2019 Summer Cruise, some details



Flights are available (as of Dec 2018)

Flybe     Easyjet  
from to   Gatwick Nantes
Southampton Brest   Gatwick La Rochelle
Birmingham Brest   Gatwick Jersey
Gatwick Rennes   Luton Jersey
Southampton Rennes   Luton Nantes
London Southend Caen      
Southampton Nantes   Ryanair  
London Southend Nantes   Stansted Nantes
Southampton La Rochelle   Stansted La Rochelle
Birmingham La Rochelle      

The channel tunnel is available across to near Calais, if it makes geographical sense for you. Plus Dover Calais/Dunkirk (DFDS Seaways &P&O) ferries

Ferries are available which arrive closer to Brittany.

Portsmouth Caen   Newhaven Dieppe
Portsmouth Le Havre      
Portsmouth Cherbourg   Condor  
Portsmouth St Malo   Portsmouth Guernsey & St Malo
Plymouth Roscoff   Poole Jersey & St Malo

Train times link and a map below https://en.oui.sncf/en/


Skippers and Mates

 Skippers are responsible for the welfare of the crew and the vessel throughout the duration of their cruise week(s) and as such are responsible for carrying out, ohr overseeing, vessel checks, safety briefings and all passage planning, including the production of pilotage plans. Mates should be able to support and assist with all of these tasks.

 The mate for each passage must be capable of deputising for the skipper if required, based on experience  and qualification. Ideally they will also be a club skipper.


These descriptions below are ordered from nearest to furthest point of the cruise at La Rochelle. On some legs only one potential overnight stop is given any detail between handover ports, but there are so many places to visit and they are just listed.

 A technical tip. If you use Google’s chrome browser on your PC then there is always a pop-up box asking do you want to translate this page,and this is very handy when web sites only have French, unless you are fluent of course.

This old cruise plan from 2016 still has some useful information http://phoenixyachtclub.co.uk/members/club-documents/

and the blogs from that trip may inspire you for what you wish to do.

St Peter Port Guensey or St Malo France back to Gosport week 11

This is an opportunity to cruise the gorgeous channel isles without any time pressures.

Roscoff to St Peter Port Guensey or St Malo week 10

St Malo, available on the return leg in weeks 10 and 11

 A good visiting point for any channel isles or north Brittany cruise. Walking through the cobbled streets of St Malo’s old town feels like you’ve stepped back in time. This popular tourist destination and busy ferryport offers visitors an authentic glimpse into Brittany’s important seafaring past.

Part of the Saint-Malo old town

St Malo has several districts, the most popular being intra muros or ‘inside the walls’. The tall granite buildings, most of which were restored after being bombed during the war, house an interesting mix of cosy  hotels, restaurants to suit all tastes and shops by the dozen. Take a tour on the little train to get your bearings or enjoy a bracing walk around the ramparts. The Musée de la Ville tells you all you need to know about the town’s history and includes some fascinating maritime objects like the prow of a ship.

See also http://www.brittanytourism.com/discover-our-destinations/saint-malo-mont-saint-michel-bay/unmissable-sites/saint-malo


 A lovely river destination accessible at all heights of tide but the flows in the river mean you only go with the tidal stream!

See also https://www.francethisway.com/places/a/lezardrieux-cotes-d-armor.php

 Other destinations Roscoff to Guernsey week 10: Channel Isles, Paimpol, Pontrieux, Tregier, Plomanac’h, Leguer river, and numerous smaller anchorages which give shelter according to the wind direction.

Brest to Roscoff week 9

 The Bloscon marina at Roscoff is 24 hour access and the shelter is good except in strong northeast winds. http://www.plaisancebaiedemorlaix.com/en/introduction-to-the-port-of-roscoff

Other destinations from Roscoff to Brest: many small ports and anchorages with the wind in the right direction, Ile d’Oussant, Rade de Brest, Cameret, Morgat, Dournenez


The main all weather all-tide port between the Chanel du Four (the first headland of Brittany) and Roscoff

The key headland is the Chenal du Four and is the location of all of those lighthouse in storms photos that you see on calendars, or it is a pussycat with the right winds and tidal direction. In summer it is more usually a kitten.


A lovely town just south of Brest so a place to visit on week 8 or 9, with a maritime tradition, which holds a sea-shanty festival in August.
The town itself is pleasant, mostly 18th century houses built around the flourishing fishing industry. There are also several churches and chapels of interest in this part of the town, known as the Quartier du Vieux Port, so this is a good place to start exploring and also a chance to visit the Douarnenez tourist office.

Beach near Dournenez

Lorient to Pornichet week 2 and within week 8 La Trinite to Brest

Lorient: Port Louis is a short ferry ride across the river from the large city of Lorient. There are many marinas to choose from but this one is recommended as the nicest. https://www.ports-paysdelorient.fr/fr/ports/le-port-de-port-louis .

The area of Port Louis is a tourist destination too so is worth a stopover, even if it was not one of our changeover ports, (week 1 to week 2, to be confirmed in January).


Around Pornichet week 3

Pornichet is a modern sophisticated resort next to arguably one of the best beaches in France. It has a large marina with all facilities and many restaurants next to the water http://portdepornichet.blogspot.com/. There are shops aplenty in the town too. To read more about it try this site https://www.francethisway.com/places/pornichet.php 

There are many good destinations for a week’s cruise depending on how ambitious you are. One is the Vilaine river which has its own PYC blog page http://phoenixyachtclub.co.uk/cruising/2019-summer-cruise-planning-destinations-from-pornichet/

Port Haliguen (shown in the two photos above) is a modern marina and small resort town where there is a good pizzeria up a side street.

The Belle Isle has two ports the most northern of which is Sauzon which is a lovely little place, but fairly quiet. Le Palais is reportedly busier

Sauzon inner harbour, which is only for vessels that can take the ground, because at low water it is shallow, despite a cill.
Pre-dinner drinks on a buoy outside Sauzon

La Trinite is the nearest marina to Carnac a neolithic standing stone archeaological site, which may interest some of us. http://www.brittanytourism.com/discover-our-destinations/southern-brittany-morbihan-gulf/unmissable-sites/carnac

Pornichet/ Pornic  to La Rochelle weeks 4 and 6

Both Pornic and Pornichet are served by busses and or taxis from Nantes airport.

Pornic is our changeover port on the return trip and is also a potential destination from Pornichet. There is a good choice of restaurants at the marina. The marina details can be found here https://portdepornic.fr/

The town is a short walk up river which mostly dries out at low water.

The walk into Pornic town.
Many choices of destinations from Pornic to La Rochelle

L’Herbaudiere (below) is no longer an island since there is a large road bridge nowadays, but it nevertheless has an island feel to it. Lots of beaches, some small shops and restaurants.

Ile de Yue is still an island and has both a large marina (Port Joinville) and a small anchorage (Port de la Meule) to offer. A short walk ashore to the centre of the island gives you views westward to sea from a NApleonic castle with a lot of history.

Les Sables D’Olonne on the mainland has the best choice of restaurants with both excellent food and excellent value (because of the competition?) we found them all along the old fish dock. which is now the small marina (and there is a much larger marina further out of town). It has a good shopping centre and a large beach.

https://www.france-voyage.com/cities-towns/les-sables-d-olonne-34075/marina-olona-23004.htm  is the much larger marina further out of town.

As we left Sables 4 years ago

Other ports for week 4 and 6:St Giles-Croix-de-Vie, Bourgenay

Around La Rochelle

La Rochelle has lots for the tourist and the shopaholic and more restaurants and bars than you could ever try. It is also home to the largest marina in France, on the outskirts

 http://www.portlarochelle.com/en/ has large areas which offer free parking around it. There is a bus service and water taxi into town if you don’t fancy the 2 mile walk. This marina is the best for a changeover since it has free parking for anyone who drives down, and ample visitor berths, with all tide access.

The inner town marinas are right next to all the bars and restaurants, one has a just a few berths deep enough for Quartette and the other you can lock into  near HW.

One of the old sea defences of La Rochelle

A chain went between these two towers to keep out the enemy.

St Martin de Re https://www.marinareservation.com/marina-saint-martin-de-re-973

 This beautiful harbour which has half tide access with a lifting cill to keep the water in. It keeps tourists trapped during the day too, surrounded by popular restaurants. A real beauty spot. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/france/poitou-charentes/ile-de-re/articles/36-hours-in-ile-dere/  and must see destination. Quartette is already on their data base with John Halliday as the skipper and we left it that way. But don’t bother with the local wine, the next area of Bordeaux is justifiably more popular.

Boats rushing in to St Martin de Re because the cill will lift in about 10 minutes

Other places to visit around La Rochelle: Ars-en-Re, St Denis and Boyardville Ile d’Oleron all  HW+/-~3hours access with a cill. With a spring tide Rochefort on the river Charente appeals but at neaps there is not enough water in the river for Quartette.

Rochefort river basin

Cruising guides and charts

This table will be kept up to date, as charts are requested and bought

Guides Where kept
Cunliffe Shell Channel pilot South coast England (inc. Scillies) North coast France On board
Featherstone, 2nd ed West France Cruising companion   North Brittany to Spain Tinu
 Imray   Atlantic France       Robert
2510 Imray pack North Brittany   Robert
SC5604 Admiralty folio pack Channel Isles   On board
SC5604 2 copies of 6th edition 2009 Channel Isles Available for planning only Judith
C10   Imray   Western English Channel   On board
AC0020AdmiraltyNorth Bay of BiscayRobert
C36ImrayIle de OessantRaz de SeinRobert
C37ImrayRaz de SeinBenodetRobert
C38ImrayBenodetIle QuiberonRobert
C39ImrayLorientLe CroisicTinu
C40ImrayLe CroisicSables de OlonneTinu
C41ImraySables de OlonneLa GirondeRobert
2371AdmiraltyGolfe Du MorbihanJudith

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