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English South Coast and Islands

11-day coastal cruise


Short description

A one-of-a-kind opportunity to cruise the English Channel under sail

Flexibility Promise

Find out more about our Flexibility Promise, available on all holidays booked by 6th August 2021 for travel up to 30th November 2021.


  • Discover the historic ports of England's south coast
  • Make use of wind and currents aboard a traditional tall ship
  • Enjoy the unique excitement of Cowes Week on the Isle of Wight
  • Join an exclusive celebration with dazzling fireworks displays
  • Take in the idyllic Isles of Scilly

In Brief

  • 1 Night Harwich
  • 2 Nights Cowes
  • 1 Night Dartmouth
  • 1 Night Falmouth
  • 1 Night Isles of Scilly
  • 1 Night Plymouth
  • 1 Night Poole
  • 1 Night Harwich


Recommended for:
Ocean cruise

This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to cruise England's south coast under sail aboard one of the most sustainable ocean-going cruise ships, the Golden Horizon. The highlight of this very special tall-ship voyage is a visit to the Isle of Wight during Cowes Week, the world’s oldest and largest annual sailing regatta.  It's a remarkable way to see world-class sailing action, with champion yachtsmen and sailing enthusiasts alike taking to the water, with an exclusive opportunity to join the celebrations. But, that's not all, as you'll also enjoy an in-depth introduction to many of the south coast's historic sea-faring towns and cities along the way. 

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
Depart Harwich

Your adventure begins as you board Golden Horizon in the early afternoon, setting sail in the evening. On the coast of Essex, just over an hour by train from London, Harwich is an interesting little town with a big place in world history. It was the original home of the Mayflower ship which sailed from the UK to the New World in 1620.Today, the town's attractions include the Redoute Fort, a circular fortification built in the 1800s to defend the harbour against Napoleonic Forces, and a pair of 19th-century lighthouses with intriguing museums inside. Take a stroll out onto Halfpenny Pier, one of the last remaining wooden piers in the UK, or visit LV18: the last surviving light vessel in British waters, which is now a great little museum.

Stay: Golden Horizon (Superior)

Meals: D

Day 2
Sailing to Cowes

Take a chance to get to know the Golden Horizon's expansive open deck whilst en route to Cowes. You're even encouraged to take the ship’s wheel and experience the incredible sensation of helming the ship under full sail. Or, why not take the chance ti unwind, perhaps enjoying an optional treatment at the onboard spa.

Stay: Golden Horizon (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Day 3

Arrive in Cowes early afternoon and stay overnight. This special voyage visits the Isle of Wight during Cowes Week, the world's oldest and largest annual sailing regatta. For sailing fans, this is a one-of-a-kind experience. Cowes Week dates back to 1826 and involves around 8000 competitors from champion yachtsmen to amateur sailing enthusiasts. Watch the action unfold throughout the afternoon and enjoy an exclusive opportunity to join the celebrations, including a dazzling firework display.

Stay: Golden Horizon (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Day 4

Continue the indulgence with a tour of the island's scenic highlights by vintage car, or walk in the footsteps of Queen Victoria at Osborne House, her former palatial holiday home. The Isle of Wight is wonderful walking territory, we recommend the delightful coastal path between Old Shanklin and Bonchurch. Depart Cowes early evening.

Stay: Golden Horizon (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Day 5

Arrive in Dartmouth early morning and depart early evening. This dazzling town at the mouth of the River Dart has a strong maritime history. It 's home to the Britannia Royal Naval College, where the Queen met Prince Philip, plus a small maritime museum. More of a sleuth than a maritime history fan? Then, enjoy brunch at Agatha Christie's holiday home, Greenway House, which inspired some of her best-known books. River cruises can take you to Totnes, an interesting town with an independent vibe. The scenic moorlands and river valleys of Dartmoor are an easy drive or combine exploration with a stop at Buckfast Abbey, founded in 1018 and home to a community of Benedictine monks. The gardens include The Lavender Garden, with over 50 varieties of this sweet-smelling flower.

Stay: Golden Horizon (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Day 6

Arrive in Falmouth early morning and depart early evening. Whilst in pretty Falmouth, wander around the harbour (the third largest natural harbour in the world) with its quaint galleries and quirky shops offering woolly hats, Cornish pasties and sweet homemade fudge. Attractions within easy reach of the town include the Eden Project, where giant geodesic Biomes house a huge tropical rainforest, and Tintagel Castle, legendary birthplace of King Arthur. Also on the day trip menu is artsy St Ives, with its sandy beaches, acclaimed restaurants, Tate Gallery Cornish outpost and Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. The tiny, romantic island of St Michael's Mount is also worth a visit.

Stay: Golden Horizon (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Day 7
St Mary's, Isles of Scilly

Arrive in St. Mary's early this morning for a full day of exploration. The Isles of Scilly lie 35 miles off Cornwall's mainland and have a totally different feel, with the whole archipelago declared an Area of Outstanding of Natural Beauty. St Mary's is the main island, where you'll arrive at the tiny capital, Hugh Town. It won't take long to explore before you'll want to get out on the water. Take in the sleepy, uninhabited eastern isles, where all sorts of wildlife thrives including grey seals, which you might see swimming or basking on the rocks. Then, moor up at St Martin's, with its pristine beaches and vineyard, where you can learn about their move towards organic production and sample a few wines and delicious Cornish cheeses.

Stay: Golden Horizon (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Day 8

In Plymouth, Britain's Ocean City, things get even more nautical. Follow the Barbican's quaint cobbled quayside to the famous Mayflower Steps, an area where the Pilgrims are believed to have first departed England in 1620. Admire over 4000 sea creatures at the huge National Marine Aquarium, or spend time on one of the UK's best beaches either side of Plymouth, followed by a fresh seafood lunch in one of the local marina restaurants. You can download the Plymouth Trails app and discover 37 ancient monuments; and continue unearthing the local history with a visit to The Box, where you'll find Plymouth museum, art gallery and cultural centre. If the city vibe isn't your thing, you're on the doorstep of Dartmoor for walks past sturdy wild ponies and the chance to explore castle ruins.

Stay: Golden Horizon (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Day 9

Poole has five world-class Blue Flag Beaches, more than any other UK resort. Iconic Sandbanks is the most famous and you'll find views over Harry Rocks and the Purbeck Hills from its beautiful shoreline. Explore Poole's stunning natural harbour, where fishing boats and luxury yachts await their owners, and take the opportunity to explore the eight local islands on a harbour cruise. Alternatively, hop on a Bird Boat to learn about the local wildlife - and don't forget your binoculars. Get a taste of Poole's rich pirate and seafaring history with a stroll through the Georgian Old Town; and stop for lunch in one of Poole Quay's waterfront restaurant, tucking into fresh seafood and views over the National Trust's Browsea Island. Poole is also home to Upton Country Park, a stunning Grade II listed Georgian mansion with over 100 acres of award-winning gardens.

Stay: Golden Horizon (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Day 10
Sailing to Harwich

Enjoy a final day at sea, making the most of the ship's facilities and enjoying the views en route back to Harwich.

Stay: Golden Horizon (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Day 11
Arrive Harwich

Arrive in Harwich and disembark Golden Horizon in the morning.

Meals: B


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