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Brest & DZ 2024: The Grand Finale of Tallulah’s Summer Expedition


Single Berth Per Person



Double Bed Cabin for 2 People – Per Person



Embark Disembark Vessel DurationVoyage No
Tue 16-07-2024, 18:00Brest Wed 24-07-2024, 10:00St Mawes, Cornwall Tallulah 8 NightsTH160724

Enjoy the best of both festivals and the sail home to Cornwall

Join Tallulah in Brest, France – in the middle of the biggest maritime festival in the world. After soaking up the last crazy days of Brest and Bastille Day, then sail Tallulah with the fleet to Douarnenez Temp Fetes Festival 2024.

Better than the sail training Tall Ships events, this once every 4 year gathering of wooden vessels should be on every sailors bucket list. The pandemic delayed it so we have all been waiting 7 years for the return of Brest International Festival of the Sea in 2024.

If you dont have time to sail Tallulah to Brest then this 9 day voyage has it all. The whole fleet departs Brest and creates a huge parade of sail that stretches for 30 miles down the coast. Sail in company past limestone cliffs, squeeze through the sea stacks known as Tas du Pois and the clifftop crowds cheer, and finally enter the fish harbour of the medieval town of Douarnenez.

This is on a more intimate scale than Brest with a stunning backdrop of narrow cobbled streets, stone quays and historic fishing harbour. Often we are rafted out in the middle of the harbour, which is great for watching the coming and going of vessels under sail and oar. It is also easy to go out for a sail across the 8 mile wide Baie du Douarnenez, sailing in company with other beautiful boats – big and small.

Ashore there is music, stalls, food and exhibitions and craft demonstations. You can also escape into the cool and narrow streets and enjoy cafe life or walk through to the other harbourfront with its wooden boardwalks, ancient warehouses and wooden boat building in the streets. There are even golden sand beaches to swim, sunbathe or enjoy moules and chilled white wine from Tallulah’s skippers favourite restaurant.

This voyage is part 2 of a double festival summer expedition on Tallulah. You join Brest. Sail to Dournenez and after the festival, sail back the 150 miles to Cornwall and St Mawes.

Public transport tip is to take the ferry from Plymouth to Roscoff. There is a bus link to the rail station and a short rail journey to Brest. At the end of your voyage, it is probably easiest to take the train from Falmouth/Truro to Plymouth, to complete the round trip.

If you have the stamina then there is a combined Tallulah voyage which runs for 15 nights (16 days), starting and finishing in Cornwall and featuring both Brest and Douarnenez Festival. The combined voyage is at an offer price which is cheaper than adding both voyage legs together.

TH090724 9th-16th July (Newlyn-Brest) Sail to Brest and enjoy festival. Depart before the mass parade of sail from Brest to DZ. 7 nights £1400
TH160724 16th July-24th July (Brest-DZ-St Mawes) Join in Brest. Take part in the epic fleet sail to Douarnenez Festival & sail to UK 9 nights £1700

THX090724 Combined voyage 9th-24th July 2024 (Newlyn-Brest-DZ-St Mawes) SAVE £200 and do both voyages 15 nights (16 days) £2900

max 6 guests in single berths and one double bed fore cabin. Solo travellers welcome.

  • Voyage
  • Vessel

Ideal voyage for:

Artist, photographers and those who love to see traditional sailing ships out on the water under full sail and festival evenings amongst a raft of wooden masts. After you have helped sail Tallulah south to Douarnenez you will start to feel more like a sailor and by the time we depart for Cornwall, you should have your sea legs. This is still a physically active holiday with over 200 miles to sail where you will be watch keeping and part of the ships crew. Best for experienced sailors or hardy beginners who are up for a bit of offshore adventure, a night at sea under the stars, and a lot of manourving under sail in close quarters to other boats.


  • 9 night voyage over 10 peak summer days
  • Two festivals and a giant parade of sail for 30 miles
  • after festivals get into the rhythm of passage-making & night sailing
  • navigate the Chanel du Four with other vessels heading back to UK
  • Boats are encouraged to go out for a day sail in Douarnenez Bay
  • explore cobbled streets of Douarnenez, two waterfronts & beach
  • live music, fireworks, dancing, street food & entertainment


Vessel type / Rig gaff cutter
Guest Berths 6
Beam 13.5ft
Draft 7ft 5
Deck Length 44ft
Overall Length 59ft
Tonnage 22 tons
Year Built 2008
More about the Vessel

Voyage Description

Jazz bands on the poop deck – Douarnenez Bay


Brest Festival to Douarnenez Temp Fete Festival 2024

This is the second voyage leg of a summer extravaganza on pilot cutter Tallulah. Join a 9 night (10 day) voyage encompassing the finale of Brest Festival of the Sea and the grand parade southwards to enjoy a few days at Douarnenez Temp Fetes Festival.

Brest Festival Reaches Fever Pitch

This is the first proper Brest Festival gathering for 7 years so it is going to be full of energy and excitement ashore, but out on the water is where the action really happens for those who love to see wooden boats sailing properly and brave little boats ducking between the big bowsprits and tall ships both original and replica. Ashore the city waterfront has a lot of waterfront and is able to accommodate many tall ships alongside, plus smaller vessels all rafted up. Each night there are things happening from music to floodlight boat processions and firework displays.

During the last few days the fireworks seem to get larger each night and the anticipation grows for the departure of the fleet.


31 miles – Sailing with the Big Fleet

The whole fleet departs Brest and creates a huge parade of sail that stretches for 30 miles down the coast.

The journey between takes a full day and involves thousands of traditional vessels departing from the city of Brest, sailing down past the limestone cliffs and beautiful beaches. A highlight if we dare, is to squeeze Tallulah through the narrow gap between the famous ‘Tas de Pois’ sea stacks, to rapturous applause from the crowds on the clifftops. Small rowing gigs with sails, bisquines, luggers, schooners, tall ships and unusual wooden craft from around the world, press onwards, juggling for position, and onwards to the open arms of Douarnenez Bay.

crowds at the tas de pois sea stacks during DZ festival

Crowds gathering at Tas de Pois.

Douarnenez Wooden Boat Festival – Temp Fetes 2024

Douarnenez Festival is nearly as big in terms of vessels but the town is more remote than the city of Brest so the gatherings ashore tend to be just the sailors.

This medieval town has cobbled streets and two waterfronts, golden sands and a working fishing port. Also famous for wooden boat building it had a great atmosphere for those who love messing about in boats. There are also sandy beaches and a river waterfront on the other side of the town with wooden wharves, warehouses and often boat building projects going on in the street.

Douarnenez festival - a few gaffers

Ashore there are street musicians, music stages, stalls, food and exhibitions and craft demonstrations. You can also escape into the cool and narrow streets and enjoy cafe life or walk through to the other harbourfront with its wooden boardwalks, ancient warehouses and wooden boat building in the streets. There are even golden sand beaches to swim, sunbathe or enjoy moules and chilled white wine from Tallulah’s skippers favourite restaurant.

The Sail Northwards

We will have to clear out of French customs on our last port of call, so where we sail is a bit dependant on this, the strong tidal streams and winds. Recently some smaller ports have been able to adminstrate the customs clearance, so we may be able stretch out our time in the DZ area, before starting the 150 mile journey North. Otherwise the exit ports are Brest or Roscoff on the North coast. If there is time to coastal hop to Ushant or L’Aberwrach then Roscoff might be our last exit port.

There are easy public transport links to the main Penzance-London train line from both the start port at Newlyn and the end port of St Mawes for this 16 day voyage.

lee rail on tallulah

Chanel du Four & Lonely lighthouses

Our voyage home past the wild west corner of France will be timed to catch the tidal race northwards through the Chanel du Four.

The dark, forboding present of Isle d’Ouessant (Ushant) is a distinctive landmark on route. Some of the tallest lighthouses in Europe remind us to focus on our navigation, but the Chanel du Four between Ushant and mainland France is wider than you think, with many beacons to funnel the fleet southwards towards Pte De Mathieu and the entrance to Cameret and Brest. Bring a Hornblower book with you to set the scene. This is the famous seascape for the British Naval blockade during the Napoleonic wars.

The guest crew will be split into watches to cross the English Channel. Known as the Western Approaches the sea can often feel like the ocean, with impressive swell rolling in from the Atlantic. Other times the 100 mile crossing can feel totally benign with gannets diving, impressive sunsets and an empty horizon for miles.

bound for the Isles of Scilly on pilot cutter Tallulah


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.

Learning THE ROPES


We cater for a wide range of ages and physical abilities, and how much you are expected to do varies a bit between vessels. See the vessel tab above which explains all about the ‘sailing style’ and what to expect in terms of hands on participation.  There is a lot of information about day to day life, the ships facilities and accommodation on the vessel pages.

Sailing on Tallulah always makes a spectacle


Every customer sailing with us will need to fill in basic medical questions on their booking application.  If you are not sure if your current level of fitness and agility are up to a voyage, then please ring the Classic Sailing Office and we can chat through your concerns and possibly find options that might suit you better. 

Start & End Port


Sailing holidays to and from Brest

Worthwhile Journeys

You are going to be spending some time in the ports you embark and disembark from. These aren’t just logistical points; they’re opportunities for further enrichment. Take an extra day to discover what’s beyond the harbour. It’s not merely about filling time; it’s about making the entire journey worthwhile.

Keeping in Touch The exact location of your ship may not be known until closer to your joining time, you will be informed by email once the exact position has been confirmed. Make sure you take a note of the ship’s mobile/cell phone number with you in case you are delayed or there are any other problems on the day.

What to Do in Brest

History Brest is a living history book where the pages keep turning. The Château de Brest is a must-see, revealing layers of the city’s past, from medieval fortifications to WWII history. The National Navy Museum within the castle adds another layer of maritime heritage.

Culture The city’s festivals offer a glimpse of Brittany’s unique heritage. Astropolis, a summertime electronic music festival, may not be traditional, but it’s thoroughly Breton in spirit. The Festival of the Sea, held biennially, is a celebration of all things maritime and resonates deeply with any sailor’s soul.

Sites of Interest to a Sailor Head to the Pointe de Corsen for an awe-inspiring view where the Atlantic meets the Channel. While you’re at it, visit Phare du Petit Minou, a lighthouse that’s more than just a beacon for ships. It’s a beacon for the soul, especially during sunset or sunrise.

Entertainment Brest isn’t exactly Ibiza, but it’s no slouch either. The dockside bars offer local ciders and ales, while you’ll find a smattering of live music venues tucked away in the heart of the city.

Eating Out Brittany is famed for its seafood, so make a beeline for a waterside bistro and ask for the catch of the day. Don’t forget to try a local crêpe, or galette if you prefer something savoury.

Nature A bit further afield, the Armorique Regional Natural Park offers unparalleled hiking opportunities and splendid coastal scenery. If you’re looking for a bit of surfing or beachcombing, Plage du Moulin Blanc shouldn’t disappoint.

Unique Features What sets Brest apart is its gritty charm. This isn’t a glamourous Riviera resort; it’s a working port city with an edge, and that’s precisely its appeal.

Accommodation Well-known places include the Hôtel Center and the more upscale Oceania Brest Centre. For some relaxation, consider a day at the Les Sables Blancs Spa, though I suspect most sailors might find the sea breeze enough.

Official Tourist Website For more information, the Brest Tourist Office is your best bet.

Weather Brest Winter can be cold, wet, and windy but rarely extreme. Spring offers milder temperatures and fewer tourists. Summer is the most pleasant time, though it can get busy, with temperatures ranging from 15-25°C. Autumn is similar to spring but with more unpredictable weather.

Sea and Beyond: A Responsible Mariner’s Guide Since you’re already investing in a unique sailing adventure, why not extend that spirit to your travel choices? Opt for more sustainable methods of transport where possible like trains, coaches or sharing a car. If you fly, and we realise this may well be the case, you could research some ways to offset the carbon created by the flight.

Special Interests If you have a special interest that you would like to find out about for this port or to tell us about, we would love to hear from you.


How to Get There

UK Direct flights to Brest from London take under two hours. Trains from London to Brest are also an option, requiring a change in Paris.

Europe From Paris, you can catch a high-speed TGV train that will whisk you to Brest in about four hours. There are also regional flights from cities like Lyon and Marseille.

North America No direct flights, so you’ll likely connect through Paris or another European hub. Then take either a domestic flight or train to Brest.

Australia The most straightforward route involves a long-haul flight to a major European city like London or Paris, followed by a shorter connecting flight or train journey to Brest.

St Mawes, Cornwall

pilot cutters in St Mawes Bay

This is the home port of Classic Sailing. A seafaring village on the East side of Falmouth Harbour.

Latest Updates

Where to Meet in St Mawes to Join Tallulah

Updated 7-03-23

The historic Quay in St Mawes Harbour (TR2 5DW) is the official rendezvous for all Tallulah Voyages. Plan your travel for the quay in your first instance.

Tallulah has a mooring in St Mawes Bay. Skipper Debbie or the mate will normally meet you at the quay steps /harbour pontoon in Tallulah’s tender – a large blue rowing boat with ‘8’ on the side.


Bad Weather Alternative Ports

In the event of St Mawes being exposed to strong winds / big seas from the west or SW, we may start the voyage from more sheltered waters. This is likely to be the River Fal – Smugglers moorings near St Mawes or Falmouth Estuary. 

Debbie will contact you at least 48hrs before the voyage with final joining instructions by email and text. All confirmed customers will be sent Debbies mobile number for emergencies or late arrival.

Joining Instructions Tallulah

Joining Instructions Tallulah pdf


How to Get Here

By Road & Parking

The A30 is the best route into Cornwall for St Mawes – if you follow a Sat Nav you will probably be taken via King Harry Car Ferry which is not the quickest route but is worth doing for the experience.

The best way is to leave the A30 at Fraddon and follow the B3275 until it meets the A390 where you turn left for a little way back towards St Austell. Then follow the signs to the right for the A3078 which ends in St Mawes.

There are two car parks in St Mawes both trouble free and you can pay by card

St Mawes Quay Car Park is very convenient as it is where you join your voyage but is a little more expensive.

St Mawes Central Car Park run by the St Just in Roseland Parish Council  is recommended. It is just a minute walk from the Quay.

You can pay for a number of days with a debit card

There is  free street parking in the roads up from the main beach, if you can find a space. Buckeys Lane is one way so please park on the right. The private roads of Pedn Moran or Freshwater Lane are popular with beach visitors and holiday cottage customers. Local residents are used to mystery cars parked outside for several days, as long as no drives are blocked, it seems the accepted thing. As with all street parking please make sure there is room for fire engines to get through. From any of these roads the Quay is about 5 minutes walk.

Rail & transfers

To get to St Mawes by train, buy a ticket for Falmouth Town Station, walk down to the waterfront and come across the water from Falmouth to St Mawes by passenger ferry.

Falmouth is on a branch line from Truro which is on the main London – Penzance rail line.  Trains come into Cornwall to Truro from many parts of the UK and it is only 30 minutes down the branch line to Falmouth. Beware there are several small stations in Falmouth. Get off at Falmouth Town Station.

Falmouth Town Station (the Dell) is ten minutes walk from Customs House Quay where one of three ferries runs to St Mawes in the summer. If you just miss a ferry there are other departures to St Mawes from Prince of Wales Pier, the other side of town. In the winter – all ferries run from Prince of Wales Pier only. It is about 15 minutes walk through the town to the Prince of Wales Pier.

Ferry is the best way. St Mawes Passenger Ferry timetable for both piers This has a live update to confirm which ferries are running on the day. It only stops in really bad weather.

St Mawes Ferry  01872 861 911 or 07855 438 674

 Ferries are hourly in winter and three per hour in the summer and the journey is 20-25 minutes.


There are buses from Truro to St Mawes but they are very infrequent and take about an hour. 

Air & transfers

Newquay is the nearest airport but it is poorly served by public transport. A taxi to St Mawes can cost over £60

Feeling Guilty? – Carbon Offsetting Schemes

Classic Sailing recommend Treesisters charity as a carbon offsetting scheme and we have our own Classic Sailing Forest you can add tree planting to. These community tree planting schemes are all in parts of the world that desperately need reforestation and have maximum scope to reduce CO2

Kit List

What to pack for a sailing holiday on Tallulah


  • Sailing Instruction
  • Safety Equipment (Life jackets and harnesses)
  • All meals on board & refreshments throughout the day
  • Bed linen, duvet, pillows
  • Wooden rowing boat activities
  • 2 x Stand Up Paddleboards & buoyancy jackets (on summer voyages)

What is not included

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Towels
  • Wellie boots
  • Waterproof jackets & trousers 

What to Bring

Please limit yourself to one soft bag or rucksack as there is limited storage space on board. No suitcases please!

Tallulah does not have waterproof jacket and trousers yet, so please bring a properly waterproof jacket and trousers on all voyages.

Walking and cycling waterproofs are usually adequate and much lighter to pack, so there really is no need to buy a coastal sailing jacket (unless you really want an excuse to invest in your future sailing). If you need any advice, or lack of a jacket is preventing you participating, please ring us on 01326 53 1234

  • warm, windproof jacket for days when you don't want to wear a waterproof jacket
  • Hats for sun and cold weather.
  • At least two sets of warm clothes - layers e.g. tracksuit bottoms, shirts, fleece jacket, wool jumpers, thick socks, and neck scarf. It can get cold at sea even in mid summer.
  • Swim suit, towel, and suntan lotion.
  • we have space if you want to bring a wetsuit for wild swimming or SUP adventures
  • Flat shoes with a good grip e.g. trainers or sailing deck shoes.
  • Sailing boots or wellies as the sea can come over deck if rough*.
  • (An alternative to boots in summer is to bring another pair of flat shoes with a good grip in case the first pair get wet).
  • All terrain type sandals are great for dinghy trips ashore – but you do need shoes which protect your toes for sailing.
  • Scillies trips – Walking boots are useful and can be these can be worn on deck too
  • A small rucksack is useful for going ashore
  • Camera, binoculars, sketchbook, a relaxing read.
  • Passport for European or Ireland Voyages, Reciprocal Free Health Care card in Europe.
  • Please bring a passport on French trips
  • Any medication, spare spectacles. Seasick tablets - check with your Doctor, which brand if you suffer asthma or are on medication.
  • RYA Cruising Logbook or similar if you want to log your sailing experience e.g. sea miles, night hours
  • Musical instruments are always welcome.


Tallulah does not always have wine bottles for sale on board so you are welcome to bring modest quantities of alcohol, (unless it is an alcohol free voyage) e.g. to drink with evening meals, but drinking whilst sailing is not allowed.

A Note on Covid 19

While Tallulah's guests do not need to prove Covid Vaccination status at this time, it is expected that if a guest feels unwell prior to joining the ship they should always use common sense and test when appropriate to decide whether they should join the voyage, for their own safety and the safety of others onboard. It is a requirement that guests on residential voyages take out appropriate Travel Insurance and care should be taken to ensure insurance includes cover for such a case. Likewise, should members of Tallulah's professional crew including the skipper feel unwell prior to a voyage, they will always use common sense & test when appropriate.


A welcome in oak


Fantastic experience where we were given expert help and advice by Debbie and crew. I never thought we would tack Talulah into Falmouth harbour but we did, what a fun experience and soooo enjoyable. Highly recommended and will be booking up again soon, thank you

Howard - July 2023

This was the first time I had sailed, and although I suffered from seasickness a couple of times, the experience was something that I could not have even imagined. The crew were all very helpful to a "newbie" and would think of another sailing trip, but perhaps in calmer waters .

Anonymous happy customer - July 2023

Fantastic day! The skipper (Debbie) kept it interesting by rotating crew and still maintaining full control! Amazing

James - July 2023

Debbie is great, she has a great passion for sailing and is very knowledgeable about boat building too! Anthony was extremely helpful, they make a great team and they made us feel very comfortable on board. Understandably, there is limited space and privacy but I slept really well which I really did not expect! Would love to sail again with Debbie and Tallulah.

Caroline Spring 2023

Thanks for looking after us very well. Good to be in safe, sure and pleasant hands...It was a nice experience I've wanted to try for a long time. Thanks for making it a good one...I love what you're doing and your courage and I wish you great success.


Great to sail on another class of sailing vessel with an experienced skipper and mate. I enjoyed the sailing a lot. The crew were very helpful and the food was very good.


Sailing on Tallulah

Both Debbie and Jess were excellent. Both were good at explaining things and very patient. I have also been out on Moosk and Agnes. Going out on Tallulah with Debbie and Jess was by far the best experience.

Alasdair, Spring 2023
Tallulah rowing tender

Vessel Gallery

Photos and images of the striking 44ft pilot cutter Tallulah, offering charter voyages for individuals, couples and groups from 2022.  Based in St Mawes, Cornwall. No experience is necessary and a local skipper as your guide.

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