How Long It Takes to Sail Around the World?

Sailing around the world is a dream for many adventurous souls out there. The idea of exploring the vastness of the ocean and visiting exotic destinations that are inaccessible by land is an exciting prospect. However, before embarking on such an epic journey, it’s important to understand how long it takes to sail around the world.

The Route

The route for sailing around the world can vary depending on the sailor’s preference. However, there are two main routes that most sailors follow – The Cape Horn Route and The Suez Canal Route.

The Cape Horn Route involves crossing the Atlantic Ocean, rounding Cape Horn at the southernmost tip of South America, crossing the Pacific Ocean, passing through the Indian Ocean and finally returning to the starting point via the Atlantic.

On the other hand, The Suez Canal Route involves sailing through the Mediterranean Sea, passing through the Suez Canal into the Red Sea, crossing through Indian Ocean and then entering into Pacific Ocean. Finally returning back via either Cape Horn or Cape of Good Hope in South Africa.

The Time Frame

The time it takes to sail around depends on various factors such as weather conditions, boat speed and route taken. On average sailing yacht travels approximately 100-150 nautical miles (nm) per day. So a journey around 24,000 nm would take roughly 160 – 240 days at sea.

However, this time frame is just an estimate as there are several variables that can impact this duration such as seasonal weather patterns that can cause delays or favorable winds that might speed up your journey.

Factors Affecting Journey Time

There are numerous factors that impact journey time when sailing around the world:

  • Boat Speed: One of the most significant factors affecting your journey would be your boat speed.
  • Weather Conditions: Favorable weather conditions can make your journey shorter while unfavorable weather conditions can cause delays and extend your journey time considerably.
  • Route Taken: As mentioned earlier, the route taken can have a significant impact on the journey time. The Suez Canal route is shorter, but you will need to navigate through the pirate-infested waters of Somalia.
  • Crew Experience: The experience of the crew in handling the boat and navigating through different weather conditions is also a critical factor affecting journey time.


Sailing around the world is an exciting prospect that requires proper planning and preparation. While it’s difficult to estimate an exact duration for such an epic journey, it’s important to be aware of various factors that can impact your journey time.

So if you’re planning to embark on this adventure, make sure you plan for contingencies, have a well-equipped boat, experienced crew and most importantly patience. With proper planning and preparation, sailing around the world can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.

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Lindsay Collins