Sail from Portsmouth to Amsterdam. This is a great trip that combines building miles with a stop over in the cultural City of Amsterdam.
The dates of the trip are 9th to 17th May
Joining the yacht on 9th May there will be a morning of training followed by lunch then you will cast off and head east up the English Channel to pass through some of the busiest shipping lanes in the world – the Dover Straits.
After roughly a couple of days and nights at sea you will arrive in Ijmuiden on the Dutch coast. Depending on the time of arrival you may/may not spend a night there before transiting up 14nm or so of the North Sea canal to Amsterdam
After 2 or 3 days taking in the sights or Amsterdam it will be time to head back down the North Sea Canal and along the coast to either Zeebrugge, Dunkirk, Boulogne or Le Harve before heading back to Portsmouth
The yacht is a Challenger 72. She is the same yacht that we use to take part in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) and have used to go to Norway in the past. She was built to race the wrong way round the world, a feat she accomplished twice. So she is sturdy and sails brilliantly. However, she is far from a stripped out racing yacht. She has a spacious galley and saloon area, two heads with showers, and everyone gets there own bunk.
To sail her involves lots of hands on team work so you will have opportunities to get stuck in in all of the sailing and jobs on board.
Down below is a big light saloon and galley, navigation station, two heads with showers.
The accommodation is arranged towards the stern of the boat in areas of 2 and 5 comfy bunks.
The distance from Portsmouth to Ijmuiden is about 260nm. Ijmuiden is the sea port marking the start of the North Sea Canal to Amsterdam. The canal is about 14nm. Depending on the arrival time at Ijmuiden the plan will be to press on up the canal to Amsterdam.
Spending time in the middle of Amsterdam on a boat is a lot of fun. There are 165 waterways and 1,281 bridges. You can hire a bike and explore, potter about on foot through the narrow and winding streets, marvel at a Van Gogh or gaze at Rembrandt, eat at any of the many restaurants or cafes. There are many galleries and museums.
After a couple of days exploring it will be time to do some more sailing. You will head out of the canal and west to stop either in Zeebrugge, Dunkirk, Boulogne or Le Harve before heading back to Portsmouth. Depending on conditions you may head straight back to Portsmouth but that would be plan B.
The price of the trip is £897 and includes insurance, fuel/gas, oilskins, berthing fees and all food on board.
Getting to and From Portsmouth
Portsmouth is well connected. There is a mainline train station and Portsmouth is about an hour and a half from London.
If coming from abroard or flying from within the UK the nearest airports are Southampton and Gatwick.