passports, Visas and Insurance

If you voyage is sailing in foreign waters, you will require a full passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the end of the voyage. You will be responsible for obtaining any necessary visas.

We have Third Party Liability Insurance and recommend all those sailing with us to take out relevant travel insurance to cover their voyage. 

Medical Conditions and Special Diets

Please inform us in advance of any medical conditions you have and medication which you might need to bring with you. If you have any special dietary requirements it is essential you inform us prior to your voyage. We will make every effort to cater for all diets with prior notice.

Personal Items

This is a list of the items we recommend you bring with you.

  • Warm hat and gloves (or sun hat and very good sunglasses for Caribbean)
  • Wet weather clothing – waterproof and windproof jacket and trousers for Europe.  (Caribbean - a waterproof jacket for occasional tropical downpours)
  • Clothing – enough clothing for all weather circumstances (think layers for Europe or cotton for tropics)
  • In Caribbean you might need long sleeves and trousers against sunburn or mosquitos ashore in evening (or a good repellant).
  • Trainers or deck shoes (2 pairs handy if not bringing boots)
  • Toiletries
  • Towels
  • Sun cream
  • Sunglasses
  • Sea sickness medication
  • Personal medication
  • Book
  • Small torch (head torches are good!)
  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Log book (if you have one)
  • Valid passport (voyages outside the UK)
  • Travel insurance
Off

Blue Clipper Reviews

Blue Clipper

Blue Clipper - Customer Comments

Excellent!

What did you think of the safety briefing?

Excellent

 

What did you think of the accommodation onboard?

Excellent

 

Did you have enough personal attention?

Excellent

 

Did you think of the Captain/Skipper and the paid crew?

Excellent

 

What did you think of the food quality?

Excellent

 

How was the sailing?

Just right

 

Did you have any rough weather?

Some

 

Did you feel the voyage had?

A good mix of sailing and ashore.

 

What was the best bit?

The first 2 days in F 5-6 & getting 12 knots in parts

 

What was the worst bit?

I can't think of any worst bits, it was all brilliant

 

Why do you sail? It really helps us to know your specific reasons.

It's just great fun

 

Any other comments

Looking forward to another trip sometime

By Dave 

More Adventurous than Visiting Tourist Traps

What did you think of the safety briefing?

Excellent

 

What did you think of the accommodation onboard?

Excellent

 

Did you have enough personal attention?

Excellent

 

Did you think of the Captain/Skipper and the paid crew?

Excellent

 

What did you think of the food quality?

Excellent

 

How was the sailing?

Just right

 

Did you have any rough weather?

Some

 

Did you feel the voyage had?

A good mix of sailing and ashore.

 

What was the best bit?

Seeing whales, exploring the tiny fishing towns of northern Iceland or visiting the Faroes

 

What was the worst bit?

Got a tad seasick

 

Why do you sail? It really helps us to know your specific reasons.

I enjoy doing something a bit different and more adventurous than the usual tourist traps when I'm travelling

Thanks Charlotte B for the feedback! Summer 2019

 

Guest Photo feedback from Liverpool to Ullapool trip 2019
Shiant Islands

What was the best bit?

The views generally, but views of Scottish islands in the sun and /or covered in dramatic clouds were spectacular. The Shiant islands were an amazing place to stop and get off the boat (careful not to disturb the birds though). Another highlight was dolphins swimming alongside. The crew were wonderful.

 

What was the worst bit?

Finishing the voyage and heading home. - voyage feedback from Liverpool to Ullapool 2019

Scottish Islands
Spotting an Orca!

Over the first couple of days we got to go out onto the bowsprit with a member of the crew. It was wonderful to sit there and watch the sea stretch for miles ahead, and see the whole boat behind us. The best bit came a few days later when I got to go out on the bowsprit again but this time to help bring down some sails. The seas were a little choppier this time round, but wrestling the jibs against the winds was truly exhilarating!

Best bit? Spotting an Orca on the 4am watch, off the coast of Ireland. Plenty of dolphins, and my first great skua. The last day was a fantastic sail, beautiful weather, perfect conditions, (we had an awful lot of rain) The crew were super; friendly, supportive, good fun, and professional. They obviously get on well together, which makes a huge difference. They were particularly helpful in an unobtrusive way, bearing in mind that I have one arm. I can't praise them highly enough - guest crew from Liverpool to Scotland 2019. 

Remote Islands

I sailed this time because I never had and wanted to try something new. When I was 11 I had read Swallows and Amazons and had become a little obsessed with the idea of sailing, but I couldn't sail then. So part of me wanted to give my 11 year old self a gift! I will be sailing more now that I've experienced it. In particular I enjoyed the large amounts of learning on board the vessel. I loved learning about knots, the weather, the stars, course plotting, the different lines and sails. I also like the idea of visiting remote islands, and sailing seems like a good way to do that over the next couple of years. Visiting the Pacific Islands would be particularly exciting! Ludo T 30 March 2019

Guiness - Whisky

I thoroughly enjoyed the voyage with Steve, Emma and their crew. We were well looked after, the cabins were warm, the beds comfortable, the food was great. Particularly Emma was very keen to get us involved and to increase our boating/sailing knowledge. the hospitality was phenomenal. The boat is clearly well looked after and the crew function well as a team. they went out of their way to teach us Gaelic, Scottish songs (much appreciated!) and organise day trips on land. Victoria Janes (Guinness – Whisky TS Blue Clipper)

Crew were amazing!

Just a quick note to say that myself and Marika really enjoyed our trip. The staff were amazing so please do pass on my thanks especially to Ezmay for her amazing food (although have gone up about two dress sizes in about a week!) and to the two Kats and Katie who really looked after us. The scenery was also out of this world. – Vicky Adnitt (Guinness – Whisky TS Blue Clipper)

Blue Clipper on the horizon

Thank you for providing one of the best experiences of my life. It was too short, guess I will need to do more voyages. - (J Whistler, 2018)

Best bits: Taking the helm and holding the ship to the wind as we ripped along. Working with ropes and being part of a team. (M Lewis)

 

What was the best bit?

It's hard to choose one best part as it was a wonderful trip with a lovely crew. But if pushed I would say going out on the bow sprit with the sun shining and the turquoise sea below my feet - definitely the best place be when sailing.

What was the worst bit?

Discovering for the first time in my life that I do actually suffer from seasickness. Boooo

Why do you sail?

I sail primarily to see the world in a different way, to slow down and arrive in ports they way they are intended to be seen. I like going to parts of the world not primarily to sit around, but to be active and for the journey to be as important (or more important) than the destination. And to sail tallships is always to be smug about arriving on the best vessel in the bay :)" - Jan B - Caribbean voyage

Blue Clipper in the sunset by Jan Broderick - Guest crew in the Caribbean
Blue Clipper in the sunset by Jan Broderick - Guest crew in the Caribbean
Off

Itinerary

On a sailing voyage, we never use the word itinerary, as skippers will always be aiming for the best sailing and shore landings for the forecast and most idyllic or sheltered anchors and ports. They are as keen as you to include some of the highlights described above, but you have to go with Mother Nature, not fight her.

Visas and Vaccinations

Classic sailing is unable to be an expert for advice on visas and vaccinations for customers traveling outside their own country.

Please seek advice relating to your nationality traveling to the countries of your voyage from the country you will be setting off from and returning to.

Passports

In most instances, you will need a passport that expires six months or more after your return to your home country.

What others say about us

CURRENT AVERAGE   4.6 STARS
249 REVIEWS

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