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Atlantic Crossing – The Western Approaches

Berth Price

2 Berth Cabin En-Suite Price per person



Embark Disembark Vessel DurationVoyage No
Wed 29-03-2023, 19:00Horta, Azores Mon 17-04-2023, 10:00Amsterdam Eye of the Wind 19 NightsEYE23/11

The Atlantic last leg to the Netherlands over 19 days.

The last part of the Eye of the Winds Atlantic passage for Spring 2023. Sailing towards Europe the sea changes colour as you cross onto the continental shelf. The ocean becomes a darker green and you will begin to spot fishing boats. This is the Western Approaches and heralds the entry into the English Channel. Many a tall ship has sailed this route and many the sea shanties all about it.

  • Voyage
  • Vessel


A decent length ocean passage without a long haul flight for European based sailors. Join square rigger Eye of the Wind for a 19 night voyage of mostly ocean sailing plus the excitement of spotting land and very different waters in the English Channel where the prospect of a port stop is possible. This is part two of her Atlantic West – East Crossing. This is an unforgettable active holiday under sail but at the same time, you will get to know the
ship as a place of tranquility and relaxation.

Our destination is Amsterdam, a bustling port city with plenty of venue options for a celebratory drink with the crew to toast a job well done.


  • Explore Horta and the island landscape.
  • Create a spectacle as you sail out through the volcanic islands
  • hassle free ocean sailing
  • The Azores is in the middle of whale migration routes
  • Become a true blue water sailor 
  • Shipping and English and French coasts to negotiate in the last part of your voyage
  • Possible stops in favourite ports like Brest or the Channel Isles

Eye of the Wind

Sailing Areas New Zealand
Vessel type / Rig 2 Masted Brig
Guest Berths 12
Beam 7.01m (23ft)
Draft 2.7m (8.9ft)
Overall Length 40.23m (132ft)
Year Built 1911
More about the Vessel

Voyage Description

You are part of the crew.

Eye of the Wind has a keen professional crew to help train you, even if you have never sailed an ocean before. Adventurous beginners who want to try their first ocean passage and experienced ocean sailors who know they will revel in the blue ocean swell, peaceful atmosphere and sunshine as you make your way from the Azores across the ocean towards Ushant and the Western Approaches to the English Channel/La Manche.

Enjoy the culture and landscape of the Azores before setting off on the big blue ocean. Experience wide empty horizons, learn to make best use of the changing weather systems, stand watches and the novel experience of night sailing under the bright stars and help sail this traditional ship to Amsterdam, where  there are ferries or trains for your onward journey.

On nearing the English Channel – The Western Approaches

The Brits on board might like to sing this traditional sea shanty!

Farewell and adieu to you, Spanish Ladies,
Farewell and adieu to you, ladies of Spain;
For we’ve received orders for to sail for ole England,
But we hope in a short time to see you again.
We will rant and we’ll roar like true British sailors,
We’ll rant and we’ll roar all on the salt sea.
Until we strike soundings in the channel of old England;
From Ushant to Scilly is thirty five leagues.


lush islands with waterfalls
Azores – lush islands with waterfalls


If you want to escape the world and get into the relaxed rhythm of sailing a small square rigger with only 12 guest crew then this is a great voyage to chill. If you need more action it is always there, from the responsibility of standing a watch or making the ship sail faster to climbing the rigging to fishing for game fish. Enjoy ocean sunsets and getting to know your ship mates from all over the world. 

On a sailing voyage we never use the word itinerary, as skippers will always be aiming for the best sailing and shore landings for the forecast and most idyllic or sheltered anchors and ports. They are as keen as you to include some of the highlights described below, but you have to go with Mother Nature, not fight her. The description below is based on what we think might be possible, based on past trips, or experience, but nothing is guaranteed on a sailing voyage.

ocean sailing on eye of the wind
ocean sailing on eye of the wind

Join in Horta – Famous Sailors Staging Post

The 19-day trip starts in the harbour of Horta on Ilha do Faial, which is also called Ilha Azul, the ‘Blue Island’, because of the blue hydrangea hedges that stretch for many kilometers across the island. This destination can be reached from many international airports with a stopover via Lisbon.

Embarkation takes place at 19:00 hours. Afterwards, there will be dinner together in the comfortable lounge, where you will quickly feel at home on the Eye of the Wind’s deck and soon get to know your fellow sailors. Make the most of your stay with a day of exploration of the fifth-largest of the ‘Hawk Islands’, the literal translation of the Azores. Thanks to the fact that there is little traffic and few tourists, you can go hiking in absolute peace and quiet. Breathtaking routes lead across the densely vegetated island, along the cliffs, around the crater lake and to the lighthouse in the west.

The picturesque port of Horta is a wonderful place for every circumnavigator to stop. The legendary Peter Café Sport is a popular meeting place where skippers, divers, whale watchers and locals can chat and enjoy a glass of the ‘best Gin and Tonic in the world’, surrounded by souvenir photos, ship models and tail flags.

Our tip: Don’t forget to sign one of the 70 or more guest books. On the upper floor, the founder, one of the last whalers in the Azores, has set up a small scrimshaw museum with artistically crafted whale bones and whale teeth.

By the way, it is a custom among sailors to perpetuate their names on the pier of Horta with a picture. The Eye of the Wind’s painting may need a touch up.

Azores Backdrop

There are a few islands in the Azores archipelago to pass, but after that, you are out in the deep blue Atlantic Ocean. The brief spell of sheltered water might be an opportune moment to try out the bowsprit netting or climb the rigging whilst everything is steady. It could be that the crew want to show you a favourite lunchtime anchorage and swim before you set off on this 800 mile journey, but we think they will probably be ‘champing at the bit’ to get to sea once more. In these latitudes who can blame them.


Azores chart with deep seabed and seamounts
Azores chart with deep seabed and seamounts

More Hands-On Sailing

The price of this voyage is cheaper than the Caribbean cruising so there is an assumption you are up for an adventure and taking part in a watch. This is an ideal voyage for potential career sailors who want to get their face known to the Eye of the Wind crew. Who knows, you might be back as a deckhand one day.

With experienced crew to show you the ropes, sails and general crew behaviour on board you will also learn how to spot wildlife, learn how to steer the ship, learn why the sails are set a particular way. Watch the pattern of the waves and understand the swell and how it is affected by the weather hundreds of miles away. Always keep an eye to the sky and try to foretell what the weather is going to do next. 

Once out into the ocean, a relaxing and comfortable routine will be established. Night sailing with absolutely no light pollution allows you to see the stars like you have never seen them before and a sight that you will not forget.  All of the seas moods will be encountered, from glassy calms to white capped swells where flying fish are launched from crest to crest.

With decent sunshine, it is a great time to catch up on ship maintenance tasks from marlinespike seamanship to leatherwork and sail repairs. A chance to learn these skills with time on your hands is priceless.

The Art of Setting Stun’sails

The winds are likely to be light near the Azores so rollng out the stun sail booms and setting the giant light wind stun sails can occupy a fair bit of the day. It is a good idea to practice getting them down quickly too.As you move North you enter the climatic belt where Westerly depressions sweep from West to ast bringing changable but never dull sailing conditions.

Stunsails set on Eye of the Wind
Stunsails set on Eye of the Wind


English Channel

There are easy ports for a tall ship to sail into on the coast of Cornwall and Devon so you may take a pit stop before Cherbourg. The North Brittany ports are more tricky to navigate into but also rewarding. Whether you can stop depends on the progress so far and whether ther weather means it is best to anchor for a bit and wait for more favourable winds. Usually the winds blow from the SW so you should have a fast sail on this part of the voyage.

You may even stop in places like Brest as a ship the sizes of the Eye can sail up the Rade de Brest and into the huge port.

St Helier is Eye of the Wind’s – Registered Home Port

Stopping on the Channel Island of Jersey may well be on the cards as it is the ships registered port as she is still British registered even though German owned. This pearl in the bay of Saint-Malo is not only the Eye of the Wind’s home port, but also the sunniest of the ‘Norman islands’. In a remarkable coastal formation, green banks, rugged cliffs and long sandy beaches alternate and invite for long walks. Enjoy the island flair during a visit to the bustling market hall or a coffee break at Liberation Square. Jersey was occupied by the Germans in WW2.

Eye of the Wind - interior by HP Bleck
Eye of the Wind – interior by HP Bleck


The Azores has typical temperatures around 14-21 degrees C. The sea is warm enough for swimming at 18 degrees but quite bracing. Cherbourg in April is likely to be a lot cooler. You may get some big ocean swell and rough weather at some point in the voyage.


Whether you are an experienced sailor or a complete beginner, the professional crew will train you to be guest crew from the moment you arrive, with the intention that everybody works together to sail the ship. The common thread to all Classic Sailing holidays is ‘Hands on’ participation on ships that use ropes, blocks and tackles and ‘people power’ to set sail.


We cater for a wide range of ages and physical abilities and how much you are expected to do varies a bit between vessels. See the vessel tab above which explains all about the ‘sailing style’ and what to expect in terms of hands on participation. There is a lot of information about day to day life, the ships facilities and accommodation on the vessel pages.


Every customer sailing with us will need to fill in basic medical questions on their booking application. If you are not sure if your current level of fitness and agility are up to a voyage, then please ring the Classic Sailing Office on 01326 53 1234 and we can chat through your concerns and possibly find options that might suit you better.


  • Skipper & professional crew
  • Personal Safety Equipment
  • Sailing Instruction
  • All meals, snacks and refreshments
  • Port and landing fees
  • Linen and duvets
  • Third Party liability insurance


  • Travel to Joining Port
  • Travel from end port
  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • Towels
  • Waterproofs

Start & End Port

Horta, Azores

The ships exact location in port is often controlled by the port authorities and they will only allocate a docking position a few days before.

Any changes will be communicated to you before your voyage start date. Make sure you make a note of the ship’s number found in your confirmation email in case of any problems on the day.

Horta harbour is approximately 10km from the airport on the island of Faial, Azores.


The exact location may not be known until closer to the time, make sure you have a note of the ship’s phone number found in your confirmation in case of any problems on the day. The map below shows the likely joining place.

Kit List

Working Language on Board is German and English

Practical Advice for Eye of the Wind   

Practical Advice for Covid 19 and Eye of the Wind

What is Included

  • Sailing Instruction
  • All meals to include refreshments throughout the day
  • Duvet, pillow and sheets
  • Hand towels

What is not Included

  • Waterproof jackets and trousers
  • Alcoholic drinks but there is a bar on board
  • Any entry visas required

What to Bring

Suitcases take up a lot of room in a cabin, so it is better to uses soft bags in a ship. A small rucksack for going ashore is useful.

  • Eye of the Wind does not supply waterproof jackets and salopette type trousers. Please bring your own waterproof clothing.
  • A mix of warm and wind proof clothing.
  • Lots of thin layers is better than one thick layer in cold destinations.
  • In tropical countries - long sleeves and long trousers to protect you from the sun
  • Footwear on board needs a good grip and soft soles- the decks are wood or steel.
  • Ashore stout, waterproof walking boots are best if you are in remote places.
  • Eye of the Wind has electric sockets in all the cabins 240 V 
  • Cameras, spare batteries, chargers if you need them
  • Binoculars are handy for bird watching etc.
  • Suntan lotion, hats, sunglasses
  • Dont forget any regular medication, persciption glasses and spare
  • Euros for bar bill 
  • Passport, travel insurance, tickets etc
  •  To get ashore is usually by dinghy so be prepared to get wet feet. Rubber boots or quick drying sandals - depending on the location.
  • The ship provides hand towels but please bring a beach towel
  • snorkel and mask for caribbean if you like snorkelling (travel tip: swimming goggles pack up smaller than a facemask)
  • Bring insect repellant for Caribbean as can get mosquitos ashore in evening (rare at anchor)
  • ear plugs can be handy 


All the power to your plug sockets comes from the ship's generator which runs on deisel. The less the generators have to run to top up power, the nicer it is for the guests on board and also greener for the planet. Please don't bring loads of hairdriers, electric devices to charge.

There is no internet on board whilst at sea. 


Eye of the Wind is an experienced operator with many happy customers. She sails in Northern Europa nad the Baltic in Summer (Northern Hemisphere) and across the Atlantice to the Caribbean for some winter sunshine sailing holidays.

Facebook Reviews currently 5 out of 5 stars 

A fabulous adventure! Words cannot convey the experience.

John, Tortola to Bermuda, Feb- March 2023


Tortola to the Azores! What a great time. Thanks to Captain Pit and the crew. An awesome adventure with awesome people!" F Coutreau, New England

What a wonderful, lovely, great, awesome trip we've had from Malaga to Lanzarote! I loved and enjoyed every minute.

Thanks again for this wonderful experience. I miss you guys! Andrea Schwartz

Dear Adam,

Now that was a voyage! The EYE crew - all 10 - five women and five men - embody two words:


And such a beautiful ship.

Thank you beyond measure, Susan.

Eye of the Wind Faroes to Iceland Summer 2022

Vessel Gallery

With red sails against a blue sky, Eye of the Wind is a photogenic ship. If you have any new images we would love to see them since Eye of the Wind has only recently returned to our website. 

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