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Brest International Maritime Festival

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Fri 05-07-2024, 14:00Falmouth, Cornwall Thu 11-07-2024, 11:00 Grayhound 6 NightsGR050724

From the historic quays of Falmouth, aboard the Grayhound – a replica of a 1776 Cornish Lugger – we embark on a nautical journey to the heart of maritime heritage: the Brest Maritime Festival. Awaiting in Brest is not just a gathering, but a living tapestry of nautical history. As the city’s quaysides teem with boats, each vessel tells tales of the enduring bond between humanity and the sea. From heritage boats to modern racing marvels, the festival is a grand convergence of maritime dreams from every corner of the globe.

  • Voyage
  • Vessel


  • Sail one of the largest Lugger’s in the world across the Celtic Sea!
  • Join in the celebration at Brest Maritime Festival
  • Ocean Sunsets & wildlife
  • A world where tides and boats are a way of life


Vessel type / Rig Three Masted Lugger
Guest Berths 8-10
Beam 19ft
Draft 10.75ft
Deck Length 64ft
Overall Length 108ft
Tonnage 56 tons
Year Built 2012
More about the Vessel

Voyage Description


An Introduction to Grayhound

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!

As voyage crew you do not have to have any prior sailing experience or knowledge to join on Grayhound. A positive attitude and a wish for adventure is all! Our experienced crew will make sure that you comfortably and eagerly hoist the sails, make fast the ropes, participate in the manoeuvres, steer the ship and ready the anchor. It is all hands-on and you will be a crucial part of getting to our desired destination. You will learn fast while enjoying the feeling of freedom the ship offers as you get humbled by the sea. 


Joining the Ship

Your voyage aboard Grayhound begins in Falmouth, a town rich in maritime heritage. The town is a delightful place to explore, with opportunities to learn about Cornwall’s seafaring traditions and enjoy its coastal attractions. If you’re able to, we recommend arriving a day early to explore Falmouth and the surrounding area. Visit the National Maritime Museum Cornwall and see the national small boats collection. Grab lunch at Windjammer Café, you can sit out on the balcony and watch the hustle and bustle of the harbour below – you’ll likely be able to see Grayhound from there!

There are also 2 train stations right in the town, close to the harbour, making travel to Falmouth easy and perfect for exploring further afield to see Cornwall’s many visitor attractions such as the Eden Project, Tintagel Castle and the Minack Theatre to name just a few.

After joining and getting acquainted with the ship, crew and fellow guests, you’ll set sail!

Grayhound crew eating their lunch on the deck in the sunshine

Along the Way

As you cast off, you’re not just a mere spectator; you’re stepping into a role from a bygone era. Our Lugger doesn’t just glide through the waves for pleasure. With a cargo license in tow, she’s a working ship, transporting freight across the formidable English Channel. As you sail, you’ll be introduced to the rhythmic life of a sailor, diving into the 4-hour watch system. Hoist the sails, trim the rigging, or even take the helm with our seasoned crew by your side. It’s not just about reaching Brittany; it’s about forging memories with every nautical mile. And once the challenging channel is conquered, the Brittany coast lays out its treasures—secluded coves, quaint fishing villages, and nights spent anchored beneath a canopy of stars.

Grayhound out to play. Photo by Debbie Purser

Brest Maritime Festival

Stepping off the Grayhound and onto the bustling quays of Brest, festival-goers are instantly enveloped in an atmosphere of celebration and tradition. Dive into a myriad of activities – from hoisting sails on traditional ships, dancing to the rhythm of sea shanties, to savouring authentic Breton cuisine. Wander the docks and witness the splendour of tall ships, the meticulous craftsmanship of restored vessels, and the innovation of modern seafaring designs. As sea stories echo around, Brest 2024 promises an unparalleled immersion into the world of maritime wonders, making it a must-visit for every seafaring enthusiast.


July offers a prime opportunity for a splendid journey from Falmouth to Brest. As the North Atlantic High sets in, the English Channel bathes in moderate westerly winds and temperate weather. Sailors are treated to a comfortable blend of sunshine, interspersed with gentle cloud cover, with temperatures ranging from a pleasant 18°C to 24°C.

The seas during this season are typically moderate, showcasing their calm yet occasionally playful side. Despite the potential for spirited waves and the channel’s strong tidal currents, the voyage remains a delightful experience. Under the guidance of a seasoned crew and the allure of midsummer, the journey becomes as enchanting as the destination itself.


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.

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 Grayhound

What is included

  • Duvets, linen, pillows
  • Sailing instruction
  • All meals on board (professional chef)
  • Tea, coffee, biscuits, fruit and day time snacks.
  • Night watch snacks (if applicable)
  • You don't have to do the cleaning, but help with the washing up is always appreciated.
  • Waterproof and insulated jackets and trousers
  • Life Jacket and safety equipment, we also have child automatic life jackets.
  • Charging facilities for phones, cameras and tablets etc.

What is not included

  • Towels
  • Travel to joining port
  • Tours, shore expeditions with any hire vehicle or local guide (optional & shared costs)
  • Personal travel insurance See Topsail Insurance LINK
  • There is no bar on board so you might like to bring a bottle or two of wine to enjoy with meals. You can also buy organic sailed cargo wine, red, white and rose onboard.

What to Bring

Don't forget, Grayhound is 108ft overall so she will not always fit into small yacht marinas and she will often have to anchor off in the bay or port. Be prepared to get into a small boat with your luggage and pack sensibly protecting any vulnerable items like cameras. Grayhound has waterproof and insulated flotation jackets and trousers on board which are very warm. In summer or hot locations you may wish to bring some lightweight waterproofs. Even in the Caribbean you can get tropical downpours or spray on deck when sailing in strong winds. A mobile phone so you can ring the ship in an emergency or if you are running late on joining day. Also it means we can contact you if we have to change the joining port for any reason. Grayhound's phone number will always be supplied with your balance confirmation e-mail. Shoes with a good grip for deck & aloft Rubber Boots or second pair of shoes for wet weather or getting in/out of dinghies Swim suit & beach towel. You are welcome to bring snorkel and mask - especially worth it in the Caribbean or Cape Verde. Suntan lotion & sunglasses - consider sunblock and lip salve protection in Canaries, Cape Verde, Trans Altantic, Caribbean. Sun hat / warm hat, scarves, gloves Clothes that dry quickly. Mix of warm, waterproof & windproof layers Small rucksack for going ashore Travel insurance documents/tickets Personal medicines/ spectacles Spending money/passport Camera/binoculars etc Phone chargers. 240 generator on board UK three pin sockets. We welcome musical instruments and you can plug in ipods or CDs into ships stereo. There are storage areas for each bunk . Please pack in a soft rucksack or bag. A torch is useful as a few baggage spaces are at the foot of bunks with reading light at other end. There is no alcohol to buy on board, so you are welcome to bring a bottle or two to drink with meals. If you decide to buy some on arrival You can also buy Grayhound t shirts, mugs and Breton tops from our ship's shop we accept pounds or euros.



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.


Thanks all for a great time, I really enjoyed it. Fastest Channel crossing I have managed!


An unforgettable experience


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.


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.


Outstanding and unforgettable experience. Loved learning the lug rig, meeting the crew and other guests, playing an active role on board.


Brilliant sail on an interesting boat with friendly and knowledgeable people.

learning to steer at a young age on Grayhound
learning to steer at a young age on Grayhound

Vessel Gallery

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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