Adventure sailing holidays

Learn to sail, then sail yourself.  Our instructors teach you to sail, to handle your boat under sail or power,  to safely anchor, show you how to interpret weather forecasts, handle minor emergencies and ensure you know the basic maritime rules and can navigate safely from A to B.  Everything you need to safely skipper one of our yachts for your own adventure sailing holiday in our beautiful Bay of Islands.  You can also gain Yachting New Zealand and International Yacht Training (IYT)  internationally recognised qualifications.

Recommended Courses

  • Beginners: Two-day introduction or Six-day learn-to-sail then sail-yourself holiday
  • Intermediate: Five-day sailing adventure holiday
  • Experienced: Five-day Bareboat Skipper course or one-day instructor refresh to start your bareboat holiday

6-day sailing holiday:  Learn to sail then sail yourself

6-day sailing holidayIdeal for those with a dream of sailing themselves in the beautiful Bay of Islands, even if you have never sailed before. Three days with an instructor and three days cruising and exploring the Bay of Islands by yourselves.

A useful sailing holiday for two people with different levels of sailing expertise and for those that wish to obtain the Yachting NZ Level two qualifications.  For beginners, the three days instruction ensures plenty of time to cover the key skills and knowledge to safely sail in the Bay.  For those with some experience the three days under instruction, combined with the three days self-sail should enable them to obtain YNZ Level Two certification and the IYT (International Yacht Training) International Crew.  Click for IYT International Crew Course Info

“Wow, what can I say. I can’t recommend this trip enough. … taught us everything we needed to know to feel confident when left to our own devices to explore the Bay of Islands for the following 3 days. We had perfect weather, saw dolphins on two of the days and had a generally fantastic experience learning to sail.” – Samantha R Trip Advisor

2-day introduction to sailing

This two-day course gives you an excellent introduction to the sport of sailing.  Safe and enjoyable you’ll be with your instructor during the day and tied up to our dock for your night aboard.  It includes all the essential safety skills necessary for you to participate in sailing in the most enjoyable way under instruction for the duration of your sailing holiday

  • Day one – Your sailing holiday commences at 9.30am with a dock briefing then you cast off for a day’s sailing in the bay with your instructor.
  • Overnight – Sleep aboard tied to the Great Escape dock
  • Day two – Another day out sailing with your instructor, your sailing holiday concludes at 5 pm.

This course is an introduction to Keelboat Sailing.  No prior experience is assumed or required.  Suitable for all ages.   Depending on competency, by the end of the course, you should have obtained your Level One YNZ Keelboat Certification (Introduction to Keelboat Sailing).


5-day sailing adventure holiday

Perfect for those with some boating experience ready to step up to skippering their own boat. two days with an instructor and three days cruising and exploring the Bay of Islands by yourselves.

  • Day one – Dock briefing then cast off for a day’s sailing in the bay.
  • First overnight – Sleep aboard tied to the Great Escape dock.
  • Day two – Another day out sailing with your instructor.
  • Second overnight– Sleep aboard tied to the Great Escape dock.
  • Days three to five – It’s time to set sail by yourself, explore the wonderful Bay of Islands and practice your new sailing skills. Before you cast off we discuss your passage planning, review navigation in the Bay of Islands, give you updated weather forecast information and guide you on suitable anchorages and points of interest for the following days.
  • Some previous experience required e.g. Keelboat racing as crew, skipper of powerboat, extensive dinghy sailing.

1-day skipper skills refresh

1-day refresh
Take an instructor on the first day of your bareboat or flotilla holiday. Refresh your keelboat sailing skills, understand the systems and controls on your yacht and gain valuable insights into navigation in the Bay of Islands.

  • Previous sailing experience required.
  • Cost additional to your bareboat hire costs

5-day advanced – Bareboat Skipper Certification

5-day advanced
An intensive live-aboard designed to extend your expertise for further sailing adventures. Perfect foundation course for those intending to purchase their own yacht and set-sail for extended voyages or those wanting to charter internationally.  Gain Yachting New Zealand Level 3 and IYT International Skipper qualifications.

  • Previous sailing experience required, this is not a beginner course.  The recommended entry-level requirements are a VHF maritime radio operators certificate, and to have logged over 200 nautical miles and 10 days at sea before advancing to this level. The recommended minimum age to obtain this certification is 18.  If you are unsure about your experience contact us.


To see course content Click for IYT International Bareboat Skipper (Note those who achieve the International Bareboat Skipper qualification can sit an additional theory exam to obtain the “International Certificate of Competency” (ICC), required for charter by many international charter operators.

Sailing Adventure Costs

The total cost of your sailing adventure will depend on the adventure selected, the boat selected and the number of people in your crew.  When you complete the sailing school registration we send you back a comprehensive quote detailing all the costs for you to consider.

Costs per person twin share

  • Two-day introduction:  $445 per sailor Davidson 20 or $545 per sailor Noelex 25 (Optional linen package for the night aboard)
  • Five-day adventure:  $720 per sailor Davidson 20 or $970 per sailor Noelex 25 (Additional costs for fuel, insurance and optional linen for your three days self-sail)
  • Six-day holiday:  $890 per sailor Davidson 20 or $1190 per sailor Noelex 25 (Additional costs for fuel, insurance and optional linen for your three days self-sail)
  • Five-day advanced:  $1490 per sailor, courses conducted aboard a Raven 31 (Optional linen package for the nights aboard)

(Please contact us for family, solo sailor and triple share pricing)

What’s included

Boat charter, instructor, course material, course fees, and guest membership of the local yacht club.  All you need to bring are your provisions and personal gear.

BOOK NOW  Our sailing courses start on-demand with a minimum of two sailors and we operate all year round in the Winterless North.  Complete the Sailing School Registration to request the dates you prefer and we’ll send you back a no-obligation reservation to review.