Cruising and shipping across the Atlantic
__Have you been dreaming about crossing the Atlantic Ocean and sailing in the Caribbean, but do you find it hard to make this happen? __
Joining a cruising rally across the Atlantic and shipping your yacht back home on an ocean carrier can make a difference for you. Cruising rallies provide a structured way for sailing enthusiasts to enjoy the pleasures of cruising in the security of a rally fleet, forming connections with like-minded individuals, and exploring new horizons. Shipping your yacht back home after your sailing adventure, similarly, can give you peace of mind and confidence.
SAILING WEST - TRANSATLANTIC CROSSING FROM EUROPE TO THE CARIBBEAN
Every year yachts depart in November, December, and January, often using the Canary Islands as a stepping stone. From there they catch the steady, northeasterly blowing trade winds starting a little south from the islands. The winds can be firm at times, but since you are running before the wind, the apparent wind over deck is much less, making the East to West passage a generally pleasant cruise. Expect wonderful sailing, few or no sail changes, endless days full of sun, and starry nights all the way to the Caribbean. Depending on the route you take, the distance to cover is between 2,700 and 3,000 nautical miles, averaging 17 to 23 days spent at sea. The annual Transatlantic cruising rallies start in either November or January from Las Palmas on Gran Canaria in time for sailing with the favorable trade winds and enjoying the Caribbean cruising season that runs until May. There are three professionally organized cruising rally events across the Atlantic that you can choose to join: (1) The ARC and (2) ARC Plus, both organized by the World Cruising Club WCC and (3) The Viking Explorers Rally, organized by Sail North Atlantic.
THE ROUTE EAST - TAKING YOUR YACHT BACK HOME TO EUROPE
The more northern and longer route eastwards back to Europe is a different story, as it passes through a temperate climate zone with low-pressure systems and less friendly winds or sea states. Therefore, yacht owners planning for the trade wind passage to the Caribbean, often wonder about how to get their yacht safely back to Europe afterward. Luckily there are good solutions for the many sailors who cannot or who do not want to sail back. They choose to have their yacht delivered back home, often by safely shipping her on the deck of an ocean freighter in the months of March, April, and May, well timed for the start of the European summer sailing season. Vessels depart from conveniently located ports like St. Thomas (USVI), St.John’s (Antigua), or Le Marin (Martinique), carrying back both private cruising yachts and the large charter fleet doing double seasons in the Med and the Caribs.