Month: June 2022

Our Top Five Family Friendly Sailing Holidays

Zorba full sails Greece

Tired of the usual go-to choices for your next family trip? Then why not try a skippered family sailing holiday?

Our fleet sail in stunning locations around the globe offering a range fully skippered and catered sailing adventures. Best of all, no experience is needed to climb aboard and guests have the option of doing as little or as much as they like. From individual berths to whole boat skippered yacht charters, our VentureSail fleet has something for everyone. We have selected our top five below, which will you choose?

1. Greek Island Sailing on Zorba
A short flight to Athens and you can be on board Zorba within a couple of hours of landing for your family sailing holiday in Greece. Teenagers will love the Instagram-worthy turquoise waters and out-of-this world scenery. Parents can swim, snorkel and explore ancient historic sites all whilst soaking up the Grecian sun. Each island is completely different so no two days are the same – boredom is not an option!

Warm evenings are spent in local taverna’s feasting on delicious traditional Greek cuisine. It’s the perfect way to switch off, relax and get back to simple family pleasures complete with good food, fabulous weather and comfortable accommodation. Owners Aga and Greg are the perfect hosts, making a stress-free sailing experience.
View Zorba‘s 2022 Summer Schedule >


2. See the Scillies Your Way
The Isles of Scilly are spectacularly beautiful and lure celebrities and royalty alike. Visiting these sub-tropical islands is a must, they are like nowhere else in England. And the best part? You don’t even need your passport! So skip the airport stress this summer and whisk yourselves away for a family holiday on the Isles of Scilly where you will meet Pettifox, your floating home for the week. This classic wooden boat was built on the islands in 1992 and now spends her summers sailing and exploring the islands. Pettifox is utterly delightful and gives families that ultimate Swallow’s and Amazon’s holiday experience!

Sleeping up to four guests, she is absolutely perfect for families looking for something a little different from their family summer holiday. Be it island-hopping, wildlife watching, long, lazy beach days or explorations ashore, there is something for everyone here. The powder soft white sands are surrounded by crystal clear waters whilst each of the five main islands have a personality of their own. Offering a B&B style experience, sample the local cuisine, fresh sea food, enjoy freshly cooked pastries for breakfast or watch the sunset go down with a BBQ on the beach. View Pettifox’s 2022 Summer Schedule >


3. Family Cruising Holidays in Scotland
Head off the beaten track this summer and enjoy an all-inclusive family sailing holiday in Scotland on board our motor-cruiser Fleur de Lys. Offering a slightly different cruising experience, Fleur de Lys is able to island-hop quickly across the West coast of Scotland. Get the family out in the fresh Scottish air, discover uninhabited islands, create wonder in young eyes as they spot some of the incredible wildlife here, swim in clear, sparkling waters before climbing back aboard where a freshly prepared meal awaits you. Offering a luxury double cabin and two spacious twin cabins, it’s the perfect family break for those who are a little more active and seeking quality time away.

View Fleur de Lys 2022 Summer Schedule >


4. Experience Cornwall Under Sail
British summer holiday destinations don’t get more perfect than iconic Cornwall. This incredible county at the very south-westerly tip of England offers outstanding beaches, miles of stunning coastline, picture-perfect harbours and fabulous food. It’s also where guests can join Unity our Westcountry Cutter who is absolutely perfect for all-inclusive, skippered family sailing holidays.

Built in 2016, she has been designed with families in mind and her owners delight in offering bespoke skippered family sailing holidays. Joining Unity in Falmouth, expect warm hospitality, freshly-prepared food and comfortable accommodation – parents can enjoy the privacy of a double cabin whilst children are amply catered for with twin berths. See a different side to Cornwall, away from the hustle and bustle – explore the tranquil Helford estuary, swim in calm azure waters all whilst keeping eyes peeled for dolphins who are known to frequent this area.

View Unity‘s 2022 Summer Schedule >


5. Scottish Family Sailing in Style
Gorgeous Bermudan Sloop Stravaigin is owned and skippered by a Scottish family which means sailing holidays in Scotland and the Hebrides doesn’t get much better than this. Spend this summer exploring the outstandingly beautiful west coast of Scotland, from Skye and the Small Isles to Mull, Kerrera or even far-flung St. Kilda. We can guarantee breathtaking scenery, world-class sailing and magnificent wildlife without any compromise on comfort. Get out on the water as you try your hand at SUP’ing, wild swim and wildlife watch – whales and dolphins are often sighted during our ventures here.

Back on board, Stravaigin offers modern accommodation which includes private berth cabins and a spacious saloon complete with a TV screen for those who are keen to relax indoors. Families are well-catered for with an all-inclusive skippered sailing experience. Home cooked meals, private charter options and the opportunity to get hands on with sailing. What better way to bond as a family?

View Stravaigin‘s 2022 Summer Schedule >


If you have any questions about a skippered family sailing holiday or would like to find out more please contact info@venturesailholidays.com or call one of our friendly team on 01872 487288.

Life on a Cornish Lugger – Sailing in the foosteps of Smugglers

Richard Collett on Grayhound

Richard Collett, travel journalist, recently joined Cornish lugger Grayhound as she sailed from Plymouth to Falmouth and back again, following in the wake of sailors and smugglers from days gone by. First-time sailor Richard eagerly climbed aboard, keen to embrace the experience, learn to hoist the sails, tie ropes and fall in love with life on the waves.

Grayhound is a newly built Cornish lugger who launched in 2012 but don’t let her modernity fool you. She is an exact replica of the original ‘Grayhound’ who was built in Cornwall in 1776 having been commissioned for the collector of customs, Mr John Knill, in St Ives. Designed for speed, she subsequently spent her first few years working as a revenues lugger, patrolling and chasing smugglers who, when caught, had their goods impounded as well as their vessel. The latter was then later sold at auction, whilst the smugglers fate lay in the hands of the law.

Smuggling was rife in the southwest during this time period and ironically, the vessel of choice for many smugglers was a Cornish lugger as their speed was unrivalled. In fact, these vessels became so difficult to chase down that the government eventually banned three-masted luggers in an attempt to stymie the smuggling trade!

On winding down her career as a revenues lugger, from 1780 Grayhound served as a privateer – a privately owned armed vessel granted a warrant by the government to wage war on enemy ships. With conflict arising due to the Declaration of Independence by the North American Colonists in 1776, privateering in the English Channel and beyond became common place and Grayhound, being a well armed and fast ship became a successful privateer vessel. Her final fate is unknown but it is assumed she was sunk in battle, if so, we imagine it was a glorious one!

Grayhound sailing
Three-masted Cornish luggers were built for speed

Back to modern day and on joining Grayhound in Plymouth, Richard explains “I didn’t know my fore from my aft, but as we raised the sails and set out across Plymouth Sound I was keen to learn the ropes.” Richard soon familiarised himself with the slower pace of life that is synonymous with tall ship sailing, unwinding and observing as the gorgeous coastline unfolded and an anchorage was chosen for the night. Read more about Richard’s sailing holiday on Grayhound in his article on Travel Tramp or experience it for yourself with a 2022 tall ship adventure!

Why not get a taste of life on board this lovely Cornish lugger yourself? She has a few berths remaining for the 2022 season, from Scilly to Brittany or sailing around the Devon and Cornish coasts, there’s something for everyone. View Grayhound’s 2022 Schedule >