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Sail across the Channel to Brittany and Paimpol 'Chant du Marin' Music Festival

Voyage Number Vessel Starting Port Ending Port
LD090817 Leader Falmouth, UK Falmouth, UK
Booking fee Voyage duration Start date and time End date and time
GBP £20.00 9 days
09/08/2017 - 13:00 to 18/08/2017 - 13:00
09/08/2017 - 13:00 to 18/08/2017 - 13:00
Berth Type Availability Price Special Price
Per Person Fully booked GBP £1095.00 n/a
Voyage Description:

Paimpol Shanty Festival - 'Fete Chant Du Marin' 2017

The French put on spectacular festivals and this is one of their best. Paimpol is a historic fishing port where all the historic buildings, wide quaysides and cafes create a perfect amphitheatre around a central dock which can house over 200 boats, including tall ships as big as Kaskalot or Etoile. The forest of masts and sails is a photographers dream, but also the crews are living on board, so there are human scenes to play out and musicians amongst the crews holding impromptu parties. Small boats row or sail in the tiny stretches of water that are left. This bi annual event has become hugely popular and is now much more than celebrating wooden boats and shanties.

Brixham Trawlers Leader and Provident are both sailing to Paimpol Shanty Festival - one of our favourite maritime and music events of the summer. These voyages fill up fast. In 2015 Classic Sailing kept adding more vessels to Paimpol. We ended up with 6 ships fully booked and having a ball, it really does pay to book early!


A Nautical Glastonbury?

Traditional music from around the world comes together to celebrate seafaring culture and tell great stories through music, singing and dance. The festival certainly has plenty of shanty singing but there is also an amazing range of music from Moroccan singers to Brazilian drum bands or ancient Breton dancing. It is not all men in beards!  In recent years there have been new musical influences from Afghanistan, Eastern Europe and into Asia.  There are some major stages in all corners of the town.

Only Traditional Boats Invited - An Artists Delight

The organisers choreograph where all the boats and tall ships go in the intimate harbour basin and encourage them to leave sails up, so bring your camera and enjoy the music, tan sails, bowsprits and miles of rigging. Classic Sailing vessels will be some of the larger ships in this tiny locked basin so enjoy the fame, and an amazing view from the rigging of a sea of wooden boats below. The organisers are fussy who they invite so you will not see modern yachts anywhere in the main basin

Where is Paimpol ?

Paimpol in France is in the Gulf du St Malo, better known to the British as the big bay where the Channel Isles can be found. Paimpol lies on the sheltered western shore of the Trieux estuary to the north of St Brieuc, the capital of the Cotes d’Armor. Sheltered by the Ile de Bréhat, it has always been a haven from the English Channel’s storms. It lies in the heart of one of the largest oyster-producing areas in France. The town may look more like a village surrounded by idyllic rural French Countryside but in the 19th Century the town's fishing fleet sailed as far as Newfoundland Grand Banks. Many of the town’s fishermen were lost at sea so folk songs and shanties from the area are particularly poignant. There are plenty of waterside bars to cry in your beer to the beautiful music!

Experienced Sailors or Adventurous Beginners 

There is no experience needed but to sail to Paimpol and back from Brixham involves two cross channel passages that may involve sailing at night.There is, however, something special about getting into the rhythm of standing a watch and resting in your bunk as the sea gurgles past the hull, but it can be very tiring if you have never sailed before. Much of the passage is out of sight of land, we will be sailing through the night, and if we encounter unexpected rough weather it can take many hours before we reach a sheltered harbour. A determined beginner with a sense of adventure and a realistic view to the possibility of seasickness on their first long day at sea, should quickly find their sea legs. After a fantastic first taste of offshore sailing and steering under the stars– you can relax and stretch your legs ashore maybe in the Channel Isles, Isle de Brehat or mainland Brittany before a shorter coastal hop to the entrance of Paimpol Estuary.  

Exploring Brittany & French Archipelagoes

After a long passage it is always nice to swim in the sea, enjoy a refreshing shower and head into town for a glass or two of wine or beer on 'French soil' that doesn't move after all that rock and roll accross the English Channel

If the winds are from more from the South West our first destination may be Guernsey, or we may head for the Granite Rose coast of France, sailing deep up a French River like Lezardrieux or  Tregiuer  Both the Channel Islands and Brittany are renowned for their fresh seafood, so no doubt we will be sampling a local restaurant as a reward for our channel crossing. If we sail first to North Brittany Leader may re visit favourites like the granite archipelago Isles de Brehat, or the National Bird Reserve of Les Sept Isles on the way to Paimpol Festival. In 2015 much of the Paimpol Fleet was invited to gather in Lezardrieux and we sailing in company out the gorge like Trieux River and tacked between granite archipelago of Brehat and the mainland.

Fast Tides, Lighthouses & Interesting Pilotage

The Channel Islands are rugged around the edges, with beautiful beaches, and leafy and unspoilt inland. The climate is typically warmer than the UK with long sunshine hours. Sark is a high plateau with anchorages under towering cliffs; ashore there are no cars – only carts, tractors and bicycles. Jersey has some stunning sandy beaches to anchor off. 


Voyage Itinerary and ports.

Due to the vagaries of weather, tides, safety considerations, ships and crew abilities (amongst other things) or mechanical problems Classic Sailing Ltd can make no guarantee of the itinerary of the voyage, including, joining ports, destinations to visit and leaving ports. Every effort is made to fulfil the itinerary for the voyage but the Captain’s or Skipper’s decision is final. Joining and end ports are hardly ever changed but where they are as much notice as possible will be given and ways sought to alleviate connection problems.

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