|Thu 18-07-2024, 17:30Brest
|Mon 22-07-2024, 10:00A Coruna
|Santa Maria Manuela
Enjoy a 4-day sailing adventure with Santa Maria Manuela, starting from the historic port of Brest and culminating in the vibrant city of La Coruña. Experience the thrill of traditional sailing across the Bay of Biscay, participate in sailing activities, and enjoy the serene beauty of the ocean. Witness the unique blend of maritime heritage and modern culture in both cities, making this journey perfect for both seasoned sailors and newcomers alike.
You’ll join Santa Maria Manuela in Brest – a city steeped in maritime history. As the Maritime Festival concludes, Brest’s harbour, having recently played host to over 2,500 boats globally, transforms into a vibrant hub of culture. Take a moment to immerse yourself in the festival’s aftermath – the live music, the eclectic street performances, and the rich culinary delights of France awaiting your indulgence before being welcomed aboard by Santa Maria Manuela’s friendly crew,
As Santa Maria Manuela gracefully departs Brest, you’ll venture south across the challenging waters of the Bay of Biscay. This stretch offers a splendid opportunity to witness diverse marine life, including dolphins playfully escorting the ship. The surrounding seascape, dotted with distant ships and the ever-changing hues of the ocean, provides a serene backdrop to our adventure.
Your voyage culminates in La Coruña, a city renowned for its blend of history and modernity. Should you extend your stay, we recommend visiting the Tower of Hercules, an ancient Roman lighthouse with breathtaking views, and exploring the city’s charming squares and medieval churches, each narrating stories of the past.
Expect a mix of conditions as we traverse the Bay of Biscay in July. The summer weather generally brings milder winds and calmer seas, ideal for those new to sailing. However, as seasoned sailors know, the Bay can be unpredictable, so we’re always prepared for a brisk sail.
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.
You are going to be spending some time in the ports you embark and disembark from. These aren’t just logistical points; they’re opportunities for further enrichment. Take an extra day to discover what’s beyond the harbour. It’s not merely about filling time; it’s about making the entire journey worthwhile.
Keeping in Touch The exact location of your ship may not be known until closer to your joining time, you will be informed by email once the exact position has been confirmed. Make sure you take a note of the ship’s mobile/cell phone number with you in case you are delayed or there are any other problems on the day.
History Brest is a living history book where the pages keep turning. The Château de Brest is a must-see, revealing layers of the city’s past, from medieval fortifications to WWII history. The National Navy Museum within the castle adds another layer of maritime heritage.
Culture The city’s festivals offer a glimpse of Brittany’s unique heritage. Astropolis, a summertime electronic music festival, may not be traditional, but it’s thoroughly Breton in spirit. The Festival of the Sea, held biennially, is a celebration of all things maritime and resonates deeply with any sailor’s soul.
Sites of Interest to a Sailor Head to the Pointe de Corsen for an awe-inspiring view where the Atlantic meets the Channel. While you’re at it, visit Phare du Petit Minou, a lighthouse that’s more than just a beacon for ships. It’s a beacon for the soul, especially during sunset or sunrise.
Entertainment Brest isn’t exactly Ibiza, but it’s no slouch either. The dockside bars offer local ciders and ales, while you’ll find a smattering of live music venues tucked away in the heart of the city.
Eating Out Brittany is famed for its seafood, so make a beeline for a waterside bistro and ask for the catch of the day. Don’t forget to try a local crêpe, or galette if you prefer something savoury.
Nature A bit further afield, the Armorique Regional Natural Park offers unparalleled hiking opportunities and splendid coastal scenery. If you’re looking for a bit of surfing or beachcombing, Plage du Moulin Blanc shouldn’t disappoint.
Unique Features What sets Brest apart is its gritty charm. This isn’t a glamourous Riviera resort; it’s a working port city with an edge, and that’s precisely its appeal.
Accommodation Well-known places include the Hôtel Center and the more upscale Oceania Brest Centre. For some relaxation, consider a day at the Les Sables Blancs Spa, though I suspect most sailors might find the sea breeze enough.
Official Tourist Website For more information, the Brest Tourist Office is your best bet.
Weather Brest Winter can be cold, wet, and windy but rarely extreme. Spring offers milder temperatures and fewer tourists. Summer is the most pleasant time, though it can get busy, with temperatures ranging from 15-25°C. Autumn is similar to spring but with more unpredictable weather.
Sea and Beyond: A Responsible Mariner’s Guide Since you’re already investing in a unique sailing adventure, why not extend that spirit to your travel choices? Opt for more sustainable methods of transport where possible like trains, coaches or sharing a car. If you fly, and we realise this may well be the case, you could research some ways to offset the carbon created by the flight.
Special Interests 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.
UK Direct flights to Brest from London take under two hours. Trains from London to Brest are also an option, requiring a change in Paris.
Europe From Paris, you can catch a high-speed TGV train that will whisk you to Brest in about four hours. There are also regional flights from cities like Lyon and Marseille.
North America No direct flights, so you’ll likely connect through Paris or another European hub. Then take either a domestic flight or train to Brest.
Australia The most straightforward route involves a long-haul flight to a major European city like London or Paris, followed by a shorter connecting flight or train journey to Brest.
The exact location of your ship within the harbour will be given in time for your voyage.
How to Get There
From the UK
The most straightforward way to get to A Coruña from the UK is by plane. Direct flights are available from London to A Coruña Airport, which is about 8 km from the city centre. If you fancy a road trip, you can drive through France and Spain, but be prepared for a journey that could take upwards of 20 hours. Coaches are also available but are the least recommended due to the long travel time.
If you’re coming from other parts of Europe, flights are plentiful and usually quite affordable. Alternatively, you can take a train into Madrid and then a domestic train to A Coruña. The Spanish rail system is efficient and offers a scenic journey.
From North America
Transatlantic flights usually land in Madrid or Barcelona. From there, you can catch a domestic flight to A Coruña or opt for a train journey if you’re not in a rush.
For our mates down under, the journey is a long one. The most practical way is to fly into a major European hub like London or Madrid and then take a connecting flight to A Coruña.
What to Do in A Coruña
The Tower of Hercules, an ancient Roman lighthouse, is a must-see. It’s not just a historical marvel but also offers panoramic views of the Atlantic. The city is also home to several museums like the Museum of Fine Arts and the Archaeological Museum.
A Coruña is rich in Galician culture. The city comes alive during the Festival of María Pita, celebrating a local heroine. Traditional Galician music and dance are integral to the city’s cultural fabric.
Sites of Interest to a Sailor
The coastline here is a sailor’s dream. Riazor and Orzán beaches offer stunning views of the Atlantic. The coastline is dotted with smaller harbours, and while we don’t care for marinas, these are charming spots to drop anchor. Don’t miss the Punta Herminia and the Monte de San Pedro for some of the best views.
The city has a vibrant nightlife with a plethora of bars and clubs. Live music is common, and you’ll often find traditional Galician tunes being played alongside modern genres.
Seafood is the star of the show here. Octopus, shellfish, and hake are local favourites. For a unique dining experience, try the ‘pulpeiras,’ or octopus stalls.
Beyond the sea, A Coruña offers lush landscapes and parks. The Garden of San Carlos offers a peaceful retreat, and for those looking to hike, the Fragas do Eume natural park is just a short drive away.
What sets A Coruña apart is its blend of modernity and tradition, its love for the sea, and its warm, welcoming people. It’s a place where every sunset over the Atlantic feels like a personal performance, just for you.
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.
We had the most amazing time. The crew were so friendly and helpful, the food was great throughout, and the cabins were really comfortable. We both climbed the rigging as the sun was setting over Porto Santo to round off a brilliant last day with the new friends we met. Thanks for the wonderful experience.Ian & Dayna
I have sailed many times on tall ships, this is by far the best yet.Richard
Terrific crew and ship and a lovely passage to the Azores. Crew and guests were very good and patient with someone who only spoke English. This is a terrifically well run vessel. 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 operations. Very many thanks.Keith
An amazing ship and amazing crew.David
We had a terrific and adventurous time on board during Sachsen Sail in the Bay of Biscay. Thank you to all Santa Maria Manuela crew members!Mario
Un voilier merveilleux avec un équipage très sympathique. Merci pour tout.
A splendid ship with a very kind crew. Thank you for everything.Marie-Francoise
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