|Mon 22-05-2023, 17:00Vannes, France||Tue 30-05-2023, 09:00St Nazaire, Brittany||Oosterschelde||8 Nights||OS220523|
Oosterschelde will be at anchor off Port Blanc for embarkation, so the crew will take you aboard in the ship’s tender. You’ll be given a full safety induction and then plans for your week aboard will be revealed! The Skipper will plan the voyage to make the most of the weather at the time, and to allow for relaxed sailing days as well as plenty of time ashore, exploring Brittany’s stunning historic harbours and coastline. Sail through the numerous islands scattered up the coast, taste the local cuisine, and finish your adventure in the mouth of the Loire at St Nazaire.
The crew of the wonderful three masted topsail schooner, Oosterschelde will welcome you onboard at anchor off Port Blanc, Vannes, Brittany. After some refreshments on deck and an introduction from the Captain, it will be time to haul anchor and begin your week’s adventure. The crew will plan your trip to make the most of the weather, and with only a short distance to run to reach St Nazaire, there will be plenty of time to explore the gorgeous Breton Coast with its historic harbours, countless islands and beautiful inlets hard to reach by land.
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. This description is based on what we think might be possible, based on past trips, or experience, but no specific stop is guaranteed on a sailing voyage.
You start your voyage in the Gulf of Morbihan in the aftermath of the world famous ‘Semaine du Golfe’ festival. This means there will likely still be a host of other classic sailing vessels in the area, exploring and relaxing after a hectic week of dodging each other in the fast running tides and eddies of the estuary, There are around 42 islands in the gulf, each with its own character.
The captain makes a plan based on the latest forecast. Night one might see you drop anchor at Belle Ile, with its stunning cliffs, pastel coloured houses and grand lighthouse. You may sail south to Noirmoutier and visit the 12th Century Château, or perhaps head north for Lorient, Ile de Groix and Concarneau. The possibilities on this trip are endless: what you can be sure of is a fantastic mix of relaxed sailing and shoreside exploration along one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world
The tides and speed of the water in the Gulf of Morbihan require a pilot to come aboard to guide Oosterschelde to the city of Vannes. Once you arrive in Vannes, there will be some time to take a look around the other traditional and classic boats that have gathered for the event.
Generally in the summer the westerly depressions are not that powerful and you can have weeks of stable high pressure, light winds and and sunshine, however around the French coast the tides are swift so wind against tide can make the seas a bit bumpy. The crew have more flexibility with passage planning on this trip, compared to Oosterschelde’s other voyages, as there’s not far to go to reach St Nazaire. This means that you will sail when the sailing is good, and explore ashore in between, hopefully avoiding any poor weather and enjoying a varied and interesting holiday.
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 01872 58 00 22 and we can chat through your concerns and possibly find options that might suit you better.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
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.
St Nazaire is a fascinating port, steeped in Maritime History with a long shipbuilding tradition. The beaches around the coast are lovely too, especially Les Jaunais to the West (which can be reached via the old customs officer’s path) or Saint-Marc-sur-Mer to the East, made famous by Jacques Tati’s 1951 film ‘Mr Hulot’s Holiday’.
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.
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
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
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 "
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
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
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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