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Portland to Portugal Across the Bay of Biscay

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Embark Disembark Vessel DurationVoyage No
Wed 19-10-2022, 16:00Portland, UK Tue 01-11-2022, 10:00Lisbon, Portugal Tenacious 13 NightsTNS615

Join Tenacious in Portland and sail across the Bay of Biscay towards the north western tip of Spain and onto the coast of Portugal with its picturesque city’s. Explore this ancient city with fine architecture, loads of cultural and soak up the atmosphere of Lisbon.

  • Voyage
  • Vessel


  • Suitable for experienced sailors
  • Miler building passage
  • Sail down the English Channel
  • Bay of Biscay
  • Portuguese coastline
  • End in the postcard-perfect capital city, Lisbon
  • Bursaries available


Vessel type / Rig Barque
Guest Berths 38-40
Beam 10.6m
Draft 4.58m
Deck Length 54m
Overall Length 65m
Tonnage 586
Year Built 2000 – Carvel hull made of laminated wood.
More about the Vessel

Voyage Description


Join our extraordinary tall ship’s mixed-ability crew for an epic 1,200 nautical mile sailing challenge!

Sailing out of the Jurassic Coast port of Portland (Weymouth), we’ll be heading out of the English Channel and Western Approaches, where you’ll have the chance to get up to speed with sail handling, keeping watch, helming the ship, climbing the rigging and much more.

Then the challenge really begins as we sail southwards towards the sunnier climate of Lisbon. A passage across the Bay of Biscay is a true test to discover your capabilities, build your resilience and form strong friendships among our inclusive team. You can be sure our Captain will make the best use of emerging weather patterns and design an exciting adventure.

This 14-day nautical adventure will offer a true taste of freedom, exploring spectacular scenery which is inaccessible on land. Along the way, even those who have sailed with us before will enjoy the chance to learn about the ability and potential of both themselves and others. One thing is for certain, the weather will be warmer at the end of the voyage than where you started!


  • Depart from the Portland
  • Sail a magnificent three masted masted barque.
  • Cross Biscay
  • Sail a tall ship on the open ocean at night under the stars
  • Good company, sunsets, and a bar when off watch
share the sunset with your shipmates
share the sunset with your shipmates


A 13 night tall ship adventure from a UK port.  Make a scene sailing out of Portland and enjoy an Autumn adventure down the English Channel,. Rouding Ilse de Ousant at the very Western end of Brittany.  As you cross Biscay you may can keep a sharp look out for dolphins, before you reach the corner of Spain and the Portguese rias. On the way down the coast to Lisbon the ship may stop in harbours like, A Coruna, Vigo or Porto, famous for its wine and sherry trade.

On an ocean passage like this the crew is divided into four watches so you only have to be involved in sailing the ship when on watch. It could be an overnight watch for 4 hours with only the glow of the ships navigation lights to give any clue that a huge sailing ship is slipping through the waves. The dawn watch often brings sunrises, deck swabbing and the smell of baking bread and breakfast. Off watch in the daytime you might find a coil of rope in the sun to curl up and read a book, or you might chose to climb the rigging for a birds eye view.

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 below is based on what we think might be possible, based on past trips, or experience, but nothing is guaranteed on a sailing voyage.


Sailing Holidays on Tenacious
Sailing Holidays on Tenacious

Ocean Passage – Biscay & the Atlantic Edge

Beyond Ushant you have sea room at last to understand the beauty of this big barque

If you are new to tall ship sailing there are lots of seamanship tasks to learn, from coiling like a pro to making lines secure on belaying pins. Learning the sail names is fun, whatever language you prefer. Even if you are an experienced sailor, it takes a bit of getting used to 3 masts.  

Sailing on Tall ship Tenacious

Portuguese Coast

There are beautiful islands off Vigo you may anchor off, but the ships crew will be keen to show your their home waters and coastal ports of Portugal. The ship hopes to stop in Porto if there is time on the way to her final destination of Lisbon. Porto is famous as a trading port for centuries – serving the Portuguese Sherry and wine trade. You can still see the barrels transported by boat.


Lisbon – Waterfront City

You might be a bit apprehensive about joining any sailing ship, but it is great for solo travellers as you are made welcome and soon introduced to sailing activities. Pulling ropes together and finding your way around the ship is always a great way of making friends quickly.

After a safety briefing and some basic sailing training, you set off on your adventure. At first, you are in the river for all the tourists to see, and setting sails on this historic sailing ship will certainly create a spectacle. Once out of the river, the ship might anchor off a beach resort for the night, or you could be straight off into the deep blue Atlantic.

Not an itinerary.

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 below is based on what we think might be possible, based on past trips, or experience, but nothing is guaranteed on a sailing voyage.


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.


  • Skipper & professional crew
  • Personal Safety Equipment
  • Sailing Instruction
  • All meals, snacks and refreshments
  • Port and landing fees
  • Linen and duvets
  • Third Party liability insurance


  • Travel to Joining Port
  • Travel from end port
  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • Towels
  • Waterproofs

Start & End Port

Portland, UK

Joining Tenacious in Portland for TNS506A – Photo ID has to be carried at all times at Portland, and if anyone is arriving by car they must give us their car registration number in advance.

Lisbon, Portugal

Yard of the Palace#

The exact location won’t be known until closer to the time, you will be informed by email once the exact position has been confirmed.

Make sure you take a note of the ship’s phone number to get in touch with them if there are any problems on the day.

Lisbon is a marvellous City, grand architecture and the Yard of the Palace shown above, narrow streets that climb up the hillside, jump on one the historic trams is it winds it away along the lanes.

Trams in Lisbon

Kit List

Tenacious & Lord Nelson Kit List


  • All bedding
  • Heavy duty wet weather gear and boots
  • Harnesses
  • All meals and soft drinks throughout the voyage

What is not included

Travel to and from the start and end port
Alcoholic Beverages
Towels - You will need to bring your own towels (including one for swimming if you plan to swim)

What to bring 

Please keep personal gear to a minimum as there is very limited stowage space.

Clothing - What to wear
It can be noticeably cooler at sea than on land, especially at night. So come prepared. Also, please bring enough clothing for the duration of the voyage as we are not able to do personal washing for you, except on ocean passage voyages.

Shoes - Soft soled shoes – deck shoes or trainers. In warm weather, sandals are fine, but not flip-flops.
Gloves - You will be handling ropes so sailing or other non-slip gloves will be useful.
Fleece/warm sweater, sweat shirts, warm hat
Jeans/Trousers (+a pair for mess duty)
Shorts, T Shirts
Shower proof jacket/sailing jacket
Sun Hat, Sun Screen
Swimming costume

You may want to bring some warmer clothes in early/late season

Thin fleece/light sweater
Shorts, T Shirts, Tops
Sun hat
Thin trousers and long sleeve shirts/blouses (in case of sunburn)
Long trousers plus closed front shoes for mess duty
Swimming costume
High factor sun screen, mosquito repellent
Thin shower proof jacket

On voyages from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean, you may require a few
items of warmer clothing at the start.
These voyages are in the spring and autumn so the weather can be cold.

Fleece/warm sweaters
Sweatshirts/light sweaters
Jeans, Trousers (you will need long trousers for mess duty)
Warm hat, scarf, gloves
Long Johns, vests, T shirts
Warm shower proof jacket/sailing jacket

Remember that several thinner layers are warmer than one thick one!

Flip-flops are not considered suitable footwear on board ship, though sandals may be appropriate in hot weather.

• Passport (Even voyages with UK departure and arrival ports usually call into at least one foreign port during a voyage)
• Joining Instructions from Tenacious Ship's Office (please leave a copy with your next of kin)
•Insurance Policy
•Your return air ticket if you are joining or leaving the ship outside the UK. (Antigua will not allow you into the country without an air ticket out or proof of your means of departure. Your joining instructions are your proof.)
Tall Ship Guide and Logbook

• You must bring enough to last the duration of your voyage and your journey. If you are flying to join the ship we suggest you pack your medicines in your hand baggage – but please check current airport security regulations.
• Earplugs/Eye mask,  If you think your sleep might be disturbed by the noise of the generator engine or lights.
• Spectacles/ Sunglasses with a cord to keep them safe.

• Enough for the whole voyage.
• High factor sun cream
• Mosquito repellent.

There are 240v UK sockets for razors and hairdryers

• Sterling – to use in the bar for drinks, crisps, chocolate and to buy souvenirs in the shop (including JST clothing etc.)
• UK Voyages usually call into a European port so you will need Euros
•Canary Island Voyages – Euros
•Caribbean Voyages – US$, East Caribbean $ and Euros (many of the
Caribbean Islands are French)
•For countries outside the EU – local currency
•On leaving the Caribbean you may be charged $50EC departure tax
at the airport.
•On board we only accept Visa and Mastercard Credit Cards although
we would prefer cheques (sterling only)
•We DO NOT accept: debit cards, Solo or Maestro on board

• Valuables – we do not have any lockable spaces on board.
• Suitcases or rigid bags – your personal possessions must be brought in soft bags for ease of stowing.


What was the best bit? Experiencing life on a tall ship and what it must have been like for sailors In the past. R. Waters Tenacious  2019

The best bit was setting the sails. The voyage had a good mix of sailing and ashore. I sailed because it was part of my Bucket List. The Captain and crew, the food, accommodation and safety briefing were all excellent. Kenneth C. August 2018

5 stars - I found a ship (Tenacious) on your site that was sailing from Auckland to the Falklands. I jumped at the chance and now can say with a bit of pride that I have sailed around Cape Horn on a square rigger. WOW and THANKS for your site." Classic Sailing Facebook.  Mike N. 

I was on board the Tenacious with Mates4Mates when it sailed from Brisbane to Sydney. After getting over some seasickness, I had the time of my life. From climbing to the top of the main mast, helping to brace the yards and set the sails, helping stow away the sails, and helping out in the kitchen. It was a mind blowing experience that I would recommend to anyone and everyone.  William H.

Made me think about my life in a hole new light . I came out of hospital after a double fracture to the skull & a bleed on brain , feeling sorry myself when I was helped other people on the ship , people in wheelchairs & other disabilities I give myself a kick up the arse an thought wake up Vinnie you haven't such a bad injury have you?Thank you JST Clan" Vinnie S J 

I Recently returned to Florida from a three week voyage on Tenacious, sailing from Panama to Costa Rica. Exceeded all my expectations by a long shot. Fun, hard work, and great food. Beautiful and educational adventures ashore, along with wonderful friendships with a diverse crew. I feel totally rejuvenated. Try it!" Ernest R C

I am wheelchair bound and went on the Tenacious on Saturday. It was absolutely fantastic, to learn the ins and outs of a sailing. All the crew were so helpful and accommodating. Would do it again definitely. " Troy W from Melbourne, Australia


Where will your wheels and sails take you
Where will your wheels and sails take you


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