Berths and voyage availability
IDEAL VOYAGE FOR...
Sail to the start of the Tall Ships Races 2019 and enjoy a mile-building adventure over the top of Scotland and across the North Sea along the Limfjord and finishing in Aalborg. As you make your way out of Oban, there will be plenty of opportunity to explore the Outer Hebridean island, before sailing through the Pentland Firth and past the Orkneys.
- Opportunities to explore the Western Isles
- Over the top of Scotland and the UK
- North sea crossing
- Sail along the Limfjord to the cultural Danish city of Aalborg.
- Island hopping and milebuilding in one voyage.
- No need to worry about previous experience or coming on your own.
FULL VOYAGE DESCRIPTION
Begin in Oban, the gateway to Scotland's Western Isles exploring the Hebrides and possible islands such as Skye, Canna, Rum, Eigg and Muck, before sailing through the Minches and exploring ashore wherever practical.
Where do we go ?
Each voyage is usually a mix of a couple of longer passages where you sail through the night, and shorter hops between ports or a scenic anchorage. Once at sea you are part of a watch so only on duty for 4 hours and then the next watch takes over. Watch duty day or night involves trimming sail and steering the ship under the stars and the watchful eye of the professional deck officers and voluntary watch leaders. Some manoeuvres require 'all hands' to brace the yards or take in sail. Sometimes the ships boats are launched when sailing along in settled weather so you can take a photo of the ship under sail. There are often lectures on board to teach you more about sailing square riggers.
The Pentland Firth and the Orkneys
If you have never sailed through the Pentland Firth you have an exciting experience ahead of you. The tides are strong as the North Sea fights the Atlantic for dominance around Cape Wrath, near John O'Groats, the most northerly headland of mainland Scotland.
Rounding the top of the UK, it may be possible to call into Kirkwall on the Orkneys but it all depends on the weather, timing and the Captain's decision on how well the voyage is progressing.
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, but you have to go with Mother Nature, not fight her.
Once over the top of the UK, it will be time to start the 500 nautical mile passage across the North Sea and along the Limfjord and into the final stop of Aalborg. This crossing is around five days of sailing.
Aalborg has had a love affair with The Tall Ships Races since 1999 where the city hosted the event for the first time. In 2004, 2010 and 2015 Aalborg once again had the honor and pleasure of being host port. All of the events have been highlights in the history of Aalborg.
Situated at the Liim Fiord where it was founded by Vikings more than 1000 years ago Aalborg is both a historic and modern city. These days the port has been transformed into a recreative oasis where parks, restaurants and cultural attractions which in addition to the Limfjord make for a very popular place for guests and citizens alike.
You will be arriving into Denmark for two nights in port to join in the festivities as the Tall Ship Races 2019 begin. The fleet of tall ships will arrive together on the first night (3rd July) and the following evening will be full of crew parades and crew parties. A great way to celebrate your achievement of bringing this ship all the way from Scotland and across the North Sea.
Why not book another nights stay in Aalborg and enjoy the last day of the festivities and fireworks displays taking place in the port before making your way home?
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.
- Skipper & professional crew
- Personal Safety Equipment
- Sailing Instruction
- All meals, snacks and refreshments
- Port and landing fees
- Linen and duvets
- Third Party liability insurance
- Waterproofs and Rubber Boots
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- Travel to Joining Port
- Travel from end port
- Alcoholic Drinks
- Personal Travel Insurance
For joining your vessel in Oban, the North Pier in the map shown below will be the best place to meet the crew. Your vessel will either be tied up alongside the wall, or out at anchor. Make sure you take a note of the ship's number found in your confirmation in case of any problems on the day.
Getting to Oban
ScotRail has trains for Oban that also leave from Buchanan Street Station.
Head up the A82 from Glasgow and keep going all the way past Loch Lomond. When you get to Tyndrum turn to port (left) onto the A85 for Oban. Find the North Quay and then further into Town and near Tesco you will find secure parking at Oban Car Hire which does have to be paid for. Please call 01631 566476 for opening times and charges.
Other Parking Options:
Since 2018 there is now no long stay Council Parking or free car parking. Please let us know if you find anywhere that might be suitable for sailors on an Oban to Oban voyage
There are private secure car parks for a fee.
For larger vehicles like motor homes, the Visitor Centre suggests contacting the following companies for parking:
Stoddards Campsite - offers parking
Hazel Bank Motors (otherwise known as Oban Car Hire) - offers car parking www.obancarhire.co.uk
McQueen's Self Storage - offers car parking
CityLink offer connections from Glasgow Buchanan Street train and Bus Station and Glasgow Airport.
Oban has been described as one of the most scenic travel destinations. The sheltered port of Oban (“little bay” in Gaelic) is surrounded by views of earth, sea and sky, which have enthralled artists, authors, composers, and poets for centuries.
Known as the gateway to Argyll and the Western Isles, Oban is the perfect origin for your own journey to discover the enchantment of the west coast of Scotland. Oban has always been known as the traveller’s rest. As a small town with a resident population of 8,500 this unofficial capital of the West Highlands often swells with large numbers of visitors.
Oban is renowned for its glorious gardens, its fabulous views, the ocean promenade, islands all around, ancient monuments and castles, and outdoor activities such as diving, hiking, fishing, bird-watching – even whale spotting - especially from pilot cutters and tall ships. Queen Victoria visited the town and gave it the royal seal of approval when she described it as "one of the finest spots we have seen".
There are lots of places to stay in Oban, The Official Oban Tourist Office has the best local directory.
Make sure you have a note of the ship's number for any joining problems on the day, the exact location may not be known until a day or two before joining. If in doubt, call the ship's mobile on the day of joining or use the ship's tracker to locate the ship.
The city of Aalborg is served by Aalborg Airport. This is the third largest airport in Denmark, and is situated 6km from the centre of Aalborg.
There are regular buses between the airport and the city and taxi services from the airport.
Norwegian Air seem to offer the best value for money on flights to Aalborg and also offer the most choice. There are direct International flights from several UK airports.
Visit Aalborg is aa very useful source of information for getting around.
Classic Sailing are not able to assist you in getting to or from your joining and finishing ports, but we do recommend either Skyscanner or Dial-a-Flight as good starting points for your travel arrangements.
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)
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.