How Long Does It Take To Get To Europe By Boat

For centuries, intrepid travelers have set sail across the seas to reach the shores of Europe. If you’ve ever wondered just how long this iconic journey takes, you’ve come to the right place.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Traveling to Europe from North America by cargo ship can take 5-7 days, while crossing by small sailing boats or yachts may take 10 days to 4 weeks depending on weather and route.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about making the transatlantic crossing by boat, including:

Routes and Distances From Major Departure Points

From New York to England

Traveling from New York to England by boat offers a unique and leisurely way to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The distance between these two destinations is approximately 3,465 miles (5,579 kilometers). The most common route is from New York City to Southampton, England.

This journey typically takes around six to seven days, depending on the weather conditions and the speed of the vessel. Passengers can enjoy the breathtaking views of the open sea, indulge in onboard amenities, and even participate in various activities and entertainment options.

From Canada’s East Coast to Europe

If you’re departing from Canada’s East Coast, there are several routes available to reach Europe by boat. One popular option is sailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Liverpool, England. This voyage covers a distance of approximately 2,700 miles (4,345 kilometers) and takes about seven to eight days.

Another route is from St. John’s, Newfoundland, to Dublin, Ireland, which spans around 2,380 miles (3,830 kilometers) and takes roughly six to seven days. These routes provide an opportunity to experience the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean while enjoying the amenities and comforts of a cruise ship or ferry.

From U.S. East Coast to Mediterranean

For those looking to explore the Mediterranean from the U.S. East Coast, there are several departure points and routes to choose from. One popular route is from New York City to Barcelona, Spain. This journey covers a distance of approximately 3,890 miles (6,260 kilometers) and usually takes around nine to ten days.

Another option is sailing from Miami, Florida, to Rome, Italy, which spans approximately 4,720 miles (7,600 kilometers) and takes about twelve to thirteen days. These routes offer a fantastic opportunity to explore iconic Mediterranean destinations while enjoying the luxury and comfort of a cruise ship.

When planning a boat trip to Europe, it’s important to consider factors such as weather conditions, travel time, and the availability of different routes. It’s also advisable to check with cruise lines, ferry companies, or travel agencies for the most up-to-date information and schedules. Bon voyage!

Vessel Types and Typical Crossing Times

Large Commercial Ships: 5-7 Days

Large commercial ships are the fastest and most efficient way to travel to Europe by boat. These massive vessels, typically used for transporting goods and passengers, can cover the distance between North America and Europe in just 5 to 7 days.

With their powerful engines and advanced navigation systems, these ships can maintain high speeds throughout the journey, ensuring a swift and comfortable crossing.

If you’re looking for a quick and hassle-free voyage, booking a ticket on a large commercial ship is your best bet. These ships offer a range of amenities and services to keep passengers entertained and comfortable during the journey.

From luxurious cabins to onboard restaurants and entertainment options, traveling on a large commercial ship is like staying in a floating hotel. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the breathtaking views of the open sea as you make your way to Europe.

Sailing Yachts: 2-4 Weeks

If you prefer a more adventurous and leisurely approach to your journey, sailing yachts offer a unique and unforgettable experience. While it may take longer than a commercial ship, the charm and freedom of sailing across the ocean make it well worth the extra time.

Depending on the route and weather conditions, sailing yachts typically take around 2 to 4 weeks to reach Europe from North America. This slower pace allows travelers to truly immerse themselves in the beauty of the sea and enjoy the serenity of sailing.

Imagine feeling the wind in your hair, basking in the warm sun, and spotting dolphins playfully swimming alongside your yacht. It’s an experience like no other.

Rowboats and Specialty Vessels: Varies Greatly

For the truly adventurous souls, rowboats and specialty vessels offer a unique and challenging way to cross the Atlantic Ocean. These small and nimble crafts rely on human power to make the journey, requiring immense strength, endurance, and determination.

The crossing time for rowboats and specialty vessels varies greatly depending on various factors such as weather conditions, rower’s experience, and the route taken. It can take anywhere from a few months to over a year to reach Europe from North America.

While it may seem like an extreme undertaking, many brave individuals have successfully crossed the Atlantic in rowboats, setting records and inspiring others along the way. Their stories of resilience and perseverance serve as a testament to the human spirit and the incredible feats we are capable of achieving.

For more information on rowboat crossings and the incredible stories of those who have accomplished this challenging feat, visit This website provides valuable resources and insights into the world of ocean rowing, including route planning, training tips, and profiles of rowers who have completed remarkable journeys.

Factors That Impact Ocean Crossing Times

Time of Year and Weather Conditions

The time of year and weather conditions play a significant role in determining how long it takes to cross the ocean by boat. During certain seasons, such as winter, the ocean can be more tumultuous, with higher winds and rougher seas.

These conditions can slow down a vessel’s progress and increase the overall crossing time. On the other hand, during calmer seasons, such as summer, the journey can be smoother and faster.

It’s important to note that weather conditions can vary depending on the route taken. For example, the North Atlantic route, which connects North America to Europe, can be subject to heavy storms and strong currents, making the crossing more challenging and time-consuming.

To stay updated on weather conditions, sailors often rely on weather forecast websites like or consult with experienced sailors who have firsthand knowledge of the current conditions.

Vessel Speed and Capabilities

The speed and capabilities of the vessel being used also impact the ocean crossing time. Different types of boats have varying maximum speeds, ranging from leisurely cruising speeds to high-performance racing speeds.

Additionally, factors such as the size of the boat, the engine power, and the overall design can influence how fast the vessel can travel.

For instance, larger commercial ships are generally slower compared to smaller yachts or sailboats. However, commercial vessels often have more advanced navigational systems and technologies that can help them optimize their route and increase efficiency.

When planning a boat journey to Europe, it’s important to consider the speed and capabilities of the vessel to estimate the crossing time accurately. Boat owners can consult boat manufacturers or experienced sailors to understand the potential speed of their boat in different conditions.

Route Efficiency

The chosen route can significantly impact the overall crossing time. Some routes are more direct and efficient, while others may require detours or additional stops along the way. The efficiency of the route depends on various factors, including the prevailing winds and ocean currents.

For example, the trade winds, which blow from east to west, can be utilized to shorten the crossing time when sailing from Europe to the Americas. Sailors can plan their route to take advantage of these winds and reduce the overall journey time.

On the other hand, if the chosen route involves navigating through areas with strong counter-currents or unfavorable winds, it can prolong the crossing time.

Boat owners and sailors can consult nautical charts, navigation apps, or experienced sailors to determine the most efficient route for their journey. Websites like provide detailed nautical charts that can assist in planning the route.


We’ve covered the key details on durations and variables that affect how long it takes to sail across the Atlantic and reach Europe. While large ships can make the voyage in less than a week, those opting for more adventurous vessels should plan for a minimum of 10-14 days at sea pending weather.

Wherever your nautical dreams take you, bon voyage!

Similar Posts