Sailing the Channel Islands & Normandy
- Vessel: Pilgrim of Brixham
- Where: Brixham, Devon
- Duration: 14 days
- Embark: Brixham, Devon - 24 August 2023, 12:00
- Disembark: Brixham, Devon - 6 September 2023, 12:00
Cross the channel to visit the island of Alderney and then onto the French coastal region of Normandy on an historic adventure with Pilgrim of Brixham.
Join Brixham heritage trawler Pilgrim as she takes guests to discover the Channel Islands and French coast.
Explore the less touristy island of Alderney before setting the sails to explore the French coast and maritime port of Normandy to tour of some of the D-Day memorials. This voyage is perfect for adventurers looking for some open water channel sailing with an interest into history and culture.
- Open water sailing
- Traditional wooden boat
- Perfect for adventurers
- Island hopping
- Coastal sailing
- All-inclusive sailing
your Sailing Area
Channel Islands & Normandy
It’s 79 years since many brave souls set off from Brixham to Normandy in landing craft as part of the D-Day invasion fleet. The American 4th Infantry Division sailed from Breakwater Beach bound for Utah Beach on 4th June 1944, now Pilgrim will be charting a similar course across the channel.
This is a mix and match, “sail and stay” trip. There will be several days for shore exploration in both Alderney and Normandy. It will appeal to ex-service personnel or families of those who landed on D-Day beaches or fought in the Normandy campaign, or those who enjoy some exhilarating sailing cross-channel and spending time ashore exploring the beautiful Normandy coast and harbour towns.
Join the crew of Pilgrim as they set off from the Breakwater in Brixham and over subsequent days head across the English Channel for Alderney. Not only will guests be able to join in with the festivities but will have the chance to explore this beautiful island. We will then sail onto Normandy, past the D-Day beaches and into the port of Ouistreham. From there we will enter the Caen Canal, passing the site of the famous Pegasus Bridge and into the marina in the centre of the city of Caen.
Cruising on Pilgrim is a unique experience.
Not only will you have a superb sailing holiday, but you will see how 19th century fishermen handled these heavy and powerful vessels. You will be able to assist the crew to sail Pilgrim and benefit from the modern guest facilities we have on board. Our mooring in the centre of Caen will serve as a superb base for exploring the Normandy beach sites, the fascinating museums, incredible memorials and much more. The tour itinerary will be tailored to suit the interests of the group.
In addition to the second world war history, there are also opportunities for guests to take trips to the Bayeux Tapestry and Museums and to the beautiful port of Honfleur. There are good public transport links for the independently minded and there are also a variety of locally organised tours available as well. You will have the opportunity to stroll and explore Caen directly from our berth. While we are in Caen we will serve breakfast each day and dinner on the final evening. This provides an opportunity to choose your own lunches at tour sites and to seek out your own local dining experiences or extend a day out as you wish. While in Alderney we will serve breakfast and either lunch or dinner depending on the activities on the day.
When we depart Caen, our Alderney and Normandy Summer Special will set out back towards Devon. The outward and return sailings involve extended day and night sea passages and the duration and timings are dependent on the weather, tides and the sea conditions. It will be a unique sail into the past for history buffs, sailing enthusiasts and those seeking a compelling maritime adventure.
All voyages for Pilgrim of Brixham
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.
Deck planMore about Pilgrim of Brixham
Life on Board
Pilgrim of Brixham is perfect for all types of traveller – from solo adventurers to couples and families, her crew are well versed in adapting the sailing to suit guests.
Pilgrim is rigged to sail with up to seven red sails, and believe it not, previous sailing experience is not necessary. All our guests are very welcome to join the crew including novices who can quite literally learn the ropes! Learn some simple navigation, help to berth alongside and of course hoist those iconic red sails. Those with experience will especially enjoy and appreciate the scale of Pilgrim’s rig and seeing how these big old vessels perform under sail. You can even take the helm – but don’t panic, you’ll always be doing things under the watchful eye of your skipper.
If you’re after a relaxed cruise on board a classic vessel, then we, of course, cater to that too. Bring your book and binoculars and sit back, relax and enjoy the ride!
Pilgrim’s voyages are all-inclusive so all meals; breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, tea, coffee and soft drinks are included in the ticket price. Although there is a dedicated chef onboard, working together is at the heart of everything Pilgrim offers, with all her crew part of a volunteers trust.
Above decks with her traditional rig and impressive tiller, there is plenty of space to sit back, relax and enjoy the maritime views. Below decks has been recently renovated with a modern wet room and sleeping quarters split into a communal six berth as part of the saloon and a communal four berth cabin sitting adjacent to the saloon.
What COVID policies are in place for sailing with Pilgrim of Brixham?
There are currently no Test & Sail policies in place for the 2022 season.
Are meals included?
Yes - meals will be as locally sourced as possible and freshly prepared. Food is often a real hit on Pilgrim.
Can you cater for dietary needs?
Mostly, but please let us know before booking if you have any special needs.
What language is spoken on board?
What are the sleeping arrangements?
There are 6 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)
Do I need to tip the crew?
Tips are not mandatory but are welcomed by the crew!
Is there an age limit?
Standard policy is no under 8's but please check for private charter.
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.
Are bedding and towels provided?
All bedding is provided but please bring your own towels.
How many toilet/showers does she have?
Two for guests
Is there WIFI?
No, but you should typically be able to reach 3G/4G from the shore.
Can I charge my phone/camera?
Yes, we have UK 3 pin mains sockets onboard. We also have a few USB sockets for charging phones.
Are there life jackets provided?
Are waterproofs provided?
There are some for emergencies but please bring your own.
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.