Route & schedule

Blue Planet Odyssey provisional route and schedule

The following routes and schedules are provisional and only meant as general guidelines for planning purposes. Both the route and schedule will be finalised when the complete list of participants, and their route preferences, have been confirmed. The starting dates and individual ports (where not specified) will be announced as soon as they are confirmed. Places and dates in square brackets are either provisional, may not be visited or denote a suggested detour.

Because of safety concerns, logistical or political considerations, some countries or stopover ports on the proposed route may have to be avoided and the route and schedule amended accordingly. The proposed route is planned to transit the North Indian Ocean to the Red Sea and Mediterranean but if the situation in that area is considered not to be safe, the route will be amended to reach the Atlantic Ocean by way of the Cape of Good Hope. The organisers will endeavour to keep such changes to the minimum and give reasonable amount of notice of any changes.

Blue Planet Odyssey Route Map- Click to enlarge
Blue Planet Odyssey Route Map
Click to enlarge and download map

The Blue Planet Odyssey will sail around the world along two main routes:

Southern route

This is the main route of the Blue Planet Odyssey and is expected to attract the majority of participants. Whether starting from Europe, North America, South America or South Africa, the section from the Caribbean to Gibraltar, will be common to all boats sailing the southern route.

Northern route

This is a more challenging route which includes the Northwest Passage (in both the 2014 and 2015 starts) and a winter crossing of the North Pacific for the 2015 starts from both Europe and North America (east and west coast). As the North Pacific will be crossed in winter, sailing conditions can be expected to be tougher, but the risk of typhoons should be much lower than at any other time.

Alternative routes and detours

There will be several alternative routes or detours along this main route of the Blue Planet Odyssey. Some will call at endangered islands that are off the main route and because of their location can only accommodate a small number of boats and visitors, while other detours will give participants the option of visiting more remote destinations.

Galapagos (February 2015) – Easter Island – Pitcairn – Gambier Islands – Tuamotus – Tahiti (June 2015)
Bora Bora (June 2015) – Suwarrow – Tokelau – Tuvalu – Fiji (August 2015)

Return routes

There are several alternatives for the return routes once the Blue Planet Odyssey has reached Gibraltar in 2016 and sailors will need to decide which route to take on their way home. The various alternatives are outlined separately for each start.

European starts

Southern route

London (20 July 2014) – France – Spain – Portugal – Gibraltar – Morocco – Canary Islands (November) – Eastern Caribbean (December 2014-January 2015) – San Blas – Panama (February 2015) – [La Libertad (Ecuador)] – Galapagos (March) – Marquesas (April) – Tahiti (June 2015) – Tonga – [Bora Bora – Suwarrow – Tokelau – Tuvalu] – Fiji – Vanuatu – [Great Barrier Reef] – Torres Strait (October 2015) – Darwin – Indonesia – Singapore (January 2016) – [Thailand] – Andaman Islands – Maldives – India (February) – Dubai – Oman – Red Sea – Suez Canal (April 2016) – Mediterranean – Gibraltar (June 2016) – London (July 2016)

Northern route

2014 Start

The 2014 North Passage timing has been scheduled in such a way that if conditions in summer and early autumn for a transit of the North Passage are considered to be unfavourable or dangerous, the timing will allow for the route to be amended so that participants will be able to sail south from Iceland and Southern Greenland to the US east coast. They will then have the choice of joining the New York or Miami starts that will merge with the main route in either the Eastern Caribbean or Panama.

If the transit of the North Passage in 2014 takes place as planned, on reaching the Pacific Ocean the boats will sail south from Alaska to Vancouver. From there they will continue south to Mexico in the company of boats that have started from Vancouver or other ports along the west coast. From Mexico they will have the choice of merging with the main route at either the Galapagos or Marquesas.

Kristiansand (Norway, June 2014) – Bergen – Lofoten – Tromsö – Svalbard (July) – Reykjavik (Iceland) – Nuuk (Greenland) – Northwest Passage (August – September 2014) – Vancouver – San Francisco – San Diego (October) – Mexico (November – January 2015) – [Galapagos (February 2015)] – Marquesas (April) – Tahiti (June 2015)

2015 start

This later start follows the same schedule through the Northwest Passage but once the Pacific Ocean is reached, a sustained tempo will be maintained so as to take advantage of the most favourable season in the Western North Pacific. The boats sailing the northern route will join the main fleet in SE Asia in time for the crossing of the Indian Ocean early in 2016.

Kristiansand (June 2015) – Bergen – Lofoten – Tromsö – Svalbard (July) – Reykjavik (Iceland) – Nuuk (Greenland) – Northwest Passage (August – September 2015) – Hawaii (October) – Micronesia – Japan – Shanghai (December 2015) – Hong Kong – Vietnam – Singapore (January 2016)

North American east coast starts

Southern route

New York start

New York (October 2014) – Annapolis – Norfolk (November 2014) – Eastern Caribbean (December 2014-January 2015) – San Blas Islands – Panama (February 2015) – [La Libertad (Ecuador)] – Galapagos (March) – Marquesas (April) – Tahiti (June) – Tonga – [Bora Bora – Suwarrow – Tokelau – Tuvalu] – Fiji – Vanuatu – [Great Barrier Reef] – Torres Strait (October 2015) – Darwin – Indonesia – Singapore (January 2016) – [Thailand] – Andaman Islands – Maldives – India (February) – Dubai – Oman – Red Sea – Suez Canal (April 2016) – Mediterranean – Gibraltar

Miami start

Miami (January 2015) – Havana – Jamaica – San Blas Islands – Panama (February 2015) – [La Libertad (Ecuador)] – Galapagos (March) – Marquesas (April) – Tahiti (June) – Tonga – [Bora Bora – Suwarrow – Tokelau – Tuvalu] – Fiji – Vanuatu – [Great Barrier Reef] – Torres Strait (October 2015) – Darwin – Indonesia – Singapore (January 2016) –[ Thailand ] – Andaman Islands – Maldives – India (February) – Dubai – Oman – Red Sea – Suez Canal (April 2016) – Mediterranean – Gibraltar

Northern route

2014 start

New York (July 2014) – Newport, R.I. – Halifax (Nova Scotia) – St John’s (Newfoundland) – Nuuk (Greenland) – Northwest Passage (August – September 2014) – Vancouver – San Francisco – San Diego (October) – Mexico (November- January 2015) – [Galapagos (February 2015)] – Marquesas (April) – Tahiti (June) – Tonga – [Bora Bora – Suwarrow – Tokelau – Tuvalu] – Fiji – Vanuatu – [Great Barrier Reef] – Torres Strait (October 2015) – Darwin – Indonesia – Singapore (January 2016) – ]Thailand] – Andaman Islands – Maldives – India (February) – Dubai – Oman – Red Sea – Suez Canal (April 2016) – Mediterranean – Gibraltar

2015 start

New York (July 2015) – Newport, R.I. – Halifax (Nova Scotia) – St John’s (Newfoundland) - Nuuk (Greenland) – Northwest Passage (August – September 2015) – Hawaii (October) – Micronesia – Japan – Shanghai (December 2015) – Hong Kong – Vietnam – Singapore (January 2016) – ]Thailand] – Andaman Islands – Maldives – India (February) – Dubai – Oman – Red Sea – Suez Canal (April 2016) – Mediterranean – Gibraltar
Alternative return routes from Gibraltar

On reaching Gilbraltar, there are three alternative routes for the continuation of the voyage: an Arctic, mid-Atlantic or a Caribbean route.

  1. North American sailors who intend to reach home along a northern route may join the annual Arctic Odyssey to Svalbard (Spitsbergen), which follows the route sailed by the Blue Planet Odyssey in summer 2014. From Gibraltar, those bound to join the Arctic Odyssey will head north via the Irish Sea and Caledonian Canal to join in Bergen the boats that had started from Kristiansand. From Svalbard (Spitsbergen), the route turns south, with boats bound for the west coast of North America, heading for the Northwest Passage, while boats bound for the US east coast will reach their destination by sailing from Reykjavik to St John’s, Halifax and on to their final destination. To benefit from favourable summer conditions in the North Atlantic those who plan to sail this route need to be in Gibraltar by May, which means that their time spent in the Mediterranean will be quite limited.
  2. The mid-Atlantic route is a shorter and less challenging alternative. An early arrival in Gibraltar is imperative to avoid the impending hurricane season in the North Atlantic. The route may cross the Atlantic nonstop or via the Azores and Bermuda.
  3. A longer but somewhat more attractive alternative is to sail home by the trade wind route via the Canaries and Eastern Caribbean. This alternative will add one year to the overall duration of the voyage, but has the advantage of a longer stay in the Mediterranean and a winter spent in the Caribbean.
Arctic route

Gibraltar (May 2016) – Dun Laoghaire (Ireland) – Port Williams (Scotland) – Caledonian Canal (June) – Bergen – Lofoten – Tromsö – Spitsbergen (July) – Reykjavik (Iceland) – [Nanortalik (Greenland) (August)] – St John’s (Newfoundland) – Halifax (Nova Scotia) – Newport, R.I. – New York (September 2016).

Mid-Atlantic route

Gibraltar (May2016) – [Azores] – [Bermuda] – [Miami June 2016)] – New York (July 2016).

Caribbean route

Gibraltar (September 2016) – Canary Islands (October- November) – Eastern Caribbean (December 2016 –May 2017) – [Miami (June 2017)] – New York (June-July 2017)

North American west coast starts

Blue Planet Odyssey Route Map- Click to enlarge
Blue Planet Odyssey Route Map (Pacific-centered)
Click to enlarge and download map

Southern route – 2014 start

Vancouver (September-October 2014) – San Francisco – San Diego (November 2014) – Mexico (November 2014 – January 2015) – [Galapagos (February)] – Marquesas – Tahiti (June) – Tonga – [Bora Bora – Suwarrow – Tokelau – Tuvalu] – Fiji – Vanuatu – [Great Barrier Reef] – Torres Strait (October 2015) – Darwin – Indonesia – Singapore (January 2016) – [Thailand] – Andaman Islands – Maldives – India (February) – Dubai – Oman – Red Sea – Suez Canal (April 2016) – Mediterranean – Gibraltar (September) – Canary Islands (October-November) – Eastern Caribbean (December 2016-February 2017) – San Blas Islands – Panama (March 2017)
Alternative return routes from Panama:
The direct route

Panama (March 2017) – Mexico (April) – San Diego (May) – [San Francisco (June-July)]

The Hawaii route

Panama (March 2017) – Mexico (April) – Hawaii (June) – [San Diego (July-August) – [San Francisco July-August] – Vancouver (July-August)

Northern route – 2015 start

Vancouver [San Francisco] (August-September 2015) – Hawaii (October) – Marshall Islands – Micronesia – Japan – Shanghai (December 2015) – Hong Kong – Vietnam – Singapore (January 2016) – [Thailand] – Andaman Islands – Maldives – India (February) – Dubai – Oman – Red Sea – Suez Canal (April 2016) – Mediterranean – Gibraltar (May) – Dun Laoghaire (Ireland) – Port Williams (Scotland) – Caledonian Canal (June) – Bergen – Lofoten – Tromsö – Spitsbergen (July) – Reykjavik (Iceland) – Nuuk (Greenland) – Northwest Passage (August – September 2016) – Vancouver (September) – San Francisco – San Diego (October 2017)

African start

Cape Town (December 2014) – St Helena – Eastern Caribbean (January 2015) – San Blas Islands – Panama (February 2015) – [La Libertad (Ecuador)] – Galapagos (March) – Marquesas (April) – Tahiti (June) – Tonga – [Bora Bora – Suwarrow – Tokelau – Tuvalu] – Fiji – Vanuatu – [Great Barrier Reef] – Torres Strait (October 2015) – Darwin – Indonesia – Singapore – Thailand (January 2016) – Andaman Islands – Maldives – India (February) – Dubai – Oman – Red Sea – Suez Canal (April 2016) – Mediterranean – Gibraltar (June 2016) – Canary Islands – Cape Verde Islands (July) – Salvador da Bahia – Rio de Janeiro (August) – Cape Town (September 2016)

South American start

Rio de Janeiro (November 2014) – Salvador da Bahía – Cayenne (French Guyana) – Eastern Caribbean (December-January 2015) – San Blas – Panama (February 2015) – [La Libertad (Ecuador)] – Galapagos (March) – Marquesas (April) – Tahiti (June) – Tonga – [Bora Bora – Suwarrow – Tokelau – Tuvalu] – Fiji – Vanuatu – [Great Barrier Reef] – Torres Strait (October 2015) – Darwin –Indonesia – Singapore (January 2016) – [Thailand] – Andaman Islands – Maldives – India (February) – Dubai – Oman – Red Sea – Suez Canal (April 2016) – Mediterranean – Gibraltar (June) – Canary Islands – Cape Verde Islands (July) – Salvador da Bahia – Rio de Janeiro (August 2016)

Australian start

Southern route

Sydney (August 2015) – Great Barrier Reef – Torres Strait – Darwin – Indonesia – Singapore (January 2016) – [Thailand] – Andaman Islands – Maldives – India (February) – Dubai – Oman – Red Sea – Suez Canal (April 2016) – Mediterranean – Gibraltar
Return route alternatives from Gibraltar:
Caribbean route

Gibraltar (September) – Canary Islands (October-November) – Eastern Caribbean (December 2016-Januuary 2017) – San Blas Islands – Panama (February) – [La Libertad (Ecuador)] – Galapagos (March) – Marquesas (April) – Tahiti (June) – Tonga – Fiji – Vanuatu (September) – New Caledonia – Sydney (October 2017)

Northwest Passage route

Gibraltar (May 2016) – Dun Laoghaire (Ireland) – Port Williams (Scotland) – Caledonian Canal (June) – Bergen – Lofoten – Tromsö – Spitsbergen (July) – Reykjavik (Iceland) – Nuuk (Greenland) – Northwest Passage (August – September 2016) – Hawaii – Phoenix Islands – Fiji – New Caledonia – Sydney (November 2016)

Asian starts

Southern route

Shanghai (December 2015) – Hong Kong – Vietnam – Singapore (January 2016) – [Thailand] – Andaman Islands – Maldives – India (February) – Dubai – Oman – Red Sea – Suez Canal (April 2016) – Mediterranean – Gibraltar (September) – Canary Islands (October-November) – Eastern Caribbean (December 2016-January 2017) – San Blas Islands – Panama (February 2017)
Alternative return routes from Panama:
South Seas route

Panama (February 2017) – [La Libertad (Ecuador)] – Galapagos – Marquesas (April) – Tahiti (June) – Tonga – Fiji – Vanuatu (September) – Torres Strait (October) – Indonesia – Philippines (December) – [Okinawa] – Hong Kong – Shanghai (January-February 2018).

The Micronesia route

Panama (December 2016) – Micronesia – Philippines (February) – Hong Kong – Shanghai (March-April 2017)

Northern route

Shanghai (December 2015) – Hong Kong – Vietnam – Singapore (January 2016) – [Thailand] – Andaman Islands – Maldives – India (February) – Dubai – Oman – Red Sea – Suez Canal (April 2016) – Mediterranean – Gibraltar (May) – Dun Laoghaire (Ireland) – Port Williams (Scotland) – Caledonian Canal (June) – Bergen – Lofoten – Tromsö – Spitsbergen (July) – Reykjavik (Iceland) – Nuuk (Greenland) – Northwest Passage (August – September 2016) – Hawaii (October) – Micronesia – Philippines (December) – Hong Kong – Shanghai (January-February 2017)