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Two Festivals and Great Sailing

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Embark Disembark Vessel DurationVoyage No
Tue 09-04-2024, 16:00Castellón de la Plana, Spain Fri 12-04-2024, 10:00Port Vendres, France Santa Maria Manuela 3 NightsSM090424 V2

Soak up the festival atmosphere of Castellon and Port Vendres festivals

This 4-day sailing adventure from Castellon to Port-Vendres aboard the Santa Maria Manuela is a festival lovers dream! Experience the thrill of traditional sailing on a historic 1937 tall ship. Immerse yourself in the Escale à Castellon festival, learn the art of sailing, and soak in the breathtaking Mediterranean views. You’ll be joined by several other tall ships travelling in full sail from ne festival to the other – which is always a lot of fun and an unforgettable sight! Discover Port-Vendres, a picturesque fishing port rich in history and natural beauty. This voyages promises to be lots of fun from start to finish!

  • Voyage
  • Vessel


  • Soak up the festival atmosphere of Castellon and Port Vendres festivals
  • Sailing in company with other tall ships
  • Enjoy breathtaking vistas of the Mediterranean coastline as you sail along the Côte d’Azur.
  • Friendly professional crew

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


Setting Sail from Castellon

Calling all festival lovers! Join Santa Maria Manuela in the bustling port of Castellon. The town is alive with the Escale à Castellon festival, offering a vibrant mix of maritime heritage, great food and music. Explore the town’s landmarks, like El Fadrí’s towering medieval bell tower and the 17th-century splendour of Kanamo Market, before boarding our magnificent vessel. After enjoying all the festival has to offer, you’ll set sail for the next one in the company of several other Tall Ships!

Along the Way

As you chart our course along the majestic Côte d’Azur, soak in the Mediterranean’s spectacular vistas. We recommend getting as hands on with all aspects of sailing this stunning ship. Your professional crew will teach you everything you need to know to take part. Learning the art of sail handling and feeling the thrill of steering a 4-masted schooner makes this voyage more than just a holiday! Weather permitting, seize the opportunity for a refreshing swim or enjoy the ship’s kayaks and paddleboards.

Arriving in Port-Vendres

Your journey culminates in picturesque Port-Vendres, nestled at the Albères mountains’ base. This charming fishing port, with its deep-water harbour, is a gateway to the stunning Catalan coast. Enjoy the fun at Port Vendres festival, and if you’re able to extend your stay further, why not explore the Tower Madeloc for panoramic views, or wander through vineyard-laced terraces. The historical significance of Port-Vendres, named after a temple to Venus, adds a layer of intrigue to your visit!


April’s sea conditions along this route are generally favourable, with mild Mediterranean breezes and gentle waves. Expect comfortable sailing weather, with the chance of brisk winds adding excitement to your tall ship experience. The climate is typically mild and spring-like, ideal for both sailing and onshore exploration.


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

Castellón de la Plana, Spain


Castellon de la Plana spain med coast.

The 700-year Moorish invasion had a profound effect on the shaping of Spain, and nowhere more so than on the Mediterranean coast. Castellón is both a province and a city port situated 100km North of Valencia. It is on the same latitude as Mallorca. If you go a little way inland from the coastal resorts and up onto the mountain slopes you will see ancient Arab methods of irrigation still used in the fertile groves of orange, lemon, cherry and almond can smell the Valencia ‘orange blossom’

Certainly, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of what makes Castellón de la Plana a destination worth dropping anchor for.

How to Get There
If you’re hailing from the UK, Europe, North America, or Australia, you’ve got a variety of travel options to reach Castellón de la Plana.

By Plane: Castellón-Costa Azahar Airport is your nearest landing spot, well-linked to major European cities. A quick taxi ride will land you in the city centre.

By Train: The city is well-served by Spain’s extensive rail network, making it a convenient option for travellers from within Spain or neighbouring European countries.

By Ferry: The closest port for international ferries is in Valencia, roughly an hour’s drive away.

By Coach or Bus: Various coach services offer long-distance routes to Castellón de la Plana from different parts of Europe. Once you’re in the city, local buses are a handy way to get around.

What to Do in Castellón de la Plana

History: The city is a living museum with landmarks like the El Fadrí bell tower and the Co-cathedral of Saint Mary. For art and history buffs, the Museum of Fine Arts is a must-see.

Culture: The city is a vibrant centre of Valencian culture. Keep an eye out for traditional festivals like the Magdalena Festivities, which offer a rich tapestry of local arts and traditions.

Sites of Interest to a Sailor: The coastline here is a feast for the eyes. Serradal Beach is perfect for a leisurely walk, and the surrounding area offers intriguing headlands and bays.

Entertainment: When the sun sets, the city comes alive with a range of bars, clubs, and live music venues. Whether it’s traditional flamenco or modern beats, Castellón de la Plana has something for everyone.

Eating Out: The city’s culinary landscape is as diverse as its culture. From traditional Valencian paella to avant-garde fusion dishes, your taste buds are in for a treat. The Mercado Central is a haven for food lovers, offering fresh produce and local treats.

Nature: If you’re looking to swap sea legs for hiking boots, the Desierto de las Palmas Natural Park is your go-to. For those willing to venture a bit further, the Columbretes Islands offer diving and snorkelling opportunities.

Unique Features: What sets Castellón de la Plana apart is its harmonious blend of history, natural beauty, and a bustling cultural scene. It’s a place where you can enjoy a rich historical tour in the morning, a nature hike in the afternoon, and a lively night out, all without skipping a beat.

Port Vendres, France

Port Vendres France

How to Get There

From the UK:
Your best bet is to fly into Perpignan or Barcelona and then take a train or hire a car. If you fancy a road trip, it’s about a 12-hour drive from London.

From Europe:
The train system is your friend. Direct routes from major cities like Paris and Barcelona make it a breeze. If you’re coming by car, the motorways are well-maintained and signposted.

From North America:
Fly into Barcelona or Toulouse and then take a connecting flight to Perpignan. From there, it’s a short train ride or car hire away.

From Australia:
You’ll likely have to make a couple of stops, but aim for Barcelona or Toulouse as your European entry point. From there, local travel options are the same as those from North America.

What to Do in Port Vendres

Port Vendres has a rich tapestry of history. The town has been around since Roman times, and you can still see remnants of this past at the Obelisk Square. Don’t miss the Charles Rennie Mackintosh trail, which celebrates the Scottish artist and architect who spent his final years here.

The local Catalan culture is vibrant and inviting. From traditional dances to the annual Fishermen’s Festival, there’s always something happening. The art scene is also quite lively, thanks in part to the town’s stunning natural light.

Sites of Interest to a Sailor:
Ah, now we’re talking my language. The harbour is a bustling mix of fishing boats, yachts, and cargo ships. And the coastal views? Simply breathtaking.

The nightlife here is more laid-back than rowdy. Think wine bars with sea views and intimate live music venues rather than thumping nightclubs. It’s the sort of place where the entertainment often comes from the people you’re with and the stories you share.

Eating Out:
Seafood is the star of the show, as you’d expect. From casual beachside shacks serving up the catch of the day to fine dining establishments, the culinary scene is diverse. Don’t leave without trying the local oysters or Bouillabaisse.

Beyond the harbour, you’ll find rugged cliffs and secluded coves, perfect for hiking or a bit of solitude. The nearby Alberes Mountains offer more challenging trails and panoramic views.

Unique Features:
What sets Port Vendres apart is its authenticity. This isn’t a tourist trap; it’s a working port town with real people going about their lives. It’s the sort of place that gets under your skin in the best way possible, compelling you to return.

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.


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.



Kit List

What to pack for a sailing holiday on Santa Maria Manuela

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


  • 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.


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.

sailing for beginners


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.


An amazing ship and amazing crew.


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!


Un voilier merveilleux avec un équipage très sympathique. Merci pour tout.

A splendid ship with a very kind crew. Thank you for everything.


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