Month: March 2024

Why you should join us for the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival!

Falmouth Classics Parade of sail

The acclaimed Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival, running alongside the thrilling Falmouth Classics, is set to be bigger and better for 2024. The festival draws thousands of visitors, and this year is set to be the biggest and best in its history. If you have yet to experience it, here’s why you should join us!


Whilst a fairly bold claim, the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival is indeed one of Europe’s largest maritime musical festival and it has the added bonus of being completely free! Festival-goers can wander the streets of this harbourside town, marvelling in it’s rich maritime history whilst admiring the picturesque waterside views. As night falls, sounds of deep, hearty singing begins as over 70 shanty groups share their songs and stories. With over 20 official festival venues to explore and 700 performers to admire, there is plenty to see and do!

almouth Sea-shanty


As the Falmouth Sea Shanty Festival coincides with the Falmouth Classics, there is so much for visitors to soak up. The Falmouth Classics is an esteemed three-day spectacle which sees a regatta of racing, parades and variety of onshore events. Take to the water on one of our vessels to participate in the racing or simply experience the action with the wind in your hair and spray on your face. Alternatively, head to one of the many onshore vantage points to feast your eyes on the exhilirating sailing as well as the magnificent parade of sail. Be sure to have cameras at the ready!


With over 700 performers from around the world, the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival was founded in 2003 with the desire to keep the history of the sea alive through sea shanties, songs of the sea and local Cornish songs. For those new to shanties, they originate as a collective folk song, traditionally sung to accompany the rhythym of labour onboard larger sailing vessels, generally on British and European ships. Whilst the exact origins have been lost in the history of time, it is thought they can be traced back at least as far as the mid-1400’s as a working song. Traditionally there would be a lead solo singer, or ‘shantyman’, who would lead the singing with the crew joining in for the chorus. Known to bring a sense of fun, a ‘shantyman’ was often said to be worth two pairs of hands on board, so successful were they in maintaining morale and increasing productivity. Today, hearing these songs, one is certainly reminded of times gone by, the ballads often heartwarming, lifting the spirits and bonding and connecting us as one – which is exactly what they were designed to do.

A guide to Svalbard Ski and Sail Holidays

Valiente Ski

If you’re a skier looking for new experiences, our Svalbard Ski and Sail holidays are perfect for adventure-seekers! On this adventure, you’ll combine the thrill of back-country skiing with the beauty of sailing through Arctic waters and pristine landscapes.

Here’s everything you need to know about Svalbard ski and sail holidays.

Our ski and sail expeditions showcase the best of Svalbard, exploring the fjords and glaciers of Isfjorden under sail. You’ll have the opportunity to see and experience Svalbard in a way that few have done before. A ski guide will join you, but this is a medium-level experience, with some alpine touring or skiing experience recommended.

The Arctic archipelago of Svalbard

Tucked in the heart of the Arctic Circle, the archipelago of Svalbard is a bucket list destination for many nature lovers. The region is home to sweeping glaciers, majestic fjords, and abundant Arctic wildlife. Whilst onboard your Svalbard ski and sail adventure, keep your binoculars ready as you can expect to see polar bears, Arctic foxes, and reindeer, to name a few! Set sail from Longyearben, before reaching the mountains surrounding Isfjorden, surrounded by powder white snow, completely untouched. You’ll also have the chance to reach Kongsfjorden and Magdalenefjorden. A day spent skiing in Spitsbergen offers a landscape and skiing opportunities similar to the alpine style.

Arctic climate of Svalbard

The climate in the Arctic can be harsh and unpredictable. Still, guests can expect to experience the region’s beauty during the spring months. At this time of year the sun shines 24 hours a day, animals are back and thriving, and snow conditions are perfect. May is a fantastic time to visit Svalbard, with the weather forecast dictating the exact route to make the most of the snow /conditions along the way.

Arctic skiing experience: What to expect

Each day on your Svalbard ski and sail adventure will be spent with a few hours sailing in the morning before reaching a glacier or mountain range. Using the dinghy to head ashore, guests can put on their skis, hike the mountain and ski fresh snow where nobody has skied before! The ski touring during the week will be planned with everyone the day before, depending on the weather. A certified ski guide with several years of experience in Arctic backcountry skiing will always join guests. Guests onboard will have a range of experience levels. We recommend that you have some previous experience of downhill or alpine skiing to ensure you have the best experience.

Sailing and life on board an expedition yacht

Whilst some skiing experience is needed to join our Svalbard ski and sail holidays, there is no sailing experience required to join our expedition yacht Valiente. While onboard, you’ll work with the other guests and crew to navigate the Arctic wilderness together. Get stuck into all aspects of life on board, from taking the helm to setting and trimming the sails. Valiente is relatively straightforward to sail, so she’s a great boat to learn on if you haven’t sailed before. Valiente offers a relaxed and comfortable life on board. Central heating runs throughout the boat – great for warming up after a busy day on the slopes. The spacious saloon and galley are set mid-ships with 360° windows at deck level – perfect for cooking with a view!

Ready to join a Svalbard ski and sail holiday?

Combines the thrill of skiing with the beauty of sailing through Arctic waters whilst exploring magnificent glaciers and fjords. Our Svalbard ski and sail holidays with Valiente certainly offer a once-in-a-lifetime experience! You’ll get to explore the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, see abundant Arctic wildlife up close, and ski in untouched snow. You don’t need any experience to join Valiente’s, just a love for the natural world and adventure!