Trans-Atlantic, Europe to Caribbean

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Trans-Atlantic, Europe to Caribbean
Route from Gibraltar to Martinique


Probably the most popular ocean crossing. The majority of it is in the trade wind belt.

There is the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) which takes this route every year. It is well organized, and offers a lot of information and help for cruisers taking this passage. For first timers it is widely suggested to go with ARC. ARC starts every November, and arrives to the Caribbean mostly in December.

Also there is a longer route with more stops.


92 - Cabo de Sao Vicente to Strait of Gibraltar
94 - Southern Martinique
142 - Strait of Gibraltar
144 - Gibraltar
366 - Arquipélago de Cabo Verde
956 - Guadeloupe to Trinidad
1448 - Gibraltar Bay
1831 - Arquipélago de Madeira
1869 - Gran Canaria to Hierro
3578 - Eastern Approaches to Gibraltar
A4 - Guadeloupe to St. Lucia
B2 - Barbados
Chart 100 - (conical projection) North Atlantic Passage Chart
C19 - Cabo Finisterre To Gibraltar
C20 - Gibraltar to Arquipelago dos Azores and Islas Canaries
E2 - Canary Islands
E3 - Madeira and Porto Santo
E4 - Cape Verde
2521 - St. Lucia
51017 - Ra's Beddouza to Cap Juby including the Arquipelago Da Madeira and Islas Canarias
51022 - Cap Juby to Baie du Levrier including the Canary Islands
51260 - Islas Canarias (Western Group)
51261 - Arquipelago Da Madeira
51262 - Baia de Porto santo
51263 - Baia Dp Finchal and Praia Formosa
51342 - Ilheus Selvagen
51500 - Cape Verde (Northern Part)
51540 - Cape Verde (Southern Part)
52031 - Strait Of Gibraltar To Balearic Isl
52039 - Strait of Gibraltar
25485 - Approaches to Barbados
2554 - Martinique


Currents of the North Atlantic Ocean

Expected climatic & weather conditions for this passage

Sources of weather forecast information for this passage.

  • Nort Atlantic/Mediterranean to caribbean
  • Imarsat-C – High Seas weather text forecast and warnings which come automatically to the unit for the entire North Atlantic (whole world actually)
  • Navtex – Also automatic text weather forecasts and warnings for the entire North Atlantic.
  • Radio Weather Fax Charts, received automatically
  • SSB – weather routing advice from “South Bound II” which provides detailed analysis and recommendations to individual vessels by SSB schedule on frequency 12359.0, log on at 1900 UTC, transmit and receive beginning at 2000 UTC
  • Daily copies of NOAA’s “Atlantic Briefing” sent by iridium e-mail to the ship. This consists of 12, 24, 48 and 96-hour maps and forecasts of the above maps.
  • Herb Hilgen provides a daily ship-routing/weather forecasting service as a hobby, on marine HF/SSB frequency12359.0 starting at 2000 UTC until completion of traffic.

Weather Windows

The passage is generally undertaken in early November after Hurricane season and before the Christmas winds set in.
Hurricane season is officially June through November. Christmas winds are the northerlies in the winter, growing to severe Northers in February. These are usually dangerous only near land, when they become "rage seas" (in the Bahamas, particularly) and breaking waves in most north-facing anchorages in the Caribbean.

Weather can also be nasty in winter in the Med, but from the western Med, starting the passage in end of February is realistic.

Trade winds are stronger in the winter than in the summer, and stronger when the Atlantic Oscillation is warm.


Also see World Cruiser's Nets

Possible Departure Points

Note: The ARC departs from Las Palmas, Canaries/wiki/Trans-Atlantic,_Europe_to_Caribbean#.5B.5BLas_Palmas_de_Gran_Canaria.7CLas_Palmas.5D.5D.2C_.5B.5BCanaries.5D.5DMarina icon Las Palmas, Canaries [[Trans-Atlantic, Europe to Caribbean#Las Palmas, Canaries|Las Palmas, Canaries]] 28°07.655'N, 015°25.413'W

Route/Suggested Stopovers

  1. Starting from Gibraltar/wiki/Trans-Atlantic,_Europe_to_Caribbean#.5B.5BGibraltar.5D.5DHarbour icon Gibraltar [[Trans-Atlantic, Europe to Caribbean#Gibraltar|Gibraltar]] 36°07.870'N, 005°20.929'W
  2. 575 nM to Porto Santo, Madeira/wiki/Trans-Atlantic,_Europe_to_Caribbean#.5B.5BPorto_Santo_Island.7CPorto_Santo.5D.5D.2C_.5B.5BMadeira.5D.5DIsland icon Porto Santo, Madeira [[Trans-Atlantic, Europe to Caribbean#Porto Santo, Madeira|Porto Santo, Madeira]] 33°03.577'N, 016°19.139'W
  3. 300 nM to Las Palmas, Canaries/wiki/Trans-Atlantic,_Europe_to_Caribbean#.5B.5BLas_Palmas_de_Gran_Canaria.7CLas_Palmas.5D.5D.2C_.5B.5BCanaries.5D.5DMarina icon Las Palmas, Canaries [[Trans-Atlantic, Europe to Caribbean#Las Palmas, Canaries|Las Palmas, Canaries]] 28°07.655'N, 015°25.413'W
  4. 870 nM to Mindelo in Sao Vicente, Cape Verde/wiki/Trans-Atlantic,_Europe_to_Caribbean#Mindelo_in_.5B.5BSao_Vicente.5D.5D.2C_.5B.5BCape_Verde.5D.5DIsland icon Mindelo in Sao Vicente, Cape Verde [[Trans-Atlantic, Europe to Caribbean#Mindelo in Sao Vicente, Cape Verde|Mindelo in Sao Vicente, Cape Verde]] 28°07.655'N, 015°25.413'W
  5. 2097 nM to Carlisle Bay, Barbados/wiki/Trans-Atlantic,_Europe_to_Caribbean#.5B.5BBridgetown.23Carlisle_Bay.7CCarlisle_Bay.5D.5D.2C_.5B.5BBarbados.5D.5DAnchorage icon Carlisle Bay, Barbados [[Trans-Atlantic, Europe to Caribbean#Carlisle Bay, Barbados|Carlisle Bay, Barbados]] 13°05.285'N, 059°36.775'W
  6. 115 nM to Soufriere, St Lucia/wiki/Trans-Atlantic,_Europe_to_Caribbean#.5B.5BSoufriere.5D.5D.2C_.5B.5BSt_Lucia.5D.5DBuoy icon Soufriere, St Lucia [[Trans-Atlantic, Europe to Caribbean#Soufriere, St Lucia|Soufriere, St Lucia]] 13°51.2′N, 61°03.8′W - here you can see the famous Pitons and the Volcano park.
  7. 20 nM to Rodney Bay Marina, St Lucia/wiki/Trans-Atlantic,_Europe_to_Caribbean#.5B.5BRodney_Bay_Marina.5D.5D.2C_.5B.5BSt_Lucia.5D.5DMarina icon Rodney Bay Marina, St Lucia [[Trans-Atlantic, Europe to Caribbean#Rodney Bay Marina, St Lucia|Rodney Bay Marina, St Lucia]] 14°04.499'N, 060°56.980'W - This where the ARC terminates.
  8. Finally after 28 nM you arrive at Cul-de-Sac du Marin, Martinique/wiki/Trans-Atlantic,_Europe_to_Caribbean#.5B.5BCul-de-Sac_du_Marin.5D.5D.2C_.5B.5BMartinique.5D.5DMarina icon Cul-de-Sac du Marin, Martinique [[Trans-Atlantic, Europe to Caribbean#Cul-de-Sac du Marin, Martinique|Cul-de-Sac du Marin, Martinique]] 14°27.6′N, 60°52.5′W

Possible Arrival Points

Distance & Duration

  • Distance = approx 4000 nM
  • Duration = 3 - 5 weeks


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)


List links external to the wiki such as in Wikipedia & Wikivoyage.

For Wikipedia you can use the Wikipedia template & for the Wikivoyage the Wikivoyage template.


See North Atlantic.


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