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Normandy D-Day Cruise & Stay

  • Vessel: Pilgrim of Brixham
  • Where: Devon
  • Duration: 10 days
  • Embark: Brixham - 30 September 2022, 12:00
  • Disembark: Brixham - 9 October 2022, 12:00
Single berthWas £1,590Now £1,450 £362.50

Explore the French coastal region of Normandy under sail with Pilgrim of Brixham.

Our special Normandy Cruise and Stay is something entirely new for Pilgrim. It’s 78 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. In 2022 Pilgrim will be charting a similar course.

This is a mix and match, “sail and stay” trip. It will appeal to ex-service personnel or families of those who landed on D-Day beaches or fought in the Normandy campaign. It will also appeal to those who enjoy adventure sailing cross-channel and spending time ashore in the heart of a vibrant port with its many varied and easily accessible attractions.

We’ll sail off from the Breakwater in Brixham and over subsequent days head across the English Channel for the Cherbourg Peninsula. The route we take will depend on the conditions. Our Normandy Cruise and Stay will take us along 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. We plan to stay there for 4 nights.

During World War 2, Pilgrim had her own battles in the Baltic and the North Sea but in 2022 she’ll be sailing out of Brixham in the traditional manner just as she did in Victorian times. 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. A full day personalised tour of selected wartime sites will be provided by an experienced local guide and is included in the cruise price. 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.

When we depart Caen our Normandy and D Day Beaches cruise will set out back towards Devon and which may include a stopover in the Channel Islands or possibly along the Jurassic Coast of Dorset. 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.

UPDATED Covid Vaccination and Testing Policy for 2022

Our Charity Trustees have reviewed and updated our Covid Policy for 2022. In order to provide the highest possible protection to Guests and Crew our policy is changing from 1st January 2022. Everyone on board will now need to be fully vaccinated against Covid in accordance with government advice*. Additionally, we will also require a rapid lateral flow test 72 hours prior to sailing and on the day of sailing. This is to give us the best possible chance to keep the boat free of Covid infection, reduce the risk of any cancelled sailings and to minimize the risk of serious illness to everyone on board.

Note * = “Government advice” means in respect of the government of the country of residence of the Guest although this may be impacted by UK immigration rules on operation at the time of arrival in the UK if the Guest is coming from overseas.


VoyageSet SailDaysCost p/p
Normandy D-Day Cruise & Stay30 September 202210Was £1,590Now £1,450Enquire 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.

Deck plan

Pilgrim Deck Plan More about Pilgrim of Brixham


  • 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)

  • 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 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.


From: Brixham

To: Brixham

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