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Oosterschelde goes north.

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Embark Disembark Vessel DurationVoyage No
Sun 16-05-2021, 20:00Vannes, France Thu 27-05-2021, 09:00Oban, Scotland Oosterschelde 11 NightsOS160521

Oosterschelde heads North from Brittany to Scotland

From Vannes to Oban we have about 660 nautical miles to cover. A big part of the voyage is at open sea until we reach the Irish Sea. If we are a little bit lucky with the weather, we can do the crossing right away and we will be able to cover a considerable distance at the beginning of this journey. Once in the Irish Sea or off the Scottish coast, there are many beautiful bays and anchorages that we can enjoy the last days of our voyage at a leisurely pace.

  • Voyage
  • Vessel

Ideal Voyage for …..

There are not many long passages this spring and Oosterschelde heading right up through the Celtic Seas to oban is a great opportunity to grab some nautical miles.


  • Mile building passage on a three masted topsail schooner
  • Learn about navigation
  • Rhythm of Watch keeping and sailing at night
  • Lots of potential stop overs from the Isles of Scilly, Isle of Man Ireland and the islands of Scotland.
  • 11 Days of great sailing


Vessel type / Rig Three Masted Schooner
Guest Berths 24
Beam 25ft
Draft 9.8ft
Deck Length 131ft
Overall Length 164ft
Tonnage 400 tons
Year Built 1917/1992
More about the Vessel

Voyage Description

"Oosterschelde under sail"
Arthur op Zee


When are at sea and sailing and you will be part of the crew and participate in the watches. Everyone will help with setting the sails, steering, navigating and watch keeping (of course all to your ability). There is a lot to see along the way. We can expect visits from dolphins and maybe we will even spot the fin of a sunfish. There will also be many seabirds.

Especially at the edge of the continental shelf, at the border of the English Channel to the Atlantic Ocean, the sea is rich with fish and hundreds of northern gannets are foraging here from their base in Brittany. Where there are many fish, there will be a lot of fishing vessels. In addition as we cross the busy shipping routes to and from UK and Eu ports there will be a lot to keep an eye on.


"Oosterschelde on the bow sprit"
“Oosterschelde on the bow sprit”

Vannes to Cornwall

There are some incredible headlands and channels to sail through as you head north from Vannes. Will you go inside or outside Île d’Ouessant

Lands End and Beyond

Once past Land’s End we enter the Celtic or Irish Sea.  If the prevailing winds are in their normal direction, this should see Oosterschelde with the wind behind her and our square saile really working well.  We’ll venture across the mouth of the Bristol Channel and sail between Wales and Ireland.

Once passed Holyhead on Anglesey, it’s a short, forty mile hop to towards the Isle of Man, if it suits you might stop here or you may go to an Irish port, who knows, it’s up to the Captain and the weather. 

Lure of Guinness

Continuing north, our next stop will most likely be across the Irish Sea in Belfast Lough.  This is well sheltered and is popular with the crew.  It’s only a day sail from the Isle of Man but well worth a visit to recharge the batteries before we cross the North Channel.  This narrow stretch of water acts as a funnel for the Irish Sea as the gap between Irish and Scottish coasts narrows substantially.  It might get a little choppy but it is short!  Once across, we rapidly get into the shelter of the Inner Hebrides which provides some of the finest sailing in the UK.  Stunning scenery, sheltered waters and the opportunity to spot some fantastic marine wildlife.

Southern Hebrides

We’ll likely pass to the east of Islay and Jura and between Scarba and Luing as we journey on.  The tides are ferocious here and the gap between Jura and Scarba is the location of the famous Corryvreckan whirlpool caused by the fast moving tidal stream passing over a rock pinnacle on the sea bed.  We’ll steer well clear of this!  Finally, it will be time to pass round the south east corner of Mull and shape our course into Oban. 

"Whale and Oosterschelde"
“Whale and Oosterschelde”


Sailing from  the Vannes to Oban is over 600 nautical miles and you could have all sorts of weather that drive the waves. The Atlantic Coast and Crossing the English Channel are the areas where you can get big seas and long swells, or there could be just a gentle swell. Once you are into the Celtic Sea the seas are can still be rough but the swell is normally shorter making for more choppy seas. 


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.


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.


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 on 00326 53 1234 and we can chat through your concerns and possibly find options that might suit you better.




Start & End Port

Vannes, France

The historic walled town of Vannes, located on the Gulf of Morbihan,in the North west of Brittany. Vannes was built on the foundations of a fortified Roman town. Its long history is evident in its architecture, especially the beautiful walled town that forms the protected heart of the city.The town is dominated by the magnificent Cathédrale de St Pierre, this walled town features stunning wood beamed houses from the 15th century. Historically it has always been a busy trade port exporting local wines.

Oban, Scotland

For joining your vessel in Oban, the North Pier in the map shown below will be the best place to meet the crew. Your vessel will either be tied up alongside the wall, or out at anchor. Make sure you take a note of the ship’s number found in your confirmation in case of any problems on the day.

Kit List

Oosterschelde Kit List



  • Sailing Instruction
  • Safety Equipment (life jackets and harnesses)
  • All meals to including refreshments throughout the day
  • Duvet, pillow and sheets
  • Hand towels

What is not Included

  • Waterproof jackets and trousers
  • Alcoholic drinks but there is a bar on board

What to Bring

Suitcases take up a lot of room in a cabin, so it is better to uses soft bags in a ship. A small rucksack for going ashore is useful.

  • Oosterschelde does not supply waterproof jackets and salopette type trousers. Please bring your own waterproof clothing.
  • A mix of warm and wind proof clothing.
  • Lots of thin layers is better than one thick layer in cold destinations.
  • In tropical countries - long sleeves and long trousers to protect you from the sun 
  • Footwear on board needs a good grip and soft soles- the decks are wood or steel.
  • Ashore stout, waterproof walking boots are best if you are in remote places.
  • Oosterschelde has European 2 pin sockets 240 V
  • Cameras, chargers and video recorders
  • Binoculars are handy for bird watching etc.
  • Suntan lotion, hats, sunglasses
  • Dont forget any regular medication, persciption glasses and spare
  • Euros for bar bill
  • Passport, travel insurance, tickets etc
  •  To get ashore is usually by dinghy so be prepared to get wet feet. Rubber boots or quick drying sandals - depending on the location.


Cape Verde & Caribbean Crew

Together with my husband Bert we were on the trip around the Cape Verde on the Oosterschelde and had a great time. The crew was fantastic and very friendly. They showed us what has to be done to sail a beautiful ship like this. Made some new friends among the passengers and it was a trip I will not forget for a long while. And who knows when we will meet again. Thanks" Jenny H E.  from NL Mar 2018

I've just completed my fourth voyage in four years and it was like a big family holiday! Familiar faces welcomed us aboard, we met up with guests and friends from previous voyages and the islands that we visited in the French West Indies were beautiful. The best part of the voyage was our last sailing day when the "lunatics took over the asylum". Maarten let the guest crew sail the Oosterschelde from St Lucia to Martinique (while keeping an eye on us to make sure that neither we or the ship were in danger) It was hard work but safe to say that I learned a lot more on that day, having to think about what I was doing, rather than just being told what to do. We are just about to book our next voyage" Richard D. British Columbia

What was the best bit?
Variety of sailing and the islands visited.

What was the worst bit?
One rough passage.

Why do you sail?
We enjoy the technicalities of sailing a large vessel and the passage planning involved. We generally enjoy off-shore sailing.

Any other comments
The skipper and crew were very friendly, helpful and informative. Accommodation and food was very good.- Phillip B - Cape Verde 

Ocean Passages

What was the best bit?
A genuine feel for a bit of a longer ocean voyage with great people.

What was the worst bit?
Somewhat cramped cabins if sharing

Why do you sail? 
Comraderie; understanding historical sailing voyages; seeing interesting parts of the world" Robbin C: Ocean Crossings

Credit to Robbin Conner - Oosterschelde Ocean Crossing from Cape Verde to Rotterdam
Credit to Robbin Conner - Oosterschelde Ocean Crossing from Cape Verde to Rotterdam

Canada Tall Ships Race Participants

So happy to have sailed from Miramichi to Quebec! So good to be on this beautiful grand old lady with only nice and funny people. Miss you all! And for this moment especially Richards' breakfast. Thank you so much Jenny Edward Richard Jan-Willem Jurriaan and Maarten, and all the other guests for this wonderful and amazing time. Love and hugs xxx Ernst and Ellen V.

The dream come true! What a georgous trip I had between Québec and Halifax! A part of me will be onboard forever... Il will be back to you, most beautiful ship of the world! I will be back, Oosterschelde!  What a crew! What a captain! Marteen, I could write a novel with you as the major character! You are an amazing guy, a good, a great man! Your team is fantastic! I am now back ashore but... "I must go down to sea again... "

" C'est pas l'homme qui prend la mer
C'est la mer qui prend l'homme " 

Pierre-Luc. Canada

Now is the hour that I must say goodbye, soon you'll be sailing far across the sea. We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when. Maybe in the south pacific or around Cape Horn. Captain Arian, I would sail anywhere in the world with you, your crew and Oosterschelde. Warren C. New Zealand

The Word from European Voyages

Just sailed on the Oosterschelde across the North Sea to the Netherlands! Great taste of sailing would recommend to anyone who is thinking of dipping their toe in. Loved every second of it, hauling ropes out in the elements (mainly with the Sun on my back) rolling around in the middle of the North Sea on the deck of an authentic lovely Dutch schooner brilliant! A life changing experience of the open sea, next stop RYA competent crew! Many thanks to Adam and Classic Sailing for all the arrangements at such short notice and thanks too to all the crew for looking after me and feeding me so well. Be warned though life ashore afterwards can seem very hum-drum." Rex aka Steve W

I  want to thank the crew for the three magnificent days passed on board, between "Golfe du Morbihan" and "Le Havre". I sailed on numerous occasions on about ten different ships, and this sailing on Oosterschelde is the best experience I ever had. I was impressed by the good performances of the ship, and by the way the crew adjusts sails permanently so that the ship always gives the best ; it was an immense pleasure to participate of my best in all these operations. I regret that our different languages did not allow us to communicate more, because all the crew members were really very nice and very thoughtful with us. I have now only an envy: to embark again on Oosterschelde, to be on the deck to participate in the laborers of sails, to climb on the mast to help the crew, and to share again these excellent moments given by sailing on Oosterschelde !!! " Excuse my bad English, Gilbert P. Vernon, France

Vessel Gallery

Three Masted Topsail Schooner Oosterschelde in action and images. Photos from Classic Sailing customers, ships crew and professional photographers. We hope it gives a flavour of her sailing, life on board, the people that come, her beautiful sailing grounds and what it is like to live below decks.

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