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COVID-19 What you need to know

Pellew Sailing

Update July 8th

Most of our fleet have cancelled scheduled voyages for July, we will be in touch with all guest individually about these holidays. Decisions about the rest of the summer will be made as and when we can. Things are changing on a weekly basis, so please do check back to this page for more updates.

**NEW FOR SUMMER 2020**
A few of our South West based vessels are able to offer ‘Boat Bubble Holidays’. Much like a private charter, you would have exclusive use of the boat for your ‘bubble’ or household to enjoy! Available for three to six nights with all of your food included. Read more here >

Please understand that this is an unprecedented situation for us all to be in and we are trying our best to get back to everyone as soon as possible, but please bear with us as we are working with a skeleton staff.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

Will my voyage go ahead as planned?
Currently, all April, May and June voyages will not go ahead. If you are due to sail in July and August we will be in touch with guests in the next few weeks.

Can I delay paying my final balance?
Please do not pay your final balance at this time until we know more information.

If I decide to cancel my voyage will I receive a refund?
Should you decide to cancel your cruise, because of disinclination to travel, and the voyage has not been officially cancelled yet by the boat refunds will only be made in accordance with our current Bookings Terms & Conditions (section 9).

Should you need to cancel your voyage because you have caught the Coronavirus and have not travelled to a restricted country, VentureSail will only issue refunds in accordance with our current Bookings Terms & Conditions, (section 9) but your insurance provider should cover costs. (We cannot guarantee this, every insurance provider is different, please check your policy)

Should you need to cancel your voyage because you have caught the Coronavirus but have travelled to a restricted country, VentureSail will only issue refunds in accordance with our current Bookings Terms & Conditions, (section 9) but it is unlikely that your insurance provider will cover any costs.

If I decide to cancel my voyage can I transfer what I have paid to an alternative date?
Should you decide to cancel your voyage because of disinclination to travel, a transfer of funds to an alternative date will be at the discretion of individual boat owners.

What measures will be taken by VentureSail to screen crew and their recent travel history and health symptoms?
All crew members are required to complete a series of questions about their recent travel and health approximately one week prior to boarding the ship.  Depending on the answers provided to the questions, crew members may be refused boarding as indicated in the above information.

What prevention measures will be taken by VentureSail to prevent cross-contamination on board ship?
Our fleet already advocates high hygiene standards and have introduced heightened measures to help prevent any potential cross-contamination during food service.  We are working with new government guidelines as they become available.

What if there was an outbreak whilst I am aboard?
Health authorities would be contacted straight away and quarantine & isolation measures followed in accordance with the WHO & FOC by all onboard.

Sailing in Northern Spain

Cies Islands-Vigo-Galicia-Spain

The North Coast of Spain is still relatively unknown on the tourist map which provides the perfect location for summer sailing and stunning anchorages in secluded bays. A perfect location for those wanting to experience warmer temperatures, escape the rat run and explore “off-the-beaten-track”

Rugged coastlines dropping to traditional seafront harbours and stretches of sandy beaches provide perfect locations for overnight stops and evening wanders. The Atlantic sea air provides great sailing winds and in the event of not so good weather, this coastline is teeming with inlets, fjords and hidden bays, great for sheltering.

Many of the seafront harbours and villages still rely on their traditional fishing and farming methods so you won’t be short of fresh produce and arguably some of the best and freshest seafood in Europe! Our Skippers love to hop ashore, hopefully timing their stop with a sweet traditional Spanish market where they can pick up the freshest produce to bring back to the boat. If the timing is even better, some of our boats have been known to liaise with local fisherman over the radio, rendezvous in the bay and exchange fresh fish for baked goods!

Wildlife in Spain is impressive and diverse due to its varied landscapes and its geographical location on the migration routes between Europe and Africa. Home to 635 bird species including kites, vultures, eagles and bustards this coastline is a prime position for bird watching so make sure you have your binoculars at the ready!


Crossing the Bay of Biscay to the Spanish Coast

Sail with Eye of the Wind as she makes her way from Brest, across the Bay of Biscay and down to the coast of Northern Spain. A great opportunity to build up sea miles!
  • Vessel: Eye of the Wind
  • Where: France/Spain
  • Duration: 9 days
  • Date: 8 October 2020

Sailing the coasts of Spain & Portugal

Join Eye of the Wind on the North coast of Spain for 9 days winter sun sailing, exploring from La Coruna to Cadiz.
  • Vessel: Eye of the Wind
  • Where: Spain
  • Duration: 9 days
  • Date: 17 October 2020

On Course to the Canary Islands

Sail down the Gulf of Cádiz in Andalusia, southern Spain. Beyond it lies the vast expanse of the North Atlantic and the volcanic island of Lanzarote, which will be this voyage's destination.
  • Vessel: Eye of the Wind
  • Where: Spain/Canary Islands
  • Duration: 8 days
  • Date: 26 October 2020

Bessie Ellen & the newbie!

Bessie Ellen in Scotland

Emma Jamieson, food blogger and first-time sailor, shares her experience of a week aboard Bessie Ellen in the Hebrides – it was love at first sight!

“Dolphins!” came the shout from Skipper Nikki at the bow of Bessie Ellen. We were whipping along at a nifty 7.6 knots – a cracking pace as she sliced through the waves on her merry way to the Hebridean Isle of Canna. Over in the distance we spotted them, jumping and diving in their hundreds towards us to play under our bowsprit.

Three days before, I had never set foot on a boat, and suddenly there I was, wind in my hair, wildlife surrounding me, helming a traditional tall ship on a trip round the Hebrides!

When I’d boarded – three days before – with eleven other travellers looking for adventure, I had very little idea the lasting impact this trip would have on me. From all walks of life and ages all of us bonded immediately as we gathered on deck for warming whisky macs and our first briefing. Within an hour of leaving Oban, we had hoisted the sails, learned to make fast, got our first taste at the helm and practiced knots! Anyone joining Bessie Ellen can get involved as much or as little as they want, but there is always something to do and see and learn, so few of us ever sat still.

A warming dram of whisky

Each day brought a new surprise. The sun rose and we were straight at it, scrubbing the deck, plotting our course for the day and taking turns on watch. Paddle-boarding surrounded by dolphins was a clear highlight, as was spotting minke whales and seals, wild swimming in remote coves or being surrounded by puffins and razorbills on the Treshnish Isles.

Love these guys!

Our huge appetites from all the sea air were handsomely rewarded. We ate like royalty throughout the trip, with stellar meals apparating like Hogwarts feasts from a galley kitchen the size of a broom cupboard – from fresh baked bread to haunch of venison, Thai curries and homemade sorbet! Over evening meals by candlelight we played games, swapped anecdotes and even had a “pub quiz”.

Fresh Lobster for lunch!

All the fusses of terrestrial life seemed to melt away on board. Whilst there is no scrimping on comfort – from a spacious shower room and the cosiest bunks, I didn’t wash my hair or wear make-up once, spent most of my time with what looked like a tea cosy on my head, wearing ten layers and I couldn’t have given a monkey’s less.

Cosy down below
I’ve fallen for the Hebrides!

When the final night arrived I could barely remember the day I came on board. Numbers were exchanged and all of us revelled in the lifetime’s worth of stories collected in even such a short time. A sail on Bessie Ellen is no mere holiday. It is a moment of spirit-filling, pure, unadulterated happiness and adventure suspended in time.

Swimming was refreshing!

To read Emma’s full article please visit her blog The Edinburgh Epicure