Ignite Your Life!
Join Milanto and sail around the world with the World ARC Rally 2020
the World ARC ADVENTURE
This round-the-world journey takes 15 months and covers 26,000 nautical miles.
Just those simple facts, make this the real adventure of a lifetime.
A small fleet of around 40 boats provides a more intimate community atmosphere allowing participants to really meet and socialise with all of the other crews, along with providing the right amount of reassurance knowing that support is close at hand during the circumnavigation.
The experienced Rally team meet the boats in every port and are there to provide support and advice, along with organising a range of social and sightseeing activities, making sure you don’t miss out on any of the best aspects of every destination.
Join us for the 10th anniversary of the World ARC (WARC) following this tried and tested Rally route.
The Rally starts and finishes in Saint Lucia, departing on the 11th January, 2020 and arriving back in early April 2021. Following the trade winds route, the itinerary ensures that we will cross the Pacific and Indian oceans during the fastest period, at the height of the trade wind season.
The route leaves from the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, then across to explore the wonders of the Galapagos Islands. Then we sail one of the longest ocean passages possible, before being rewarded with the incredible raw beauty of the numerous Pacific Islands.
We then sail to Australia, snorkelling and diving the famous Great Barrier Reef. Then it’s over to volcanic Lombok, before crossing the Indian Ocean, arriving in Cape Town for Christmas. Carnival in Brazil awaits us after crossing another ocean, with a quick stop at Napoleon’s prison of Saint Helena, before finally returning to the Caribbean region and Saint Lucia.
Safety is always the primary concern of the WARC organisers, therefore the itinerary avoids areas of political instability, piracy and storm seasons, whilst still including some of the most remote and unspoiled worldwide destinations.
Each yacht is also fitted with a satellite tracker which provides automatic position updates so that family and friends can follow our progress.
Our itinerary has been divided into legs each lasting around a month. Some are ocean passages with high mileage and some are pure cruising and exploring oriented. Then some are a combination of both - long passages mixed with shorter exploratory cruising.
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Leg 1: Saint Lucia, Santa Marta, San Blas Islands, Panama Canal, Panama City
9 January 2020 - 5 February 2020
Leaving from Rodney Bay in Saint Lucia we head southwest 815nm away to Santa Marta, Colombia. Here we will have a few days to explore one of the oldest colonial cities in South America and hike the rainforest trails in the nearby Tayrona National Park.
We then head for the San Blas Islands 2 days sail away. The islands are governed by the indigenous Kuna Indians and are made up of over 300 islands (most of them uninhabited), making this archipelago a haven for snorkellers and for those who wish to escape to deserted, palm-fringed, white sand islands.
The fleet then converges in Colón in preparation for the transit of the canal. Each boat is assigned a transit day in which to begin the transit, then it usually takes two days to move through the 80 miles and 3 locks of this impressive human-made waterway to reach the Pacific Ocean.
We end this leg in Panama City and depending on our transit date, we will hopefully have time to explore the historic centre, Casco Viejo and the distinctive Biomuseo designed by Frank Gehry.
Leg 2: Panama City, Las Perlas Islands, Galapagos
7 February 2020 - 27 February 2020
From Panama City we cruise to the Las Perlas Islands, 45nm away. More than 250 tiny islands make up this archipelago, getting its name since Spanish colonial days because of the many pearls that were found there. We have a few days to explore the area before meeting up with the other WARC boats and setting sail for the Galapagos.
We depart for the Galapagos on the 12th February, and at around 850nm the passage should take about a week. Our first stop is San Cristobal where we will have ample time to explore all the island has to offer.
The unique and diverse ecosystems of the Galapagos Islands - extending from the land to the sea - means that it has earned the title of being a living museum, where you can still observe species that are not found anywhere else on the planet.
On land, there will be the opportunity to get up close to sea lions, giant tortoises, seals, iguanas and an immense amount of different birdlife. Under the sea, it is no different with multitudes of different fish, sharks, dolphins, whales and penguins.
The movement on and around the islands concerning hiking and cruising is strictly controlled by the Ecuadorian Government, so locally organised tours are the best way to explore onshore and for diving and snorkelling.
We end this leg in Santa Cruz Island only a day’s sail away from San Cristobal, where further opportunities to dive, snorkell, kayak and hike will be available.
Leg 3: Galapagos, Marquesas
3 March 2020 - 27 March 2020
This is the classic trade wind, 3000nm downwind Pacific Ocean leg. The passage should take around 18 days and during that time you will settle into the different pace and routine of life at sea.
After weeks of seeing endless horizon, our first sighting of Hiva Oa in the Marquesas will no doubt be similar to how Paul Gauguin saw it when he first arrived in the Marquesas in 1891 - a dramatic mix of lush jungle, sea-battered coastal cliffs and towering volcanic peaks.
It is as if time has stood still in these Pacific Islands - ‘a paradise where one can indulge your senses in the exotic surroundings to reveal the islands as a carefree and tropical Garden of Eden, untainted by civilisation.’
You will have time to explore the natural wonders or relax and rejuvenate after our ocean passage, both in Hiva Oa and finally in Nuku Hiva, where this leg of the journey ends.
Leg 4: Marquesas, Tuamotus, Tahiti
31 March 2020 - 26 April 2020
On this leg we spend 26 days cruising around some of the most spectacular anchorages. First, we begin with exploring the nature’s paradise that is the Marquesas: waterfalls, hikes through dense forest, horse-back riding, black sand beaches and 4x4 jeep expedition tours through the rugged landscape.
We will then cruise to the visually striking Tuamotus that are made up of 77 atolls - which are narrow coral rings encircling a pristine turquoise lagoon. This unique and stunning archipelago extends over an immense stretch of ocean between the Marquesas and the Society Islands. The best part is that most of the places we will visit are only accessible by boat.
This pristine marine environment offers incomparable opportunities to experience a vast diversity of marine life including sharks, dolphins, turtles, rays and a range of tropical fish. Not forgetting that you can also fill your days with other activities such as kiteboarding, kayaking and paddle boarding, or even visiting the local black pearl farms scattered throughout the lagoons.
The final port is the vibrant capital city of Papeete in Tahiti, where we meet up with the WARC fleet again and readjust to being back in civilisation.
Leg 5: Tahiti, Society Islands, Bora Bora, Suwarrow, Niue, Vava’u, Tonga
3 May 2020 - 7 June 2020
This leg embodies the quintessence of South Pacific sailing, where every day you will have to pinch yourself to believe that you are waking up in such a paradise. It will live up to the legends of the French Polynesian islands as being a heaven on earth, with its laid back, guilt-free lifestyle surrounded by a lush, pristine environment.
We start in Tahiti and cruise through the Society Islands of Mo’orea, Huahine-Iti, Ra’iatea and Taha’a, where each island has its own offering of something to explore and indulge in: Polynesian temples, vanilla and pearl farms, mountain hikes, shallow coral lagoons and waterfalls.
We then meet with the WARC fleet in Bora Bora, one of the most geographically stunning islands with its majestic volcanic peaks, encircling reef and crystal clear lagoon. There is opportunity to hike, bike, snorkell, kayak and kiteboard, or just marvel at what has been called the most beautiful island on earth from our stunning anchorage within the lagoon.
We then make our way with the fleet to the Cook Islands, stopping at the island nature reserve of Suwarrow, 690nm away. It is a haven for birdlife, tropical fish, sharks and rare turtles.
We then cruise to Niue, a part of New Zealand, 540nm to the southwest. It is one of the largest raised coral atolls on earth and the diving and snorkelling are excellent due to the clarity, as they have no rivers or lakes to muddy the waters. Niue is also home to some of the most extensive and dramatic limestone caves that can be explored both inland and along the coast.
This leg then ends a 230nm sail away in the Vava’u Island group, an archipelago of more than 50 islands, that is part of the Kingdom of Tonga.
Leg 6: Tonga, Fiji
11 June 2020 - 2 July 2020
This leg is more focused on island-hopping, staying in idyllic anchorages and exploring the Vava’u Islands of Tonga. The islands are quite diverse, some have white sand beaches and tropical forest, whilst others have dramatic sea cliffs and caves.
We then head to Fiji which is made up of two main islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, where we will encounter some of the friendliest and most welcoming people. There is so much to explore and do in these islands from indulging in its rich history and culture, to enjoying the world-class water sports of surfing, kiteboarding, kayaking and diving.
One of the special aspects about this leg is being allowed to enter Fiji through the Lau Group of islands. Up to just a few years ago, these remote islands in the archipelago were restricted to visitors with only a special permit. The WARC organisers have made arrangements with the Fiji government to allow the fleet to enter the Lau Group from Vanua Balavu, thus giving us the privilege to explore a rarely travelled area in the world, even by local Fijians.
Exploring this area will expose us to a unique interaction with the locals, whose traditional way of life has hardly changed over the generations. Along the way, we can enjoy some stunning anchorage bays, dive with sharks and take in the golden sunsets at the ‘magic hour’ of the day.
Leg 7: Fiji, Vanuatu, Mackay (Australia)
8 July 2020 - 1 August 2020
We start in Port Denerau in Fiji before rendezvousing with the fleet in nearby Musket Cove for some WARC social events. We will also take time to explore the idyllic Mamaucas and Yasawa islands in outer Fiji. We then set sail for Tanna in Vanuatu, 450nm and a 3 day sail away.
Vanuatu is a highlight in the itinerary, a remote and rugged Pacific Island, with a surrounding archipelago consisting of around 83 islands. These exotic islands are a mixture of tribal communities still practicing their ancient cultures, with a 1000 spoken languages in a country of only 250,000 citizens.
In Tanna, we will hike and get close to the magma-filled active volcano, Mount Yasur and interact with the local villagers at a welcoming ceremony. We will then have a relaxed cruise though the archipelago making the most of the excellent snorkelling in the freshwater Blue Holes surrounded by rainforests, and explore ancient caves and extinct volcanoes. We then meet up with the WARC fleet in Port Vila, an amazing multicultural town on the island of Efate.
Efate is an island with lots to explore: lush rainforests, deserted beaches, tropical waterfalls and some unique World War II wreck dives. Efate also has an excellent culinary reputation due to its diverse ethnic makeup of French, Pacific, Chinese and Vietnamese cultures.
We then depart Port Vila and set sail for Mackay, 1150nm away, located on the southernmost point of the Great Barrier Reef. The sail should take about a week and after meeting up with the other WARC boats, this leg ends here.
Leg 8: Mackay, Airlie Beach, Whitsundays, Darwin, Lombok
16 August 2020 - 15 September 2020
From Mackay we have a wonderful, relaxed cruise up to Airlie Beach and to the popular tourist destination of the Whitsunday Islands. The archipelago which has been mostly designated as national parks, is full of spectacular scenery with its warm turquoise waters, local wildlife and hiking trails.
We will then spend time out on the Great Barrier Reef diving and snorkelling and fully exploring this marine UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is home to one of richest ecosystems on the planet. There is a whole world to discover under the sea with thousands of different types of flora and fauna, including over a 1000 species of different fish and 400 categories of coral.
We then sail inside the shelter of the Barrier Reef as we explore Queensland’s coast and round to Darwin to meet up with the rest of the fleet, with a few stops along the way.
We will have a few days to explore the unique city of Darwin, which is home to over 50 different cultures. This multicultural landscape provides an opportunity to experience their unique Asian-style markets, local Aboriginal artwork, innovative museums and an exotic mix of culinary styles, music and language. Darwin also provides easy access to well-known wilderness sites and towns such as Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kakadu National Park and Alice Springs.
We then cross over to Lombok, our final port on this leg, a 945nm sail away from Darwin.
Lombok was previously called the sister island to the nearby, world-famous island of Bali, but its pristine unspoiled nature has made it rise in popularity. In Lombok, you can experience the beautiful beaches with some top surf breaks or swim in the deep pools of the many waterfalls. There is also some of the best snorkelling and diving opportunities in Indonesia and it is also the home of the famous Mount Rinjani, where you can hike to the summit of the active volcano.
Leg 9: Lombok, Christmas Island, Cocos Keeling, Mauritius
19 September 2020 - 20 October 2020
We leave Lombok and sail west across the Indian Ocean to Christmas Island, 625nm away. We will have a short stay on the island, but there is still much to uncover in this place full of natural wonders: from endemic species of birdlife, deserted beaches, varied marine fish and the unique annual red crab migration, and all against an impressive rainforest backdrop.
From Christmas Island we make our way to the Cocos Keeling Islands, 525nm away.
The sublime Cocos Keeling Islands are an unspoiled exotic paradise, made up of 27 islands that are all palm-fringed with white sand beaches. The islands are in an almost perfect circle and only two of the islands are inhabited. There are phenomenal coral reefs for diving and snorkelling or enjoy the flat waters which make it a perfect kiteboarding spot.
You can also visit Home Island where a small indigenous population of about 450 Cocos Malay people live. Originally brought to the Cocos Keeling Islands as slaves and members of the harem of Alexander Hare, an early 19th century English explorer, it has understandably created quite a unique culture.
Sailing from Cocos Keeling Islands to Mauritius, where this leg ends, is around 2350nm and should take around 17 days.
Mauritius, an Indian Ocean island nation is known for its clear blue waters, beautiful beaches and lagoons, but it’s also the kind of place that rewards you if you push the boundaries of your exploration. There is hiking in the mountainous interior in the Black River Gorges National Park, excellent diving and snorkelling, stunning botanical gardens and historic colonial plantation houses to explore.
Leg 10: Mauritius, Réunion, Richard’s Bay, Cape Town
26 October 2020 - 26 November 2020
We leave Mauritius for a short sail to Réunion (130nm). The island offers such majestic landscapes, with the formidable Piton de la Fournaise, as one of the world's most accessible active volcanoes. There are dramatic mountains with incredible panoramas, waterfalls to discover and hiking trails leading you through a myriad of deep gorges and emerald forests down to the white and black sand beaches. This undiscovered paradise encapsulates so much in one island.
From Réunion we head for Richard’s Bay in South Africa, which has some of the most spectacular wetland scenery and unspoiled beaches on the north coast of KwaZulu Natal.
Just south of Richard’s Bay is Durban, a busy port city that had a major makeover leading up to the 2010 World Cup. You can enjoy its cosmopolitan culture, the golden surf beaches, or just 20 minutes outside Durban is the Itala Game Reserve, which is home to 380 bird species and big game such as Rhino, Kudu, Hippo, Giraffe and Antelope.
We will then cruise and explore our way down to Cape Town, with the itinerary being flexible dependent on the weather at this time of year.
We end this leg in Cape Town, a city with the unique topography of Table Mountain in the background that makes it immediately recognisable. Known as the Rainbow Nation, Cape Town has so much to explore within its city limits: the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront full of quaint restaurants and shops, the internationally acclaimed Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and Robben Island, the former home of Nelson Mandela and several other political prisoners
Perched between the ocean and the mountain, with a national park at its heart, Cape Town is also a top surfing and diving spot (albeit cold), or there is mountain biking and sea kayaking, where you may see whales or penguins.
Cape Town is also an excellent launching off point to fly home for the holidays or if you have time, to see the rest of what South Africa has to offer, such as the famous Kruger National Park, or the Stellenbosch wine region.
Leg 11: Cape Town, Saint Helena, Salvador (Brazil)
5 January 2021 - 5 February 2021
We leave Cape Town and head across the South Atlantic on a 1700nm downwind leg to the pristine environment of Saint Helena.
We will spend a few days exploring the 47 square mile island that is one of the remotest settled islands in the world, which has in turn created a sub-tropical paradise full of indigenous wildlife.
There will also be an opportunity to snorkel with whale sharks - these graceful, gentle giants converge off the shores where they feed in the warm coastal waters. We then leave Saint Helena on the 24th January for Salvador in Brazil, 1900nm away.
Salvador, listed as a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site, is Brazil’s first capital with a perfectly preserved old historical town. However, the outstanding feature of Salvador is its vibrant culture and artistic energy, stemming from its ethnic mixture - predominantly African, with influences from Europe and Latin America - all informing its music, religion, dance and culinary traditions. This makes it a perfect place to experience the Carnival celebrations (10-16 February), for which we will arrive just in time to enjoy.
Leg 12: Salvador, Cabedelo, Devil’s Island, Grenada
19 February - 21 March 2021
This leg begins in Salvador de Bahia, a unique colonial city that has managed to preserve many outstanding Renaissance buildings, with its bright colours and exquisite stucco work. There will be time to explore this lively town along with its flamboyant fusion of local art, food and music.
We then depart on a relaxing cruise up the northeast coast, which offers the opportunity to experience the hidden gems of Brazil, away from the larger cosmopolitan cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Our tour up the coast will provide a chance to delve into the beautiful beaches, quaint colonial towns, excellent kiteboarding spots, lively street parties, friendly locals and immersion in the intoxicating salsa music.
We will rendezvous with the WARC fleet in Cabedelo before heading north on the 4th March, 1330nm away, for a brief stay in Devil’s Island. This mostly abandoned island is part of French Guiana and was a former French penal colony for political prisoners in the 1800’s.
We then cruise to Grenada, 690nm to the northwest, known as ‘The Island of Spice’ due to its production of nutmeg and mace crops. This leg ends here, but there will be ample time to explore the lush landscape of this volcanic island, hike to the waterfalls or dive the world’s first underwater sculpture park.
Leg 13: Grenada, Carriacou, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines, Saint Lucia
24 March 2021 - 7 April 2021
We are now back in familiar waters, so we will have a relaxed cruise back to Saint Lucia, stopping in the best spots well-known to us.
First, Carriacou is home to endless white sand beaches that are usually deserted except for the odd makeshift bar and restaurant nestled among the shade of coconut trees. There is usually a steel pan band playing, providing the perfect soundtrack to this stunning laid-back setting.
From there it is a short sail to the Tobago Cays - a blue water paradise with some of the best shallow, coral reef snorkelling to be found in the Caribbean. There are also lots of deserted islands to hike and explore, or experience world-class kiteboarding opportunities, ending the day at the famous lobster beach BBQ.
We then make our way north with a stop in the exclusive island of Mustique to marvel at the luxury villas, have sundown drinks at the famous Basil’s Bar and swim in the crystal clear waters of the anchorage in Britannia Bay.
Then it is on to Bequia and an injection of the lively local life, culture and architecture with its many restaurants, shops and fruit and vegetable stalls lining the waterfront. We will then head to Wallilabou Bay in Saint Vincent, to take in the lush scenery and waterfalls and stay in the bay made famous by the film, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’.
Finally we arrive in Saint Lucia, with a stop at the dramatic anchorage between the steep-sided Pitons, before returning to Rodney Bay for the Rally celebrations and marking the end of this epic 15 month, 26000nm circumnavigation.