Sailing Brest and Douarnenez Maritime Festivals with Pellew
- Vessel: Pellew
- Where: Cornwall/France
- Duration: 13 days
- Embark: Falmouth - 10 July 2024, 12:00
- Disembark: Falmouth - 23 July 2024, 10:00
Sorry we’re full!
This voyage is fully crewed. Check out our voyage finder to see what else we have available.
Sail from Cornwall to join the most anticipated maritime festivals of the sailing calendar – Brest and Douarnenez.
This 13 day offshore sailing sees pilot cutter Pellew sail from her home port of Falmouth in Cornwall, swapping one Celtic coast for another, arriving on the French coast in time for the much anticipated Brest International Maritime Festival.
This is the first time Pellew has been able to attend since her launch in 2020 due to Covid restrictions so grab your berth fast! 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! Although previous experience is not mandatory, some time on the water and/or a love for adventure is a must.
- Fully crewed and Skippered
- Coastal exploration
- Offshore Sailing
- English Channel crossing
- Great for solo travellers or couples
- Maritime Festival
- Traditional rig
Your Sailing Area
Falmouth – Brest – Falmouth
The maritime hotspot for Cornwall, it’s easy to see why Falmouth Bay is one of the top sailing destinations in the UK. With sheltered river creeks, bustling harbours and stunning coastline where ancient woodland meets the sea, sailing out of Falmouth is perfect for the ocean-loving adventurer.
Sail from Falmouth, across the English Channel into the Celtic Sea and 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 mediaeval 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 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 mediaeval 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. The Breton coast is teeming with sheltered coves for anchoring, peaceful meandering rivers to discover, mediaeval towns and remote islands 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.
All voyages for Pellew
Guest berths: 8 Rig: Pilot Cutter
Pellew is a faithful recreation of the Falmouth Pilot Cutter Vincent, originally built in 1852 and based in St Mawes she was a familiar sight on the Fal estuary for 70 years, eventually retiring from service in 1922. Today, the spirit of tradition lives on and Pellew is strongly built to sail the oceans of the world with her guests travelling in utmost comfort and safety.
Originally designed and built for speed and seaworthiness, these sturdy vessels would carry pilots out to sea, meeting ocean-going ships arriving with cargos bound for Europe. Whatever the weather and however rough the seas these courageous cutters were an integral part of maritime life in the south-west of England.
With her vast sail plan, think fast, invigorating sailing with the lee rail kissing the waves, Pellew is certainly not for the faint-hearted. So if you are looking for that next adventure at sea on a beautifully powerful wooden vessel, then Pellew is the boat for you.
Below decks, you are welcomed into a cosy saloon with cushioned seating around a large table and a generous galley. Delectable home-cooked meals will be freshly-prepared on board by our dedicated cook using locally sourced produce wherever possible. The 8 guest berths are arranged around an open-plan cabin with a shower and two toilets for guest use.
She is oak framed throughout and planked with locally sourced Douglas fir mast and spars. Although she is tiller steered, she does have two large electric capstan winches to help get the sails up and in. Guests are welcomed and invited to get involved in the sailing of Pellew. In fact, it will be hard not to want to feel first hand, the power of this beautiful boat as glides seemingly effortlessly through the water.
She will usually sail with a skipper, mate and dedicated cook, with a fourth crew member joining for longer voyages. She will be spending her sailing season exploring the coasts of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, the Channel Islands, the Breton Coast and exploring the majestic isles of the Scottish Hebrides.
Life on board Pellew
Pellew is one of the fastest pilot cutters of her time so a lust for adventure is certainly a must and sailing with her is not for the faint-hearted! You don’t need any experience to join her as the friendly and professional crew are always on-hand to show you the ropes.
You’ll be surrounded by like-minded individuals and the crew love to share their knowledge with guests, showing them the ropes and feeling the wind power in the sails. They welcome as much or as little participation as you want – from pulling up sails, sheeting in and steering, and even navigation.
A typical Day
A typical day will vary on this trip as the first part sees us crossing the English Channel with longer hours under sail. Once we’re in the shelter of the French coast, depending on how quickly we have made the crossing, we may have some time to explore the coast before heading into Brest for the festival. Enjoying some traditional French harbour towns and some sheltered coastal sailing.
All food will be freshly-prepared onboard to the highest standard by a dedicated cook so guests can expect hearty breakfasts, freshly baked bread, delicious lunches and dinners, as well as plenty of home-made cake! Once the festival is under, there will be some flexibility with eating arrangements as guests will likely want to experience some delicious local cuisine ashore.
Sleeping and Relaxation
You are welcomed into the main saloon with cushioned seating around a large table next to a generous galley. It’s a great sociable space with the traditionally built wooden finish giving a lovely cosy feeling.
In the fore, there are 8 guest berths in an open-plan cabin with each berth in twin bunk arrangements. She has a generous (for a boat!) shower room and two toilets for guest use.
- All inclusive (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, soft/hot drinks)
- All bedding (pillow, sheets & duvet)
- Full crew plus tuition
- Marina and fuel fees
- All tender trips to and fro the boat
- There are off-shore jackets available for guests when sailing but please bring your own waterproof for time ashore.
What’s not included
- Wash and/or swim towel
- Meals ashore
- Any flights
- Transit hotels
- Travel to and from the boat on the day of joining/leaving
- Travel insurance
- Sailing Insurance (Please read our Sailing Insurance page for more information)
- Crew tips
- Personal expenses
Travel insurance notes
As this is an active adventure holiday, we advise that everyone has the appropriate personal accident travel insurance whilst onboard in addition to standard travel insurance which would cover you in the time between making your booking and departing for your adventure. These policies can sometimes be combined so please check with your travel insurance provider.
This voyage will be more than 12miles offshore.
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?
Meat eaters and vegetarians only please!
What language is spoken onboard?
Do I need to tip the crew?
Tips are not mandatory but are welcomed by the crew!
What are the sleeping arrangements?
Shared quarters, 8 berths in the open fore cabin with easy access to a toilet
How many toilet/showers does she have?
2 toilets, 1 shower for guests
Are bedding and towels provided?
All bedding is but please bring your own towels.
Is there an age limit?
Preferably over 12's accompanied by an adult on a 1:1 ratio but please check with us in the office as each voyage is different.
Is there WIFI?
No, but you should easily be able to reach 3G/4G from the shore.
Can I charge my phone/Camera?
Yes, each bunk has a 12v USB charger
Are there life jackets provided?
Are Waterproofs provided?
There are off-shore jackets available for guests when sailing but please bring your own waterproof for time ashore.
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.
To see where the ports are, along with your likely sailing area, please view the sail area & highlights.
How to get there…
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.
STAY IN FALMOUTH:
There are plenty of places to stay in Falmouth. Try The Chain Locker, Cutty Sark Inn or Seaview Inn.