« All Voyages Irene's Schedule »

Tall Ship Sailing & Paimpol Festival

  • Vessel: Irene
  • Where: Falmouth, Cornwall
  • Duration: 10 days
  • Embark: Falmouth - 31 July 2023, 10:00
  • Disembark: Falmouth - 9 August 2023, 10:00
Single berth in Twin Cabin Ensuite£2,360.00 £590.00
Twin Cabin Ensuite (single occupancy)£3,541.00 £885.25
Stateroom Double Cabin Ensuite (double occupancy)£2,460.00 £615.00
Stateroom Double Cabin Ensuite (single occupancy)£3,690.00 £922.50

Set sail with tall ship Irene as she heads over to experience the French maritime festival in Paimpol.

Join classic wooden ketch Irene in Falmouth, Cornwall as she offers guests a hands-on sailing holiday to the French sailing festival of Paimpol.

This adventure sailing voyage is perfect for those wanting to experience life at sea on a traditionally rigged tall ship under the guidance of a professional crew. You’ll board Irene in the maritime port of Falmouth before familiarising yourself with the boat before setting sails to cross the English channel and reach the coast of France.

  • Hands-on sailing experience
  • Private cabins
  • Open water sailing
  • Paimpol festival


Paimpol, France

Swap one Celtic coast for another as you join Irene for 10 days of exhilarating sailing, music and merriment. Your voyage will, of course, be dictated by the direction of the wind and tide but will see you sailing the English Channel to reach the French coast and harbour port of Paimpol where you can experience the true hospitality of french maritime festival from the comfort of your own boat.

Paimpol is a traditional French harbour town situated in the Gulf of St. Malo. This is a beautiful coastline and there are several opportunities for anchoring before you reach the festival. With this being a maritime festival, once you reach the shores of France, you will more and more frequently spot fellow traditional wooden ship and working vessels heading in the same direction – all towards Paimpol.


Soaking up the French coast

On reaching Paimpol, Irene will navigate her way into the small harbour over mudflats and oyster beds, accompanied by many other ships travelling almost nose to tail in the small channel. This is where the atmosphere of the festival really begins as thousands of people line the harbour wall waiting to watch the spectacle and welcome all the vessels to the town.

Once moored up alongside other traditional ships or working vessels, your time is your own. Relax on deck, head ashore with fellow seafarers or visit other boats before immersing yourself in the history and tradition of Paimpol Festival. The town was once home to a large fleet of fishing vessels that would sail across the Atlantic, fishing the deep seas. The maritime music festival celebrates the towns seafaring traditions with energetic dancing, classic wooden vessels, brass bands and the occasional sax lift the mood to remind the festival-goers that this is a celebration of maritime culture.

The town itself has plenty of bars and restaurants to enjoy (although of course all main meals will be provided on board if you prefer), and the atmosphere is electric over the three day festival. This voyage is a bucket list adventure; maritime music festivals have energy like nothing else and the channel crossing is an adventure in itself.

After the festival has come to a close, your holiday onboard is certainly not over as we continue to explore the French coast. The itinerary will not be known closer to the time as it will entirely depend on the tides and weather but rest assured the skipper has spent many years exploring this coast so knows the best spots well!

Life on Board

Irene requires no previous sailing experience to jump aboard – only a lust for adventure!  Under the guidance of her fully trained crew, you are invited to get actively involved in all aspects of sailing Irene. From hoisting her sails, trimming the ropes, taking the helm and getting her ready for anchor – this truly is a hand-on sailing holiday perfect for those that want to learn more about life aboard a historic classic boat. Irene has been sailing Cornish waters for over 100 years! Her first cargo voyage to Penzance was recorded in 1907 so she is certainly no stranger to this beautiful coastline.

Her dedicated crew will be on hand at all times to point you in the right direction with her chef hand-cooking all meals on board. With private cabins and large communal space below decks, there’s plenty of space to relax after a day of sailing if star-gazing on deck doesn’t take up too much of the evening!

Read more about what to expect from Life onboard Irene here.


Guest berths: 10 Rig: Ketch

From an Edwardian cargo vessel to floating family home and now a chartered sailing vessel, Irene’s had a fascinating life. She’s been the darling of the silver screen, sank in the Caribbean, towed across the Atlantic and re-built in Cornwall. Now she earns her keep sailing guests around the Cornish coast and the Isles of Scilly. Her most recent re-fit has seen the addition of all the mod-cons and safety equipment you’d expect of a modern day charter boat. She carries a crew of professional mariners who love sharing their passion for this old lady of the seas.

From sailing the Cornish coast to exploring the beautiful archipelago of the Scilly Isles, Irene’s sailing holidays range from weekend breaks to week-long explorations taking in some of the most stunning sailing destinations in the UK.  From beginners to old hands there’s something to suit all experiences and whether you’re solo travellers or a couple, Irene certainly welcomes all.

Traditionally rigged with a full time crew, Irene encourages guests to actively involved in all aspects of sailing. From taking the helm, hoisting the sails and general rope work, the crew are well versed in taking complete novices and guiding them through all they need to know to make the most of their tall ship sailing holiday. Below decks she has been well-considered with private ensuite cabins and even a luxury state room with its own lounge area, double bed and bathroom. Her generous saloon has space for relaxing, ample dining space for those hearty home-cooked meals after a day in the sea air and a generous galley where the onboard cook will keep you fed from start to finish.

Read more here about what to expect from Life onboard Irene.

More about Irene


  • Are all meals included?

    Yes, all meals on board are included in the price (breakfast, lunch, dinner and hot drinks - alcohol is not included).

  • Can you cater for dietary needs?

    Yes, please let us know when making your booking.

  • What language is spoken onboard?


  • What are the sleeping arrangements?

    4x twin ensuite cabins, 1x state

  • Do I need to tip the crew?

    Tips are not mandatory but are welcomed by the crew!

  • How many toilet/showers does she have?


  • Is there WIFI?

    No, but you should easily be able to reach 3G/4G from the shore.

  • Can I charge my phone/Camera?


  • Is there an age limit?

    No, children are fine as long as parents assume full responsibility and they bring their own dated, inflatable lifejacket.

  • Are there life jackets provided?

    Yes. But not children's ones, they must be brought with you.

  • Are Waterproofs provided?


  • Do I need sailing experience?

    No, absolutely not! Just a lust for adventure and a want to get actively involved.

  • Will I be sea sick?

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


From: Falmouth

To: Falmouth


You can leave your car at any of the Long Stay car parks with a weekly or overnight ticket. You can pay using the JustPark app on your phone which can be easier. Try Church Street TR11 3RQ or The Dell TR11 3HP.


There are direct trains with Great Western Railway to Truro from starting routes of Plymouth, Exeter St Davids, Cardiff Central and London Paddington. Once at Truro station you will need to change onto the Maritime line to Falmouth Town Station.


The quickest way into the county during the spring/summer months, Newquay Airport requires taking either a taxi to Truro Train Station for the onward rail travel, or a taxi direct to Falmouth.


There are plenty of places to stay in Falmouth. Try The Chain Locker, Cutty Sark Inn or Seaview Inn.

Latest from our journal

Zorba full sails Greece
30 June 2022

Our Top Five Family Friendly Sailing Holidays

Read more
Richard Collett on Grayhound
9 June 2022

Life on a Cornish Lugger - Sailing in the foosteps of Smugglers

Read more
Zorba greece Saronic island sailing
30 May 2022

Why should you choose a skippered sailing holiday charter in Greece?

Read more
Falmouth Classics Parade of sail
14 May 2022

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

Read more