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Part One of the "Johnny Route" Cargo Run Sailing across the Channel from Brittany to Devon

Voyage Number Vessel Starting Port Ending Port
GR310318 Grayhound Douarnenez, France Plymouth
Booking fee Voyage duration Start date and time End date and time
GBP £20.00 7 Days
31/03/2018 - 14:00 to 07/04/2018 - 12:00
31/03/2018 - 14:00 to 07/04/2018 - 12:00
Berth Type Availability Price Special Price
Per Person Limited places - Book Now GBP £690.00 n/a
Voyage Description:

Sail with a purpose and help to revive trade under sail. Deliver Breton wine across the Channel and under sail for the first leg of the Johnny Cargo Run. Unload cargo at various South West ports, before ending your voyage in Plymouth. This is Part One of the "Johnny Cargo Run". You can save 10% if you book both Part One and Part Two!

Grayhound - the "Johnny Route" Cargo Route from Douarnenez to Plymouth


Are you looking for an active and unique voyage option with plenty of sailing? Three masted lugger Grayhound and her owners, Marcus and Freya take pride in delivering cargo under sail and across the channel between the Brittany and the South West of England. These trips are brilliant for learning the ropes as an adventurous beginner, or as an experienced sailor too with plenty of opportunity to sail the ship, help navigate and handle sails. These eco cargo voyages take pride in using the engine as little as possible, you will load and unload cargo just as they did during the original "Johnny Run". Fantastic also for budding career sailors looking for more experience. 


  • "Johnny Route" Run
  • English Channel Crossing
  • Be apart of a more Sustainable and Fair Transport Movement
  • Quality Home Cooked Local and Organic Food
  • Free entry to Douarnenez Maritime Museum
  • Ale and Wine Tasting Included
  • 10% off if you Book Both Legs 

Grayhound Lugger in Falmouth


Meet Grayhound in the historic port of Douarnenez in Brittany and hand load the cargo hold with organic wine for West Country restaurants.  Sail the ship like they used to with man power and as little engine as possible.

This voyage includes, loading and off loading cargo, night sailing across the Channel, navigation for those who are interested, sailing in a watch system and working as a team. They are also fantastic voyages to be apart of if you are interested in learning more about traditional sailing or for young professionals looking for some more experience to start your career at sea. 

On a sailing voyage we never use the word itinerary, as skippers will always be aiming for the best sailing and shore landings for the forecast and most idyllic or sheltered anchors and ports. They are as keen as you to include some of the highlights described below, but you have to go with Mother Nature, not fight her. The description below is based on what we think might be possible, based on past trips, or experience, but nothing is guaranteed on a sailing voyage.

The ‘Johnny Run'

The 'Johnny Run' refers to the Onion Johnnies, who were Breton farmers and agricultural labourers on bicycles,they sold distinctive pink onions door to door in Great Britain. Declining since the 1950s to only a few, the Onion Johnny was once very common.

Dressed in striped shirt and beret, riding a bicycle hung with onions, the Onion Johnny became the stereotypical image of the Frenchman and may have been the only contact that the ordinary Brit had with the French.

Johnnies, mainly from Roscoff found a more profitable market selling their onions in England than at home, and typically brought their harvest across the English Channel. Hence this route is called the 'Johnny Run'.

This modern retake harks back to a bygone era where trading under sail was common place. Joining Grayhound in Douarnenez, you will help to hand load cargo into the hold and set sail along the Brittany coast, potentially stopping at Camaret sur Mer before heading through the Chenal Du Four. Sailing through this stretch of water can be challenging, but never boring!

Once underway, you will be divided into watches. The typical watches are likely to be four hours on and eight hours off, although you are welcome to help sail and steer the ship no matter which watch you are assigned. This gives everyone enough time to rest and means that hopefully everyone will sail for a bit during the night.  It shouldn't take much longer than 24 hours to cross the channel, but the conditions and wind strength will of course dictate your speed! Grayhound likes to use the engine as little as possible to continue the ethos of green trade under sail. 


These voyages are still a sailing holiday, but the emphasis is more on active and adventurous voyage crew who take part in all aspects of the sailing and delivering of cargo under sail.

Across the channel, there will be a watch systems, night sailing and navigation responsibilities, not to mention sail handling, trimming, hoisting, lowering, steering and laying anchor/coming alongside. Full wet weather waterproofs are included so come rain or shine, you will be kept dry!


Whether you are an experienced sailor or a complete beginner, the professional crew will train you to be guest crew from the moment you arrive, with the intention that everybody works together to sail the ship. The common thread to all Classic Sailing holidays is ‘Hands on’ participation on ships that use ropes, blocks and tackles and ‘people power’ to set sail.

Past, present and future.

Act historically, experience real sailing today, look to the future, get onboard Grayhound.


  • Skipper & professional crew
  • Personal Safety Equipment
  • Sailing Instruction
  • All meals, snacks and refreshments
  • Port and landing fees
  • Linen and duvets
  • Third Party liability insurance
  • Waterproofs


  • Travel to Joining Port
  • Travel from end port
  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • Towels
  • Personal Travel Insurance

More information on the Grayhound vessel page here. 

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Grayhound: Fantastic, exhillarating, and an honour to be on such a ship. Aspects I enjoyed most ? -...

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