Travelling the World's Last Remaining Wilderness


Ross Porter

Ross has worked as a captain, a marine and mechanical engineer, site manager for Buddhafield Festival and is now the director of VoyageVert - a project that is dedicated to providing sustainable travel.

cheap oil hungry flights aren’t sustainable, so creative voyagers are breaking cultural boundaries in their exploration of how we can travel the world anew.

VoyageVert, a large passenger sailing ferry, is an exciting new project that will bust open the slow travel movement meaning anyone can go globe-trotting without burning a smidgen of carbon.


Imagine sailing into New York as the sun rises, having sped across the Atlantic in under a week. The transformative journey has been made on a cutting edge ship, powered by wind and renewables. Safe, comfortable and efficient, the nurturing environment onboard has encouraged a fresh perspective on life. The friendly and experienced crew have created a feeling of community and ease. 

VoyageVert, a Bristol based enterprise, plans to launch environmentally conscious voyages as a sustainable alternative to flight. Supporting the slow travel revolution, the company is currently sailing the pilot yacht back from NZ to UK where they will begin ferrying passengers from Bristol to Boston. The team plan to run voyages beginning as soon as 2022 on safe, comfortable, high technology multihull ships carrying 100+ passengers at a time. 

Ross Porter began sailing in Torbay at the age of eight. He spent many years working on boats sailing around the Greek Islands, the Caribbean and New Zealand. By his own count he has notched up enough miles to sail more than twice around the world. Returning to England, he set up a company delivering yachts for clients which led to plenty of requests from travellers who wanted to hitch a ride. It turns out there’s a market for transporting people by yacht too.

[VoyageVert’s] vision is for a truly global passenger transport network, one that’s totally sustainable and high speed. Cheap and fast has had its day, and it’s now really becoming a problem. We’ve got to do away with cheap and fast, and start travelling with intention.
— Ross Porter, VoyageVert's founder

The past few years has seen a growing movement for transporting goods under sail. There are now more than ten large boats and many smaller ones in Europe and North America, trading everything from chocolate to rum, from cider to salt cod, in a way which is completely carbon free. With 120,000 available seats on planes crossing the Atlantic everyday, Porter believes that there is a very viable market for passengers looking to make the crossing by other means.

With increasing oil prices and firmer sanctions placed on aviation carbon emissions in the future, the industry will continue to look less and less appealing to the environmentally conscious passenger. Just one return flight from London to New York produces a greater carbon footprint than a whole year’s personal allowance needed to keep the climate safe and there is currently no alternative.

VoyageVert are offering an environmentally sound solution and aims to attract eco-conscious, adventurous travellers. The travel experience they hope to offer will be a world apart from the high-density, cramped and rushed style of modern air travel. While the transatlantic crossing will be fast in terms of ocean travel (a few days), it’s not an overnight flight. While on passage you’ll be able to relax, learn from on-board experts in scientific, oceanic wildlife and other fields, engage with fellow passengers, and discover more about yourself. With as much involvement with the onboard community as you like, facilitators will make this time an enriching experience. Guest speakers will lecture on aspects of the marine environment, one of the world's last remaining wildernesses.

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VoyageVert has a vision to build a transoceanic, sustainable passenger ferry powered entirely by wind

VoyageVert has a vision to build a transoceanic, sustainable passenger ferry powered entirely by wind