Frequently asked questions

When does it start?

The start is from Las Palmas de Gran Canaria every year on the 6th of January to the Caribbean Island of Grenada.

What is the Route?

Boats depart en route to Mindelo in the Cap Verde, 850 miles. After a few days the fleet leaves to cover the 2200 miles to the Caribbean island of Grenada.

How big is the Fleet?

Maximum 25 boats, a nice small family.

What is the vision of this Rally?

Sharing knowledge, helping each other, likeminded new friends with the same goal.

What is the ethos of the Rally?

The Viking Explorers is a small exclusive fleet with a maximum of 25 boats. The ethos is not the biggest group, but the friendliest one. The Viking Explorers tries not to be so commercial as other events and focuses much more on an easy going familiar atmosphere. That’s also why the crew decides 2 days before departure, at the Skippers Briefing if it is safe to leave.

Who is the Sponsor of the Rally?

The Viking Explorers Rally is sponsored by the Grenada Tourism Authority , Camper & Nicholson Port Louis Marina and Westerhall Rum. It has the support from sponsors called “ Friends of Viking Explorers” and Eco-friendly companies. It has the support of cruising associations as the Seven Seas Cruising Association, the Ocean Cruising Club and Anavre ( Spanish Cruising Association).

What is the history of the Rally?

The first Viking Explorers left Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in 2018 to Barbados being a completely free event with no sponsors.
Since 2018, the Viking Explorers do charge a low fee and have been supported by Tourism Authorities, companies, cruising associations and passionate sailors.
Viking Explorers has gained a lot of popularity since it started.

Is Viking Explorers a race?

Viking Explorers is not a race and the organization encourages the fleet to help each other.

Why Viking Explorers is an ECO friendly event?

The Viking Explorers make a great effort in helping the environment. It collaborates with the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, the Program Sail and Whale and the project GOES. Participants are encouraged to collaborate and forward data. Also many Eco-friendly companies are supporting the event by offering free products to participants as to introduce them into this Eco-friendly world.
The Viking Explorers tries to reduce their negative impact towards the environment, reduces drastically plastic used at their events, and creates awareness within the sailing community for a better and cleaner planet.

What about COVID-19?

The organization is in constant contact with the authorities and have introduced all health protocols within their rally. In Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, all health issues are being organized in collaboration with Hospital Perpetuo Socorro. In the Caribbean we have the support of the Minister of health and Authorities to ensure a safe arrival The crews are advised to take extra cautions and to follow at all times the changing protocols.

What about Safety equipment?

There are very few ”rules” in the Viking Explorers. We do not demand that you will carry any special equipment and spend thousand of euros, as we only want you to be responsible for your own and your crews security! We will give you a list according to the World Sailing Offshore regulations. We advise you to take part in the very important safety seminar. Even there is no compulsory equipment, a liferaft, EPIRB, Sat coms and trained crew are essential.

Who’s behind the event?

Oliver Solanas Heinrichs, Managing Director,
Oliver has been linked to sailing since childhood and has been living aboard since 2013. He started then to be very involved in the maritime industry and into offshore sailing, specially Bluewater sailing with several transatlantics completed. Oliver constantly helps sailors with their preparations for an Atlantic crossing, performing safety seminars and webinars for prestigious companies and associations and occasionally does safety checks on boats. Singlehanded sailing through all the Canary Islands, he founded 8islas, the Bluewater Sailing Platform of the Canary Islands. He has been former Vice President of Anavre (Spanish Cruising Association) and is author of the Canary Islands Cruising guide "Cruising Guide to the Canary Islands" published by Imray. He has spent the last 4 seasons sailing the Caribbean and the Canary Islands. For more information visit www.8islas.com.
Carlota Texeira, Public Relations
Carlota is local of Gran Canaria (Canary Islands) and has a deep knowledge in the area that is really useful for helping sailors in the island. She been living aboard for 5 years and has complete one Atlantic Crossing and four seasons in the Caribbean from Grenada to Antigua. She helped Oliver with the Cruising Guide to the Canary Islands and is always keen to help sailors. Her background is not sailing but she discovered it when met Oliver and has been involved 100% since then.
Rest of the team
Many professional and passionate sailors are part of the Viking Explorers adding their invaluable knowledge to the rally. Active cruisers, previous participants, experts and cruising associations help every year to make the Viking Explorers Rally an unique event.