|Sun 04-06-2023, 10:00Ostend, Belgium||Thu 08-06-2023, 17:00Le Havre, France||Morgenster||4 Nights||MR040623|
Enjoy a fascinating passage on a sailing ship, travelling aboard square rigger Morgenster from Ostend to Le Havre. Enjoy some exciting night-time sailing as you make passage through the North Sea and English Channel, aiming to sail all the way. There are plenty of options for fascinating port stops, too, depending on conditions. All meals are included during your voyage, and you can continue your adventures shoreside in the fascinating city of Le Havre.
|Vessel type / Rig||Brig|
The trip departs from Ostend, “City by the Sea” and Belgium’s largest seaside resort. Ostend was once on an island, but since the 14th century it wanders inland, with the sea reclaiming the deserted part. Every now and then remnants of an earlier version of Ostend are rediscovered.
Today Ostend has a large fishing fleet, which provide the major ingredient for the city’s renowned shrimp croquettes!
Leaving Ostend, we navigate between the sandbanks to the open sea where we see huge seagoing ships steaming towards the mouth of the Western Scheldt. Together we hoist the sails of the Morgenster (the crew explains exactly how to do this- no previous experience required).
As darkness falls the lights of buoys, wind farms and ships pop up all around. Sailing at night is magical, and in these busy waters it is also fascinating. The crew can explain how to read the language of the lights to make sense of what’s going on around you.
The North Sea is one of the busiest waterways in the world and because the channel here is already quite narrow, it becomes so busy that a shipping highway is needed to keep everything running smoothly. Sailing among the mastodons of the sea you feel insignificant and realize the enormous amounts of goods we ship around the world.
Meanwhile, the coast of England is already in sight because we sail through the English Channel and here the North Sea is only 30 kilometers wide. This trip is planned with wide margins so we should be able to do it completely by sail, but that makes us dependent on the wind. When making good progress, there is time to make a stopover. With so many options on both the French and English sides, where exactly we stop depends on the weather conditions at that time.
Le Havre is Normandy’s largest city and an architectural gem. Its maritime history can be seen everywhere, and the centre has been declared a World Heritage Site. Shaped by the plans of Auguste Perret, the city which was heavily mutilated during the war was given a new face.
Le Havre still derives its idiosyncratic character from its Brutalist architecture. Besides Perret, the architects Bellarmato, Thibault, Lamandé, Niemeyer, Reichen & Robert, and last but not least, Jean Nouvel have also designed important buildings in the city. Architecture enthusiasts will get their money’s worth here.
Demanding day trippers from Paris have ensured that the gastronomy in Le Havre is also of a high level, ranging from star restaurants to cozy bistros. The train station located at the harbour makes it easy to organise the continuation of your journey.
The north sea can be a bit exciting, but the crew know exactly how to set the sails to keep the ship as stable and balanced as possible, and sailing (rather than motoring) is always a more comfortable way of moving through the water. Be prepared for the itinerary to change, however, if there are any very strong winds or foul weather forecast, as the captain will have to make the most of the conditions provided to them.
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.
Make sure you make a note of the ship’s phone number, found in your confirmation to help you find them on the day!
Le Havre is located in Normandy and sits on the right hand bank of the Seine as it opens out into the English Channel. It was founded by King Francis I in 1517, and is now the second largest port in France, with the largest container port. When the Tall Ships come in, it’ll be the last leg of the race and also Le Havre’s 500th anniversary.
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.
- Online Reviews
I loved it.
I loved everything about my week. The crew were fantastic, the ship was beautiful, the singing on the deck was great fun, the dolphins were around a lot. It was brilliant!
Least enjoy - Nothing.
Why do I Sail?
I love the ocean and have always loved boats. For this particular voyage I was also researching a children's book involving mermaids and pirates!
Liz K sailed in 2017
What was the best bit?
Climbing in the rigging, unfurling the sails on the yardarm.
The cameraderie between the paid and guest crew was second to none. A fantastic atmosphere. Singing in the evenings on deck accompanied by guitar and trumpet. New Year on St Lucia, we celebrated the New Year 3 times (once for Dutch/European time, once for GMT and once for Caribbean time).
The sun glinstering off the ocean surface like a thousand shards of broken mirror.......flying fish like small humming birds skimming over the surface of the water, dolphins on New Years day: what a start to 2019!
Too wonderful to describe, a life changing experience, I want to pack in my job and sail the world! (making plans now) - Carol from Caribbean Season 2019.
Great experience, will definitely be doing it again. Climbing the rigging was the best bit. 'First time' sailor. John M July 2018
"Thank you for a very nice trip, some hours on Kattegatt this afternoon. Beautiful boat, nice and joyful captain and crew. I loved it! Wish you all a really nice trip during Tall Ships Races. And I would love to join again someday for a longer trip." Camilla A. June 2017
Thank you Harry, Mariann and all your wonderful crew for an amazing week on Morgenster. Great food Will, such patient climbing instruction Michelle, fun birthday outing Evy and lovely guests from 80 to 22 years old. So many highlights but sailing at night with sparkling dolphins at the bow was truly breathtaking!" Sue G.
Just returned from 11 days sailing round Cape Verde. The whole experience was exceptional - friendly, knowledgeable and caring crew; wonderful sailing (the 4am night watch experience was particularly magical!); interesting trips exploring the islands; and great food." Julia G-F
Thank you Harry, Marian, Joost, Rene, Hessel & Willie for a fantastic week's sailing. I'll be humming sea shanties and saying "o nay!!!" for days! I really hope to sail with you again. Happy New Year" Kerry Mc C.
Had a fantastic trip around Cape Verde, Jan/Feb 2016. Lovely crew, felt like a family. Thanks to you all xxxx. Really special people and a holiday to remember. My penguins X" Louise G
What a fantastic time, thanks to everyone on the Morgenster both crew and passengers hope to see you all again, maybe next year?" George Mc L
Harry, Marian and their crew make your stay on board the Morgenster wonderful!" Aleike K
What was the best bit?
The trip was fabulous. The crew were incredibly supportive and even helped me overcome enough of my fear to get out onto the first yard. I felt that I was included in everything and that my contribution, however small, was appreciated. The food was excellent and there were plenty of drinks and snacks throughout the day. We had gorgeous weather all the way. I really enjoyed it. - Caribbean Season 2019 by Amanda G.
Tall Ship Morgenster 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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