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Kraken Travel Sailing Holidays
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22nd September 2024 to 28th September 2024

Swan 47: Orkney Islands | Sail Hike Explore

From £1395 per person

Deposit 25%. Trip balance due 12 weeks before departure.
Bring hiking shoes as we will be walking a lot, exploring the villages and magnificent wild landscapes.
Pay a 25% deposit per item
Suited to
Individuals, Couples, Families, Groups
Experienced sailors who wish to improve their navigation skills and / or prepare for their future Coastal Skipper certifications or Yachtmaster Coastal or Yachtmaster Offshore practical examinations.
Nights onboard
Vessel type
S&S Swan 47
Vessel length
Yes - RYA Yachtmaster Instructor
Berth Style
Insurance Required
Sail the North Atlantic on an Orkney adventure! From whiskey tours, hiking, wildlife and historic sites, explore this magical archipelago's charm.

6 nights - Dates: 22 - 28 September 2024

Price: £1,395 per person

Hike and sail your way through the Orkney Islands on a 9-day adventure through the enchanting Orkney Islands. The Orkney Islands sit between Scotland and Shetland and are a magical world of vast vertical cliffs, awesome wildlife, small villages and remote anchorages.

Starting in Kinsale or Cork, we'll chart a course north to Kirkwall, Eday, Sanday, and Westray. At our first stop, we will visit the epic Highland Park whiskey distillery in Kirkwall which is known for 220 years of top-notch whiskey-making magic!

However, that is not the only highlight. The hike to Westray's Noup Head lighthouse has out of this world views, which are worth taking some time to stop and appreciate.

In the southern Orkneys, we will visit Scapa Flow, which is a natural harbour with a rich history. It served as an important naval base during both world wars, and today you’ll see history wrapped up in the incredible Italian chapel, built by World War II prisoners, and other interesting monuments around the area.

The trip ends in Stromness, where we will have some time to explore its charming cobbled streets and learn about the town's rich seafaring heritage before disembarking.This adventure's for everyone, from rookies to salty sea dogs! Get a taste of Viking heritage, soak up nature's glory, and create memories that'll outlast any tide!

Why You’ll Love This Trip

  • If you are into Viking history, you will love the thrill of sailing, hiking and just absorbing the Orkney Islands’ magical landscapes, imagining that you are a character in the series “Vikings”.
  • The hike to Noup Head lighthouse on Westray will get your blood pumping. Experience quintessential Orkney Island landscapes and keep an eye out for the puffins at the top.
  • History awaits at Scapa Flow. Visit The Italian Chapel, built from salvaged materials by WWII Italian prisoners of war filled with beautiful paintings and sculptures.
  • Explore Stromness, Orkney’s second largest town, which has a rich history as being a vital port for explorers and traders.
  • In Eday, check out cool spots like the Well of Horrors, an ancient Neolithic site wrapped up in myths and legends.

Who The Trip Is For

  • Experienced sailors who wish to improve their navigation skills or prepare for their future Coastal Skipper certifications or other certifications will enjoy the skillbuilding aspect of this trip.
  • Newbies welcome! Anyone who wants to get into sailing and learn the ropes can do so on this trip.
  • If you are prepared to be a part of a working crew and enjoy the camaraderie that comes with shared experiences this one is for you.
  • If you are into hiking, pack your hiking boots as there are plenty of opportunities for exploring on foot – you don’t want to miss out on the views!

Please Note: this isn’t a luxury charter and is more of a sailing experience as you are on a working passage & sailing training trip in which all crew share duties onboard including cooking and cleaning. Please see the ‘Other Practical Information section for more information.

Tentative: Kirkwall – Eday – Westray – Scapa Flow – Stromness

  • Food onboard
  • Diesel
  • Marina fees
  • Sail training (No Hidden fees).
  • Food & drinks ashore
  • Wet gear
  • Travel to/from the yacht

Max 5 crew.
RYA Yachtmaster Instructor.
Full crew involvement and training.
Suitable for all levels, novices are welcome.
Good training trip for all levels.

How much experience do I need to join this adventure?

The short answer – NONE! We have had several crew who have never even set foot on a sailboat before, but they have the dream, and that’s what’s important. Come with a desire for adventure and a personality to match. You’ll of course understand more of what’s going on the more experience you have, but it’s not in fact required. That said, we do require a certain level of physical fitness to join us on an offshore passage. Regardless of how much we emphasize it, most people still underestimate how difficult it is simply to live on the boat offshore, even on a nice day.

What amenities are on board?

Not too many! The yacht offers a very simple offshore sailing platform. Beds are proper sea bunks, and we provide sheets and pillows. You’ll need a sleeping bag on colder trips. The yacht has heating, making colder passages a lot more enjoyable. It is a well-stocked and wisely-rigged yacht for offshore sail training, but it is still a boat. Water, power and gas are limited but when used in moderation, there is plenty for every passenger to cook, clean, write & read every day. Each bunk is supplied with a separate USB port for charging electronics and reading lights. There are two heads (sink, toilet and shower) on the boat for light showering underway. The main shower is in the cockpit, so it’s bikini and board shorts for showering time. The Captain and crew will stock the boat with plenty of snacks and drinks as well as provisions for one hot meal each day on passage and drinks from the onboard bar once the boat is docked. Please feel free to send along a few of your favourite food items as a request when you book your voyage. Plan to spend your days and nights sailing, cooking, reading and looking at the stars. If you have any questions about certain amenities on board, please contact us.

Do I get my own bunk?

We can guarantee your own separate bunk with a personal USB port and a place to store your bag. In certain conditions (lack of wind or rough conditions) we may reconfigure sleeping arrangements to allow crew members who are off-shift to rest in optimal bunks to ensure they get adequate sleep for the voyage.

What are the duties onboard?

It’s a Working Passage – We share all tasks on-board: cleaning, cooking, standing watch and navigating. We are very good at making everyone feel at ‘home’ onboard. This means, aside from our one hot meal per day ritual, you’re on your own for food & snacks. If you’re hungry, make a sandwich, and ask your watch partner if she wants one – take care of each other & don’t expect the captain or crew to wait on you! You’ll be expected to do some or all of the following – don’t know how to do it? We’ll teach you! Also note that there will be equal opportunity for all crew members to get equal time on the boat helming, navigating, sail work, etc.

What level of adventure is this trip?

This is not a “charter boat” – it’s a sail training yacht, not a luxury cruise – and the adventure sailing & sail training trips we do are closer in spirit to trekking Kilimanjaro than they are to a typical summer cruise in the Mediterranean Sea. On offshore passage, there will always be a mate onboard in addition to the skipper, to safely sail the boat, but we expect crew on all adventure to, with guidance from the skipper, to take care of themselves for the most part when it comes to eating, sleeping & living on the boat.

What’s the food like?

Our crew eat super healthy food, made as much from natural, whole ingredients as possible. We’ve created some awesome boat meals during our sea time. However, there is no way we can make individual meals for everyone – but we’ll honour any allergies of course. One hot, communal meal per day in the late-afternoon (so we can be cleaned up with dishes before dark). Breakfast, lunch & snacks are on your own – though it’s nice to ask if others are awake. Feel free to use the stove and galley anytime, and all food is up for grabs. We’ll share the washing-up duties and make a galley rotation before we leave port. Meals & snacks should be consumed in the galley, cockpit or saloon area. No eating or drinking anything, under any circumstances, in your bunk or at the chart table & Navigation station!

Do I have to hold watch?

Yes, everyone on board will be assigned a watch schedule and watch partner. Holding watch is also a very rewarding experience, especially at night when the moon lights the chop on the water and the sounds of the water on the hull, dolphins breath and the wind in the sails is amplified. For many crew, night watches are the most memorable moments of the adventure sail.

How long are the watches?

Our watch schedule is flexible and based on the experience and comfort level of the crew. Normally, crew members are paired off in groups of two and do four hours on & four off or four hours on & eight hours off on an offshore passage with a first mate onboard. The skipper ‘floats’ – meaning he doesn’t take any formal watch, but rather helps out when needed on all watches and makes sure to spend time sailing with all the crew.

What’s the best way to prepare myself for going offshore?

Everybody who’s not been offshore, even the experienced coastal or inshore sailors, underestimates the physical toll just living on the boat at sea takes. Everybody. The boat is constantly in motion, even on nice days. Things like brushing teeth, going to the bathroom, just putting on socks take time and physical effort. To make it more difficult, you’ll be sleep-deprived during most of it, especially before you fully adjust to the rhythm. Offshore sailing is closer to living like an astronaut than coastal sailing where you get to stop and anchor for the night! Bottom line, the fitter you are, to begin with, the easier time you’ll have at sea. Eat right and exercise.

How much privacy do I get?!

The yacht is big, but not that big! You won’t have much privacy on board and will be living in close quarters in challenging conditions. But you’ll have the time of your life!

  • Each person will be assigned a single berth. This is yours. At sea, in certain extreme conditions, we may rotate where people sleep (‘hot-bunking’), but your bunk remains yours for your stuff. No snacking or eating in your bunk under any circumstances!
  • Each person will get their own ‘stuff’ locker adjacent to your bunk (about the size of a carry-on suitcase on an airplane).
  • When you sleep, most all your stuff will be stored outside of your seabag in the storage locker, as there is no storage for a seabag on the floor or in the vee-berth. Keep this in mind when packing.
  • There is shared space available for hanging your foulies and storing your boots in ‘wet lockers’

Kirkwall, Orkney Islands

Stromness, Orkney

Please Note: this isn’t a luxury charter and is more of a sailing experience as you are on a working passage & sailing training trip in which all crew share duties onboard including cooking and cleaning. Please see the ‘Other Practical Information section for more information.

Tentative: Kirkwall – Eday – Westray – Scapa Flow – Stromness

  • Foul weather gear
  • Layered cold weather gear (fleeces, flannels, long sleeves, light windbreakers,etc.)
  • Wool socks
  • Gloves
  • Deck shoes (sneakers will work)
  • Sailing Boots
  • Hat (toboggan and visor)
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Books, magazines, entertainment (anything you like to peruse at your leisure)
  • Camera (capture and share your awesome voyage!)
  • Sailing gloves
  • Headlamp
  • Leatherman tool (but check your airline regulations for the flight home)
  • Waterproof bags/cases for phones, iPads and other electronic devices
  • Sleeping Bag as per season
  • Quick-dry towel

What Not to Bring:

  • Sheets
  • Pillows