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Set Sail On A Classic Tall Ship

Mr Muddy heads for the horizon on a stunning, heritage schooner

Ever wondered what it would be like to sail into harbour on the deck of a traditional Tall Ship under sail? Well check out Mr Muddy’s new gaff (for the weekend)! Beautiful isn’t she?

The Johanna Lucretia is a two-masted topsail schooner – one of a handful of tall ships that offer sailing holidays around the UK. This summer she’ll be hosting several three-day sailing trips around the coast of Cornwall and frankly, it’s the only way to travel at this time of year!

From morning swims in picturesque coves to dolphin spotting on the deck, Mr Muddy joined one of her weekend jaunts to give us the scoop…

The Boat

The experience begins well before you board the ship. I arrived early in Fowey to grab a beer and joined other onlookers held spellbound, as the Johanna Lucretia glided gracefully into view.

This amazing ship draws a crowd wherever she goes and even mega-money, super yacht owners threw admiring glances our way over the course of the weekend.

Up on deck, generous walkways allow space to sail as well as lazy corners for relaxing and chatting with other guests and crew.

Time slows the minute you board and you feel instantly transported back in time by the romance of it all.

The Itinerary

The itinerary depends on the wind and conditions, but with stunning coastline stretching for miles east and west, there are treats in every direction.

On this trip, we sailed west, passing Gribbin Head, Falmouth Bay, and the River Helford, then headed for the shelter of Coverack on the Lizard Peninsula (a great swimming spot) for our first night, escorted by pods of bottlenose and common dolphins.

Blue skies, dramatic cliffs and a stiff breeze saw us up to Cadgwith, where we tacked before changing to square-rigged sails for a downwind run all the way back to Falmouth.

Sailing into this iconic maritime town aboard the Johanna Lucretia was an experience I’ll never forget.

After Falmouth, we sailed up the Carrick Roads and into the River Fal for our second night. Dinner was served on deck and we spent the rest of the evening heron spotting, sipping wine and chatting as the sun went down.

Next morning we were dropped off at The King Harry Ferry for a walk up to Trelissick House; a National Trust estate with beautiful gardens and panoramic views across the bay.

Then a lazy day’s sailing took us back to Fowey.

The weekend is designed to be a taster and there are longer adventures available, including trips to the Scillies and the Hebrides, if you get the bug.

Cabins & Food

As you might expect, the cabins on a Tall Ship are cosy. But the beds are comfortable and the whole experience of sleeping on board, with the lapping sounds of the water and gentle motion of the ship, adds to the authenticity of the trip.

The food is tasty and hearty. Sea air gives you an appetite and we happily devoured filling fare, such as mushroom risotto, sausage and mash, quiche and cakes. Drinks on board are extra – bottled beers cost £2 and a glass of wine is £2.50

The Crew

Owner and Skipper Rodger runs a tight-ship and the crew are pros, ensuring guests feel safe under their combined experience. They are proud to talk about the Johanna Lucretia and help guests have a go at sailing her, tugging ropes and hoisting sails or taking a turn at the helm.

No sailing experience is necessary for the trip though and guests were a mix of Tall Ship devotees and boating newbies. But whatever your starting point, you can be sure this experience will leave you wanting more.



Good for: Sociable sorts with an appetite for adventure and anyone in need of forced relaxation! A Tall Ship trip is really de-stressing, as you can’t help but really engage with the experience – try your hand at sailing, drink lots of tea, take photos, read a book, gaze out to sea.

Not for: Luxury lovers seeking fine dining and king sized beds.

The Damage: £310 – two days two nights. Considering a two-hour wildlife spotting trip will set you back about £40, the Johanna-Lucretia taster weekend (incl. all meals and accommodation) is great value.

Find out more about Tall Ship sailing holidays

Find more ideas here

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