You don’t need any experience to join Valiente’s expedition sailing holidays, just a love for the natural world and a real sense of adventure.
Sailing with Valiente is a real hands-on, humbling experience as you work with the crew and fellow guests to navigate the Arctic wilderness together. Get stuck into all aspects of life on board, from taking the helm, setting & trimming the sails, basic sail theory and domestic duties.
The skipper and first mate, (plus a dedicated guide for Svalbard sailing voyages) will be onboard for the duration of Valiente’s sailing holidays. Along the way, preferably by sailing but sometimes under motor, we will include all guests in the sailing experience.
The physical sailing of Valiente is relatively straightforward so she’s a great boat to learn on if you haven’t sailed before. Her simple rig has three sails; the main, genoa and jib, all working off a winch system. The wheelhouse is set at deck level, with a modern navigation system. You can take the helm, working with the skipper to watch your course. The crew that sail in these waters are wildly skilled, resourceful and calm and they are always on hand to guide guests.
The boat works on a relaxed watch system, usually 4 hours on and 8 hours off. This gives guests a real chance to have some focussed sailing time but equally have the time to just be. To sit, watch the world go by, to relax, nap, read a book in your cabin, play cards in the saloon or just simply sit at the bows, watching, reflecting as the world glides by. If Valiente spends time on anchor, the watch system will run overnight, but with all guests and crew participating, you wouldn’t be on watch on consecutive nights.
There is always a thorough safety briefing and introduction once guests have settled onboard, followed by a “man overboard” procedure (don’t worry – this is a fender not a real person!) and a fire safety drill.
Central heating runs continuously throughout the boat, (there’s even heated towel rails in all bathroom and a heater in the wheelhouse) so she is wonderfully cosy! The spacious saloon and galley are set mid ships with 360° windows at deck level – perfect for cooking with a view. The galley is really well equipped with an induction hob, two domestic ovens, two fridge drawers and plenty of storage space.
All cabins have heating, comfy beds, thick duvets and wool blankets. Cabins are not allocated until all guests are booked and on board so that every is matched with the right size bed and right facilities for their needs! There are full size domestic showers with plenty of hot water although as with all sailing experiences, guests are asked to be respectful with their water consumption. A small bath towel is provided per person but you’ll need to bring an extra hand towel or swim towel if you wish.
Naomi from the VentureSail team sailed with Valiente in Norway – you can read her blog here for an insight into her experience!
Aside from setting the sails and taking the helm, the next most important aspect of Arctic sailing on Valiente is definitely the food! Once you’ve boarded the boat, a crew member will split all guests into pairs, who are then divided over a rota for breakfast, lunch and dinner duties. With an average of 10 people on board, you’ll normally end up doing one of each service over a week’s voyage.
If you’re not much of a cook, fear not! There will be a menu plan for the whole voyage already planned out with all the provisions on board. The menu plan is entirely flexible depending on the plan for the day, maybe you catch a fish or maybe the more confident cooks will want to experiment a little! Alongside the menu plan, there is a correlating recipe book, especially made with ingredients, quantities and cooking methods to match the meal plan.
Cooking on board is an integral part of how a sailing ship operates. A hearty feed after a sailing adventure, a chance to bring everyone together, for confidence to grow and cultural culinary tips to be shared.
Valiente's professional and qualified crew work on a rotation basis.Read Valiente's crew's Adventure Logs
Board as strangers and leave with a lifetime of memories from bucket list locations.Read Valiente's Adventure Logs
The History of
With a decade of sailing under her belt, Valiente has plenty of stories to share...Read more