Join traditional schooner Aron for hands-on sailing and island hopping through the Danish archipelago from Svendborg.
The island of Funen is the third largest island in Denmark and its a great spot to begin your sailing holiday. The south coast is home to some beautiful sailing grounds with low waves and moderate winds making this sailing area one of the best in Denmark.
Join traditional boat Aron and her Danish skippers in the harbour of Svendborg, the port that Aron has called home since she was built in 1906! This voyage is a traditional, hands-on sailing holiday, perfect for beginners and those wanting to experience the magic of sailing with such a beautifully kept historic vessel.
- Traditional wooden boat
- Gentle tuition
- Hands-on sailing
- Island hopping
- Private cabins
- Sustainable travel
- Local produce
YOUR SAILING AREA
South Funen, Denmark
Denmark is home to over 444 islands with 368 of them uninhabited and they are undoubtedly best discovered by boat. Even on the land, you’re never more than 32 miles from the coast at any time so it’s easy to see why sailing and the sea are deeply rooted in Danish culture.
Traditional Schooner Aron is not only a beautiful example of a historic Danish working boat but with both her skippers (Gorm and Helene) hailing from the islands, they certainly know all the best spots to take guests.
You’ll start south of the island of Funen in a town called Svendborg. This sailing area is known for its sheltered calm seas and moderate winds so Aron makes a great introductory boat for traditional sailing. For those wanting to learn the ropes in a supported environment, Aron is certainly a great option set in some beautiful scenery. Low waves and little swell also means sailing between the islands rarely causes sea sickness.
Life on board is a truly relaxed sailing experience with a good mix of 3-5 hours of sailing each day and plenty of time to discover islands ashore. Click the tab below to read more about what to expect from “Life on board”.
The South Funen Archipelago
Each island has its very own unique personality and landscape scenery but all have that mythical Danish charm and romance. Their cultural history and traditional fishing industries remain common across the islands and they all have a welcoming and relaxed nature. Most islands also have the option to hire bicycles to explore and have numerous bathing spots!
The voyage is always dictated by the wind and the weather but below is an idea of where you could sail with Aron…
The island of Tåsinge is where skipper Gorm’s and Helene’s hometown of Troense sits. Manicured cottages line the waterfront with a lovely blend of sensitively restored 17th century architecture and ancient apple trees. Electric cars glide around and some sparsely populated locals all pass with beaming smiles. There’s a real sense of an enriching life here, a community spirit with a strong sustainability approach to everything.
The neighbouring island of Skaro is the island that time forgot – a small offshore farm community with pretty thatched cottages. The island has a declining population of about 30 people, and probably a similar ratio of chicken and sheep. Most importantly, it’s famous for its ice-cream, made using natural sugars from birch trees and seaweed. They have a small cafe in the centre of the island and you can see watch the ice-cream being made!
The sleepy island of Lyø is home to only about 80 inhabitants and a handful of cars. You can hire a bicycle to explore or just take a walk, it’s relatively flat to navigate. Traditional farmhouses nestle between the islands five ponds where ducks and chickens roam the tracks. The whitewashed 17th century church sits in the only circular graveyard in the whole of Denmark – it’s a bit like walking through an old film set.
The island of Drejø provides peaceful walking and wildlife watching opportunities, home to white fallow deer, while the island of Strynø is full of half-timbered houses, a traditional boat museum and an iconic Danish windmill.
The island of Ærø can only be accessed by boat so it’s little surprise that the town of Marstal where Aron originally came from back in 1906 sits to the East of the island. The town is a little more bustling with a few artisan shops, cafe’s and a great maritime museum.
Ærø is also home to Ærøskøbing – nick-named “fairy-tale town” one of the best preserved 18th century towns in Denmark. Unchanged for hundreds of years, it truly is a magical experience arriving here by boat to explore ashore and soak in some mythical Danish history.
A few members of the VentureSail Team sailed with Aron, click here to read more about their week sailing and exploring the islands, travel tips and more…!
All voyages for Aron of Svendborg
Aron of Svendborg
Guest berths: 10 Rig: Schooner
Traditional schooner Aron of Svendborg offers hands-on sailing holidays in Denmark. Immerse yourself into life as it would have been some 115 years ago as her crew gives guests the chance to get involved with all aspects of sailing this beautiful traditional wooden boat.
She is owned and skippered by Danish sailing couple Gorm and Helene whose love of traditional sailing is clear to see. They believe that any sailing voyage is “an adventure at your own pace”. Travelling on a sailing ship like Aron is a sustainable choice at a time when climate challenges are having an increasing impact on the experiences we choose. On board Aron, they prioritise ecology, sustainability and local produce wherever possible.
Built in 1906, Aron of Svendborg is a fine example of a traditional Marstal sailing ship with the soft lines and powerful ‘spring curve’ that these schooners were renowned for. Built with solid oak, her flat transom and good sailing characteristics are typical of shipbuilder Lars Jensen Bager of Bager’s shipyard in Marstal.
Both above and below decks, Aron of Svendborg is a beautiful base to have while exploring the islands and coastline of Denmark. She offers private bunk cabins, a spacious saloon area and plenty of space above decks to relax under sail and watch the world go by.
Aron spends her summers sailing in Denmark, discovering the Danish archipelago of South Funen and visiting the cosmopolitan city of Copenhagen. She is perfect for those looking for a relaxed, traditional sailing holiday with the opportunity to get involved with sailing such a magnificent vessel under the watchful eye of a professional crew. There is no age limit, either young or old and there is no need for any sailing experience, just a good sense of humour and lust for adventure is a must!
Deck planMore about Aron of Svendborg
Life on board
Our sailing holidays on traditional tall ship Aron of Svendborg are perfect for those looking for a unique sustainable holiday experience. Get to grips with life on a traditional vessel as you explore the islands of Denmark under sail.
Aron is owned and skippered by Danish couple, Gorm and Helene. Hailing from the Danish port of Svendborg, they have been sailing in and around Denmark all of their lives. The opportunity to share their sailing grounds with guests, showing them where they grew up and introducing them to the history and sailing heritage of the area – is something they are both extremely proud of.
They love nothing more than to welcome guests on board Aron, sharing with them both their floating home and also a piece of maritime history of which they are fiercely protective of. (If you get the chance to stop at Marstal – be sure to get Gorm to give you an outside tour of the old ships yard before you take a museum tour!)
Gorm is normally at the helm, plotting the route with Helene and watching the weather. Helene is on hand on deck to guide guests, showing them the ropes with a truly relaxed manner. She used to teach sail training on larger tall ships – her manner is considered and her explanations of wind direction and sail hoisting are clear and easy to learn. Although guest participation is not mandatory, Gorm and Helene believe it is truly the best part of the experience. It doesn’t matter on your age or ability, there is always something to suit!
Get to grips with hoisting the sails, taking the helm and some basic navigation. Everything on Aron is done as part of a team, from work on deck to preparing dinner and washing up. Everyone takes a turn – there’s something quite holistic about peeling apples on deck, just picked from a local island, sharing cultural stories of culinary delights from around the world (or maybe just your granny’s apple pie recipe!)
Enjoy the silence of the sea, the wind in the sails and the gentle creak of this beautiful old wooden ship.
Sailing with Aron is not necessarily about the destination (although the islands of Denmark are truly beautiful and perfect to be explored by boat!) but the journey itself is the real purpose. Using mainly the power of the steady Baltic winds, sailing with Aron is a sustainable holiday choice in a time when there are increasing climate challenges around us. The impact on the environment is deciding the experiences we choose and with Aron, ecology, sustainability and local experiences are at the heart of everything on offer.
Denmark has a real community spirit from town to town and island to island. Everyone helps each other out with a lot of the village stores run on a community funded, volunteer basis. Helene and Gorm are very much a part of this and building relationships with local artisanal producers across the islands. Helene hopes to use the last section of cargo hold on Aron to share produce across the islands. This isn’t for financial gain, just to share community spirit.
Sleeping and Eating
With the fresh sea air comes a healthy appetite and after a day of traditional sailing, enjoy delicious home-cooked meals aboard. Using local produce or perhaps even throwing a line for our very own catch-of-the day, Helene is well-versed in cooking up a feast from the galley. The menu ranges from traditional Danish dishes to international flavours. Helene has spent many years travelling the world with tall ships, so her menu is very much inspired.
There is plenty of space both above and below decks to lay up a feast, with the saloon and dining area providing a cosy space for colder evenings. Aron can accommodate up to ten guests in a combination of four twin cabins, one 3-berth cabin. Cabin allocation happens once everyone has booked and has boarded. Some cabins are more suited to taller guests, come better suited for couples etc so Helene will allocate upon arrival.
Each cabin comes with its own sink, hand-towel, wash towel, full bedding and USB charging points and all cabins share a toilet. There is a shower aboard Aron if needed but the shoreside marina facilities are so good, it’s almost a shame not to use them. Aside from the showers, you’ll often find communal BBQs with sheltered seating, and sometimes even a sauna!
The crew have their own private space and cabins in the transom of the ship and Gorm and Helene sometimes sail with two of their sea-going children (normally if there are other children booked on). So Aron is suitable for all and any ages of children although as a guide, it is preferable that children under five do have some experience of being at sea.
A Typical Day
Breakfast normally starts around 8-8.30am before the plan for the day is discussed. Usually after breakfast it’s time to hoist the sails for a few hours before making port after lunch. Afternoons are spent exploring ashore, walking the flat islands to castles, beach-combing, fresh ice cream, sea dips, bunk resting, reading a book, or playing cards together. There is no expectation, sometimes the group walks together, sometimes they split up – it’s your holiday so it’s up to you!
Sailing in Denmark is great place to embrace the “hygge” the country is known for, switching off from demands of the modern world and simply relaxing.
What’s the weather like?
The Danish climate is moderated by the warm Gulf Stream and is milder (and warmer) than surrounding Scandinavian countries. It gets the usual summer rain showers, often in the form of mizzle (mist+drizzle!) but on the whole there’s light winds for great sailing and plenty of sunshine. Make sure you take a suncream and swimming costume!
- The spring months, (April and May) are the mildest with average temperatures of 12°C.
- The summer months, (June, July and August) are the hottest with average temperatures of 17-20°C.
- From September, the temperature drops to an average of 14-17°C.
- Full board (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, hot drinks and water)
- All bedding (pillow, sheets & duvet)
- Wash towel per person
- Hand-towel per cabin
- Full crew plus tuition
- Marina and fuel fees
- All tender trips to and fro the boat
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- Alcohol and soft drinks
- Swim towel
- All flights
- Transit hotels
- Travel to and from the boat on the day of joining/leaving
- Travel insurance
- Sailing Insurance (Please read our Sailing Insurance page for more information)
- Crew tips
- Personal expenses
Travel insurance notes
As this is an active adventure holiday, we advise that everyone has the appropriate personal accident travel insurance whilst onboard in addition to standard travel insurance which would cover you in the time between making your booking and departing for your adventure. These policies can sometimes be combined so please check with your travel insurance provider.
This voyage will not be more than 12miles offshore.
Are all meals included?
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, water and hot drinks are all included.
Are there any added extra's?
There's an honesty bar for soft drinks and beer.
Can you cater for dietary needs?
Meat eaters and vegetarians only. Any other dietary requirements will need to bring their own supplies.
What language is spoken onboard?
What are the sleeping arrangements?
There are 4x twin bunks, 1x single saloon bunk and 1x 3berth cabin. All cabins have their own sink and USB charging ports.
How many toilet/showers does she have?
There is one toilet and shower for guests but showers are mostly taken ashore. The shoreside marina facilities in Denmark are so good, it's almost a shame not to use them!
Is there WIFI?
No but there's plenty of 5G if you need it - otherwise, it's time to disconnect from the modern conforms and reconnect with nature!
Can I charge my phone/Camera?
Yes - there are plenty of USB sockets available in each cabin.
Are there life jackets provided?
Are Waterproofs provided?
No - you'll only need lightweight waterproofs. The area is very sheltered so sea spray is rare!
Do I need sailing experience?
No, absolutely not. Aron is the perfect boat for gentle sailing while learning the ropes.
Will I be sea sick?
Everyone reacts differently but Aron sails in such sheltered waters, it's very rare anyone suffers aboard.
Is bedding included?
All bedding and a towel is included but please bring your own swim towels. Micro-fibres are a great lightweight, quick-drying alternative.
From: Svendborg, Denmark
To: Svendborg, Denmark
To see where the ports are, along with your likely sailing area, please view the sail area & highlights.
Svendborg, South Funen, Denmark
The easiest and quickest way is to fly into Copenhagen airport and take the train onto Svendborg. Flights take about 1.5hours and the total train time is about 2.5 hours minutes.
Most major UK airports (Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted, Bristol, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham) fly to Copenhagen where you can jump on a train to Svendborg, admiring the endless green countryside along the way.
- You’ll need to get either the metro line from the airport to Copenhagen Central Station or just jump in a taxi (about 15 minutes journey time). The metro line is really simple and easy to use but taxi’s are equally as affordable given they are all electric, so no high fuel prices!
- Once you’re on the train from Copenhagen Central Station, you’ll need to change trains in the town of Odense and then continue onto Svendborg. The VentureSail team trialled the route for themselves and were pleasantly surprised with how efficient and on time everything was! This place runs like clockwork, making the travel to and from the boat, surprisingly relaxing and an enjoyable part of the adventure.
- Once you’ve arrived into Svendborg station, it’s just a 5 minute walk down to the marina.
…using DSB trains or Omio to book train tickets. They’ll work out the transfer times for you and match tickets accordingly. If you’re unsure about timings, DSB offer the option to book a flexible ticket that you can use over a 24hour period.
…extend your stay and visit Copenhagen, even for a night or two! It’s a great city known for its top notch cuisine, canal tours, palaces and architecture.