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Orkney’s Explorer – 10-Day Sailing Passage from Stornoway to Wick

Orkney's Explorer - 10-Day Sailing Passage from Stornoway to Wick

£ 2,495

Orkney, Scotland

Beginner & Intermediate
Multi-Day, Guides & Tours
Minimum age: 18
Orkney, Scotland
Max. group size: 6
Cancellation: Custom
Minimum booking size: 1
£ 2,495

Activity Highlights:

Embark on a captivating sailing journey as you navigate north from Stornoway through the picturesque Orkney Isles, culminating in Wick. Or, do the same trip in reverse!

Revel in breathtaking stops at secluded locales such as Stromness and immerse yourself in the nuances of tides and weather.

Under the expert leadership of skipper Jim Dobie aboard the ‘Big Blue’ yacht, you’re in for a memorable voyage.

And to make your journey smoother, we facilitate flight options to Stornoway and a complimentary transfer from Wick to Glasgow post-trip.

Upcoming Dates

  • Stornoway to Wick – 14th-23rd July 2024
  • Wick to Stornoway – 25th July-3rd August 2024

 

Your Skipper: Jim Dobie

Jim is a huge asset to our team, and has led many a Scottish sailing adventure.

And he’s not just any skipper. He’s an RYA Yachtmaster Examiner, having sailed almost every ocean, leading expeditions to remote corners including the Galapagos Islands, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, and Tasmania. His credentials extend underwater as a Scuba Diving Instructor, organising expeditions to renowned locations like the Great Barrier Reef.

Jim’s extensive sailing résumé includes prestigious races such as the 09-10 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, five Sydney to Hobart races, and many more. His unmatched expertise ensures that you can learn, be mentored, and get the most out of this 10-day voyage.

 

Big Blue

Sail in style and comfort aboard ‘Big Blue’, a Beneteau Oceanis 523. This yacht, adorned with high-quality teak finishes, boasts a spacious and uncluttered design.

Big Blue is equipped with twin wheels for multiple helming positions and easy berthing views. With 8 berths, you’re assured of ample space and a dedicated berth for yourself, a partner, or a friend. She is perfect for those extended journeys, ensuring every passenger’s comfort.

For those adventurous at heart, Big Blue also carries a paddleboard and inflatable kayak for you to explore the anchorages.

 

Itinerary

If you’re joining from Stornoway to Wick, your journey will look something like this. If you’re going from Wick to Stornoway, you can expect the same adventure in reverse!

Day 1 – Stornoway

Join us at 1pm aboard Big Blue in Stornoway, the heart of the Western Isles. After a warm welcome aboard, a safety briefing will be conducted, followed by a delightful group dinner.

Day 2 – Loch Laxford (50NM)

Sail to the conservation-rich Loch Laxford. It’s known for its intricate coastline with many islands and inlets. The loch and its surrounding area are renowned for their natural beauty and diverse marine habitats, making it a designated Special Area of Conservation. The environment offers shelter to various marine species due to the presence of reefs and islands.

It’s the ideal location for your first night aboard.

Day 3 – Stromness (75NM)

Experience the thrill of sailing with important considerations like tidal timings. You’ll navigate the rugged northwest coast of Scotland, experiencing dynamic tidal patterns, especially in Hoy Sound. The journey will offer a mix of open sea sailing and closer coastal navigation. The route provides both challenging and rewarding sailing, showcasing the natural beauty of Scotland’s coastline and the rich maritime heritage of the Orkney Islands.

Arrival in Stromness is a sight to behold, with its illuminating lights signaling a successful passage.

Day 4 – A Day in Stromness

Dive into the local culture, explore art centres, and take historical hikes in Stromness. Explore Stromness’ flagstone streets, lanes, and historic piers. You can discover local shops and eateries, take a hike up to the Ness battery to learn about its WW2 history, and enjoy the scenic views of the sea and surrounding landscapes. The town’s rich maritime heritage and timeless charm make it a delightful spot for relaxation and exploration.

Day 5 – Westray (40NM)

After breakfast, proceed northward to Westray. As you navigate between the islands, you might encounter various seabirds, seals, and possibly dolphins. The waters can be influenced by tides and currents, offering a blend of tranquil and challenging sailing moments. Approaching Westray, you’ll be greeted by its rugged coastline and sandy beaches.

Day 6 – Fair Isle (45NM)

Sailing 45nm from Westray to Fair Isle, you’ll traverse the open waters between the Orkney and Shetland archipelagos. Expect dynamic sea conditions influenced by North Atlantic currents. Along the journey, the isolation of Fair Isle gradually emerges on the horizon. You might spot diverse seabird colonies, including puffins and guillemots, especially as Fair Isle is renowned for its bird observatory. Additionally, the waters may offer sightings of seals, dolphins, or even whales, enhancing the adventurous feel of the voyage.

A pivotal point of the trip, Fair Isle is an isolated beauty with just 45 inhabitants.

Day 7 – Kirkwall (50NM)

Sailing from Fair Isle to Kirkwall, you’ll head southward back into the heart of the Orkney archipelago. As you leave the remote beauty of Fair Isle behind, you’ll be navigating through the waters that historically have been significant for both Norse and Scottish seafarers. The sail can be marked by varying sea conditions, and the potential to spot seabirds and marine life continues. As you approach Kirkwall, Orkney’s largest town and its capital, you’ll be greeted by the sight of its historic harbor, the impressive St. Magnus Cathedral, and the bustling activity of a vibrant island community.

Day 8 – A Day in Kirkwall

For our day in Kirkwall, you can immerse yourself in the town’s rich history and culture. We recommend visiting the impressive St. Magnus Cathedral, the most northerly cathedral in the UK. You can also delve into the islands’ past at the Orkney Museum, or take a leisurely stroll along the historic harbor and main shopping streets, where local crafts and produce are aplenty. You migth want to sample the renowned local whiskey at either the Highland Park or Scapa distillery. You could also explore the atmospheric ruins of the Earl’s and Bishop’s Palaces, which echo the town’s Norse heritage, or indulge in the delightful local cuisine at one of Kirkwall’s charming cafes or restaurants.

Day 9 – Wick (45nm)

Sailing from Kirkwall to Wick, you’ll journey southwards along the northeastern coast of Scotland, experiencing the transition from the Orkney archipelago to the Scottish mainland. The sail, influenced by North Sea conditions, can offer varying sea states, from calm to challenging. As you approach Wick, the town’s historic harbor and maritime heritage come into view, signaling the close of a memorable passage.

Day 10 – Departure

After enjoying a final breakfast onboard, it will be time for farewells.

Cabin Options

We have the option of single berth and double berth cabins to choose from.

Single Berth

  • Price: £2,495 pp.
  • Description: Suitable for one. Personal, cosy berth, with ample storage. The double cabin displayed will be divided with a lee cloth to create the single berth cabin space for one.

 

Double Berth

  • Price: £3,995 for two people. Cost of trip pp = £1,997.50
  • Description: Expansive double cabin, perfect for two.

 

 

 

Why Choose Us?

Our ocean adventures are tailored to you, and we offer unique sailing expeditions worldwide. With an intimate group of six per trip and helmed by the globe’s elite skippers, we guarantee personalised, hands-on sailing experiences. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or just starting out, our commitment remains unflinching.

Join us for unmatched group sizes, spectacular destinations, and unparalleled oceanic experiences.

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What's Included:

  • All food and drink (non-alcoholic) on board.
  • Safety equipment including life-jackets.
  • All mooring and port entry fees for the boat.
  • Hands-on sailing, watch keeping, helming, and opportunity to fully immerse in life on board.
  • Overnight accommodation onboard, your own bunk and bedding.
  • Waterproof clothing available to hire.

What's Not Included:

  • Travel to and from the yacht - we will help you to organise, though!
  • Meals ashore.
  • Entrance fees to visitor centres or distilleries.
  • Sailing & travel insurance.

Frequently Asked Questions

We design our trips for a wide range of experiences which means that even if you’ve not sailed, our experienced skippers will ensure you have a fantastic time. You can view our range of trips at the bottom of this page.

Before you join, we’ll ask you about your previous sailing experience and what you want to get out of the trip. That way, we’ll tailor the tour to your specific needs.

We’ll share with you a kit-list which will be adapted to the trip you’re taking. A good sleeping bag and some decent deck shoes (or sailing boots) are the main things to organise, otherwise it’s layers of clothing adapted to the conditions you’re likely to encounter. Bring a camera! If you wish to bring a drone, please let us know beforehand, and keep in mind drones tend not to be waterproof and are carried/used at your own risk!

We want everyone to get the most out of their time on board – so we’ll work around your wants and needs. However, our trips are designed for you to take an active role – that means, for example, we’ll take turns in cooking (all the menus are planned already and step-by-step instructions given, so you don’t need to be a masterchef!)

You can get tips and instruction on all aspects of sailing from our skippers and get as involved as you want, grinding, trimming, helming, and learning – on the other hand, there’s also plenty of time to relax and just take in the beautiful ocean scenery. It’s your trip!

We aim to do some night sailing (sailing under the stars is amazing!) so we will run a watch system, too..

Extras / Options

Suitable for one. Personal, cosy berth, with ample storage. The double cabin displayed will be divided with a lee cloth to create the single berth cabin space for one.

Expansive double cabin, perfect for two.

How it works: 

  1. Make a booking.
  2. The centre will accept your booking, usually within an hour or two.
  3. Pay for the booking to confirm it.

If you have specific questions, please put them in the comments section, and the centre will answer before you pay.

If something isn't right or if there are no dates available, then send us a message in the live chat.

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Cancellation Policy

Flexible

  • You can cancel until 48 hours before your booking for a full refund
  • If you cancel after that, you’ll pay 50% up to 24 hours beforehand and the full amount after 24 hours 

Moderate

  • You can cancel until 5 days before yoru booking for a full refund
  • If you cancel after that, you’ll pay 50% up to 48 hours beforehand and the full amount after 48 hours 

Firm

  • To receive a full refund, you must cancel at least 14 days before their booking
  • If you cancel between 7 and 14 days before your booking, you’ll pay 50% of the cost
  • If you cancel less than 7 days before the booking starts, you’ll pay the full amount

Strict

  • To receive a full refund, you must cancel at least 30 days before your booking
  • If you cancel between 7 and 30 days before your booking, you’ll pay 50% of the cost
  • If you cancel less than 7 days before the booking starts, you’ll pay the full amount
  • You can also receive a full refund if you cancel within 48 hours of paying, if the cancellation occurs at least 14 days before the booking starts

Custom Cancellation Policy

The group size is kept very small on our trips which gives you a real ‘masterclass’ with our highly experienced Skippers However, that means each place is valuable and we need full groups.

We ask for a 10% deposit to secure your berth, with the balance being due 6 weeks before departure.

If you cancel your place over 6 weeks out, we’ll retain the deposit, but no other fees will be due.

If you cancel 6 weeks or less, the full price will be payable.