How Long Does It Take to Sail Across Atlantic?

Have you ever wondered how long it takes to sail across the Atlantic Ocean? It’s a question that has fascinated sailors, explorers, and adventurers for centuries.

The answer depends on various factors such as the route taken, weather conditions, and the speed of the vessel. In this article, we will explore these factors and give you an idea of how long it typically takes to make this epic journey.

The Route

The most common route for sailing across the Atlantic is from Europe to North America or vice versa. This route is known as the Transatlantic Crossing. It typically starts from ports such as Southampton in England or Lisbon in Portugal and ends in cities like New York or Miami in the United States.

Weather Conditions

One of the most important factors that determine the duration of a Transatlantic Crossing is the prevailing weather conditions. The Atlantic Ocean is known for its unpredictable weather patterns, including strong winds, storms, and even hurricanes.

It’s crucial for sailors to plan their journey carefully and choose a favorable weather window. They need to consider factors such as wind direction and strength, wave height, and storm systems. A well-prepared sailor will wait for favorable conditions before setting sail.

Vessel Speed

The speed at which a vessel can sail also plays a significant role in determining how long it takes to cross the Atlantic. Sailboats can vary greatly in terms of size and design, which affects their speed capabilities.

  • Cruising Sailboats: These boats are designed for comfortable cruising rather than speed. They typically have a cruising speed of around 5-8 knots (9-15 km/h) and can take several weeks to complete a Transatlantic Crossing.
  • Racing Sailboats: These boats are built for speed and can achieve incredible speeds.Racing sailboats, such as those used in the famous Transatlantic Race, can reach speeds of 20 knots (37 km/h) or more. They can complete the crossing in just a few days.


The duration of a Transatlantic Crossing can vary greatly depending on the factors mentioned above. On average, it takes between 15 to 30 days for most cruising sailboats to complete the journey.

However, it’s important to note that some sailors have completed the crossing in under 10 days, while others have taken several months. These extreme variations are usually due to exceptional weather conditions or specific sailing goals.


Sailing across the Atlantic Ocean is an incredible adventure that requires careful planning and preparation. The duration of the journey depends on various factors such as the route taken, weather conditions, and vessel speed. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or an aspiring adventurer, crossing the Atlantic is an experience that will test your skills and endurance.

So, how long does it take to sail across the Atlantic? The answer is: It depends! But one thing is for sure – it’s an adventure of a lifetime that you’ll never forget.

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Emma Gibson