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Sailing on Bessie Ellen

  • Vessel: Bessie Ellen
  • Where: Cornwall
  • Duration: 2 days
  • Embark: Fowey - 1 April 2022, 12:00
  • Disembark: Fowey - 2 April 2022, 12:00

Early spring is one of the most delightful seasons in Cornwall and there can be no better way to shake off the winter blues and celebrate this stunning time of year than by getting out on the water.

Cornwall is very much home for Bessie Ellen, who has worked in and out of Cornish ports for many years. The county is also home for the skipper Nikki, who grew up here and knows the coasts and harbours well so she is able to show guests hidden coves and secret spots during the voyage.

All voyages are weather dependent and we are not able to guarantee where will we head. However, a probable route, once we set sail from Fowey, is heading west to Charlestown, a fine working example of an 18th century clay harbour and a great place to step ashore, sightsee and sample Cornish ice cream.

From Charlestown we may round Dodman Point, the highest point on the south Cornish coast, before continuing on to the busy port of Falmouth and it’s large sheltered bay, one of the UK’s finest places to sail. From Falmouth Bessie Ellen will seek an evening anchorage either along the Helford river or Trelissick, each allowing guests to absorb the calming peace of the river as the sun goes down.

Should weather conditions not be favourable for this route then it could be that Nikki steers us up to Salcombe or Dartmouth, venturing into Devon before returning to Fowey for the final evening.

A day of fresh sea air will work up a hearty appetite and so evenings see us indulging in freshly prepared dinners, courtesy of our chef Pete. All our food is sourced locally and sustainably wherever possible. Please do advise us in advance of any dietary requirements.

The time at sea is yours to make your own and guests are invited to become as involved as much as they like by taking the wheel, navigating or hauling the ropes. Alternatively, just sit back, relax and soak up the sights as the gorgeous Cornish coast passes you by, keeping eyes peeled for dolphins, basking sharks and a host of bird life, including the world’s fastest flying bird, the Peregrine falcon, which has made a strong comeback along the Cornish coastline recently.

No experience is necessary as the ship has a fully trained crew who are on hand and keen to teach newcomers.

As with all Bessie Ellen’s sailing holidays, your ticket price includes Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks and Drinks. Curtained bunk berths are int he spacious shared open saloon below decks with bedding provided – you just need to bring your own towel.

Simply click “Enquire Now” to reserve your berth for five days whilst you sort your travel plans. No booking form or deposit is required until you are ready to book!


VoyageSet SailDaysCost p/p
Easter Sailing in Cornwall8 April 20224£645Enquire now
Spring Sailing in Cornwall15 April 20224£645Enquire now

Bessie Ellen

Guest berths: 12 Rig: Gaff Rigged Ketch

Bessie Ellen offers quality sailing holidays on board a classic tall ship with over 100 years of history, and is now one of the last West Country trading ketches.

This ship worked through both world wars during the last era of wind-powered trade, when ships like Bessie were seen all over England. She is featured on the National Historic Ships Register, which identifies her as a historic vessel that needs to be conserved.

Now, her working life is very different, and she spends her days cruising around British and Spanish waters, offering sailing holidays. With an experienced and hospitable crew, Bessie Ellen provides her guests with a comfortable and authentic tall ship experience. Skipper Nikki occasionally nods back to Bessie’s past by loading her up with cargo for ocean passages, transporting beer from Harbour Brewery and making the most out of the emission-free transport that Bessie offers.

Read more about Life on board here

Sail with Bessie Ellen and Nikki, around Cornwall, the Hebrides, St. Kilda, Norway, and Denmark, you’ll not only enjoy sailing aboard a tall ship, but experience unique coastlines, abundant wildlife, and excellent food, all sourced locally and prepared on board.

Choose from weekend breaks, weeklong trips, or 10-day explorations for a truly unforgettable holiday.

More about Bessie Ellen


  • Are meals included?

    Yes - and we pride ourselves on the quality of food served!

  • Can you cater for dietary needs?

    Yes, please let us know at the time of enquiry

  • Do I need to bring bedding or towels?

    All your bedding (duvet and pillow) is provided but please bring your own towels (washing and/or swimming)

  • What language is spoken on board?

    English is the main language spoken, however on occasion we have crew onboard who are multilingual.

  • What are the sleeping arrangements?

    There are 12 comfortable berths in the former cargo hold. This is an open plan area that is also used for meals and relaxing

  • How many toilets/showers does she have?

    Bessie Ellen has two toilets/showers for guests.

  • Is there WIFI?

    No, but you will be able to reach 3/4G when you are close to land.

  • Is there age limit?

    No, but we advise over 16's for scheduled voyages as there is an open saloon sleeping arrangement. There is no limit for private charter.

  • Can I charge my phone or camera?

    Yes. We run generators every day in the morning and evening, which run the 240 volt system of normal 3 pin sockets.

  • Are there life jackets provided?


  • Are waterproofs available?

    No. Please bring your own. There are a few spare for emergencies only.

  • Do I need to be a seasoned sailor?

    Not at all. We give everyone who joins us on board the choice to do as much or as little as they like, whether the know how to or not.

  • Do I have to do watches?

    During a passage crossings you may be asked to be part of our watch rota, this is not compulsory but is definitely part of boat life that guests enjoy when at sea for long periods.

  • Will there be time to get off the boat?

    Yes on most of our trips we try and explore the areas we are sailing around each day, except for passage crossings where of course we are at sea for most of the voyage.

  • Will I be sea sick?

    Everyone reacts differently but we recommend if you are worried to take some medication 24 hours before travelling.


From: Fowey

To: Fowey


You can leave your car at any of the Long Stay car parks with a weekly or overnight ticket. You can pay using the Just Park app on your phone which can be easier and costs from £12-£18.


Fowey is just 5 miles from Par – a station on the mainline of any train coming into Cornwall, be that Plymouth, Exeter or London. From here is is a short taxi ride into Fowey.


Newquay Airport is a little further at 20 miles, but is generally the quickest way into the county during the spring/summer months.


There are plenty of places to stay in Fowey. Try The Galleon (01726 833014), Wellington’s (01726 833232) or Havener’s (01726 834591).

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