Caribbean Tall Ship Voyages
Join Lord Nelson in the Caribbean for a combination of great sailing with the trade winds in your sails, and port visits to some spectacular islands which surround it. A ship open to all abilities with a friendly crew to welcome and train you to help sail the ship, whether you are a beginner or an experienced sailor. The ship is specially designed to give disabled and able bodied sailors a chance to share adventures on equal terms.
Lord Nelson - Caribbean Vacation Choices 2020
Three masted square rigger Lord Nelson sails into 2020 New Year with a 32 day trans Atlantic Voyage from the Canaries to Antigua. From mid February 2020 you can enjoy the following peak season Caribbean sailing holidays on this magnificent tall ship
- 11 day round trips from Antigua. visiting several islands
- Windward Isles circuit Southwards
- or northwards to explore the Leeward Islands
- An Caribbean mystery tour from Antigua - might be North or South
- NEW for 2020 - a more challenging 1100 mile island hopping journey - 14 days from Antigua to the Bahamas
- NEW for 2020 - an 11 day island hopping in the Bahamas from Nassau
Lord Nelson back in Antigua for 2020 - The ship, not the Admiral!
Lord Nelson loves Antigua, perhaps because of Nellie's namesake. The legendary Admiral Lord Nelson was stationed here. Perhaps its the dazzling white sandy beaches and spectacular coral reefs which tempted the ship back. Either way, you can join Lord Nelson for an adventure northbound towards Islands such as Anguilla, St Kitts & Nevis and the British Virgin Islands will all be in our path and make for idyllic places to visit. Breathtaking scenery is never far and will make for some incredible anchorages.
Choose between Leeward and Windward Isles....or both
This British sail training ship, built for able bodied and disabled adventurers, has four voyages island hopping in the Caribbean. As Antigua has good transport links and sits in the middle of the Caribbean Island chain, Lord Nelson's captain will head North to explore for one voyage and South for the next. If you really fancy 22 plus days in the sun exploring a huge range of islands in the Caribbean, then why not consider doing two voyages back to back. With NE trade winds and doing a circuit that starts and finishes in Antigua you will always get some downwind sailing or fast broad reaches
Trade Winds & Tropical Sun
The Caribbean West Indies is perhaps the most perfect sailing ground in the world in terms of wind, sunshine and variety of places to visit. The Caribbean sits squarely in the North East trade wind belt and this time of year is peak season and well outside the hurricane season. Ships like Lord Nelson revel in strong winds and turquoise seas and the white square sails look magnificent against the deep blue skies. There is few things to beat a tropical sunset below the yard arm at anchor away from the tourist hustle and bustle ashore, or landing on a remote beach anchorage under a forest covered volcanic peak. The ship engineer's deck barbeques and punch are legendary too.
Falmouth & English Harbour - A great Naval tradition
In the old days it was hard to find secure ports in the Caribbean that were easily defendable with immediate access to the trade winds, yet protected enough to careen (lean it over on the beach) a ship and be safe in a hurricane. Falmouth and English Harbour sit side by side on the South coast of Antigua and meet all those requirements. If you want to arrive in the Caribbean a few days early then we can recommend the hotel at Nelson's Dockyard in English Harbour is built in the wonderfully restored stone dock buildings. Lord Nelson may use the larger Falmouth Harbour with its vast bay accommodating super yachts from around the world. There is usually an excursion to Shirley Heights - the fortified hilltop above the two harbours. From here you have an amazing panorama of your likely cruising ground from Guadaloupe to the south and the volcano on Monserrat sillouetted in the sunset.
Antigua - 365 Beaches & Yachting Mecca
The island of Antigua has a complex coastline with offlying coral reefs, inside passages and some stunning bays like Five Islands Harbour or Deep Bay with its a three masted shipwreck 'The Andes' with masts still intact. Captain Claire C of Tenacious's sister ship Lord Nelson lives on Antigua and in past years the ship has spent all winter based here, so the crew know all the best haunts to visit and how to make the most of the boisterous trade winds for the best offshore sailing.
Antigua is home to the famous Antigua Classics (in April) and her proliferation of stunning beaches, anchorages and safe ports draws yachts from all over the world.
Barbuda - Frigate bird colony
Barbuda is a day sail away from Antigua so may be a first stop. Miles of shoal water with brilliant turquoise seas surround this low lying island and endless pale pink sand beaches create a desert island feel to Barbuda.
There is a frigate bird colony and if the ship anchors in the shallow waters you may spot sting rays or eagle rays from the deck. Even better- why not climb aloft to spot the larger marine life like turtles. Lord Nelson crew never like to leave anyone out so this might be a good spot to hoist you aloft in your wheelchair.
St Kitts & Nevis - dive bombed by Pelicans
The seperate islands St Kitts and Nevis are the same country. Nevis has a 3000ft peak in the centre and looks like a Sombrero from a distance with trade wind clouds sometimes hanging over the summit. An interesting bit of navigation might be to sail a large tall ship through the Narrows but as this is only 15-20ft deep you may be cruising around the outside ! Charlestown is Nevis's only port with many stone buildings and a restored waterfront. There are pelicans on Nevis and many other islands like Antigua, and you can while away pleasant hours watching them dive. There is a Nelson museum on Nevis. Tamerind Bay is one of the nicer anchorages on the sheltered side of Nevis.
Montserrat - devastated by lava & untouched beauty
In 1995 the volcano erupted on Montserrat and the lava flows destroyed the capital Plymouth. An island that once had 12 000 inhabitants now seems somewhat empty as many evacuated people have never returned. On half of the island is starkly barren under tonnes of ash but the North remains untouched, lush anf green. The volcano is quieting down but is still active, and Radio Montserrat issues volcano navigation warnings daily. Currently the ship can anchor off the Northern part of the island and sailing past the southern half of the island is a sober reminder of the power of nature.
Explore Guadeloupe, Dominica & Bequia
Join Lord Nelson for an adventure southbound towards islands such as Guadeloupe, Martinique and Dominica, which make for fantastic places to stop off. These lush volcanic islands have forested slopes, waterfalls and palm backed beaches. This is an 11 day cicuit from the Southern shores of Antigua, so you might get as far south as Bequia.
Northwards to the Virgin Isles, Turks & Caicos and Bahamas
A more adventurous Caribbean Journey up though the Leeward Island group, British Virgin Isles, Turks & Caicos and into the 'Spanish Main.' Galleons laden with treasure had to make their way through these reefs and islands and were rich pickings for pirates and privateers. Living aboard a square rigger as ships crew it is easy to step back a few centuries as you look at the untamed shores of 'Hispanola'. This 14 day tall ships voyage covers over 1200 miles and ends on the Bahamian island of New Providence. There will be stops to explore ashore but too much choice to guess.
Island Life in the Bahamas
The Bahamian chain consists of 700 islands and 2000 smaller sandy cays extending for some 750 miles from South East of Florida to Cuba. The combination of deep oceanic trenches and shallow seas around the islands creates a mecca for divers. They come seeking large wildlife encounters with dolphins, barracuda and sharks in crystal clear visability (regularly down to 100ft or 30m).
On the out islands almost everybody has a boat as a mode of transport. Picnics, fishing, going to work, sailing, racing, or just coming out to your ship to say hello. Exploring the islands as working ships crew on a British tall ship affords you a certain novelty status. It is easier to meet thee locals when you have a story to tell.
Over 5 % of the worlds coral reefs are in the Bahamas so bring your diving mask or at least a pair of tinted swimming goggles." Packing tip from Debbie
Caribbean style Itinerary
As with all our sailing holidays the Captain has many considerations to plan for when chosing the itinerary so these islands are only an informed guess at where you might sail. Weather, swell from unusual directions, customs clearance regulations and new marine wildlife reserve anchoring restrictions or even booking an alongside berth to change crews, fuel or water the ship can all affect the plans for the voyage. Even the time of day and whether the sun it ahead or behind you can influence pilotage in these coral reef strewn coastlines - but it is all facinating stuff the the Captain or mate will brief you each day to explain the latest plan !
Able bodied & disabled crews sailing as equals
Tenacious (and her smaller sister ship Lord Nelson) are the only two of their kind in the world that have been designed and built to enable people of all physical abilities to sail side by side on equal terms. 36 000 people have sailed on the two ships since they were built. Facilities on board include wide flat decks for ease of movement around the ship, wheel chair lifts between deck levels, a hearing hoop, a speaking compass when required and hydraulic power assisted steering to enable people with limited strength or mobility to experience the thrill of steering a 586 ton sailing ship. (see vessel details for more on her special facilities for the disabled).
A Challenge for All
The safety of everyone is top priority and so every activity is conducted at a pace comfortable for all. The forces of nature show no compromise and Lord Nelson is still a powerful square rigger so with main course, and topsails traditionally rigged so there is still considerable challenge in every voyage. Perhaps going aloft (climbing the rigging is optional) will be the biggest adrenalin buzz or simply the challenge and rewards of being part of a very special floating community.