« All Voyages

Sailing South – Passage to Cornwall

  • Vessel: Bessie Ellen
  • Where: Scotland
  • Duration: 10 days
  • Embark: Oban - 27 June 2020, 15:00
  • Disembark: Newlyn - 6 July 2020, 10:00
Single Berth£1,025 £256.25

As the evenings draw in, this is Bessie’s cue to head back south, down the north channel, passing the Clyde and onward to the dramatic Cornish coast.

For those aiming to get away from it all and experience a working passage aboard a traditional vessel, then this is a wonderful opportunity to take the chance to do something really different. You will help the crew stand watches, carry out logbook duties and help with traditional skilled maintenance – even baking the bread. Each watch is 4 hours long with 8 hours rest in between – this includes night watches.

Leaving the lovely port of Oban, Scotland, Bessie Ellen will sail down toward the North coast of Ireland, bearing South East towards the Isle Of Man. This stretch of sea and coastline provides a stunning backdrop to start your voyage and you will come to rest at the harbour in Peel in the Isle of Man. Peel Harbour is an ideal first stop and where our chef heads out to stock up on traditionally cured kippers, which have been produced in Peel since the 19th Century.

As the Isle of Man slips astern you will head south towards St George’s Channel, past the imposing mountains of Mourne Islay (pronounced ‘eye-la’), one of skipper Nikki’s favourite locations. Historically, the island served as the meeting place for Scottish clan leaders but it is now a paradise for whisky lovers, boasting an amazing eight distilleries. Each is nestled on the shores around the island and offers the chance to sample some of the finest malt whiskies in the world.

Sailing down through the St. George’s Channel offers the chance to take the night watch and sail under the stars, enjoying the sense of peace as the ship settles down for the evening. Depending on the weather and tides, of course, the route is changeable but usually sees Bessie keeping close to the Irish shores, to visit Port Oriel, Howth or Wicklow, with the final longer passage across the Celtic Sea towards Cornwall.

In the closing stages of the voyage, Bessie will endeavour to call in at St Mary’s, on the gorgeous Isles of Scilly, before setting the final course for home, passing the infamous Wolf Rock Lighthouse and Lands End before reaching the final port of Newlyn, a tiny but quaint Cornish fishing village. A perfect end to an amazing passage on a historic Tallship.


VoyageSet SailDaysCost p/p
Sailing South – Passage to Cornwall27 June 202010£1,025Enquire 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.

Sail with Bessie Ellen and Nikki, around Cornwall, the Hebrides, St. Kilda and the Canary Islands, and not only enjoy sailing aboard a tall ship, but experience unique coastlines, abundant wildlife, and excellent food. While enjoying all of this you will also be able to feel smug about having such an environmentally friendly holiday, as Nikki tries to be as green as possible in every aspect of her journeys – everything down to providing guests with toiletries that are microbead free, and so don’t harm the marine life.

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

More about Bessie Ellen


  • 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

  • Are meals included?

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.


From: Oban

To: Newlyn