Sail from Devon to join the most anticipated maritime festivals of the sailing calendar – Brest and Douarnenez.
JoinPilgrim of Brixham in her hometown of Brixham before hoisting the sails to leave one Celtic coast for another as you set a southerly course to Brittany. This voyage sees you enjoy not one but two French Maritime Festivals and if anyone knows how to combine sailing, merriment and music for a holiday to remember – it’s definitely the French!
Sail across the English Channel into the Celtic Sea, past France’s most westerly point of the Ushant Islands known for their abundance of lighthouses, shipwrecks and indigenous sheep. Perhaps anchor along the coast before making your way onto the historic port of Brest, sitting rich in maritime history and medieval architecture. Although heavily bombed in the Second World War, this harbour town has been rebuilt and really comes to life for its International Maritime Festival.
Taking place every four years, Brest International Maritime Festival sees a flotilla of some 2500 sailing vessels coming together on the water and what a sight it is! From traditional classic boats to coracles, from windjammers to historic fishing vessels, this eagerly awaited maritime festival is a highlight in the sailing calendar. On land, the festival continues in full swing with plenty of music from all over the world, impeccably good food and freshly caught seafood. Entertainment for all is around every corner of the town with street performances, military processions, reenactments and period fancy dress. The larger ships are open to the public to climb aboard and have a wander around and you can join the nightly parade of boats or sit back from the harbour front and watch them sail by.
Fireworks will close the festival as the boats get ready to sail from Brest to Douarnenez with hundreds of vessels converging from all corners of the World making an exciting and truly unforgettable Parade of Sail to start to the second festival in Douarnenez. Festival Temps Fête in Douarnenez is a little more intimate and is a haven for traditional wooden ship lovers. It also attracts an array of photographers and artists who want to immerse themselves within working boats and the beauty of Douarnenez and its two ports. Whilst one is the old fishing port, Rosmeur, there is another with wooden wharves lined with harbour-side bars and restaurants in the medieval town. Douarnenez Festival also offers plenty of races, sailing re-enactments and other activities on the water. The cobbled streets are perfect to explore the music, local shops and cuisine whilst reminiscing of a time when the wooden boats provided the town with trade as they docked in the port.
The itinerary for sailing is not set due to the changing wind and weather but this trip will give you plenty of time to explore ashore and enjoy the festivals, along with offering the best vantage point from the water. When boarding, the Skipper will have a better idea of what the week should entail. The Breton coast is teeming with sheltered coves for anchoring, peaceful meandering rivers to discover, medieval towns and remote island to explore. Paired with the delicious local cuisine and plenty of opportunities to set foot ashore, there is no better way to discover the magic of this Celtic Coast than under sail.
Your ticket includes access to the festival and of all meals on the boat.
|Voyage||Set Sail||Days||Cost p/p|
|Brest and Douarnenez Festival Sailing||7 July 2020||15||£2,199||Enquire now|
Pilgrim of Brixham
Guest berths: 10 Rig: Gaff Rigged Ketch
Pilgrim of Brixham, built in 1895, is a traditional gaff rigged ketch that is one of a handful of remaining wooden sailing trawlers that were built in Brixham. Pilgrim and her iconic red sails were once part of a large fishing fleet operating out of Brixham, which used to be the principal fishing port in the country. Her survival is testament to her quality, with many similar Victorian fishing vessels having a life span of less than 20 years – and the main reason for her survival is thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the South Devon Coastal Local Action Group and many individual donors and volunteers.
The Pilgrim Story
After spending many years under different owners in Scandinavia, in 1999 she was brought home from Denmark back to Brixham. After significant restoration work, a few mishaps along the way and a hefty dose of community spirit, Pilgrim was returned to her former glory above decks, and brought up to modern standards below.
Today, as a charter vessel, the Brixham community still rallies around Pilgrim, with local crew, experienced and skilled volunteers performing maintenance and making the Pilgrim of Brixham operation run like clockwork. VentureSail is incredibly proud to have a hand in getting people aboard this historic vessel to not only experience how magnificently she sails, but also to see how passionate those that sail her are. Join Pilgrim on voyages around Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, or experience maritime festivals on this incredible vessel.More about Pilgrim of Brixham
- What are the sleeping arrangements?
There are 8 berths in the main saloon, with 4 in a cabin at the front of the ship, and 4 at the back (these are usually crew bunks)
- What language is spoken on board?
- Are meals included?
Yes - meals will be as locally sourced as possible and freshly prepared. Food is often a real hit on Pilgrim.
- 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 they know how to or not.