The quest unlocks the Skellige region for exploration and thus needs to be completed before continuing any Skellige-related secondary quests that may have been obtained on the continent (i.e. Black Pearl, Following the Thread).
Go to the harbor, you will have 3 ships marked on your map. One will be run a by a female captain, she will refuse to take you to Skellige. Another one will have no captain on-board and the marker will disappear once you board it and try to talk to the crew. On the last one you will find Captain Liglad looking out at the sea with a spyglass, He will also refuse to take you but will direct you to The Golden Sturgeon to find Wolverstone the Captain of Atropos.
You will find the Captain in front of the innkeeper, obviously hammered. Talk to him and he will agree to take you to Skellige for a paltry 1000. Pay him (earning 100 ) and he will ask if you are ready to go. When you tell him you are ready, the Captain will take "One for the road" then you'll set sail with him. A cutscene will play where Geralt goes to sleep in his cabin, and soon gets a rough awakening from Skellige pirates. Fight the Pirates along with the crew. Once most of them are dead, another cutscene will play where the ship crashes and Geralt gets hit with a falling mast.
A few hours later, Geralt will get wash up on Ard Skellig along with the rest of the crew and get a less rough awakening from Steingrim who will attempt to rob his "corpse". After a conversation on his current location, Geralt will ask about Steingrim about Yennefer, who will express his dislike towards the sorceress. You have the option to fight him in a brawl for it but won't get anything if you win, or just tell him that Yennefer gains a lot once you get to know her. Regardless, he will tell you the way to Kaer Trolde and part with you there.
Before you start exploring Skellige, head south of where you landed. You will find the remains of the Atropos and Wolverstone's body behind her wreck. Thankfully he has not drank away any of the money you gave him, so feel free to take it back from his body. Also, make sure to loot the containers around the wreckage for loot and some random diagrams.
Once you reach Kaer Trolde Harbor go to the crowd that is performing the funeral of their King. You will now be conversing with Yennefer and have a chance to flirt with her. Eventually, you will have 3 options on your opinion on going to the "wake", although you will have to attend it regardless of your choice here. Afterward, you will have a conversation about Ciri where you can tell Yennefer what you know so far or just ask her what she has found out on Skellige. Finally, you will have a short conversation with Crach an Craite, who will demand you attend the wake and the quest is over.
Low level Guide
It is possible to complete the quest at low level, which will grant early access to Skellige.
But first you will need to get the required 1000. If you searched White Orchard thoroughly you should have some Orens and Florens in your inventory which should amount to at least half of the sum, just go to Vimme Vivaldi to exchage them. You can also ask Vimme for a loan of 100. You can also play Gwent to earn the rest with some random players in Velen who have lousy decks.
Now the hard part is fighting the Pirates as they will be able to one shot Geralt. Fortunately Geralt has the aid of the crew members during the quest whom the pirates aren't as interested in killing as they are with him. So it is possible to finish this part by avoiding combat and eventually the crew will kill off the pirates. So use Quen, dodging and health regeneration while you play tag with the pirates and eventually you will "win" the fight. Finally you should also avoid fighting Steingrim as he will mop the floor with you in one hit and even if you are able to block all his attacks the fight will take ages.
Congratulations you can now explore Skellige at low level, just be sure to avoid Sirens while taking a boat to reach the smaller islands.
- The search for Ciri had taken Yennefer to the wind-swept Skellige Isles - that is to say, lest your mind fill with visions of our elegant sorceress shivering on some barren rock - it had taken her to a suite of comfortable rooms near Kaer Trolde Castle on the isle of Ard Skellig. Geralt was to join her there and thus set off to the port in Novigrad, where he hoped to find a captain bold enough to brave the pirate-infested waters en route.
- After much searching, Geralt found just such a man. A certain Captain Wolverstone had agreed to sail to Skellige. Whether he was abnormally brave or abnormally stupid is unknown – the vodka he gulped in buckets could have enhanced either quality. We can also hope it helped sooth his nerves when, to no one's surprise, pirates attacked the ship off the archipelago's shores. Geralt was thrown overboard during the tussle, and awoke face-down in the Skellige sand.
- Geralt recovered from his tumultuous landing and eventually reached Kaer Trolde castle – home to Crach, jarl of Clan an Craite. There he discovered all the notables of Skellige had gathered to bury King Bran, who had breathed his last a few days prior. In attendance as well: Yennefer.
- Find a boat headed to Skellige.
- Look for the ship's captain at the Golden Sturgeon.
- Sail to Skellige with Captain Wolverstone.
- Defeat the pirates.
- Go to the port near Kaer Trolde.
- Teach Steingrim a lesson. (optionally)
- If you have not yet delt with the Drunken Rabble before it's almost certain you will meet them during this quest.
- A clear benefit of having early access to Skellige is that you can buy/win additional Gwent cards. Most notably if you favor the Monsters Gwent deck as there is only one card available for purchase on the main continent while the rest is on Skellige.
- You can get back the 1000 coins you have to pay Captain Wolverstone. When you wake up at the coast, search for the eastern shipwreck nearby. The dead captain lies behind it with your money.
- There is a Place of Power slightly submerged in the water directly behind you where you wake up on the coast.