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Tall Ships Race – Lisbon to Cadiz

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16-25 year olds pp



Embark Disembark Vessel DurationVoyage No
Sat 04-09-2021, 14:00Lisbon, Portugal Sat 11-09-2021, 10:00Cadiz, Spain Santa Maria Manuela 7 NightsSM040921

You can join this voyage if you are aged 15 to 25 only, so book quickly. Sail in the Parade of Sail as you leave Lisbon and head out to into the Atlantic. The Tall Ships Race takes you South down the South Coast of Portugal and into Spanish waters.

  • Voyage
  • Vessel


Those keen to experience tall ship racing, the pressure is on to sail as fast as you safely can for the current state of the sea and wind. You will learn to sail your own tall ship with expert help form the professional crew.


  • Sail as part of Lisbon’s Tall Ships Race parade under the iconic 25 de Abril suspension bridge
  • Available for 15-25 year olds only
  • Learn to sail the Santa Maria Manuela under the guidance of our professional crew
  • Sail 250 nautical miles from the historic city of Lisbon into the ancient city of Cadiz
  • Hands-on sailing experience in all aspects of the ship’s life

Santa Maria Manuela

Vessel type / Rig Gaff Schooner
Guest Berths 50
Beam 33ft
Draft 18ft
Deck Length 173ft
Overall Length 225ft
Tonnage 992 tons
Year Built 1937
More about the Vessel

Voyage Description

crewing a mighty tall ship


About the 2021 Tall Ships Race (Rescheduled from 2020)

In 1956, the first race of the sail training Tall Ships took place from Torbay, UK to Lisbon, Portugal. It was supposed to be a celebration of the world’s remaining magnificent Class A Tall Ships. The event was so popular that it became an annual event and today it is the world’s largest free public festival.

The objective of the Tall Ships Races is to encourage friendly rivalry amongst seafaring young people, while giving them the opportunity to develop themselves through sail training.

We try to include everyone sailing aboard the Santa Maria Manuela during the Tall Ships Races regardless of previous sailing experience. There’s nothing our crew like better than to share their knowledge of sailing this historic ship. Each trainee will be placed in a watch team, which together will receive training, conduct ships tasks, race the ship and perhaps even find time to relax with a good book or talk to shipmates on the bowsprit netting.

In 2021 the Tall Ships cruise in company will start in Falmouth and will stop in Corunha, Lisbon and Cadiz. The SMM will be racing in the Corunha to Lisbon voyage and may also compete in the race to Cadiz.

you are the ships crew

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. The description below is based on what we think might be possible, based on past trips, or experience, but nothing is guaranteed on a sailing voyage.

Voyage description

The last leg of the 2021 Tall Ships Race will start in Lisbon and race to Cadiz.

The 322 mile Lisbon to Cadiz Tall Ships Race is a classic coastal voyage, preceded by a free public festival on the Rio Tejo which will celebrate Portugal’s maritime heritage, culture and music. Trainees competing in the race to Cadiz will take part in the opening parade through the docks of Lisbon cheered on by tens of thousands. After two days of festivities and familiarization with the Santa Maria Manuela, the Tall Ships will parade up the Rio Tejo, under the famous 25th de Abril suspension bridge and along Lisbon’s stunning historic shoreline.

With the prevailing wind from the north, all aboard are on for an exciting downwind race which will follow Portugal’s Atlantic and Algarve coasts before crossing the Gulf of Cadiz and into Cadiz, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Western Europe, dating back 3100 years.

After arrival ceremonies, crew parades and festivities put on by the town, trainees depart for home having had the experience of their lives and forged lifelong friendships.

Santa Maria Manuela hauling the sails up

There´s nothing our crew like more then to share their knowledge of sailing with our guests, and they will encourage you to get actively involved with all aspects of the ship’s life. Volunteers to hoist the gaff tops and trim the sails for best speed are always welcome, and the feeling of helming a 67m sailing ship with the sensation as she responds to the command of the wheel is something to savor forever.

Knot classes are a great way to learn a new skill whilst sharing sailing stories with shipmates, and if the weather allows there’s the opportunity to go up the mast or relax in the bowsprit netting. A drink at sunset on the deck is the perfect way to round off each day.

Santa Maria Manuela has been restored to create a comfortable ‘mother ship’ with well organised hospitality team, but without compromising her ability to offer the real hands on tall ship experience. Even complete novices can be taught to become crew on one of the biggest schooners in the world. The huge gaff sails are traditionally rigged and it will take teamwork to set all sail on her 4 masts and  look magnificent. On passage, guest crew will be in working watches, participating in the sailing, steering the ship and lookout duties.


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.


Start & End Port

Lisbon, Portugal

The exact location won’t be known until closer to the time, you will be informed by email once the exact position has been confirmed.

Make sure you take a note of the ship’s phone number to get in touch with them if there are any problems on the day.

Cadiz, Spain

Kit List

Below is a recommended travel packing list for a sailing voyage.

See bottom of page for Diving Holiday Kit List


  • Sailing Instruction 
  • Safety Equipment (Life jackets and harnesses)
  • All meals to include cooked breakfast, lunch, dinner and refreshments throughout the day.
  • Bed linen, duvet, towels for cabin (but please bring your own beach towel)

What is Not Included

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Travel to and from the start and end port
  • Optional trips or tours taken ashore unless otherwise stated
  • Alcoholic Beverages , but you can purchase drinks from the bar (you can set up a tab and pay at the end). 

What to Bring

For any destination north of Cape Verde warm and waterproof clothing is very important, as it can get cold during sailing, especially at night, even in the summer. A waterproof and windproof jacket is recommended to help keep warm and dry. Waterproof rubber soled boots or shoes are also recommended to keep your feet dry and warm. It is a good idea to bring two pairs of shoes in case one gets wet as salt water soaked shoes take a while to dry.

Madeira, Portugal and the Azores in summer can get pretty hot and it is easy to get sunburn at sea as the air is clear. The Cape Verde are in a tropical climate so a good sun screen is essential.

Please remember that space on board is limited and pack accordingly. Pack comfortable and practical clothing for all weather circumstances, the key is layers!! It is recommended to pack in a soft bag that can be easily stored away as there is no room on board for suitcases. Electricity on board is European 2 pin sockets, please be sure to bring any adaptors you may need. 

Passports, Visas and Insurance

If you voyage is sailing in foreign waters, you will require a full passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the end of the voyage. You will be responsible for obtaining any necessary visas.

We have Third Party Liability Insurance and recommend all those sailing with us to take out relevant travel insurance to cover their voyage. 

Medical Conditions and Special Diets

Please inform us in advance of any medical conditions you have and medication which you might need to bring with you. If you have any special dietary requirements it is essential you inform us prior to your voyage. We will make every effort to cater for all diets with prior notice.

Personal Items

This is a list of the items we recommend you bring with you.

  • Warm hat and sun hat
  • gloves - either sailing gloves or gardening type gloves
  • Wet weather clothing – water proof and windproof jacket
  • Clothing – enough clothing for all weather circumstances (think layers!!)
  • Trainers or deck shoes
  • shorts and t shirts
  • nightwear (ear plugs ?)
  • Toiletries
  • Towels
  • swimwear (googles are useful)
  • Sun cream
  • Sunglasses
  • Sea sickness medication
  • Personal medication
  • Book
  • Small torch (head torches are good!)
  • Camera
  • Log book (if you have one)
  • Valid passport (voyages outside the UK)
  • Travel insurance


  • Musical instruments 
  • games or cards
  • book/kindle

You can buy Santa Maria Manuela caps on board.

Diving Holidays on Santa Maria Manuela - Kit List

Please note the ship will only be carrying scuba diving equipment on the specialist diving voyages. 

On a diving voyage - Bottles and weights are included in the voyage price.

If you need diving equipment other than bottles and weights it is €150 extra

Nitrox costs €5 euros a dive

Classic Sailing will expand on this kit list shortly.



Santa Maria Manuela is a new vessel to the Classic Sailing fleet. We first became aware of her at the Tall Ships Race Fleet visit in Torbay in 2016. She has new owners who are incredibly proud of the ships history and are developing many new roles for the ship with a major niche in adventure holidays and oceanographic expeditions that benefit the world's oceans.

First Hand Knowledge

Classic Sailing co-founder Adam Purser has recently sailed on board a dive expedition in Cape Verde. He spent quite a bit of time getting to know the ship, its style of operations and the characters in the crew. You can speak to him in Classic Sailing UK Office on 0044 (0)1872 580022

New friends on Adam's voyage
New friends on Adam's voyage

Customer Feedback

Here are a few customer comments from previous trips. We hope to have many more soon.

Terrific crew & ship and a lovely passage to the Azores. Crew & Guests very good and patient with someone who only spoke English. It would be difficult to find a better one. This is a terrifically well run vessel, or was on this trip. Excellent accommodation, well serviced by a professional crew. All very friendly, helpful and willing to give information throughout. Many opportunities to get involved in most aspects of the ships operation & involvement in the vessel's past history.The Island was beautiful and rather unexpected. Best wishes & Good Luck for the future.Very many thanks"
Keith H. 28-04-18

We had a terrific and adventurous time on board during the Sachsen Sail 2018 in the Bay of Biscay. Thank you to all Santa Maria Manuela crew members and maritime greetings from Leipzig, Germany. " Mario L. 25-09-18

Un voilier merveilleux avec un équipage très sympathique .Merci pour tout" Marie-francoise A. 05-09-18


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