The Oyster World Rally travels across three oceans, taking in some of the world’s most spectacular cruising grounds. The route is timed precisely to make the most of global weather patterns so participants can experience the best of each location, with plenty of cruising time built at the end of each passage for you to do as much or as little as you like. Take a closer look at the destinations by clicking the plus icon below.
Antigua and the Panama Canal
Starting in Antigua in January, the circumnavigation begins by heading west, transiting the Panama Canal around mid-February. There is ample time to perhaps visit Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, (the ABCs), and Cartagena along the way and spend some time with the Kuna Indian tribe in the beautiful San Blas Islands.
Once through the Panama Canal, the fleet will head into the vast Pacific Ocean to the Galápagos Islands, crossing the Equator on the way. Once in the Galápagos, it’s time to spend some quality time with the locals, such as Sea Lions, Hammerhead Sharks and Galápagos Penguins! The wildlife in the Galápagos is so well protected that they don’t see humans as a threat and come right up and play!
The circumnavigation continues west from the Galápagos Islands to French Polynesia, which is the longest ocean passage of the rally at just over 3000 nautical miles. The first set of islands to encounter are the Marquesas, which have a rich history and lush vegetation. Sailing onward through the breath-taking atolls of the Tuamotus Islands, and then onto Tahiti with its amazing sea life.
After visiting the idyllic island of Bora Bora, its onto the incredible Vava’u Islands in Tonga with 14-miles of coastline to enjoy and more than 60 different anchorages. The fleet will be welcomed with a traditional Tongan Feast, whilst listening to the unique sound of four generations of the same family singing together in church.
Fiji, Vanuatu and Mackay
The next stop is Fiji, where there are countless stunning islands to explore, and wonderfully kind people who welcome the Oyster fleet into their villages. Vanuatu follows, before sailing north of New Caledonia to transit the Great Barrier Reef into Mackay, Australia.
Whitsunday Islands, Cairns and Darwin
Once in Australia, the rally route heads north to the stunning Whitsunday Islands where the pristine white beaches and beautiful teal waters will leave you wanting to stay forever! Sailing north past Cairns, the fleet will sail around the top of Australia to Darwin, the northernmost city in Australia and then onto eclectic Indonesia.
Komodo Dragons and stunning Asian food await as the fleet passes Kupang along the coast of Flores, and to the Komodo National Park. From here the route continues west to Lombok and the Gili Islands that host the most magnificent anchorages. After a quick pitstop in Bali to visit the sacred temples, it’s time for the second major ocean passage of the voyage, crossing the Indian Ocean to Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and then onto the amazing volcanic islands of Mauritius and Reunion.
Next the yachts will cross the Agulhas current towards South Africa and Durban, sailing around the Cape of Good Hope and into the stunning mother city of Cape Town, for an unforgettable Christmas and New Year celebration.
St Helena and Salvador
Whilst heading up the South Atlantic Ocean, yachts can stop and admire the wonderful and remote islands of St Helena, Ascension, and Fernando de Noronha or sail further west to the bustling city of Salvador, Brazil.
Caribbean and Grenada
Finally, sailing north following the curve of the South American coast, the fleet arrive back in the Caribbean and to the spice island of Grenada before completing the circumnavigation in Antigua. A 27,000 mile, voyage of a lifetime.