Travel from Europe and Learn to Sail in the UK

RYA (Royal Yachting Association) Yacht Sailing Courses are all grouped within the RYA ‘Cruising Scheme’.

Aspiring sailors from across Europe can obtain the highly sought after and globally RYA Cruising Scheme sailing course qualifications through First Class Sailing. The sailing courses, provided by our experienced and friendly instructors, cater for all levels of ability and experience - whether you are a complete novice or an ocean sailor.

The RYA Cruising Scheme is broken down into 3 types of courses.

Practical Sailing Courses. These take place on a yacht. You sleep on board and all food is provided.

Shorebased Theory navigation classes. These can also be taken in a classroom or online anywhere in the world.

One Day Supplementary courses. For Example VHF Radio, Diesel Engine Maintenance, Sea Survival.

We are used to working with customers from a wide range of countries. You will often find that English is the second language of everyone on board a yacht course except the instructor!

You will need to speak and understand English to participate in these courses. It is an RYA rule that all courses are conducted by instructors speaking English.

That said, don’t worry if your English is not perfect and if you don’t know lots of nautical terms. It can feel like sailing has a language of it’s own. A large percentage of our customers have English as a second language.

RYA Practical courses run out of Southampton in the Solent on the South Coast. These Southampton courses start and finish at Shamrock Quay, SO14 5QL on the South Coast near the Isle of Wight.

Practical sailing courses and 5 days long and are held on our clean, well maintained, heated and modern yachts. Accommodation is on board the yachts and it is recommended that you stay on board the yacht the night before your course starts, for those arriving in the UK from Europe.

Our practical sailing classes include:

Navigation classes can be taken in a classroom. They are usually in London and are held over 2 and ½ weekends or over 7 weeks (1 evening a week) and a weekend. This is perhaps not particularly convenient if you live on the continent.

Of more interest will probably be the online version of these navigation classes. We send you some course materials and a username and login. You can then take the course at your leisure from anywhere you happen to be in the world. Email and phone support is provided if required.

Online theory courses include:

For those seeking a commercial endorsement the Professional Practices and Responsibilities (PPR) Course can also be taken online here.

These one day courses are a compliment to the practical sailing courses and take place at various venues in London, usually on Saturdays and Sundays.

Choose from:

Venues in London are selected so that they are easily accessible via the underground train system. We can suggest hotels nearby should you wish to stay overnight.

Travelling to the UK from Europe for RYA sailing courses is simple. You can fly from most local airports directly to London or Southampton. If you’re coming from France, you can also take the Eurostar or drive via the Channel Tunnel.

For more information on travelling to the UK from your country, please see one of the following pages or contact us directly:

As a RYA Recognised Sailing School we use the standard RYA syllabi as well as RYA qualified instructors.

The yachts used have all been checked and are approved as meeting RYA and Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA – UK maritime governing body) standards; this means they are safe, well maintained and suitable for use in your sailing classes.

We are regularly assessed to ensure that we are fulfilling the RYA’s high standards as well as those of the MCA. We are proud to be part of a scheme that is highly respected worldwide, which means our sailing students know they are receiving safe as well as top quality instruction.

Contact us
0203 006 3717
Our Locations

Shamrock Quay

William Street



SO14 5QL


c/o Cruising Association

CA House

1 Northey Street


E14 8BT

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