AR20-11 Brest & Douarnenez Festivals


Brest Maritime Festival happens once every 4 years and is a real "bucket list" trip. 2000+ traditional boats in an amazing feast for the senses.

Adventure Summary

Join us as we head across the English Channel to Northern Brittany and onwards down the Chenal du Four to the almost indescribable Brest International Maritime Festival 2020. This behemoth of festivals happens only once every 4 years and once you’ve seen it you’ll understand why. The whole thing is mind boggling.

The festival site itself covers kilometers of Brest’s harbour front – with multiple “villages” showing off maritime artifacts and skills from countries around the world. Stages are also dotted liberally around, showcasing every kind of music from shanties to folk rock. Bands and performers stroll the streets which are lined with a profusion of stalls selling eveything from pirate hats to freshly smoked kippers. Out in the Rade de Brest hundreds of boats from dinghies to schooners spend each day thrashing about in the sunshine whilst between the two in the outer harbour more organised parades of sail happen daily. Even at night the festival is a riot of sound and colour with evening sail parades and fireworks lighting up the quaysides.

To attend as a spectator would be exciting enough, but to attend as l’equipage (Crew) brings a whole new element to this adventure. Amelie Rose will be right there in the heart of the action and so will you. We’ll be taking part in the parades (night and day) and getting out to the Rade de Brest to sail about admiring the fleet and being admired in turn. There’s great camaraderie whilst tied up to the shore too – both in the basin with the other boats, or out and about in the Festival or in the many bars and restaurants that surround the quays.

Added to the excitement of the festival itself is that just getting there is a glorious adventure. From Falmouth to l’Aber-Wrac’h is over 100 miles, a journey out of sight of land to foreign shores beyond the horizon. From here we head down the infamous Chenal du Four (like the Alderney Race but 10 miles long) before finally approaching the raucous party that is the festival proper.

But even as the last firework from this monster festival gutters and falls from the sky our adventure will not be over. On the final day the fleet stirs itself once more and slips out to sea for “Le Grande Parade”. Thousands of ships head south to Dournenez via the Tas de Pois (a Needles-like outcropping of granite that many in the fleet opt to pass right through). Douarnenez is the birthplace of the Breton traditional boat festivals that we love so much. The longest running and in many ways one of the best it plays host to the fleet as we gird ourselves for another 4 days of festival frolics. Though much smaller and homelier than Brest, Douarnenez refuses to be outdone when it comes to the entertainment, and especially the craziness of the closing night.

But end it all will and we’ll be away to shoot the Chenal once more stopping, if we are lucky enough with the weather, at Ushant before crossing back to blighty and journey’s end in Falmouth. This is quite simply the best adventure to grace our schedules. It’s a “once in a lifetime” bucket list requirement for anyone who loves traditional boats and sailing.

Itinerary

You’ll be joining us in Falmouth on the Sunday night. We normally meet up to enjoy a meal at the Chain Locker & Shipwrights – a bit of a local institution and known to Team Topsail as “The Falmouth Office”.

With food and introductions complete we’ll move to the boat where you’ll find yourself a bunk, stow your gear and have a look around. Before we head to our bunks we’ll have a chat about plans for the following day and the fortnight ahead.

The exact route will depend on weather and tides but we’ll probably aim to start by heading south from Falmouth to Roscoff or l’Aber Wrac’hand then on down the Chenal du Four, with possible stops at Ile Molene or Camaret enroute to Brest.

From Douarnenez we’ll head back up the Chenal du Four – hoping for a stop-over on Ushant – the most north-westerly part of France – before crossing back to Cornwall and (probably) spending our last night anchored in the Helford River.

We’ll be back in Falmouth by late morning on Thursday, giving you plenty of time to extract yourself from Cornwall!

Want to find out more about what it’s like to attend the Brest and Douarnenez festivals aboard the Amelie Rose?

Read John Huber’s account of our 2012 Adventure.

Read Nick Beetham’s story of his adventure to the 2016 festivals.

Browse the Brest Festival Website here.

Visit Douarnenez Temps Fete site here.

Booking Enquiry Form: AR20-11 Brest & Douarnenez Festivals

11 + 1 =

Price

£2,250 per person
Now only £1995!

Join

05 July 2020, 1900hrs, Falmouth

Leave

23 July 2020, 1100hrs, Falmouth

Duration

18 days

Status

Available

What’s included in the price?

  • An individual berth (there are
    sometimes double berths available – but these cannot be guaranteed)
  • Pillow (you’ll need to bring a pillow case)
  • Stowage space for a reasonable amount of personal gear
  • All food provided aboard
  • Non-alcoholic beverages provided aboard
  • Individual lifejacket and tether
  • Boat Fuel
  • Mooring Fees
  • Professional Skipper

Optional Extras

  • Hire Wet Weather Gear
  • Hire a Sleeping Bag

How to book

  1. Use the Booking Enquiry Form to send us an enquiry, (or you can ring us, or use the live chat option below, right).
  2. We’ll check the availability of the berth(s) and respond via email to any queries you raise.
  3. Our response email will contain links to our online booking forms and details of how to pay the 30% deposit or full balance.  (If it’s less than 6 weeks before the start of your adventure then the full amount will be due.)
  4. Fill in online booking form(s) for you (and any others in your group).
  5. Pay the Deposit by Bank Transfer or Credit/Debit Card.
  6. We’ll send you a confirmation as soon as we receive the forms and deposit.

Price

£2,250 per person
Now only £1995!

Join

05 July 2020, 1900hrs, Falmouth

Duration

18 days

Leave

23 July 2020, 1100hrs, Falmouth

Status

Available

Price

£2,250 per person
Now only £1995!

Join

05 July 2020, 1900hrs, Falmouth

Leave

23 July 2020, 1100hrs, Falmouth

Duration

18 days

Status

Available

Adventure Summary

Join us as we head across the English Channel to Northern Brittany and onwards down the Chenal du Four to the almost indescribable Brest International Maritime Festival 2020. This behemoth of festivals happens only once every 4 years and once you’ve seen it you’ll understand why. The whole thing is mind boggling.

The festival site itself covers kilometers of Brest’s harbour front – with multiple “villages” showing off maritime artifacts and skills from countries around the world. Stages are also dotted liberally around, showcasing every kind of music from shanties to folk rock. Bands and performers stroll the streets which are lined with a profusion of stalls selling eveything from pirate hats to freshly smoked kippers. Out in the Rade de Brest hundreds of boats from dinghies to schooners spend each day thrashing about in the sunshine whilst between the two in the outer harbour more organised parades of sail happen daily. Even at night the festival is a riot of sound and colour with evening sail parades and fireworks lighting up the quaysides.

To attend as a spectator would be exciting enough, but to attend as l’equipage (Crew) brings a whole new element to this adventure. Amelie Rose will be right there in the heart of the action and so will you. We’ll be taking part in the parades (night and day) and getting out to the Rade de Brest to sail about admiring the fleet and being admired in turn. There’s great camaraderie whilst tied up to the shore too – both in the basin with the other boats, or out and about in the Festival or in the many bars and restaurants that surround the quays.

Added to the excitement of the festival itself is that just getting there is a glorious adventure. From Falmouth to l’Aber-Wrac’h is over 100 miles, a journey out of sight of land to foreign shores beyond the horizon. From here we head down the infamous Chenal du Four (like the Alderney Race but 10 miles long) before finally approaching the raucous party that is the festival proper.

But even as the last firework from this monster festival gutters and falls from the sky our adventure will not be over. On the final day the fleet stirs itself once more and slips out to sea for “Le Grande Parade”. Thousands of ships head south to Dournenez via the Tas de Pois (a Needles-like outcropping of granite that many in the fleet opt to pass right through). Douarnenez is the birthplace of the Breton traditional boat festivals that we love so much. The longest running and in many ways one of the best it plays host to the fleet as we gird ourselves for another 4 days of festival frolics. Though much smaller and homelier than Brest, Douarnenez refuses to be outdone when it comes to the entertainment, and especially the craziness of the closing night.

But end it all will and we’ll be away to shoot the Chenal once more stopping, if we are lucky enough with the weather, at Ushant before crossing back to blighty and journey’s end in Falmouth. This is quite simply the best adventure to grace our schedules. It’s a “once in a lifetime” bucket list requirement for anyone who loves traditional boats and sailing.

Itinerary

You’ll be joining us in Falmouth on the Sunday night. We normally meet up to enjoy a meal at the Chain Locker & Shipwrights – a bit of a local institution and known to Team Topsail as “The Falmouth Office”.

With food and introductions complete we’ll move to the boat where you’ll find yourself a bunk, stow your gear and have a look around. Before we head to our bunks we’ll have a chat about plans for the following day and the fortnight ahead.

The exact route will depend on weather and tides but we’ll probably aim to start by heading south from Falmouth to Roscoff or l’Aber Wrac’hand then on down the Chenal du Four, with possible stops at Ile Molene or Camaret enroute to Brest.

From Douarnenez we’ll head back up the Chenal du Four – hoping for a stop-over on Ushant – the most north-westerly part of France – before crossing back to Cornwall and (probably) spending our last night anchored in the Helford River.

We’ll be back in Falmouth by late morning on Thursday, giving you plenty of time to extract yourself from Cornwall!

Want to find out more about what it’s like to attend the Brest and Douarnenez festivals aboard the Amelie Rose?

Read John Huber’s account of our 2012 Adventure.

Read Nick Beetham’s story of his adventure to the 2016 festivals.

Browse the Brest Festival Website here.

Visit Douarnenez Temps Fete site here.

What's included in the price?

  • An individual berth (there are
    sometimes double berths available – but these cannot be guaranteed)
  • Pillow (you’ll need to bring a pillow case)
  • Stowage space for a reasonable amount of personal gear
  • All food provided aboard
  • Non-alcoholic beverages provided aboard
  • Individual lifejacket and tether
  • Boat Fuel
  • Mooring Fees
  • Professional Skipper

Optional Extras

  • Hire of Wet Weather Gear
  • Hire of a Sleeping Bag

How to book

  1. Use the Booking Enquiry Form to send us an enquiry, (or you can ring us, or use the live chat option below, right).
  2. We’ll check the availability of the berth(s) and respond via email to any queries you raise.
  3. Our response email will contain links to our online booking forms and details of how to pay the 30% deposit or full balance.  (If it’s less than 6 weeks before the start of your adventure then the full amount will be due.)
  4. Fill in online booking form(s) for you (and any others in your group).
  5. Pay the Deposit by Bank Transfer or Credit/Debit Card.
  6. We’ll send you a confirmation as soon as we receive the forms and deposit.

Booking Enquiry Form: AR20-11 Brest & Douarnenez Festivals

6 + 6 =

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Let's stay in touch...

Topsail Adventures Ltd

Phone: +44 (0)800 773 4264

Email: ahoy@topsail-adventures.co.uk

Post: Amelie Rose, Harbour Office, Bucklers Hard Yacht Harbour, Beaulieu, Hampshire, UK. SO42 7XB.

Registered Company Number: 6000046

VAT Registration No. 898-7989-03

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