10 of the world's best sailing adventure destinations (2023)

when most people think of images of adventure travelTrekking through the Himalayasor goSafaris in AfricaUsually what comes to mind. But sailing might just be the primitive form of adventure travel, sending intrepid explorers to far corners of the globe with nothing but the wind behind them and the open ocean in front of them. Today, navigating the ocean is less dangerous, although it is certainly still quite risky. There's nothing like sitting on the bow of a boat with the wind in your hair and listening to the waves lapping against the hull.

Fortunately, there are still plenty of great places for the adventurous traveler to experience that feeling for themselves. To help you do that, we've selected ten of the best sailing destinations for those who've never considered a cruise but are still looking for the water adventure of a lifetime.

01Total 10

South Georgia Island, Southern Ocean

10 of the world's best sailing adventure destinations (1)

South Georgia Island, located in the Southern Ocean, is perhaps best known for its pivotal role in the doomed events of Ernest Shackletonenduranceexpeditionto Antarctica. But the site is also a pristine environment, home to thousands of penguins and countless rare seabirds, including a variety of albatrosses found only there. Visitors also have the opportunity to see hundreds of elephants and seals while exploring the remains of a long-abandoned whaling station from a bygone era. These sites have been idle for decades, so whale populations have bounced back nicely. It is not uncommon to spot humpback, sperm, southern right and even blue whales offshore, as well as dolphins and a range of other marine life.

Sailing the Southern Ocean is an adventure in itself, taking travelers through some of the roughest waters on Earth. team inclassic sailing boatis an experienced crew who have sailed many times and offer one of the best opportunities to visit South Georgia on a tall ship. If you're looking for a grand adventure on the high seas, this is sure to be your first choice.

02Total 10

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

10 of the world's best sailing adventure destinations (2)

galapagos islandsIt has long been a popular adventure travel destination, offering rare opportunities to see wildlife found nowhere else on Earth. Visitors can spot giant tortoises, sea lions, blue-footed boobies and the archipelago's famous aquatic iguanas. Snorkelling and diving are the most popular pastimes in the Galapagos, as are kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding, making this an ideal destination for those who like to keep active on vacation.

(Video) Top 10 Best Sailing Destinations in the World

Most tourists to the Galapagos Islands take a small cruise ship when they visit the islands. But when Charles Darwin first arrived there in 1835, he boardedHMS Beagle, a sloop of the Royal Navy. Intrepid travelers can also get a similar experience by sailing the Galapagos Islands.travelOffering the perfect opportunity to explore this magnificent place, tall ship and catamaran itineraries are available.

03Total 10

Whitsunday Islands, Australia

when visitingAustraliaThe Sydney Opera House, the Outback or the Great Barrier Reef are on most travellers' bucket lists. most people have never even heard ofWhitsunday Islands, let alone consider visiting them.

Located off the coast of Queensland, not far from the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsunday Islands are made up of 74 islands and are Australia's version of paradise. With spectacularly beautiful beaches, abundant wildlife and blue waters found nowhere else on earth, it's a place visitors never want to leave. The diving and snorkeling are almost unbeatable and the scenery is simply stunning.

From Airlie Beach, the so-called 'Gateway to the Whitsundays', you'll find plenty of sailboats offering everything from one-day escapes to three-day adventures on the high seas. accessSailing - Whitsundays.comSort all options.

04Total 10

Zanzibar Island, Tanzania

10 of the world's best sailing adventure destinations (4)

Zanzibar Island in Tanzania is a place where history, culture, adventure and relaxation all combine. The island has been a hub of trade and commerce in the Arab world for centuries and remnants of that heritage can still be found there today. But the azure Indian Ocean also offers great opportunities for snorkeling and diving, fishing or just soaking up the sun. Travelers will also find ancient villages to visit, markets to explore and beaches to stroll.

visitZanzibarThe perfect extension to a completed Tanzania safari or as a destination in its own right. Sailing options include single-day excursions or week-long excursions,fearless travelOne of the most affordable and versatile options available, including a seven-day voyage aboard a modern catamaran that somehow manages to be active and serene at the same time.

(Video) 10 Top Sailing Destinations

Read on for 5 of 10 below.

05Total 10

greek islands

10 of the world's best sailing adventure destinations (5)

The Mediterranean is full of great opportunities for sailors, but few options compare to island hoppingGreece.Places like Mykonos, Santorini and Paros are perfect havens for those looking for culture and history to accompany their adventure. Sea kayaking is a great way to explore the islands, and day trips to the villages and scenery are a must. As you'd expect, the food is exquisite and the locals are easygoing, making this sailing destination one you won't want to leave for long after you get home.

Options abound from Athens or Mykonos, and if your schedule allows, you have the chance to travel for a day or two or longer than a week. You'll find affordable Greek Islands tour optionsG Adventures, more premium products fromNational Geographic Adventure.

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Adriatic coast, Croatia

10 of the world's best sailing adventure destinations (6)

In a country brimming with opportunities for adventure, Croatia's Adriatic coast is perhaps the most breathtakingly beautiful of them all. With over 1,100 miles of coastline, not to mention a staggering number ofexplore the island, Croatia seems to have miles and miles of beaches and clear waters for snorkeling and diving. When you want to escape the hustle and bustle of vibrant Croatian cities, try sailing to some remote fishing villages in one of the many hidden lagoons just off the coast.


If you're looking for a really active escape while sailing the Croatian coast tryCroatian Island Hopper from REI Adventuretravel. Not only does this tour combine excellent sailing and snorkeling opportunities, it also gives travelers the chance to hike, bike, paddle and kayak. You will also have the opportunity to visitunesco heritageDubrovnik while enjoying local food and wine en route.

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Bay of Islands, New Zealand

10 of the world's best sailing adventure destinations (7)

new ZealandThere has long been a rich seafaring culture here, thanks in no small part to its stunning coastline, home to epic scenery and plenty to explore. This is better anywhere than inbay of islands, a place where countless nautical adventures have taken place.

The bay is ideal for sea kayaking or fishing, but it's best known for its diverse wildlife. Ocean travelers can spot penguins, whales and dolphins in a relatively small area. When they're ready to spend some time on land, they can disembark from any of the 144 islands from which the bay gets its name. There, they will have the opportunity to walk in pristine environments that have been virtually untouched by humans.

There are literally dozens of options to choose from when sailing the Bay of Islands. Thankfully, there's a website that helps adventurous travelers sort them all. start planning your triphere.

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French Polynesia, Tahiti

10 of the world's best sailing adventure destinations (8)

French PolynesiaIt is the name of a large area of ​​islands and seas in the South Pacific. There are many great sailing locations here, but Tahiti and its surrounding islands—including Hua Hai, Bora Bora, and Moorea—maybe the best. You'll find crystal-clear warm waters throughout the year, and the entire area is great for diving and snorkelling. You'll also witness an abundance of marine life, as the ocean is full of colorful creatures. The region also boasts some of the most pristine beaches to be found anywhere on Earth, many of which are only accessible by boat.

More experienced sailors canTahiti ChartersSailing through their days entirely by themselves. Those of us who are less experienced cannot do this alone and will have to book with others. As you might expect, there are many options to choose from, includingOcean Sailing Schoolis one of the best.

(Video) Top 10 best Sailboats for sailing around the world

Proceed to 9 of 10 below.

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The British Virgin Islands

10 of the world's best sailing adventure destinations (9)

caribbeanIt has long been a mecca for sailors wishing to sail between the many islands, each with its own culture, history and attractions. But the BVI may offer the best sailing in the entire region, giving travelers the chance to combine luxury and adventure into one epic trip.

Some of the best beaches in the entire Caribbean can be found in the British Virgin Islands, many of them in hidden coves scattered throughout. These secluded spaces are stunning anchoring spots, providing excellent opportunities for swimming, snorkeling or just lounging on the beach. When you're ready to go ashore, you'll find beautiful resorts, delicious restaurants, and some amazing hiking trails.

G Adventures once again offers one of the best options for sailing in the British Virgin Islands. company'sSeven Days Tour to TortolaThe perfect combination of activity and relaxation at an affordable price.

10Total 10

Lycian Coast, Türkiye

10 of the world's best sailing adventure destinations (10)

(Video) Top 6 World Cruising Sailing Monohulls: Our Top Picks

For a sailing adventure that combines time at sea and land, head toturkeyand occupy the Lycian coast. This beautiful destination is home to quaint fishing towns, beautiful and secluded beaches and miles of rocky cliffs. Most tourists allocate their time on the high seas to visiting the many interesting archaeological sites, many of which lie not far from shore.

To experience this stunning location for yourself, join one of thePeter Sommer Travels departs for Türkiye.All excursions take place on a traditional tall sailing vessel called a Gulet, a comfortable and easy-going vessel for the adventurous traveler.


10 of the world's best sailing adventure destinations? ›

What's the safest sailing route around the world? The safest sailing route around the world is to stay as close to the equator as possible to make use of the more favorable winds there. This route requires sailing through the Panama and Suez Canals, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, the South Pacific, and the Atlantic.

What is the best route around the world sailing? ›

What's the safest sailing route around the world? The safest sailing route around the world is to stay as close to the equator as possible to make use of the more favorable winds there. This route requires sailing through the Panama and Suez Canals, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, the South Pacific, and the Atlantic.

Who is the sailing capital of the world? ›

Open waters, near-constant breezes, centuries of nautical history, a hotbed of international racing (America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race), and a scenic and accessible waterfront — you can't deny that Newport, Rhode Island is the sailing capital of the world.

Which countries are known for sailing? ›

Best Sailing Destinations in the World
  • Thailand. Explore some of the most beautiful and most famous beaches in the world by sailing Thailand. ...
  • Greece. The Greek Islands are home to some of the greatest sunsets on Earth. ...
  • Australia. ...
  • The French Riviera. ...
  • Croatia. ...
  • New Zealand. ...
  • The Grenadines. ...
  • Zanzibar.
Mar 30, 2013

What is the sailing capital of us? ›

Annapolis, Maryland Is the Sailing Capital of the U.S. — How to Visit.

What is the calmest ocean to sail in? ›

Pacific Ocean Weather

The primary threat to sailors (other than holes in the boat) is bad weather. The Pacific Ocean is known for being much calmer and less extreme than the Atlantic, and there's some truth to this reputation.

What is one of the greatest sailing adventure? ›

One of the greatest sailing adventures of the past 25 years was the conquest of the Northwest Passage, powered by sail, human muscle, and determination. In 100 days, over three summers (1986-88), Canadians Jeff MacInnis and Mike Beedell accomplished the first wind-powered crossing of the Northwest Passage.

How cheap can you sail around the world? ›

You could spend from as little as $700 or as much as $3,000 a month for two people – it all depends on what boat you have, who does your boat work, where you cruise, how you like to spend your time, and more. Let's look at the expenses you'll likely encounter when sailing around the world.

What is the toughest sailing race in the world? ›

Vendée Globe

The Vendée Globe is named after the Département of Vendée, France, where the race starts and ends. A single-handed, non-stop round the world race, it's widely known as one of the most challenging and extreme sporting events. Its duration is more than three months and it takes places every four years.

Which state has the most sailing? ›

US States With The Most Sailboats
  • How many boats are there in the USA?
  • How many sailboats are there in the USA?
  • How many sailboats are sold each year?
  • What states have the most boats?
  • #1 California.
  • #2 Michigan.
  • #3 Florida.
  • #4 Minnesota.
Jun 15, 2022

Where are the most sailboats in the US? ›

Newport, Rhode Island

Known as the “City by the Sea,” Newport is the destination for sailing enthusiasts. It's home to the National Sailing Hall of Fame, the largest fleet of America's Cup 12 Meters in the world, and many other sailing events and regattas.

Where is the largest sailboat in the world? ›

M5 | 78.4m

Built by Vosper Thorneycroft in Southampton, England, M5 was launched as the iconic yacht Mirabella V in 2004. She remains the world's largest sloop to date.

What country produces the best sailors? ›

New Zealand produces some of the world's finest sailors. Its teams have won this race twice before and the America's Cup three times, plus multiple Olympic medals and world championships.

Where is the best place to sit on a sailboat? ›

Sit on the WINDWARD side of the boat (the side the wind is coming from Ð also the side opposite the sail) so you can see the luff of the sail and also balance the natural tendency of the wind to tip the boat to leeward.

Is sailing a wealthy sport? ›

Sailing and boating

Especially sailing has been traditionally the sport of the rich. The cost of the boat or renting a boat is high. Meanwhile, unpredictable weather may create problems on the boat, and paying for the equipment is not a piece of cake. Sailing is also the sport of the clever, as some may say.

Where is the birthplace of sailing? ›

The earliest record of a ship under sail appears on an Egyptian vase from about 3500 BC. Vikings sailed to North America around 1000 years ago.

What place is nicknamed the City of Sails? ›

Auckland, located in the north island north-west, is the biggest city of New Zealand.

What is the hardest sea to sail? ›

1. Gulf of Guinea. Fast replacing the Somalian coast as the piracy hotspot, the Gulf of Guinea has become one of the most dangerous places to go sailing. The gulf is found on the northeasternmost part of the Atlantic Ocean, right between Cape Lopez in Gabon and Cape Three Points in the Western Ghana region.

What boat is least likely to capsize? ›

Larger boats are less prone to capsize than smaller boats. A dismasted sailboat is more likely to capsize than a boat carrying her full rig. A boat has an inherent stability range, ie. an angle of heel past which it will capsize.

Where is the roughest seas to cruise? ›

Drake Passage/Cape Horn, Chile: This is one place that even dyed-on-the-wool cruise fans may give a pass. The southernmost point in South America is also is the gateway to Antarctica; every ship heading to the White Continent must make this crossing and the water is almost always notoriously rough.

What is the longest sailing trip? ›

On Day 658, Reid Stowe broke the world record for the longest non-stop ocean voyage, previously held by Jon Sanders, if one disregards Nansen's Fram expedition, during which the schooner Fram lay trapped on ice for nearly three years, and the crew was away from land for at least 1067 days.

What is the longest sailing voyage? ›

Critics of Reid Stowe actually believe that the record for the longest voyage was held, not by Sanders, but by Fridtjof Nansen whose voyage to the North Pole in 1893 saw him spend around 1067 days at sea. His goal was to be the first to reach the North Pole.

What are the hidden costs of sailing? ›

When talking about the “hidden costs” of sailing, we think about costs like port, buoy or anchor fees. Followed by costs of skipper/hostess' food and drinks, as well as for the whole boat crew, and fuel.

Do you need a permit to sail around the world? ›

Do You Need a License to Sail Around the World? Generally speaking, no, you do not need a license to sail around the world. While there is no doubt that there are some countries in which boating licenses are a legal requirement, it's not a given.

Can you legally sail around the world? ›

Can You Legally Sail Around the World? Yes, you can legally sail around the world. However, some jurisdictions require legal documentation, such as proof of boat ownership and a visa when entering another country's port. You'll also want to make sure you're in the appropriate type of boat.

What is the world's fastest sailing? ›

Current record holder: Banque Populaire V, with an average speed of 37.8 knots.

What is the fastest sailing across the Atlantic? ›

TimeYachtAverage speed
10d 05h 14m 20s [Multihull]Paul Ricard (trimaran)12.15 knots (22.50 km/h)
9d 10h 06m 34sElf Aquitaine13.18 knots (24.41 km/h)
08d 16h 36mJet Services 214.29 knots (26.47 km/h)
07d 21h 05m 42sRoyale 215.76 knots (29.19 km/h)
11 more rows

What state owns the most boats? ›

It may come as a surprise that Minnesota is the state with the most boats per person, at approximately 143.6 boats per thousand people. What percentage of Minnesotans own a boat? Seven percent of Minnesotans own a boat, making it the unofficial boating capital of the United States.

Where is sailing sophisticated? ›

Sailing Sophisticated Lady is in Panama. Gb for an average 20-minute episode in 4K resolution.

What is the sailboat capital of Florida? ›

Miami: The Sailing Capital of Florida.

What is the most popular sailboat class? ›

The most common type of sailboat is the racing sailboat, used in sailing competitions around the world. Several international events intended to raise awareness about sailing allow a wide range of craft types to participate, including catamarans and racer-cruiser.

What is the biggest sailboat show in the US? ›

Kicking off the American yacht calendar is the Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show 2023 (FLIBS), considered the largest in-water boat show in the world.

What is the best size boat to sail the world? ›

What's the Ideal Boat Size to Sail Around the World? The ideal sailboat size to sail around the world is between 35 and 45 feet long. This length will ensure a high enough maximum hull speed, good handling in high waves, and enough cargo capacity to carry multiple weeks of food and water.

Where is Jeff Bezos sailboat? ›

After recently completing sea trials in the North Sea, the billionaire's new sailing yacht Koru was delivered by Oceanco late last week. The 417-footer left the Dutch yard on April 6 for her maiden voyage to Gibraltar, as reported by Superyacht Times.

What size sailboat can cross the Atlantic? ›

How big of a yacht do you need to cross the ocean? For comfort and safety, yachts crossing the ocean should be a minimum of 30ft. This size boat allows you to travel securely across the Atlantic Ocean.

Who owns the largest sailboat on earth? ›

Italian police seize the world's largest sailing yacht, the $794 million Sailing Yacht A, owned by Russian billionaire Andrey Igorevich Melnichenko.

What culture had the best sailors? ›

One thing is for sure Phoenicians were among the best sailors of the ancient world, if not the best.

Who is the oldest solo sailor? ›

Kenichi Horie Solo Pacific Sail

Sailing solo across the world's largest ocean once is enough of an achievement. But 83-year-old Japanese ocean adventurer Kenichi Horie has done it multiple times.

Who is the youngest female solo sailor around the world? ›

Jessica Watson (OAM) navigated some of the world's most remote oceans and survived seven knockdowns and 210 days alone at sea to become the youngest person to sail solo, nonstop around the world, aged 16. On completion of the voyage, Jessica was met by the then Prime Minister who declared her an Australian hero.

Who is the most famous sailor in the world? ›

Christopher Columbus, who is credited with discovering the New World, Ferdinand Magellan, who led the first expedition to circumnavigate the globe, Vasco da Gama, the first European to reach India by sea, and Sir Francis Drake, the first Englishman to circumnavigate the world, are among the most famous sailors.

Why is Annapolis the sailing capital of the world? ›

There was considerable naval activity under sail during the Revolutionary War. Sail training became an important addition to Annapolis when the United States Naval Academy moved here from Philadelphia in 1845. Even the yacht America was located here after the Civil War.

Is Newport Rhode Island the sailing capital of the world? ›

Welcome to the Sailing Capital of the World & America's Society Capital. Yes, today we are in Newport — Rhode Island. Newport is a seaside city on Aquidneck Island in Newport County, Rhode Island, United States & also known as the New England Summer Resort. In the 19th century, Newport was America's Versailles.

Where is the best place to sleep on a sailboat? ›

Most sailboats have a v-berth cabin at the bow of the boat. This is a triangular-shaped bed that fits into the nose of the sailboat. It takes a little getting used to, but it's perfectly comfortable on calm seas.

What are the negatives of living on a sailboat? ›

Some cons are cramped living space, having your home rock when the weather turns nasty, and small living space. There are many variables to consider when creating a list of pros and cons for living on a sailboat. Whether you live at anchor or at a dock, one con for sailboat living is the general lack of space.

What is the best age to start sailing? ›

The best age to get started in youth sailing

There are sailing kids who have been on boats from an early age, but most begin learning the basics of sailing between 7 and 10 years of age. However, plenty of adults are also learning how to sail, so you're never too old to learn.

Where can you go sailing? ›

The 10 Best Sailing Destinations in the World
  • 01 of 10. South Georgia Island, Southern Ocean. ...
  • 02 of 10. The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. ...
  • 03 of 10. The Whitsunday Islands, Australia. ...
  • 04 of 10. Zanzibar Island, Tanzania. ...
  • 05 of 10. The Greek Isles. ...
  • 06 of 10. The Adriatic Coast, Croatia. ...
  • 07 of 10. The Bay of Islands, New Zealand. ...
  • 08 of 10.
Nov 7, 2020

What is the longest distance sailing? ›

The longest straight-line path over water begins in Sonmiani, Balochistan, Pakistan, passes between Africa and Madagascar and then between Antarctica and Tierra del Fuego in South America, and ends in the Karaginsky District, Kamchatka Krai, in Russia. It is 32,089.7 kilometers long.

Which is the longest sailing in the world? ›

Completion of the voyage

On Day 658, Reid Stowe broke the world record for the longest non-stop ocean voyage, previously held by Jon Sanders, if one disregards Nansen's Fram expedition, during which the schooner Fram lay trapped on ice for nearly three years, and the crew was away from land for at least 1067 days.

What is the most expensive sailing boat brand? ›

So what are some of the most expensive sailboats in the world? The Pelorus, Al Said, Radiant, and Serene are all in the $300 million price range. For slightly more expensive sailboats, Dubai, A, Topaz, and Azzam are roughly half a billion dollars.

Who is the owner of the most expensive sailboat? ›

The boat took around three years to build and sits at 590 feet long and can travel at a speed of 35 miles per hour, according to the outlet. Azzam is owned by the family of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who was the Second President of the United Arab Emirates before his death in May 2022.

What sailing position is fastest? ›

When the boat is sailing across the wind, with the wind coming directly over either side (or the 'beam') of the boat, so you are at right angles to the wind on either a port or starboard tack, then this is known as a 'Beam Reach'. This is the fastest and easiest point of sail.

What is the fastest sailing ever? ›

The highest speed ever reported is from the crew of Vestas Sailrocket 2 : on 24 November 2012 they recorded a top speed of 68.33 knots in a 25–29-knot wind.


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