Our voyage starts from Le Harve and sails abeam to the prevailing winds across the English Channel / La Manche into Falmouth before returning south to arrive in Brest at the start of one of the worlds greatest maritime festivals.
The two day crossing gives us enough time to learn the ropes of the Santa Maria Manuela, where all volunteers are welcomed to help the crew set sail and helm the wheel. Knot classes are a great way to learn a new skill whilst sharing sailing stories with shipmates, and if the weather allows there's the opportunity to go up the mast or relax on the bowsprit. A drink at sunset on the deck is the perfect way to round off each day.
Before long we sail into Falmouth, the world’s third largest natural deep-water harbour, framed by Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a magnet for walkers and sailors.
The allure of sailing into Falmouth has inspired countless artists, sailors, explorers, musicians and boatbuilders for centuries. From Robin Knox- Johnston, to Ellen Macarthur to Henry Moore, many have sought solace, inspiration, sanctuary and escape among the inlets and creeks of the Fal estuary and the coves and cliffs of the stunning Cornish coastline.
As the most westerly large harbour in Britain, Falmouth played an important role in the era of sail. For around 150 years from 1689, Packet Ships left from Falmouth carrying mails to the growing empire.
Our voyage ends at the Brest Festival, hosted every four years for over 2,500 boats from around the world. Hundreds of thousands of sea-lovers and onlookers gather along the banks of the Penfeld and on the docks to admire the festivals flotilla, with the Santa Maria Manuela at the heart of this extraordinary maritime celebration.
After disembarking take time to revel in the live music shows, street performances, military processions and nautical displays, brows in the boutique shops and sample the many culinary flavors of France in the festival kiosks.
June in Falmouth is usually warm, with average temperatures ranging from 18°C (65°F) to 24°C (75°F). A generally pleasant month with longer daylight hours, making it ideal for outdoor activities.
When preparing for your voyage please bear in mind:
The trip between Lisbon and Funchal was really exceptional thanks to the kindness and professionalism of the crew that was always available to answer all our requests. A trip far too short.
It was my first cruise aboard Santa Maria Manuela but it will certainly not be the last.
Catherine - France
I can't imagine the Santa Maria Manuela having a bigger fan than me. It was a remarkable experience and I really enjoyed getting to know the crew as well as all of the passengers. It was a great group of people to spend 6 days with.
Sailwiz - Spain
It was obvious that the crew was very capable of doing everything without the help of the passengers, but I loved that they wanted us to be involved and gave us tasks that we could do. It is also evident how important safety on board is and I was impressed to see all of the crew members in harnesses and helmets whenever they were in slightly precarious positions preparing a sail to be raised or fixing something.
Sailwiz – Spain
The trip was absolutely incredible. I am extremely impressed with the ship and the crew. I felt very at home on board and the crew was so kind, helpful and knowledgeable. I feel like I learned so much about the ship and navigation and I know many of the other passengers feel the same. I truly enjoyed the trip and hope that I will go aboard again.
Julia – USA
My friends and familly are all '50 shades of green' with envy. Thankyou from Andrew and me to you and the crew for an experience of a lifetime.
Gordon - Scotland
As for the trip to Madeira was the best experiences I have had and I take the opportunity to congratulate your team and crew who are fantastic ...
We want to say THANK YOU to all the crew they all were so helpful. Nothing was too much trouble. If the world would follow Santa Maria Manuela’s example we would all live in a better place.
Peter & Ron, UK
Absolutely loved the trip from Lisbon. Such a beautiful ship - have fallen completely in love with her and can't wait to book the next trip.
It was a wonderful journey. The ship is beautiful and in a perfect condition, we felt comfortable at any time, thanks to the gentle team. The meals were very tasteful (thanks to the cook!).
Katrin - Holland
We really enjoyed our Madeira-Tenerife crossing onboard SMM. Great crew, fantastic downwind sailing, pleasant ‘guests’.
Pierre - France
The crew took good care of us, I just hope they enjoyed the trip as much as we did. Could not have been any better.
Irmgard – Germany
Without a doubt, this year the best experience I had was being on board Santa Maria Manuela. The days on board were extraordinary. Crew 5⭐
Nuno - Portugal