A Sailors’ Voyage – From Cornwall to Scotland aboard a Tall Ship

Voyage No. Start date End date Start port End port Days Price
BE010421 Sat 17 April (15.00) Mon 26 May (10.00) Fowey, Cornwall Oban, North Pier 10 £1025 Book voyage »

Please note: all of Bessie Ellen’s bookings are now handled by Nikki’s own agency, VentureSail Holidays. By clicking ‘Book voyage’ you will be taken to a VentureSail booking form in order to secure your berths.


With the lengthening of the days we set off northwards, leaving behind our home county to sail a sea voyage bordered by our Celtic countries and is a great opportunity to really get to grips with life aboard a sailing ship.  We hope that you will join in with watches and helping with navigation and other ship’s duties on deck, but it is not compulsory, you may prefer to enjoy the days watching the world slip by at a gentle rate.

Sailing up through St George’s Channel, it may be possible to make a stop in wonderful St Mary’s, Scilly to see the spring flowers and magic of these isles before standing our night watches to make the mileage northwards towards the Welsh coast.

Night sailing offers a sense of peace as the ship settles down for the night, leaving a handful of sailors on deck to watch the stars, while billowing canvas and the gentle creaking of blocks takes you back in time.   Take time to reflect on the many years that Bessie Ellen plied her trade in these waters between Wales and Ireland and the men and boys that sailed them.

Again, as with sailing ships the weather will have a huge influence on our passage plan and ports of call.

Voyage Details

Voyage Description

On leaving St George’s Channel we continue heading north west towards the Isle Of Man and the harbour at Peel. This is an ideal first stop on the route to Scotland. One of the purposes of our visit will be to stock up on kippers. Kippers have been produced in Peel since at least the 19th Century and my choice is Devereau’s.

As ‘Man’ slips astern we will head on up the North Channel past the mountains of Mourne to one of our favourite locations, Islay (pronounced “eye la”).

Islay is the historic meeting place for the Scottish clan leaders and with an amazing eight distilleries nestling on the shores around the island it would be silly to miss the opportunity of a tour culminating with the obligatory tasting. After a sumptuous dinner on board it’s time to light the candles, dim the lights and retell the old tales of Islay’s grim and battle-torn past whilst sampling a wee dram of the local produce.

In the closing stages of the voyage, our ship will call in at Colonsay or Jura and of course pass the infamous Coryvrekkan. Then the gateway to the isles is open and we are free to explore the Sea of Hebrides.


Common Dolphin
Minke Whales
Puffin, Razorbill & Guillemot
Eagles, White- tailed & Golden
Wildlife can be hard to spot out at sea, but often, dolphins find us and play under the bowsprit. They seem to love Bessie Ellen’s graceful motion and can stay with us for hours. Don’t forget your camera to capture an amazing experience.

  • Seabird taking flight
  • Puffin on a rock
  • Seabirds on a rock

Useful Information

How to get there:


Meet a crew member on Town Quay. We will then take you out to the vessels berth on the river.

By Rail: First Great Western to Par. A bus runs regularly for about £2.50 or you can take a taxi.  15 mins.

By Road: From Exeter 97 miles, 2 hrs.A30 via Launceston & Bodmin, then A39. www.theaa/route-planner


Start Location:

End Location:

Where to Stay:

If you are travelling earlier than the joining date we can suggest:

The Old Ferry Inn, Boddinick where owner,  Pascal from Brittany runs an excellent pub and hotel with amazing food and I am sure he will look after you extremely well.

The Galleon, Fowey

Plenty of B&B’s


Please note that you will need to arrange your own travel insurance, which covers you for the duration of your voyage. We recommend Topsail Insurance, which offers single policies from about £20.

To contact the ship:  07800 825 382

Read our Frequently Asked Questions for answers to a few common enquiries that we receive.