To help you decide which trip best suits you, we have categorised each trip as either ‘Adventure, Explore, Expedition, Race or Experience’. It is important that you understand what these ratings mean and that you have selected an appropriate trip for you. Whichever trip rating is given, mother nature and the ocean always have their own plans and we are entirely dependent on what conditions we find at the time. We plan the routes and timings very carefully to work with the prevailing winds and to allow plenty of time to see and do everything we’d like to do en route. A sail training voyage is not your normal sailing holiday, we have to get from A to B within a given time and we all need to work together to cook, clean and navigate! If conditions are kind we will have plenty of time to stop and explore, but if we get storm bound for a few days or a piece of equipment breaks that we have to replace, we may have to stay ashore for a few days and then head to sea for a few days to make up time. This is is the reality of sailing and expeditions in more extreme areas.

The Ratings

Explore: These trips have low mileage for the time allotted and are almost entirely coastal and day sailing in nature. There may be an overnight sail or a day when you head further offshore, but most of the time you will be close to the coast and having plenty of time to explore ashore. If you are completely new to sailing or nervous about your capabilities, these would be an ideal entry point.

Adventure: Trips with an adventure rating will cover much greater mileage than an explore trip. Crews will get the chance to head to sea properly and sail for a few days or nights and really get into life on board an ocean going yacht. We still aim to allow a good bit of time to head ashore and explore, but as distances increase so does our reliance on weather windows and conditions. Sailors often find it’s a matter of hurry up and wait. If you love heading offshore, arriving in new lands and are confident that you will be able to cope with a few days at sea, even if conditions deteriorate, then these are going to be fantastic trips for you.

Expedition: These are trips into the wild and far off the beaten track. Facilities will probably be very limited and we can make very few promises about what to expect. This is true adventure not a packaged experience, so if you want your hot showers guaranteed and need creature comforts on tap then these are not for you. But if you get excited by heading to some remote sailing grounds, into areas that few yachts frequent – with all the rewards that come with that – then you will love an expedition rated trip. Just don’t ask us what comes next – because we don’t know either!

Race: Trips with a race rating are a fantastic opportunity to take part in a Tall Ships race. Races can attract a diverse fleet of international vessels from up to 30 different countries. And, they can bring up to four million visitors and 400 media representatives to the ports we visit. Nothing can quite prepare you for the unforgettable atmosphere of racing. Picture yourself sailing on a beautiful Tall Ship, way out at sea, with the waves crashing against the hull, no land in sight, the sun rising behind you, and your closest competitor hot on your heels. Races and Regattas are broken down into “legs,” or races. The number of legs depends on how many host ports are taking part – you’ll race from one port to the next. We want everyone who takes part to have fun… but don’t forget that it’s a race, with lots of trophies and prizes up for grabs.

Experience: Create memories that last a lifetime, join us aboard for a hands on sailing holiday or day voyage. Trips with an experience rating have low mileage and are normally short coastal hops or just within Plymouth Sound.All of our voyages are ‘hands on’ that merge traditional seamanship on a modern vessel. You can relax and enjoy the grace, seaworthiness and character that makes Helen Mary R unique, in fact she is one of only 14 Bowman 57’s. Whether you are a novice or old salt voyages are suitable for all. With no experience necessary, come and experience sailing at its best. We welcome solo adventurers, couples, or groups of friends or family of all ages.