Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Expeditions

We are a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Approved Activity Provider and run DofE Expeditions.

DofE Expeditions

To achieve your Duke of Edinburgh’s Award you must complete the Expedition section, and to support our charitable work we run open DofE Expedition voyages during the school holidays. You will spend 10 days and 10 nights on board completing your Training, Practice and Qualifying modules of the Award. Some previous sailing experience is required either on yachts or dinghies.

If you are a school or group who all wish to undertake your Silver or Gold Expedition together, we would be happy to hear from you and may be able to offer a bursary towards the fee. The group would need to be 7 in total.

Before coming on your expedition voyage you will need to complete the RYA Essential Navigation online course, which you do at home or school or wherever you have access to a computer. You will be sent a course pack which includes a chart, plotter, dividers, course handbook, exercises and an electronic chart plotter CD. The course typically takes six hours to complete, and you can work through it at your own speed, whenever you like. After the course you will have a basic knowledge of navigation and safety.

The voyage will be broken down as follows:

You will join on the first evening and prepare for the voyage, which will include provisioning and menu planning. The first full day will be a preparation day and RYA Essential Navigation Course refresher, so that you are best prepared for passage planning and navigating the voyage. This will be followed by the Practice Expedition days where you will learn the essential skills to, plan, sail and take control of the boat. There will then be a rest day and further honing of your planning and navigating skills. Finally, you will complete the Qualifying Expedition days where you will be expected to plan the passage, carry it out, and guide the boat into or out of port. On the final day, a DofE Assessor will visit the group on the vessel, talk to the team and assess the DofE Expedition.

Sunday Arrival 4.00pm Preparation evening
Monday All day Preparation and RYA Essential Navigation Course refresher
Tuesday All day Practice Day
Wednesday All day Practice Day
Thursday All day Practice Day
Friday All day Rest Day
Saturday All day Qualifying day
Sunday All day Qualifying day
Monday All day Qualifying day
Tuesday All day Qualifying day
Wednesday Departure 4.00pm Assessment and presentation day

It won’t all be work though – there will be time for visits ashore, swimming from the boat, chatting and having fun with your new friends.  We sail in the magnificent waters of the South West of England, where there are plenty of hidden coves, tiny islands and harbours with places to fish, swim, visit beaches and have barbecues.

It taught me how to work as a team and stay in close quarters with my team. Highlights were night sailing, learning to navigate through fog, and lots of laughs!


I had an awesome time and loved all of it. My advice to anyone coming on a voyage is 'throw yourself into it' and have a great time.


I learnt many different knots, plotting charts using bearings etc, learnt how the sailing boat works and using wind directions to work out where to sail.



Voyage dates Price Itinerary Vessel and Course*
7 – 17 April 2019
£930 per person 10 days
West Country
DofE Award Gold Expedition
28 July – 7 August 2019
£930 per person 10 days
West Country
DofE Award Gold Expedition

*All courses follow the RYA Cruising syllabus, and can include the option to gain Royal Yachting Association Qualifications.

Photographic ID is required for voyages visiting the Channel Islands. A Student ID card or a Citizencard fulfils these requirements. We will inform you beforehand if ID or a Passport is needed for your voyage.
Travel insurance will be required for excursions abroad.

Prices include accommodation, use of waterproofs, safety equipment and all meals on board.

All voyages start and finish in Plymouth, unless stated otherwise.

If you need some advice about whether this is the right choice for you, please call us on 01752 823007 or email us.

We know some people will need help to raise the funding to pay for one of our voyages and we can offer to help you do this. Please call for details.

All voyages are operated by The Island Trust’s trading subsidiary Island (Cutter) Ltd.

RYA Recognised Training Centre

Crewed by professional sailing staff, qualified at the highest level, all of our vessels have been coded by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and inspected for seaworthiness and safety.

The Island Trust and its operating company, Island (Cutter) Ltd, have robust policies and procedures in place to guarantee your safety on board including:

  • Health and Safety Policies
  • Child Protection Policies
  • Annual DBS Disclosure for all staff and volunteers

We are members of the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO).

Full time and relief staff are RYA Yachtmasters and Cruising Instructors or higher, and volunteers are qualified to levels appropriate to the responsibilities they carry in accordance with statutory MCA and RYA regulations and guidelines.

For more information about RYA training »


To find out more...