Tall Ships Voyage to France

Join us on an exclusive sailing expedition to Normandy as part of the D-Day 75th anniversary celebrations

We are excited to announce a new fundraising challenge event in partnership with Jubilee Sailing Trust: a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sail a tall ship on the open seas.

This is a fundraising event being organised exclusively for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity and is only available to 30 people.

  • No previous experience necessary
  • Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity
  • Sail side-by-side with veterans
  • Open seas
  • D-Day memorial

Event date: 26 September - 2 October 2019

Registration fee: £1000 per person
(This covers all your costs, so that every pound you raise goes directly to charity)

Veterans and serving personnel are entitled to get a discounted registration rate of £350.

Fundraising target: £2500 per person

The experience:

This exclusive event for SSAFA supporters will see up to thirty participants climbing on board the Lord Nelson, a handsome traditional three-masted square-rigged tall ship, at its mooring next to HMS Belfast on the Thames before setting sail for Caen in Normandy.

Whilst on deck you will experience the exhilaration and challenge of open water conditions.  However, life aboard Lord Nelson will be somewhat more comfortable than in ships from its namesake’s era, with cabins, hot water and plentiful food.

You will feel a true part of our crew as you learn how to set sails, winch ropes, tie knots, help in the galley and helm the ship, amongst many other team activities on offer.

You don’t need to have sailed before as the permanent crew will support you through all the tasks involved with sailing the ship, and you will always have an experienced hand with you on watch.

Your team includes veterans who have served their country and overcome enormous odds, an inspiration to us all.

If you have always dreamed of experiencing the adventure of a tall ship, then join us on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.


Day 1

  • You meet at Lord Nelson in London at 1300hrs to get to know the rest of your crew and to undertake pre-departure safety training. In the evening, you have the chance to explore HMS Belfast before joining a special event onboard Lord Nelson. The ship remains docked alongside HMS Belfast overnight.

Day 2

  • Visit to the Imperial War Museum during the morning. The ship then departs London at 1200hrs for the 220 nautical-mile journey to Caen. This is your first night at sea.

Day 3

  • Spend the day at sea sailing across the Channel. Night at sea.

Day 4

  • In the morning, arrive at Ouistreham and lock into Caen Canal, pass through Pegasus Bridge (of Operation Deadstick fame) and berth in Caen by 1230hrs. You have an afternoon off-ship to visit the new British Normandy Memorial. In the evening, sit down to a very special meal on board, where you are joined by some WW2 veterans as your guests of honour.

Day 5

  • Lord Nelson departs Caen to journey back  through Pegasus Bridge,and out of Ouistreham Locks, then sails 110 nautical miles towards Portsmouth. Night at sea.

Day 6

  • Vessel arrives in the Solent and has a night at anchor.

Day 7

  • Arrive in Portsmouth at 0900hrs. Visit the D-Day Story Museum then tuck into lunch onboard Lord Nelson. At 1330hrs is the 'fall In' bugle (Captain's debrief to all Hands); at 1345hrs the 'Dismiss' bugle is played. Disembark at 1400hrs to greet family and friends.

Got any questions about the SSAFA Tall Ship Sailing Voyage? Email us or call us on 0207 463 9310.