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Falmouth Classics and a Long Weekend Break

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Thu 15-06-2023, 12:00Falmouth, Cornwall Sun 18-06-2023, 12:00Falmouth, Cornwall Pilgrim 3 NightsPM150623

The ever popular Falmouth Classics & Shanty Festival cruise is one of the highlights of Pilgrim’s sailing season. You get everything that is great about ‘the Classics’ with the opportunity to explore the Fal Estuary and the south coast of Cornwall. There is only room for 10 passengers on this 4 day 3 night extravaganza out of Falmouth. It’s a fabulous way to have that special holiday break in Cornwall that all your friends will envy.

  • Voyage
  • Vessel


  • Falmouth Classis in the Bay
  • Falmouth Shanty Festival Ashore.
  • 74ft length on deck historic sailing trawler
  • South West expert.
  • Friendly and helpful instruction
  • Freshly cooked food and accommodation all onboard.
  • Comfortable berths


Vessel type / Rig Gaff Ketch
Guest Berths 10
Beam 17.5ft
Draft 10.5ft
Deck Length 74ft
Overall Length 94ft
Tonnage 90 tons
Year Built 1895
More about the Vessel

Voyage Description


Falmouth Classics had over 200 vessels racing last year, so this more relaxed way of joining in the action without racing is great for photographers and artists. The ambience ashore with the shanty festival in full swing is great for live music fans after a fun day sailing, but it is nice to have the freedom to escape it too. Pilgrim is not racing and will pick and choose the best bits to see in Falmouth Bay and when to escape to simply sail along the Cornish coastline at a lovely time of year. As Pilgrim has wide decks and professional team to take the helm and to help raise the sails this is a perfect voyage for beginners and experienced sailors alike.



  • historic sailing trawler- 74ft length on deck
  • Falmouth Classics  – sail amongst pilot cutters, tall ships, Falmouth oyster boats and more 
  • Let the crew be you local experts on the West Country scenery & wildlife
  • Enjoy a spectacular sailing event without the stress of racing
  • traditional music and singing at Falmouth shanty festival
  • Friendly and helpful instruction
  • Freshly cooked food and accommodation all onboard.
  • Comfortable berths


Pilgrim Brixham Trawler
Pilgrim Brixham Trawler


View Falmouth Classics – Out on the Water

Pilgrim fully intends to add to the spectacle of the annual Falmouth Classics Regatta. This popular Cornish sailing event attracts several hundred classic boats and wooden tall ships to Falmouth Harbour and for a 3 day weekend the whole fleet comes out to race each day or take part in a parade of sail. This deep water harbour and race courses out into Falmouth Bay enables 74ft Pilgrim to sail around and watch the action without racing.

If you love to take photos then t Pendennis and St Mawes Castle and the green fields and woods of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty provide a stunning backdrop for your images. There is plenty of sailing action on Pilgrim for the sailing enthusiast to make her look stunning and keep her safe amongst all the sailing boats, but much more chilled than being involved in the racing.

The other benefit of not racing morning and afternoon is you can stop properly for lunch and there are plenty of vantage point anchorages where you can still watch the racing. Alternatively you can escape up the river Fal or Helford and enjoy nature and peace.

Falmouth Classics - local pilot cutters racing
Falmouth Classics – local pilot cutters racing


Dip into the Shanty Festival -or not

The International Shanty Festival on the waterfronts around Falmouth can be experienced as full on music event or as mellow as you like. There are over 20 venues and 60 music groups from all over the world. On the moored up boats in the marinas, impromptu musical sessions occur.

You can listen to the fiddles, Breton pipes, singing in a big crowd on the waterfront, dip into one of the more obscure pub sessions, or just find a quieter spot in the evening sun to listen to the music at a more background level. When it is time to call it a day, if you are moored up in Falmouth, Pilgrim’s deep draft and thick oak timbers mean that once below decks you will hardly know there is a party still going on.

If everyone wants to escape the festivities in Falmouth then there are plenty of beautiful anchorages to sail to in the late afternoon.

Breton shanty groups come to Falmouth regularly
Breton shanty groups come to Falmouth regularly

Explore the Roseland and Lizard Coast

Falmouth has attractive sailing grounds all around it which is why the port is such a mecca for discerning boat owners,. Blue waters, rugged cliffs, breezy headlands and secret coves are all around you. Within a couple of hours sailing from the racing activities of Falmouth Classics is Gull Rock with its breeding guillimots and razorbills, St Mawes Bay, the oak lined Falmouth River and waterside pubs and walks amongst bluebells and egrets in Helford River.

A slightly longer romp down the Lizard Coast takes you past the famous Manacles reef and into prime basking shark territory. Anchorages at Porthallow, Coverack or Cadgewith are all working fishing villages and steeped in maritime history. The softer coast to the East has more picture postcard seaside villages like Portscatho (wave at Classic Sailing Office). Portloe, Gorran Haven, Mevagissey.

Pilgrim is a regular visitor to Falmouth and the West Country and the crew are very much at home in the Cornish waters and she is often seen sailing along the south west coast and always receives a warm welcome when visiting local ports. She can take up to 10 guest crew and there is plenty of room for all on her wide decks.

Best time to see Basking sharks in Cornwall is early summer - Lizard Coast
Best time to see Basking sharks in Cornwall is early summer – Lizard Coast



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, 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 no destination is guaranteed on a sailing voyage. 

The Lizard Peninsula protects Falmouth Bay from much of the SW swell, and if the wind blows from the North West or North you have plenty of flat water sailing all along the coast from Lands End to Plymouth.  The drowned river valleys or rias offer a tranquil escape if conditions off the coast get a bit too sporting.  Tucked up the Fal, Helford or Fowey river you can enjoy the wildlife in the oak woods and salt marshes or find a waterside inn.

Brixham Trawlers - Provident sailing past Pilgrim
Brixham Trawlers – Provident sailing past Pilgrim


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 01326 53 1234 and we can chat through your concerns and possibly find options that might suit you better.


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


  • Travel to Joining Port
  • Travel from end port
  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • Towels
  • Waterproofs

Start & End Port

Falmouth, Cornwall

We now have several vessels that use Falmouth as a joining or leaving port. As every vessel is different, and we do not have our own pontoon there, all joining instructions are slightly different. Any changes will be communicated to you before your voyage start date.

This is a list of the likely joining locations, but sometimes the ship can also be at anchor. Read the vessel’s joining instructions carefully for full details.

Port Pendennis is the small marina behind the National Maritime Museum Cornwall and the nearest rail station is ‘Falmouth Town’ (3 mins walk). The Maritime Museum has a big tower like a lighthouse so aim for that and at the entrance, turn right and walk down the side of the museum. The gate to the marina is behind the museum building.

Custom House Quay is a stone quay enclosing a small wet dock in the Centre of Falmouth Town. It is used for some of the foot ferries to St Mawes in the peak summer. Only 5 minutes walk from Falmouth Town Station if you head towards the town centre. Situated at the Maritime Museum end of the high street and has its own short stay car park between Trago Mills Store and the Chain Locker Pub if you are driving and want to drop your bags first.

Falmouth Visitors Yacht Haven is about 100 yards beyond Custom House Quay but if walking from the rail station towards town it is best if you walk accross Custom House Quay short term car park and nip through the alley tunnel through the Chain Locker Pub. The yacht haven is a small marina only yards from Falmouth main shopping street (Arwenack St), tucked away down the bottom of Quay Street.

Kit List

What to pack for a sailing holiday on Pilgrim


  • Sailing Instruction
  • Safety Equipment (Life jackets and harnesses)
  • All meals to include refreshments throughout the day
  • Bed linen, duvet, pillows

What is not included

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Towels

What to Bring

Please limit yourself to one soft bag or rucksack as there is limited storage space on board. No suitcases please! Pilgrim does not provide waterproofs. So you need to bring waterproof jacket and trousers These don't have to be sailing waterproofs. Any good outdoor waterproofs should keep you warm and dry. If you are sailing on a longer voyage or in early spring or autumn you will find the sailing or mountaineering salopette type waterproof trousers will keep you warmer than walking trousers with waist. If you need any advice please ring us on 01872 580022
  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • 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.
  • 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 Pilgrims deck too
  • A small rucksack is useful for going ashore – especially on sailing and walking and Scillies voyages.
  • Camera, binoculars, sketchbook, a relaxing read.
  • Passport for French Voyages, Reciprocal Free Health Care card in Europe.
  • Please bring a passport on French trips or any 6 day voyage like Scillies where France could be an alternative venue.
  • 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.
Pilgrim does not always have wine bottles for sale on board so you are welcome to bring modest quantities of alcohol e.g. to drink with evening meals, but drinking whilst sailing is not allowed.


A fabulous first experience on a beautiful old ship. Skipper and crew were amazing. As was the food! Great Boat, Great Team, Great company. I would love to make a return trip and would highly recommend Pilgrim to anyone out there who is thinking about it. Sign up now! But leave a space for me please 🙂


Had an awesome time. Crew was superb and professional. Pilgrim is in fabulous shape.


Lovely boat and great crew. No question was too daft. A highly enjoyable education.


This was my first voyage on a tall ship and I had no previous experience of sailing. The crew were wonderful – friendly, calm and patiently explained and gave me confidence to help with sailing the boat. They also helped to build a warm, friendly and fun atmosphere among all of us onboard. I cannot wait until I have the opportunity to sail on Pilgrim again.


Sailing on Pilgrim was amazing. I loved every moment, she is totally beautiful. Swimming ashore and snorkelling. Building a fire on the beach. I love the freedom and peace being on the water, it's so natural and relaxing. I had such a great time with a great bunch of people.


I can't wait for the next time- sailing on Pilgrim isn't just a holiday, it's an adventure full of new experiences, friendship, laughter and fun.


A super day assisted by lovely sun and cloud, sheer joy at being on the water.


Fantastic few days sailing on Pilgrim, the experience was well past my expectations and this was the result of the crew who all worked very hard in making this an unforgettable experience.

Eddie P - Pilgrim Guest Feedback Photo
Eddie P - Pilgrim Guest Feedback Photo

Wow, what can I say about my first trip on the beautiful Pilgrim with Classic Sailing? It was amazing! I am still smiling about the utterly brilliant weekend. I booked this trip as a bit of an escape from the day to day normal life on the land and it was well worth it. I returned home more relaxed, a little sunburnt, but wanting to just jump straight back on board! I t was great fun being allowed to be involved in raising the sails and learning a bit of history about the vessel. If you hare thinking about booking a voyage, be it a day trip, weekend or longer... do it! I could not recommend it more highly and as a single traveller I also felt at ease and safe while on the whole voyage.


Brilliant, fantastic, I could not have wished for better. The crew couldn't do enough for us and made the day even more special. If you want to do something a bit different for a big birthday and something that your guests will talk about for a long time then I would highly recommend Pilgrim.


Pilgrim is a fantastic heritage project that deserves everyones support. I have sailed on her twice now and on both occasions the party has had a most wonderful sailing experience. Get out there and appreciate her!


The trip was one of the best experiences of my life and something I will never forget. Food was wonderful... beds were comfy... crew were faultless and very knowledgeable about the boat and its history. You can tell they have a true passion for their jobs. I would certainly return again and will be recommending to all I know!


Vessel Gallery

Restored Brixham Sailing Trawler Pilgrim 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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