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About Our Sailing Holidays

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This is our passion; This is what we believe in:

Eve of St Mawes - our first vesselClassic Sailing was founded in 1996 by Adam and Debbie Purser with the launch of a newly built pilot cutter 'Eve of St Mawes'. Our company ethos was developed  initially through the themed holidays we created for 'Eve' in Cornwall. Since then we have extended the concept of 'hands on' adventures to a wide range of traditional craft and tall ships around the world.

The fleet we offer today share the Classic Sailing ethos but each vessel has its own distinctive style of adventure sailing. Each skipper is your expert local guide on the history of his or her vessel, the wildlife you see, and the culture of the communities you meet.

Read more about Adam and Debbie

"Adam and Debbie, thanks for the pleasure of seeing you both in your natural element. You are that rare breed of people that are doing the thing they thoroughly enjoy." Bob T. Derbyshire.

Bessie Ellen from EveTraditional boats & tall ships

For us a real boat or sailing ship is one which makes your heart skip a beat as it comes around a headland, or makes a commercial fisherman look up from his nets and smile as you sail past. They are the boats with instantly recognisable wooden masts which stand out amoungst a sea of average white yachts in a port, or the tall ship at anchor creating a timeless scene more beautiful than any painting.

Our traditional boats and tall ships have been photographed, sketched and written about by admirers on the shore, but this is nothing compared to emotions stirred by sailing on them and feeling part of a ship. Be prepared to fall in love....

What is a traditional boat and how are they different to sail from a yacht ?

Hands on Sailing Holidays

On our voyages you become the crew on brigs, brigantines, barques, schooners, pilot cutters, trading ships, sailing trawlers and even rowing boats.

Traditionally rigged vessels use only blocks and tackles and human power to set sail, and all the boats we promote are classed as 'sail training' ships, so you will definitely get 'hands on sailing' when you sign on as crew.

The professional crew will train you and help you set sails, steer the ship, keep watch and even help with the navigation. They are highly skilled at bringing out your natural talents and creating a happy crew out of a bunch of strangers.

No Experience Needed

We have never aimed our activity holidays exclusively at sailors. We have introduced thousands of people to sailing and travel under sail. If you are already hooked or an experienced sailor there are plenty of challenging voyages too

Read more about the different ways you can learn to sail with us and why no experience is needed for any of the vessels we promote. 

"Absolutely brilliant sailing, have been on a complete "high" ever since, which couldn’t be removed even when sitting on the underground and walking under grey London skies" Anna P.

Adventure Afloat; Explore Ashore

We choose our locations more for their wildlife, natural scenery and idyllic anchorages, than facilities ashore. Our skippers will awake the natural explorer in you. Be the first to row ashore and make footprints in the sand; sail silently under towering Norwegian cliffs; fend off over-friendly penguins ashore or take a zodiac ride between stranded icebergs in Antarctica. There is nothing wrong in hugging an oak tree after a gale at sea, or re-living your childhood on a Cornish beach....We are not complete wilderness purists though. We do find the pub eventually !

Read more about some of the places we explore.....

In Harmony with Nature

The wind drives us along with minimal sound and zero pollution. Nature is more powerful than we are. On a sailing boat we harness it to our best ability and sometimes it's a wild and exhilarating ride. There are those quiet moments that etch themselves into our memory, when the sea and skies provide moments of pure beauty. Apart from encouraging our guests to appreciate the weather systems and restless sea, we hope you will enjoy learning about the marine wildlife we share the oceans with.

Read more about our best Voyages for wildlife spotting

Back to Fundamentals

Our voyages bring you back to the fundamentals. Life is simplified. Spending a few days on a boat brings out the best in human nature. Living and working together we talk a lot, laugh a lot, and put the world to rights. It is more than an escape from the complexity of life ashore; the fresh air, natural adrenalin and outdoor activity give your body a good physical detox too.

Reasons why sailing is good for you

 "five nights aboard is tiring but in a healthy way. On our last night together we compared blisters, sore muscles and tended our salt-burnt lips, but all with heroic pride. It was a glowing achieved-something feeling" Nikki V, Cornwall Today magazine.

Call a Skipper 01872 58 00 22 (Non UK 044 1872 58 00 22)

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"I have very fond memories of my first, but certainly not my last sailing trip. Your postcard is on my wall next to my skiing posters." Sue, Newbury.

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Customer Comments

"It exceeded expectations in every way. The aspects I enjoyed most was the relaxed approach of James and Becky and g...

"I enjoyed our trip to the Scillies so much. We had great weather an exciting fast sail to St Agnes. The Cove was ju...

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