|Mon 15-04-2024, 14:00Horta, on Ilha do Faial, Azores||Sun 21-04-2024, 11:00Horta, on Ilha do Faial, Azores||Grayhound||6 Nights||GR150424|
Set sail on the Grayhound, a Cornish Lugger with a rich history, as we explore the untamed beauty of the Azores. Navigate the same waters as whales and dolphins, learn age-old sailing techniques, and revel in Azorean culinary delights. Unplug from modern chaos and dive into a nautical experience that’s as authentic as the ship beneath your feet. Reserve your spot today for a truly unique voyage.
GRAYHOUND is one of the largest sailing luggers in the world today. She was built in Cornwall in 2012 and has a 20m long hull, is 33m overall and a canvas area of 470 square meters. The original plans were those of a three masted lugger from 1776. Luggers from that time were built for speed and swiftness ideal for privateering, smuggling…or for hunting the latter! “Pirate hand-break turns” and cannon firing is always on the menu on Grayhound!
Discover the Azores through the lens of maritime heritage aboard Grayhound. This isn’t your standard ocean getaway; it’s a curated sailing experience that blends the untouched natural splendour of the Azores with time-honoured sailing techniques. For those with saltwater in their veins, this voyage will feel like a homecoming. Our ships embody the craftsmanship and maritime skill of bygone eras, offering an authentic sailing journey that takes you back to the golden age of sea exploration.
Nestled in the Atlantic, the Azores are an untamed haven that promises more than just picturesque views. Our traditional sailing routes expose you to the wilder side of these islands, from towering cliffs to ancient volcanic formations.
Marine Life Expeditions in the Azores: Whale watching here isn’t just a side activity—it’s an event. Witness blue whales, sperm whales, and playful dolphins navigate these Atlantic waters as they have for millennia. With expert marine biologists as part of the crew, you’ll gain a deeper insight into the behaviours and conservation of these magnificent creatures.
Why settle for mere sightseeing when you could also elevate your culinary palate? Enjoy traditional Azorean meals prepared with locally-sourced ingredients, an experience enriched by the open sea and expansive skies.
This voyage is perfect for those of you with or without prior sailing experience. You are free to just sit back, relax and enjoy the experience but we think you get the most our of a Classic Sailing holiday when you get stuck in! On this voyage, you can participate in all aspects of sailing Grayhound and if you’re really feeling adventurous, they crew will show you how to navigate by celestial bodies, traditional knot techniques, and, of course, the art of hoisting the sails.
In Spring, the Azores experience a transitional maritime climate as winter gives way to spring. Winds predominantly from the west or southwest can range from moderate to strong, which Grayhound can take in her stride. As for the sky, expect a mix of sunshine and intermittent showers—a hallmark of the Azorean climate. While temperatures are on the milder side, averaging around 14-18°C, layers are your best mate for adapting to fluctuating conditions. A solid month for those who relish a dynamic sailing canvas.
On a sailing voyage we never use the word itinerary, as skippers will always be aiming for the best and safest sailing routes for the forecast. They are as keen as you to include some of the highlights described above, but when it comes to sailing, you have to go with Mother Nature, not fight her. The description provided is based on what we think might be possible, based on past trips, or prior experience, but nothing is guaranteed on a sailing voyage. As such, the scheduled joining ports, routes, activities and/or destinations may be altered. Due to the complexities of weather systems, this may be at very short notice.
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. Handling cargo adds an extra dimension – building teamwork and communication skills and leaving you with a great sense of achievement.
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.
Travel Guide: Horta, Azores
How to Get There
Getting to Horta, Azores depends on your starting point. Here’s a general guide:
From the UK and Europe: Flying is the most direct option. Usually, you’ll find a flight to Lisbon and from there catch a connecting flight to Horta Airport.
From North America: Flights often transit through Lisbon. Some major U.S. cities offer direct flights to Lisbon, from where you can get a connecting flight to Horta.
From Australia: Be prepared for at least one layover, typically in a major European city like London or Lisbon. Then continue with a smaller flight to Horta.
Since Horta is an island, there are no trains or buses going there directly. However, if you’re already in the Azores, you can take a ferry to Horta. On the island itself, coaches and buses are more for tours rather than transit from other places.
What to Do in Horta
History: Visit the Horta Museum to delve into the island’s rich maritime past. Peter Café Sport is also worth a visit; it has been serving sailors for more than 100 years.
Culture: Experience local festivals like the Semana do Mar, which celebrates the region’s maritime heritage.
Sites of Interest to a Sailor: The marina in Horta is a key stopping point for transatlantic yachts. You’ll also find a variety of sailing tours that offer a different perspective of the island.
Entertainment: For a small place, Horta has a lively nightlife scene. Expect a relaxed atmosphere, local music, and friendly bars.
Eating Out: Seafood is king in Horta. Restaurants by the marina offer not only fresh catch but also incredible views.
Nature: Horta offers stunning natural beauty. From hiking trails to volcanic landscapes and whale watching, there’s plenty for outdoor enthusiasts to explore.
Unique Features: One unique feature is the sailor’s tradition of painting a mural on the marina wall before setting sail again. It gives Horta a communal feel that’s quite special.
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.
Sustainable Travel Carbon Offset Schemes
By selecting sustainable travel options and actively participating in carbon offset initiatives, you can make a positive impact while journeying to or from your voyage.
Here are some suggestions for carbon offset websites.
UK: One popular carbon offset website in the UK is “Clear” who offer a range of carbon offset projects and solutions for individuals, businesses, and organisations. They provide detailed information about their projects and allow users to calculate and offset their carbon footprint online.
North America: In North America, “Terrapass” is a well-known carbon offset website. Terrapass offers carbon offset projects across the United States and Canada. They provide options for individuals, businesses, and events to calculate and offset their carbon emissions. Terrapass also offers additional resources and information on sustainable living.
Europe: A popular carbon offset website in Europe is “MyClimate.” MyClimate provides carbon offset projects and solutions for individuals, businesses, and travel. They offer a carbon footprint calculator and allow users to support various sustainable projects worldwide. MyClimate focuses on promoting climate protection and sustainability.
Australia: “Greenfleet” is a prominent carbon offset website in Australia. Greenfleet focuses on planting native forests to offset carbon emissions. They offer individuals and businesses the opportunity to calculate and offset their carbon footprint by contributing to tree planting projects across Australia. Greenfleet provides detailed information about their projects and the positive environmental impacts they create.
Please note that these carbon offset websites may vary over time, so it is recommended to research and explore multiple options to find the most suitable one for your needs.
If any of these links do not work it would be kind of you to inform us, many thanks.
Thank you so much to all the Grayhound crew for an unforgettable adventure. I cannot imagine a kinder and better crew with which to sail.Caroline
Thanks all for a great time, I really enjoyed it. Fastest Channel crossing I have managed!Barney
An unforgettable experienceJonathon
We've had two idyllic sailing trips. One particularly fantastic day scrambling over big volcanic rocks down a deep craggy valley to a black sand beach with dramatically high cliffs. Grayhound was waiting, attracting attention because she's so beautiful and unique. Swimming out to her in the clear waters o the Atlantic rates as one of life's highlights.Grayhound Guest
Fantastic, exhilarating and an honour to be on such a ship.Des
Excellent company of genuine all round sailors. The wind in my face and the swell beneath. 5 stars for welcome, accommodation on board, safety, quality of sailing, food, skipper and crew.Barry
Outstanding and unforgettable experience. Loved learning the lug rig, meeting the crew and other guests, playing an active role on board.Charlie
Brilliant sail on an interesting boat with friendly and knowledgeable people.Steve
Three masted lugger Grayhound is a unique sight and a joy to take photos of. Not only does she look very unusual as it is a rig not seen much now, she has a mission to deliver cargoes under sail, so she is the darling of the press. 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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