2020-02-10T12:20:51+00:00 February 10th, 2020|Business News|0 Comments
+44(0)1872 580022 – Email: Skippers@classic-sailing.co.uk
Fresh Start
Main image: Tecla in Icleand, Maria Cerrudo

Europe’s Secret Sailing Grounds – Top 10
If we asked an ordinary person in the street to name a sailing holiday company we suspect that they would say SUNSAIL  It’s a successful brand. They have been going for years, and they do ‘what it says on the tin’ – They sell sailing holidays in the SUN.

Sunsail’s European offerings are pretty much that same sailing grounds they have been selling for 30 years. In 2020 they offer the old favourites – Greece, Croatia and Mallorca.

These were probably fine places to sail before the whole world moored up for their slice of ‘paradise’, but the Classic Sailing team prefer to point you in less predictable directions. Much as I love a bit of sun, I would rather be buzzed by a sea eagle than a water ski boat with the stereo blasting.

So where do we suggest you hide in Europe this year?

1. Nordic Summer – Swedish Archipelago East Coast
2. Swedish Archipelago – West Coast around Gothenburg
3. Azores – Whales, waterfalls and underwater trenches
4. Hornstrandir – Even the Icelanders need a boat to get here
5. Portugal -The ocean has shaped its culture for centuries
6. Circumnavigate Europe by boat – green travel options
7. Wild West Ireland – & we don’t mean Cork Week
8. Baltic Traders – old cargo routes in Denmark & Germany
9. Orkney & Shetland – 3 or 4 days in each island group
10. Tall Ships Race in the Russian’s backyard 2021

1 & 2: Nordic Summer – Archipelagoes of Sweden

Square rigger Eye of the Wind is exploring the coast of Sweden this summer with 9 voyages to chose from. We are particularly excited by the two different archipelago coasts around Stockholm in the East  and Gothenburg on the windier West coast

Whilst Norway was carved into fjords by glaciers, Sweden’s granite has been crushed and smoothed by the last glaciation. Flattened islands with surfaces as smooth as buttocks, daubed in colourful algae and flowered with sea pinks. Timber covered houses, wooden jetties and swim platforms remind us that this is a summer sailing playground for Swedes as well as visiting sailors.

Eye of the Wind only takes 12 guest crew and the Baltic is her back door.

1. Nordic Summer – Swedish East coast

In amongst the forest, between the skerries and out in the open sea. A bit of everything outdoors and in the summer holidays too.

18-25 July 2020
Stockholm to Karlskrona
8 days – €1820 euros (approx £1650 GBP)
2 person ensuite cabin
2. Sweden’s West Coast Islands & Seascapes

A round trip from Gothenburg gives you two different routes in and out through a complex myriad of islands and flat water straits, as well as more open water sailing in the Skagerrak exploring Northwards in the Marstrand area.

29 Aug to 05 Sept 2020
Gothenburg – Gothenburg
8 days – €1820 euros (approx £1650 GBP)
2 person ensuite cabin

3. Azores – Whales, waterfalls and underwater trenches

Classic Sailing ships have used the Azores ports of Horta or Ponta Delgado as crew change ports for years. Whilst the Azores feature on our website already as perfect crew change posts for the Trans Atlantic passages from the Caribbean or Cape Town, we were always getting requests for island hopping actually in the Azores, but up until now, that role has been hard to fill with a suitable vessel.
Like most volcanic island groups the Azores rise up from deep waters and anchoring is tricky. Ports have to cope with big swell in the winter, so harbour walls are large and unyielding.  For ocean going vessels that can cope with this, the Azores is a stunning sailing ground with trekking ashore amongst forests, waterfalls and lakes. The volcanicity makes it a geologists paradise and fertile soils creating tropical forests that would not look out of place in Africa.
Underwater trenches and sea mounts create great upwellings of fish and this is prime whale territory. The Azoreans were the first European whalers to make the switch from harpoons to tourist whale watching.
Four masted schooner Santa Maria Manuela will be criss crossing the Atlantic Ocean between all the Portuguese island groups in 2020. She also runs island hopping and diving voyages in the Azores….so we now have our first Azores Sailing expert for you to sail with.
8-14th May 2020
Explore the Azores Archipelago
Sao Miguel island – Terceira island
6 days
€950 euros for 4 berth cabin ensuite per person
€1045 euros fro 2 berth cabin ensuite per person

Voyages in Cornwall
4. Hornstandir in NW Iceland – Abandoned to the wild
Close to the Arctic Circle, the Hordstandir Nature Reserve is so remote, even Icelanders rarely go here.  Tecla skippers rate it as one of their favourite sailing grounds and it features in all their voyages out of Isafjordur.
Enjoy lots of hands on sailing in this network of fjords, whale watching, and long hikes ashore to hight cliffs, glaciers and mountain view points. This is mostly a mini expedition for the energetic but you can also laze in summer meadows watching the arctic foxes play, bird watch or paint a mountain sunset.

19th – 26th July 2020

Isafjordur – Isafjordur
€1280 euros for under 26yrs
€1520 euros for over 25yrs
5. Portugal -The ocean has shaped its culture for centuries

Portugal faces the Atlantic. The sea is in the blood and fish and seafood in the cuisine. Surf beaches and high cliffs mean this is not a natural mecca for yachts, but offers sea room for bigger vessels and fortified ports guarding big estuaries. Up river the great sea ports of Lisbon and Porto housed great explorers and merchant captains. The wharves stored cargoes of sherry, wines and olives, brought down the mighty rivers from the interior by boat.
The 1930’s photo above is an archive photo of the dozens of fishing dories that were sailed to the Newfoundland Grand Banks to catch cod and bring it back to Portugal on mighty schooners like Santa Maria Manuela.
Classic Sailing are lucky to now have 3 vessels based in Portugal for all or some of the year. Blue Clipper and gaff ketch Maybe are based in Portimao. Lisbon is the home port of Santa Maria Manuela offers lots on mini ocean passages between the mainland Madiera, Canaries, Azores as well as coastal sailing around the whole Iberia coast.
The Tall Ships Race fleet is also racing these shores in 2020.

Oosterschelde is sailing all the way around the Iberian Peninsula in 2 voyage legs from South of France to Northern Spain. If you are into mountaineering and trek the Pyrennes you can end up where you started.

6. Circumnavigate Europe by boat – green travel options

Are you old enough to remember student inter-rail tickets? Did you spend a summer travelling around Europe on a train with your rucksack, staying in slightly dodgy hostels and wondering if you could afford to eat?
I didn’t have the courage to do this in my 20’s but I chose a different mode of transport than rail. I saw the edges of Europe as a watch leader on a tall ship. It took the uncertainty out of where my next bed would be, and after a few days strangers turned into shipmates who I could share my adventures with ashore.
Places that are etched in my memory are Hamburg, Copenhagen, Bordeaux, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Flensburg and Dublin. After the challenges at sea, it was easier to feel confident swaggering around the great sea port cities of Europe.Your ship mates would look out for you, and the harbour watch would be awake when you came home safely.
It strikes me that sailing around Europe by tall ship is a perfect alternative to train – here is your chance to go on a Europe Grand Tour…..whatever your age – on a green mode of transport.
Tall Ships Morgenster, Oosterschelde, Maybe and Eye of the Wind have sea journeys all around the continent of Europe,dipping into the culture and cities of at least 10 countries.

7. Wild West Ireland – How to Avoid Cork Week 2020

For yacht racers Cork Week is legendary and it celebrates its 300th Anniversary in July 2020. If you like that sort of thing, fine, but if you want to explore SW Ireland on a 46ft pilot cutter, then Agnes 6 night voyages out of Baltimore, Co Cork are not all full. The dates are well after Cork Week and many miles further west. Roaring Water Bay rather than roaring drunk in Cork.

SW Ireland Summer Expedition
(Baltimore, Co Cork – Baltimore)
3 voyages at £925 for 6 nights
car share bookable from Cork to Baltimore

5-11th August 2020 – FULL
12-18th August – 3 places left
19-25 August – 3 places left

8. Baltic Traders – old cargo routes in Denmark & Germany
Look at a chart of the entrance to the Baltic and you will see that Denmark, Sweden and Germany are very close to each other. There are also many large islands squeezed into the gap. Many of the fine wooden sailing vessels we see restored today were once Baltic traders plying their cargoes between these countries. The islands still have agricultural crops and apples that are carried by boat. The whole place is geared up for water transport, wooden boat repairs and navigation by sailing ship.
There are plenty of castles and forts too as each strait is a strategic waterway that has stood guard on the only way out for the Navies and merchant fleets of the Baltic for Russia, Finland, Sweden, Poland for centuries.
Eye of the Wind was built on the Baltic coast of Germany and it is her home waters. There are still a lot of wooden sailing ships still sailing in this fascinating sailing ground, and plenty of towns with attractive waterfronts to moor up to.

Sailing in the fabulous Isles of Scilly
9. Superb Sailing Grounds in Orkney and Shetland

Two great sailing grounds that are still in the British Isles but both feel like separate countries with proud traditions. The outer islands of Orkney wrap around a sailing ground with numerous anchorages to suit different wind and swell directions. This is the Scillies of the North, but with more archaeology from the bronze age and sea eagles instead of black backed seagulls.
Shetland has elongated islands with high cliffs and the deep channels called Voes that a tall ship can sail through. You can imagine the Viking longships blasting through here too. Skuas, storm petrels breeding and thousands of gannets live here. Near Muggle Flucka lighthouse it feels like the edge of the world.

Tecla is the best boat to sail here. She goes out her way to create long voyages that allow you to spend more than a passing night here. For the last 5 years they have been exploring both island groups and the Faroes on the way to Iceland and back at the end of the summer. typically you will spend 3-4 days island hopping and going ashore on both Orkney and Shetland Islands.

Photo Fair Isle, Shetland Isles – Tecla and the Good Shepherd supply ship
Reykjavik to Ullapool
South in the wake of Vikings via Westman Isles, Faroes, Shetland and Orkney
22 days
16 Sept – 07 October 2020
3740 euros for under 26yrs in 2 berth ensuite cabin
3950 euros for over 25yrs in 2 berth ensuite cabin

2021 sailing dates to Shetland and Orkney on our website already

10. Tall Ships Race in the Russian’s backyard 2021

Schooner Blue Clipper 2021 Programme will be out next week and she will be taking advance bookings for the 2021 Tall Ships Race visiting Lithuania, St Petersburg, Russia, Estonia, Aland Islands and Poland. The Aland Islands were the home of the Gustav Erikkson fleet and the last windjammers in the world to carry big cargoes under sail. The big Russian, Polish and Norwegian square riggers will be out in large numbers to impress in this event.
From Russia with Love….

Tall Ships Race – Cruise in company
St Petersburg – Tallin, Estonia
9th July 2021 – 17 July 2021
2 berth cabins – £1755 per person
4 berth cabin – £805 per person

This one is open to all ages. This voyage is on our website and you can apply now

Adam says Hi
Thanks from Debbie
and all at Classic Sailing

Best Sailing this year was – messing around in small boats, rowing gigs in ports around Cornwall, skippering Golden Vanity with DofE expedition crew and getting to grips with solo sailing a spritsail yawl.

+44(0)1872 58 00 22, Classic Sailing

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