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Winter Biscay Adventure

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Embark Disembark Vessel DurationVoyage No
Thu 02-01-2025, 14:00Rotterdam, the Netherlands Sun 19-01-2025, 14:00Lisbon, Portugal Twister 17 NightsTW020125

Embark on an 18-day adventure aboard Twister, setting sail from Rotterdam’s Veerhaven. Navigate the challenging winter waters of the North Sea and the Bay of Biscay, guided by Twister’s seasoned crew. Witness the beauty of the deep ocean meeting the European continental shelf, creating spectacular waves.

Journeying further south, enjoy the rugged coast of Galicia before arriving in Lisbon, a city steeped in history and charm. Explore historic sites, savour local delicacies, and experience Lisbon’s vibrant nightlife. This voyage is a thrilling test for adventurous beginners and more experienced sailors, promising unforgettable moments and breathtaking scenery.

  • Voyage
  • Vessel

Ideal Voyage for…

Adventurous beginners or experienced sailors looking to test themselves

Uniquely exciting mile building

Those keen to experience some potentially big wave sailing


  • Experiencing vibrant Lisbon with a real sense of achievement
  • Varied sailing in exciting waters
  • Becoming a real part of the crew


Vessel type / Rig 2-Masted Schooner
Guest Berths 18
Beam 6.2 m
Draft 2.8 m
Deck Length 28.7 m
Overall Length 36.5 m
Year Built Built 1902 / Rebuilt 1957
More about the Vessel

Voyage Description


Setting Sail from Rotterdam

Your adventure begins in the charming Veerhaven, nestled next to the iconic Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam. On departure, you’ll witness the bustling Nieuwe Waterweg, lined imposing sea vessels. The crew have spent the last few months in full refit, prepping the ship for sea, ensuring your safety and comfort during this winter voyage.

Along the Way

The route takes you across the North Sea and into the Bay of Biscay, an area known for its dynamic beauty and sometimes challenging sailing. The North Sea greets you with a flurry of activity, from pilot boats to wind farms dotting the horizon. On leaving the English Channel and rounding Finistere, the Bay of Biscay unveils itself. Here, the deep ocean meets the European continental shelf, creating potentially rough conditions that you’ll help Twister’s experienced crew to navigate. Expect spectacular sailing and a genuine thrill.

Arriving in Lisbon

Your final destination is the captivating city of Lisbon. Sailing along the Spanish coast to Portugal, you’ll be greeted by the impressive Ponte 25 de Abril. Once ashore, indulge in local delicacies and savour the vibrant nightlife of this remarkable city. If you have an extra day to spare, consider exploring historic sites like the Jerónimos Monastery or simply strolling through Lisbon’s charming neighbourhoods.

Yard of the Palace


Prepare for a challenging but rewarding journey. Winter in the North Sea and Bay of Biscay can be demanding. The crew’s expertise ensures a safe passage, even through the high seas. Reaching Galicia, the rising temperatures hint at your more southern location, as the Spanish and Portuguese coastlines unfold before you.


On a sailing voyage we never use the word itinerary, as skippers will always be aiming for the best and safest sailing routes for the forecast. They are as keen as you to include some of the highlights described above, but when it comes to sailing, you have to go with Mother Nature, not fight her. The description provided is based on what we think might be possible, based on past trips, or prior experience, but nothing is guaranteed on a sailing voyage. As such, the scheduled joining ports, routes, activities and/or destinations may be altered. Due to the complexities of weather systems, this may be at very short notice. 


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. Handling cargo adds an extra dimension – building teamwork and communication skills and leaving you with a great sense of achievement.


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.

Start & End Port

Rotterdam, the Netherlands


Rotterdam – With Oosterschelde


There are a few places in Rotterdam where you could potentially be meeting your vessel. Make sure you have made a note of the ship’s phone number found in your final confirmation email in case of any problems on the day.

Rotterdam is easy to get by high speed train.



Lisbon, Portugal

Yard of the Palace

Trams in Lisbon

Worthwhile Journeys

You are going to be spending some time in the ports you embark and disembark from. These aren’t just logistical points; they’re opportunities for further enrichment. Take an extra day to discover what’s beyond the harbour. It’s not merely about filling time; it’s about making the entire journey worthwhile.

Keeping in Touch The exact location of your ship may not be known until closer to your joining time, you will be informed by email once the exact position has been confirmed. Make sure you take a note of the ship’s mobile/cell phone number with you in case you are delayed or there are any other problems on the day.

What to Do in Lisbon

History Lisbon is a city steeped in maritime history. The Maritime Museum and the Jerónimos Monastery are a nod to Portugal’s illustrious sea voyages. For history buffs, the Alfama district is a labyrinth of narrow streets, capturing Lisbon’s Moorish past.

Culture Fado music often wafts through the air as you navigate the city’s hilly terrain. If you find yourself here in June, you’ll catch the vibrant Festas de Lisboa, featuring a parade of colourful sardine floats.

Sites of Interest to a Sailor From Lisbon’s shoreline, you might glimpse the towering statue of Christ the King and the 25 de Abril Bridge, a near-twin of San Francisco’s Golden Gate. The Tagus River offers natural shelter, historically providing a safe haven for sea vessels.

Entertainment You’ll find plenty of traditional Fado houses, jazz bars, and modern nightclubs. Docas de Santo Amaro is known for its nightlife where the quayside bars become vibrant as the sun sets.

Eating Out Don’t leave without tasting a pastel de nata. Seafood is, naturally, a staple, with bacalhau (salt cod) appearing in countless forms. For wine, you’d be amiss not to have a glass of vinho verde or port.

Nature Beyond the hustle and bustle, Lisbon has beautiful natural landscapes to offer, including the nearby Sintra-Cascais Natural Park, a grand blend of forested hills and rugged coastline.

Unique Features Lisbon’s trams are not only an effective way of tackling its many hills, but they offer a unique and historical ride through the city’s most scenic routes.

Accommodation For classic Portuguese grandeur, try the Pestana Palace or the Four Seasons Ritz Lisbon.

Official Tourist Website Visit Lisbon’s official tourism website for more information.

Weather Lisbon Winters are mild, with January hovering around 11°C. Spring offers pleasant temperatures, while summers can soar up to 30°C. Autumn is a transitional period, with mild to warm weather.

Sea and Beyond: A Responsible Mariner’s Guide Since you’re already investing in a unique sailing adventure, why not extend that spirit to your travel choices? Opt for more sustainable methods of transport where possible like trains, coaches or sharing a car. If you fly, and we realise this may well be the case, you could research some ways to offset the carbon created by the flight.

Special Interests If you have a special interest that you would like to find out about for this port or to tell us about, we would love to hear from you.

How to Get There

From the UK Lisbon is well connected by air to major cities in the UK. Alternatively, trains from London to Lisbon via Paris and Madrid are also available.

From Europe Trains and flights from several European cities make Lisbon easily accessible.

From North America Direct flights are available from several major cities in the United States and Canada.

From Australia While there are no direct flights from Australia, one-stop flights via Asian or Middle Eastern hubs are commonly used.

Kit List

What to pack for a sailing adventure aboard Twister

What is Included:

  • All meals and soft drinks aboard
  • All safety equipment, including lifejackets and harnesses.
  • Your bunk, bedding and a towel

What is Not Included:

  • Travel to and from your voyage
  • Personal travel insurance (see our advice on Travel Insurance)
  • Alcohol- drinks are available to purchase on board- consumption is always at the discretion of the Skipper, and is never permitted whilst the ship is underway.
  • Waterproofs - sets are available to hire: make sure to discuss this with the ship's team before you arrive.

What to Bring

YOUR PASSPORT! Along with any other required travel documentation. Please read the joining instructions you receive from the Ship carefully to ensure you have everything you need.

  • Please, no valuable jewellery or other valuables, unless you have got specific travel insurance to cover it.
  • Waterproofs - see above.
  • Hats for sun and cold weather.
  • At least two sets of warm clothes - layers e.g. tracksuit bottoms, shirts, fleece jacket, wool jumpers, thick socks, and neck scarf. It can get cold at sea even in mid summer.
  • Swim suit and suntan lotion.
  • Flat shoes with a good grip e.g. trainers or sailing deck shoes. Sailing boots or wellies are also helpful.
  • All terrain type Sandals are great for dinghy trips ashore – but you do need shoes which protect your toes for sailing.
  • Camera, binoculars, sketchbook, a relaxing read, a musical instrument, pack of cards, magic tricks...
  • Any medication, spare spectacles. Seasickness tablets or pressure-point wrist bands (talk to your pharmacist)
  • Your own logbook if you'd like to keep track of your sea miles.
  • Tech chargers (along with adaptors for European sockets) and waterproof cases for any electronics. A rechargeable battery pack for your phone / camera can be really helpful.

N.B. BOATS HAVE LIMITED STORAGE SPACE SO PLEASE PACK AS LIGHTLY AS POSSIBLE. Don't use a rigid suitcase or a bag with a rigid frame. Soft bags are much easier to fold up and stow.

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