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Sailing Holidays for Explorers

photo by Debbie Purser: Europa in Grytviken Whaling Museum, South Georgia

Sailing Holidays Around the World


Traditional Sailing holidays with Classic SailingOur sailing holidays will bring out the explorer in you

There is something about sailing on traditional boats and tall ships that makes you feel like an intrepid explorer from another era. Arriving with a rucksack in a foreign port to sign on as ship’s crew and your imagination starts to run riot. Living on board with a bunch of strangers who rapidly become your trusted ship mates and travel companions begins to feel like the start of an adventure novel.  Throw in some exciting weather during your sailing holiday; a dose of adrenalin as you wrestle with unfamiliar physical tasks and a few hours out of sight of land and we think you will have built up a healthy sense of anticipation for your next destination. The thrill of a new landfall when you travel by wind power and your own efforts is one of the main attractions of a sailing vacation.

You don’t have to be a sailor to enjoy our sailing holidays. Plenty of independant travellers, adventure seekers and romantics book with Classic Sailing because they want to see the world from a different perspective.

"Come exploring with us under sail."

Eve sailing off St Anthony Lighthouse on a 3 day sailing breakLearn to sail holidays in stunning UK locations

Your annual leave is precious so if you are looking for a learn to sail holiday with a difference – why not sail somewhere that is so beautiful that it also lifts the spirits and makes you feel good to be alive.  Classic Sailing is based in St Mawes, Cornwall because scenically we felt it was the perfect place to start a sailing holiday - an unspoilt bay with its own quay and castle and surrounded by coastline designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. 

Our RYA Courses are run on stunning wooden boats in some of the best sailing landscapes in the UK – Try a RYA course on Eve in Cornwall or Golden Vanity in Devon. Why, oh why, are so many RYA sailing schools based in the Solent? It might be an intensive sail training location with fast tides, lots of ports and plenty of shipping to dodge, but wouldn’t you rather learn pilotage as you sail under dramatic cliffs into historic ports of Dartmouth, Salcombe or Fowey? There are no power stations to blight your evening sunset. Our West Country tidal creeks have such pure air quality that lichens grow on the twisted oaks and you can hear owls hooting at night. When gales sweep in from the Atlantic, ocean seabirds swoop and dive, and when the sun comes out the temptation to go wild swimming is irresistible (for some !)

Short Sailing Breaks – explore Wild Britannia

ChosPhoto by Gordon Hudson. Bessie Ellen in St Kildae a short sailing break and enjoy exploring the watery edge of Britain. ‘Sailing holidays UK’ is a more desirable destination than you might think. We are blessed with varied winds, clean seas rich in wildlife and evidence of a fascinating maritime heritage that can be seen all around our coasts.  We have real historic vessels like Brixham sailing trawlers Leader and Provident and West Country Trading Ship Bessie Ellen so you can really create a scene. When you anchor for lunch you might only be a stone’s throw from the beach and normal tourists, but it will feel a world apart. Our skippers delight in finding secret coves, small smugglers quays to row to or islands to ‘conquer’ whether you sail in Cornwall, Devon, Wales, or Scotland.  Our ships like to anchor as it gives us more freedom to go where we want. Having a decent dinghy to take you ashore to explore is very important to us.

photo by Gordon Hudson: Bessie Ellen in St Kilda

For inspiration on sailing holidays UK see our pages on our favourite areas - Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly or Scotland.

A Classic Sailing Vacation Worldwide – Key Ingredients

Fundamentally you need wind to sail, and it helps if you go with it rather than against the prevailing wind direction.  Sounds obvious to a sailor, yet a lot of sailing charter destinations are based on the availability of cheap flights and hot sun.

Classic Sailing look for ocean voyages that follow the trade winds, archipelagoes like Cape Verde that can support an exciting island hopping itinerary, and ships that carefully research their destinations to maximise the wildlife interest and potential for exploring ashore.

World voyages and new destinations take a lot of planning and customer feedback helps us improve each sailing holiday product year on year.  The ships we work with are generally experts in their chosen destination after years of exploring and refining their voyages, or keen newcomers with a real commitment to showing you their favourite part of the world. 

Photo by Pieter Nijdeken: Oosterschelde under full sail off Sumatra as part of her last Round the World Voyage

Oosterschelde under full sail off Sumatra, Indonesia

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