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Best Voyages for Sailing and Walking

Tecla skipper on a high summit in the Faroes

Sailing & Walking Holidays

A pair of walking boots might not feature in many yachting magazines, but you will often find them listed on our sailing holiday kit lists.  Classic Sailing pioneered Cornish sailing and walking breaks many years ago with Country Walking Magazine, and the chance to stride out along a section of the South West Coast Path is still possible on our Cornwall and Devon voyages.  Looking further afield we now offer a wide range of exploration or island hopping voyages where a good walk ashore is a key part of the experience.  There is nothing more natural after a long sea passage to want to go ashore and stretch your legs.

Love Trekking?  Try a floating base as your 'Bothy'

If you enjoy trekking holidays then one of our sailing and walking voyages might be the next thing to try.  If you have never sailed then don't worry as full training is given so you can participate in the sailing.  If you are not sure if you will enjoy the combination then maybe try a 3 day sailing and walking voyage in Cornwall or perhaps a 6 day Scotland short break.

Some of the day walks we enjoy in Cape Verde, Madiera, Greenland or South Georgia in Antarctica are as spectacular and exceptional as anything you would find in a worldwide trekking brochure.  If you don't believe us then just look at the photos.  The majority of our big walks are led by a member of the crew or a specialist wildlife guide.

Eda Frandsen waiting for walkers in the wilds of Knoydart, Scotland
Eda Frandsen waiting for walkers in the wilds of Knoydart, Scotland

Adventure Afloat; Explore Ashore

We chose our sailing locations more for their wildlife, natural scenery and idyllic anchorages, than facilities ashore. Our skippers will awake the natural explorer in you. Be the first to go ashore and make footprints in the sand; sail silently under towering Norwegian cliffs; fend off over-friendly penguins ashore or take a zodiac ride between stranded icebergs in Antarctica. There is nothing wrong in hugging an oak tree after a gale at sea, or re-living your childhood on a Cornish beach....We are not complete wilderness purists though. We do find the pub eventually !

Forays Ashore - rowing boats, gigs and zodiacs

If your charter boat does not have a decent dinghy (or two) to explore ashore, then we think you will have an impoverished view of what sailing is all about. Our pilot cutter in Cornwall Agnes has a rowing tender and another ships boat with an outboard. Lugger Grayhound has two 16ft gig boats and all our tall ships have large zodiac dinghies and well practiced landing techniques. We bring out the explorer in you....

Scotland, Outer Hebrides and St Kilda Voyages

The deep waters between the Western Isles are homes to Minke Whale, basking sharks and you often see seals swimming accross the firths. Sea Eagles make their home on Rum and Lunga and the Shiant Islands have puffins. Gaff Cutter Eda Frandsen offers week long summer wildlife adventures amongst the Highlands and Islands.  She has worked with local mountain guides for several years so knows good places to anchor for a trip into the hinterland, or a circular walk before supper.

Brixham Sailing Trawler Leader has a few strategically placed voyages for wildlife and stunning mountains, and sometimes has specialist voyages with a mountain leader.  See our Scotland destinations pages for more on the wildlife you might see.

Dates and Prices of all voyages and vessels in Scotland and the Hebrides

Isles of Scilly - beachcombers paradise - wander lonely as a cloud

We have several vessels that regularly visit the Isles of Scilly in summer, which offers excellent cetacean and bird watching opportunities. The walking is low level but rugged with paths through heather moorland, sand dunes, mud flats and flower fields. It is hard to get lost in the Isles of Scilly so you are free to wander the paths on islands free from traffic like St Martins, Tresco, Bryher. At low spring tide you can walk between some of the islands.

Isles of Scilly wildlife voyage dates and prices.

Guided Walks in Mountainous Spitsbergen - Beware Polar Bears

Classic Sailing offer a unique opportunity to explore  the Arctic Circle (Svalbard archipelago including Spitsbergen) on a tall ship Antigua. These voyages are supported by brilliant wildlife guides who run lectures, zodiac safaris and guided walks ashore.  The guide will carry a gun in case of polar bears, but the first plan is to frighten them off if they come to close.

Spitsbergen - Arctic Summer Voyage - descriptions, dates & prices

Guided Walks in East Greenland - Glaciers and Icebergs

Oak Schooner Hildur runs 7 day expeditions in Scorseby Sound, East Greenland each summer.  This is an Icelandic run vessel but the working language is English and the guest crew are a great mix of nationalities.  The walking is amazing in this heavily glaciated landscape.  Dwarf trees and shrubs flower and go red and amber at the end of the brief summer and are almost too precious to walk on.  The granite and gneiss underfoot is well smoothed by the path of past glaciers so walking is straightforward and colourful, even though you are probably pioneering a walk where no other human has trod.  The Arctic guide will carry a gun but wolves and polar bears are rare.  A chance encounter with a herd of Musk Ox might make you hide behind the guide though !  The mountains around you include vertical rock walls that look like Patagonia or spires like the Alps.  The ever present Greenland Icecap, calving glaciers and icebergs remind you that you are in a polar landscape.

East Greenland Arctic Summer Expeditions - descriptions, dates & prices

Arctic Greenland Expeditions - Brochure & Travel Blog

Walks in Antarctica and South Georgia

The chance to walk in South Georgia is rare. Most expedition cruise ships buy a landing pass for 1-3 days with limited access to the interior of this Mountainous Island in the Southern Ocean. Tall ship Europa has been exploring Antarctica and South Georgia for over 11 years and each year spends about 7-8 days in the anchorages of this amazing wildlife oasis on a very special 7 week voyage.

If you have less time then her 21 day sailing expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula offer some great short walks amongst prolific wildlife.

First hand account of Best Antarctic Treks by our tall ship crews

Antarctic & South Georgia Voyages on Bark Europa- voyage descriptions, dates & prices

Oceanic Islands & Mountains

We prefer an anchorage nestled below impressive cliffs or mountains or rocking gently off a deserted beach listening to the sounds of nature, rather than tied up to a pontoon amongst the rattle of wire halliards on aluminum masts. Archipelagoes, isolated volcanic outposts in the middle of oceans, or mixing with resourceful islanders from Benebecula in Scotland to Cape Verde off Senegal or Tristan da Cuhna in the middle of nowhere are what we look for in our longer voyages.

South Georgia, Tristan da Cuhna, St Helena, Acension & Azores on Barque Europa - each spring

Mountainous coastlines also feature frequently in our chosen sailing grounds. Scotland, South Georgia, Norway, Spitsbergen, Corsica, Canaries, Madiera....and many more. A foray ashore to climb the highest viewpoint is a popular activity, but for some anchorages just gazing at the summits with a glass of wine in hand is enough after the exertions of sailing !


Walking & Sailing in Hot Places

In Cape Verde, Madiera and the Canaries we often arrange jeep safaris or hire cars to get you to the best walking.  On some Caribbean islands you might want to cheat a bit too, to get really high or enjoy a ridge walk or decent back down to the sea.

We recommend Lugger Grayhound as the owners Freya and Marcus love walking and know the Canaries, Caribbean and Madiera well. in 2013 they are running a specific voyage which combines sailing, whale watching and mountain walks around the beautiful island of La Gomera in the Canaries and Madiera.  In autumn 2014 they will do similar voyages as part of their regular Atlantic circuit.

The Dutch run Oosterschelde have a small crew who love exploring with guests in Cape Verde and they are also off around the world, so are bound to go walking in South Africa, Mauritius, Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand when they are in port.

Bessie Ellen is based in the Canaries each winter and has discovered several good walks for guests to try, away from the tourist fleshpots in Tenerife or in the interior of the lovely Las Palmas or La Gomera.



Cape Verde for flying fish & bonito - Winter sun on tall ship Oosterschelde in Cape Verde

" Pack your boots...and sign on before the mast"

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