A delivery voyage, sometimes described as a ‘Mile-builder’, is a sailing trip from one port to another without much hanging around in between. Often ships include these in their schedules when they have to make passage for a particular event. They also appear if a ship is en route to or from their refit port, or are just moving from one seasonal sailing ground to another.
These trips are less popular among those looking for a relaxing sailing holiday with time to explore. However they are fantastic for anyone keen to expand their sailing knowledge and enjoy a fully hands-on, active sailing experience. Delivery voyages are also great value for money, as they don’t form part of the ship’s primary commercial charter schedule.
Thinking of a career at sea? Want to make the transition from guest to crew? These trips are the ideal starting point. Equally, if you’re building up to a trans-ocean epic, they can introduce you to the 24 hour watchkeeping rhythms of life at sea.
Gain Sailing Experience
There’s a need on delivery voyages to make up the miles. This means you get to be part of a team that’s really pushing the ship. Learn how to trim all the sails just-so, to get that extra half-a-knot out of them. Sharpen up on your helming so that no power is wasted. Stand night watches with the crew so that the ship can keep sailing round the clock.
Delivery voyages often take you through some fascinating sailing grounds too. Areas with big tidal ranges, strong prevailing winds or tricky pilotage, while not always suitable for holiday charter, still have to be tackled from time to time. On a delivery trip you can have the opportunity to see how its done, and learn some real seamanship.
Be Part of the Crew
All of our sailing trips are active holidays, and hands-on participation is what Classic Sailing is all about. Delivery voyages take this involvement to the next level, as you help the crew get the job done. There’s a real exhilaration in this. While you don’t require any experience beforehand (the crew will show you what to do and how), you really learn by doing on these voyages. You’ll earn a genuine sense of achievement as a result.
Depending on the length of the passage, the lines between permanent crew and voyage crew can become a little blurry! It’s certainly true that on arrival into port, the celebratory pints are enjoyed as a single team.
Is it for Me?
Delivery voyages aren’t for everyone. We’d suggest that if you’ve never been sailing before you might prefer a more relaxed sailing holiday to start with. However, if you’ve done a trip or two and enjoy feeling useful, definitely give one a go! There are some shorter trips on which you can get a feel for it. Grayhound has some fantastic cross-channel and south coast deliveries for example (some of which include carrying cargo!). Phoenix is offering several Irish Sea mile-builders.Explore the Full Range of Delivery Voyages