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Orkney, Fair Isle and Shetland

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Embark Disembark Vessel DurationVoyage No
Thu 15-06-2023, 16:00Kirkwall, Orkney Thu 22-06-2023, 10:00Lerwick, Shetland Trinovante 7 NightsTR150623

Summer Solstice Adventure

The best way to see Orkney, Fair Isle and Shetland is by sail and it has to be the best island adventure you can think of this summer.

Mostly Coastal Day Sailing but the passage to Fair Isle is an open-water sea passage and there is a chance of an overnight passage on this voyage where you would be part of the watch system. The long, long days mean you can do a lot of sailing and exploring every day.

If weather permits, Trinovante will spend two nights on Fair Isle: Scotland’s most remote inhabited island, before setting off once more for the relative bustle of Lerwick on Shetland.

  • Voyage
  • Vessel

Voyage Highlights ….

  • Island hopping
  • Bird watching
  • Cetacean spotting
  • Unspoilt islands
  • Nature lovers
  • Remote places
  • Try the northern most pub on Unst!


Vessel type / Rig 3 Masted Gaff Rigged Schooner
Guest Berths 8
Beam 4.4m 14ft 6ins
Draft 2.1m
Deck Length 21m 70ft
Overall Length 23.9m 80ft
Year Built 1994
More about the Vessel

Voyage Description

Orkney, Fair Isle and Shetland.

Trinovante with Classic Sailing
Trinovante with Classic Sailing

An epic voyage in just 7 nights. This trip will consist mostly of coastal day sailing, but the passage to Fair Isle is an open-water passage and there’s the possibility of some night time sailing.

If you join for the voyage from Orkney to Shetland, expect to get cracking and spend more time at the Shetland end. If you join for the trip from Shetland to Orkney the reverse will be true, and you’ll likely spend more time exploring Orkney (although it is, of course, all down to the weather!).


Established by the Vikings in the 11th Century Kirkwall was first mentioned in the Orkneyinga Viking Saga (also called the History of the Earls of Orkney). We have a copy on board for those who fancy a topical read.

The dominant feature of the town is the cathedral founded in 1137 by the Viking, Earl Rognvald, in honour of St Magnus who was martyred in Orkney. Otherwise, you can enjoy a wander in the busy shopping centre on the stone slabbed streets, visit the Orkney museum, The Bishops and Earls Palace, and of course, there is a distillery!

It is well worth having a few days extra in Kirkwall if you have time. There are lots of day trips worth doing from Kirkwall including several stone circles and two sites run by Historic Scotland: Scara Brae and Maeshowe.

Getting ready to set the topsail on a schooner.


Fair Isle is Scotland’s most remote inhabited island. It is only 3sq miles and the population was down to 48 at the beginning of 2021.

The island is known for its distinctive Fair Isle knitting style and birdlife. You could take a wander up to the North Lighthouse where you can see puffins and other seabirds. Puffins, Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes, Shags, Gannets and Fulmar make up the bulk of cliff-breeding birds on Fair Isle.

The aim will be to spend two nights here, allowing for a full day of exploration of the island.

fair isle


Lerwick is the main town in Shetland with a population of 7000. A walk along the coast south from Lerwick to Clickimin Broch is worth doing. If you can afford more time in Lerwick a day trip to Jarlshof and Sumburgh Head Lighthouse is well worth it, although is an hour and a half on the bus or you need to hire a car.

Broch on Shetland
Broch on Shetland

Start & End Port

Kirkwall, Orkney

Lerwick, Shetland

Kit List

Equipment Trinovante Provides

Foul Weather Waterproofs

Life Jackets

Very warm insulated water-proof flotation suits suitable for colder conditions. These will keep you toasty warm on  Offshore Night Watches  and sailing in Norway


  • Sleeping bag
  • Clean pillow case. We provide a pillow.
  • Pair of wellies. Any wellies will do. We might be able to lend you a pair – email us with your size. If you are buying some yacht wellies tend to be a bit lighter
  • Passport This is needed if your sailing holiday starts and/or finishes in a non UK port and we will be in more than one country during the voyage.
    No passport, no sailing holiday.
  • Non slip footwear – any non slip footwear will do, we are not a yacht so there is no need to buy expensive deck shoes.
  • Warm hat and clothing. Layers work best. Thick fleece, thin fleece, shirt, tshirt is a good layer set up. Thermal underwear is a great idea and doesn’t take up much room in your bag.
  • Gloves. Most people don’t bother with gloves, but if you do want to wear some, leather sailing  gloves with no fingers may be best. It can be difficult to handle ropes in full gloves.
  • Towel and toiletries. Most people bring travel towels.
  • Strap to hold your sunglasses/glasses on with. Essential if you wear glasses.
  • Hat, sunscreen, sunglasses and loose clothing to cover up from the sun. Trinovante sails in Northern Europe so you are not going to roast but sometimes it can get surprisingly hot even in Norway.
  • Any medication that you need.
    If you think you may need sea sickness medication Stugeron seems to be the one most people take. The active ingredient is Cinnarzine. We do have Stugeron onboard.
  • Travel insurance for sailing. For some of our holidays this means ‘offshore insurance’.
    We do not require that you have travel insurance for our sailing weekends in the UK.
    SchoonerSail’s  Buying Travel Insurance For Sailing Holidays has more information about travel insurance.
    One specialist sailing holiday insurer is Topsail Insurance. There are lots of other insurers and you do not have to use Topsail Insurance when you sail with us. They may or may not be the most suitable for you.

  • No valid travel insurance when you arrive onboard, no sailing holiday.

Pack everything for your sailing holiday in a squashable bag, not a large suitcase. Remember space onboard is limited.


Fantastic scenery Shetland and Orkney Fair Isle Westray good weather and fair winds. Instructions very clear safety in mind at all times. Food cooked by Sue was wonderful we had crab and fresh fish as a treat. Crew were also very friendly and helpful. Would love another voyage !


I have spent most of my sailing time in modern yachts of various sizes but having the helm of a 3 masted schooner under full sail is an experience like no other.


Thanks for a truly memorable weekend! The sailing experience and tuition were first class: I enjoyed the companionship very much: all that under the leadership of two people talented and thoroughly pleasant in equal measure. It was a privilege. Thank you again. And the megastar was Trinovante – what a ship!


“Food, laughter and space were all in generous supply,
as were the opportunities to learn as much or as little as you chose.
Thanks Su and John the tapestry of life is richer for having sailed with you.”


We have loved it all from being at the helm, hoisting sail, fixing fenders and weighing the anchor.


Just a note of thanks for the fabulous time I had aboard Trinovante across the North Sea. I think it mended something in me I hadn’t realised was broken. Of course the reason it’s so good is the way you make us incompetent crew able to share a part of your life.


The scenery was stunning. We moored or anchored in a series of small harbours and bays keeping our eyes open for wildlife. Sharing a beer on deck as the sun slowly sank over the silent scene will be an enduring memory.

Stuart & Sara

What a great time I had with you and my fellow crew members last weekend.
I really enjoyed being part of a small and friendly group and being hands-on with the sailing manoeuvres.


Thanks for a fantastic week..
It is the skill of a successful host to take a gang of disparate (desperate?) folk and turn them into a group of friends – Well done!
We are thoroughly bitten by the bug and would like to have another go next year

Chris & Alastair

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