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Scillies Sailing Holiday on Pilgrim

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Embark Disembark Vessel DurationVoyage No
Sun 23-06-2024, 12:00Falmouth, Cornwall Sat 29-06-2024, 12:00Falmouth, Cornwall Pilgrim 6 NightsPM230624

Explore the stunning Scillies

Join Pilgrim on our ever-popular Scillies Sailing Holiday. You’ll join the ship is the maritime hub of Falmouth, Cornwall. From there you’ll make the passage westward around the Lizard Peninsula and out to the Isles of Scilly. These spectacular islands are something really special. The stunning scenery and amazing marine wildlife are a real treat.  Usually we have a picnic or beach barbeque ashore during the trip. The surroundings are just splendid as are the sunrises and sunsets over the sea. Should the weather not permit a passage to the Islands, you will instead enjoy an alternative voyage exploring the picturesque Cornish coast. This really is a ‘bucket list’ destination and it one of our most popular trips so book early!

  • Voyage
  • Vessel


  • Skipper & professional crew teaching you to sail a 74ft Brixham Trawler 
  • The Isles of Scilly
  • Good wildlife spotting opportunities for cetaceans and seals
  • Bird watchers delight – at sea and ashore
  • Wild and Beautiful anchorages
  • Delicious food, snacks and refreshments on board including breakfast, lunch and evening meal.
  • Meet the islanders and possibly set foot on your own deserted islands
  • Comfortable berths and lot of space below decks


Vessel type / Rig Gaff Ketch
Guest Berths 10
Beam 17.5ft
Draft 10.5ft
Deck Length 74ft
Overall Length 94ft
Tonnage 90 tons
Year Built 1895
More about the Vessel

Voyage Description

Pilgrim – View of the Eastern Isles

Explore the beautiful Isles of Scilly aboard Pilgrim

Journeying from Cornwall, past numerous coves and iconic harbours, beyond Lands End and out into the Atlantic Ocean can be challenging or a cracking sail. The bigger your sailing ship the more comfortable the ride across a stretch of water that is rarely still. Your prize for being a salty offshore sailor for 10-15 hours is arriving in the beautiful and stunning Isles of Scilly. Learn the ropes on the way, wave at Wolf Rock Lighthouse as you pass and take photographs of dolphins, whales and seabirds as you ‘hiss’ through the waves arriving in the aquamarine clear waters of the Scillies. One of the first things that will amaze you will be the vivid colours of the sea, the dazzling white sand beaches….and a lot of rocks. Ideal for those who have sailed before and are keen to test themselves on two offshore passages, experience remote anchorages and see intricate pilotage in action.  A resilient novice that is up for a challenge would love these voyages too.

Departing from Cornwall

The 65 mile passage to the Scillies is a really great way to learn the ropes of a beautiful traditional wooden ship. The voyage starts and finishes in Cornwall in the stunning nautical port of Falmouth.  Once on board and after a brief introduction and run through health & safety you and your fellow crew members will be setting Pilgrim up to sail out of Falmouth and out to sea. 

Passing between Pendennis Point and St Anthony lighthouse Pilgrim will be bound for the Lizard and down the unspoilt coastline passing Coverack, Cadgwith and zip around the Lizard light with the tide. Its a long way across Mounts Bay but you might see the famous St Michael’s Mount. After leaving Land’s End behind you Wolf Rock lighthouse is your next focal point and you will really begin to start feeling that you are out sailing on the Atlantic Ocean. As there can be strong tides and shallow seamounts around the Lizard Point and Lands End these upswellings and currents are ideal for sea-life to feed on and you are likely see basking sharks, ocean seabirds diving, dolphins, or perhaps whales –  so be sure to have your camera ready!  

The thrill of spotting the Isles of Scilly when this fascinating archipelago first appears over the horizon never goes away, however many times you visit. Choosing and making your destination in the Scillies is greatly cherished because not only do you arrive in style under sail but you have been part of the journey, your effort and team work has made it possible. You get a sense of achievement never found arriving by ferry or plane.

Exploring the Islands

Your days in amongst the islands will be about exploring and anchoring in quiet bays surrounded by sandy beaches. You will get to know this fabulous archipelago from a sailor’s point of view sailing round the rocks from island to island. Tresco, St Martin, St Agnes, St Mary’s are just a few to name. The pilotage between the islands is complex and fascinating if you are interested in navigation. 

Look out for Atlantic grey seals in the Western rocks or in among the kelp beds. Take the opportunity to snorkel or swim in the clear water of Scilly’s many wonderful bays, or ramble round on foot to experience the local flora and fauna ashore. 

The deserted white glittering beaches are reminiscent of the Seychelles and the Isles of Scillies is renowned for incredible cyrstal clear turquoise waters. If you do take a dip in the sea be warned as the sea water is refreshingly fresh all year round! Exploring ashore is a key part of the holiday with tropical Tresco Abbey Gardens to visit, or you can wander lonely as a cloud over purple heathland or beach comb amongst the oystercatchers. 

There is NO light pollution on the Scillies so star gazing at night is exceptional and words can hardly prepare you for the sunrises and the sunsets enhancing the peace and tranquility that these beautiful islands will offer you whilst sailing on a beautiful traditional boat. When the Skipper sees the a safe weather window to return to Falmouth you will leave the beautiful islands and return to Cornwall where you will disembark having experienced an memorable adventure where you have increased your sailing knowledge and made some new friends! 


On a sailing voyage we never use the word itinerary, as skippers will always be aiming for the best sailing and shore landings for the forecast and most idyllic or sheltered anchors and ports. They are as keen as you to include some of the highlights described below, but you have to go with Mother Nature, not fight her. The description above is based on what we think might be possible, based on past trips, or experience, but nothing is guaranteed on a sailing voyage. The Scillies has several anchorages and harbours that suit different directions of swell and wind, but no single anchorage out there can be considered a storm haven, safe in all wind and swell combinations. If the ship is unable to safely reach the Scillies, or you are in the Scillies and the forecast weather takes a turn for the worse, then the skipper may have to seek alternative sailing grounds like mainland Cornwall. They will do there best to provide a voyage similar in spirit and flavour to a voyage based in the Scillies.


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.


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.


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 Pilgrim


  • Sailing Instruction
  • Safety Equipment (Life jackets and harnesses)
  • All meals to include refreshments throughout the day
  • Bed linen, duvet, pillows

What is not included

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Towels
  • Travel Insurance (see below)

What to Bring

Please limit yourself to one soft bag or rucksack as there is limited storage space on board. No suitcases please!

Pilgrim does not provide waterproofs. So you need to bring waterproof jacket and trousers. These don't have to be sailing waterproofs. Any good outdoor waterproofs should keep you warm and dry. If you are sailing on a longer voyage or in early spring or autumn you will find the sailing or mountaineering salopette type waterproof trousers will keep you warmer than walking trousers with waist. If you need any advice please ring us on 01872 580022

Please Note: Pilgrim requires ‘Insurance for more than 12 miles offshore’ on all trips of more than 1 night. This is because on these longer trips they often need to go offshore to reach the destination. E.g. Start Point to the Helford may involve us tacking south of the Eddystone Light. Classic Sailing require all guests to take out adequate and appropriate insurance on all voyages longer than a daysail. If you're sailing on a multi day voyage with Pilgrim please ensure your insurance covers Pilgrims above requirements. If you need any advice please ring us on 01872 580022

Please pack:

  • Waterproof jacket and trousers
  • Hats for sun and cold weather.
  • At least two sets of warm clothes - layers e.g. tracksuit bottoms, shirts, fleece jacket, wool jumpers, thick socks, and neck scarf. It can get cold at sea even in mid summer.
  • Swim suit, towel, and suntan lotion.
  • Flat shoes with a good grip e.g. trainers or sailing deck shoes.
  • Sailing boots or wellies as the sea can come over deck if rough*.
  • (An alternative to boots in summer is to bring another pair of flat shoes with a good grip in case the first pair get wet).
  • All terrain type sandals are great for dinghy trips ashore – but you do need shoes which protect your toes for sailing.
  • Scillies trips – Walking boots are useful and can be these can be worn on Pilgrims deck too
  • A small rucksack is useful for going ashore – especially on sailing and walking and Scillies voyages.
  • Camera, binoculars, sketchbook, a relaxing read.
  • Passport for French Voyages, Reciprocal Free Health Care card in Europe.
  • Please bring a passport on French trips or any 6 day voyage like Scillies where France could be an alternative venue.
  • Any medication, spare spectacles. Seasick tablets - check with your Doctor, which brand if you suffer asthma or are on medication.
  • RYA Cruising Logbook or similar if you want to log your sailing experience e.g. sea miles, night hours
  • Musical instruments are always welcome.

Pilgrim does not always have wine bottles for sale on board so you are welcome to bring modest quantities of alcohol e.g. to drink with evening meals, but drinking whilst sailing is not allowed.



Had a brilliant trip-many thanks to the crew!

Anonymous happy customer - July 2023

A fabulous first experience on a beautiful old ship. Skipper and crew were amazing. As was the food! Great Boat, Great Team, Great company. I would love to make a return trip and would highly recommend Pilgrim to anyone out there who is thinking about it. Sign up now! But leave a space for me please 🙂


Had an awesome time. Crew was superb and professional. Pilgrim is in fabulous shape.


Lovely boat and great crew. No question was too daft. A highly enjoyable education.


This was my first voyage on a tall ship and I had no previous experience of sailing. The crew were wonderful – friendly, calm and patiently explained and gave me confidence to help with sailing the boat. They also helped to build a warm, friendly and fun atmosphere among all of us onboard. I cannot wait until I have the opportunity to sail on Pilgrim again.


Sailing on Pilgrim was amazing. I loved every moment, she is totally beautiful. Swimming ashore and snorkelling. Building a fire on the beach. I love the freedom and peace being on the water, it's so natural and relaxing. I had such a great time with a great bunch of people.


I can't wait for the next time- sailing on Pilgrim isn't just a holiday, it's an adventure full of new experiences, friendship, laughter and fun.


A super day assisted by lovely sun and cloud, sheer joy at being on the water.


Fantastic few days sailing on Pilgrim, the experience was well past my expectations and this was the result of the crew who all worked very hard in making this an unforgettable experience.

Eddie P - Pilgrim Guest Feedback Photo
Eddie P - Pilgrim Guest Feedback Photo

Wow, what can I say about my first trip on the beautiful Pilgrim with Classic Sailing? It was amazing! I am still smiling about the utterly brilliant weekend. I booked this trip as a bit of an escape from the day to day normal life on the land and it was well worth it. I returned home more relaxed, a little sunburnt, but wanting to just jump straight back on board! I t was great fun being allowed to be involved in raising the sails and learning a bit of history about the vessel. If you hare thinking about booking a voyage, be it a day trip, weekend or longer... do it! I could not recommend it more highly and as a single traveller I also felt at ease and safe while on the whole voyage.


Brilliant, fantastic, I could not have wished for better. The crew couldn't do enough for us and made the day even more special. If you want to do something a bit different for a big birthday and something that your guests will talk about for a long time then I would highly recommend Pilgrim.


Pilgrim is a fantastic heritage project that deserves everyones support. I have sailed on her twice now and on both occasions the party has had a most wonderful sailing experience. Get out there and appreciate her!


The trip was one of the best experiences of my life and something I will never forget. Food was wonderful... beds were comfy... crew were faultless and very knowledgeable about the boat and its history. You can tell they have a true passion for their jobs. I would certainly return again and will be recommending to all I know!


Vessel Gallery

Restored Brixham Sailing Trawler Pilgrim 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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