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Embark Disembark Vessel DurationVoyage No
Sat 13-05-2023, 16:00Harwich Sat 27-05-2023, 10:00Kirkwall, Orkney Trinovante 14 NightsTR130523

A big adventure.

14 nights and around 500 miles of sailing northwards from Harwich.
Where will you go to get there?
Northward, and ever northward. With good time available there are lots and lots of options. The deciding factor will be the skipper’s constant adjustment of itinerary according to the wind over the course of the voyage. You can imagine that Trinovante will sail northward at every possible opportunity. It is better to arrive early and enjoy some time exploring Orkney than getting there at the last possible moment.
Treat it as a Big Adventure and you will have a great voyage!

  • Voyage
  • Vessel

Ideal for ….

Getting into the rhythm of sailing and watch keeping.

Seeing the UK coast from a whole new perspective.

Learning the ropes from a friendly and welcoming crew, and becoming a real part of the team for your two weeks on board.

This voyage may involve up to five days at sea where you will be part of a watch system the whole time you are on passage to Orkney. The voyage is expected to take 3 or 4 days. For more information about what to expect read the full voyage description below.


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


You join Trinovante in the historic seaport of Harwich Essex.

From here Kirkwall is just over 500 miles north. Our ideal plan would be to sail straight to Orkney and once up there spend the rest of the time cruising the islands. However, the wind does not always blow in the right direction so a realistic expectation for this voyage would be to plan on a week to get there and a week sailing in Orkney. So…

If the wind is in the right direction we might set sail straight away and not stop until we get to Orkney which would mean three or four nights at sea.

Whitby, Hartlepool, Eyemouth, and Wick are likely places for us to visit along the way if we want to break en-route.

If the wind is against us we might spend a couple of days sailing on the Thames Estuary rivers before sailing north.

In other words

Be prepared for any sailing plan that gets Trinovante to Kirkwall on time!

Getting ready to set the topsail on a schooner.

On the first evening, you will learn enough to feel comfortable onboard. We’ll also cover some basic safety training.


The watch system we set on Trinovante depends on the weather, the number of crew on board, and their capabilities. Normally we run two watches.

Trinovante does not have an autohelm so the crew usually takes it in turns to do half an hour at the wheel. Keeping a lookout and occasional sail handling fill the rest of the time. Trinovante only takes a small number of guest sailors which means you are guaranteed plenty of time at the helm.

There will also be time to watch the stars at night, enjoy sunsets and sunrises, and generally get into the rhythm of being at sea.

Usually, there is a bit of a buzz on board at the end of a voyage. We think that comes from everyone feeling part of a team that has achieved something together.

SAILING IN ORKNEY if time allows.
It is possible we will sail round to Stromness and into Scapa Flow on this leg or we might head North to visit Westray, Stronsay, and Shapinsay .

There could be a mix of visiting remote island communities, anchoring in out-of-the-way places, and some time exploring wild places ashore. Bring some decent walking shoes.

Steering the ship on a sailing holiday in the UK


Trinovante finishes this voyage in Kirkwall Harbour which has good travel links.

Kirkwall was established by the Vikings in the 11th Century and 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 in the town.

It is well worth staying a few extra days in Kirkwall if you can. There are lots of day trips worth doing from Kirkwall including several stone circles and two sites run by Historic Scotland

Start & End Port


Kirkwall, Orkney

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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