South east UK

Willemstad

We start the Linssen Blue Water Flotilla from Willemstad, the home port of Dutch Yacht Rentals. At Willemstad we will inform you of the last details of the cruise to the south of the UK. And here you can embark on your charter yacht that will be your home for the coming three weeks.
The star-shaped Willemstad lies on the Hollands Diep. The popular harbour in the old town centre has everything you need, such as luxury sanitary facilities and free WiFi. You can sail to Zeeland via the Volkerak locks or to the North Sea via the Haringvliet. Willemstad is also close to De Biesbosch National Park, where you can go on beautiful boat trips. The small fortified town in the shape of a star is named after William the Silent (prince William of Orange). It was William himself who commissioned the town to be built. The glorious past has left its mark: cannons on the quayside, old city walls, cobblestones, bunkers, forts and windmills. The Mauritshuis, the Oude Raadhuis (Old Town Hall) and the Koepelkerk (Domed church) are the most striking buildings. Het Rozemarijntje combined bookshop and gift shop has published in-house a beautiful booklet about Willemstad. For food, drinks and snacks as well as overnight accommodation, you can go to Mauritz, a grand café that brings Paris to mind.

Willemstad - Breskens - 92 km

The first leg in this flotilla is from Willemstad to Breskens. Breskens marina is located at the mouth of the Western Scheldt. The marina provides 580 fixed moorings and 100 moorings for passers-by and is a popular marina for both sailing boats and motorboats, with excellent facilities. The 'Looplijn' walking trail starts at the marina. This is a maritime pedestrian route that connects the marina, the fishing port and the town centre. The actual highlight of Breskens is the unique cast iron lighthouse 'Nieuwe Sluis', where the light has been burning since 1868. The Nieuwe Sluis is the oldest cast iron lighthouse still standing in the Netherlands. This octagonal, black and white lighthouse is located on the seawall at the mouth of the Western Scheldt and is still in use. Breskens also has a fishing museum that covers a variety of themes besides fishing. Beautiful cycling routes with stunning views of the sea, the dunes and the polders can be found in the surroundings of Breskens. The neighbouring villages such as Groede, Nieuwvliet, Sluis and Cadzand are also full of charm.

Breskens - Nieuwpoort - 74 km

We cross the border with our flotilla yachts and enter Belgium. Our next port of call is Nieuwpoort in the south-west part of Belgium. Nieuwpoort seaside resort has various marinas that together make up the largest marina in Northern Europe. All the facilities you could wish for are present. The small town lives and breathes fishing and water sports. It's the perfect destination for surfers, divers, paddle boarders, kayakers and sailors. The town is connected to Veurne, Diksmuide and Ghent via an intersection of waterways. Many people are familiar with the Battle of Nieuwpoort from the history books. But the reminders of the first World War are much more abundant here. The Westfront Visitors' Centre and the King Albert I monument are impressive storytellers of the flooding of the polder area. A story about the force of seawater and the clever management of locks. The old town has narrow streets and an attractive market square. From the centre, you can walk along the promenade past the harbour channel to the wide beach. The lighthouse with its red stripes draws your attention at various points along the promenade.

Nieuwpoort - Dover - 100 km 

We cross the channel with our flotilla which is about 100 km. The crossing will take about7-8 hours and you can experience what it is like to cruise a motoryacht over the Northsea. Dover Marina lies in a sheltered corner of the harbour and provides 400 moorings and all sorts of facilities. As the crow flies, this marina is the closest of all British marinas to France. Although many travellers go through or pass Dover on their way to elsewhere, numerous sights make a visit to this historical town worthwhile. Such as the old town hall, Maison Dieu Hall, built in 1203 by Hubert de Burgh as an inn for pilgrims. Many remnants from Roman times, including the remarkable lighthouse on Castle Hill and the Roman Painted House can be seen in Dover. And everyone is familiar with the white cliffs of Dover. Lovely walks can be taken over the steep white cliffs. The views of the Channel are beautiful and on a clear day, you can see France. Pine Gardens is situated in St Margaret's Bay, 6.5 km from Dover, and consists of six hectares of sustainable gardens with a waterfall, a lake, a grass maze and a popular tearoom.

In Dover we will stay an extra day, for you to discover the scenery and surroundings of this city.

Dover - Brighton - 118 km

Another day cruising the water with 118 km to cover from Dover to Brighton. Before arriving at this beautiful city, you will cruise along the South coast of the United Kingdom. You will sail past Folkstone, Dungeness, Hastings,  and see the Seven Sister, the famous white chalk cliffs that are just past Eastbourne. Then the final stop for the day is Brighton.
Brighton is one of the largest and best known seaside towns in the United Kingdom. Brighton used to be a fishing village but between 1800 and 1830, the village was converted into a chic seaside resort for the rich and famous. In a short period of time, many houses and hotels were built along Brighton's coastline and the village was transformed into a fashionable spa famed for its healthy sea air and water. Brighton flourished in the Victorian era. The Victorian architecture is still visible everywhere you go. The town has a pier that can be compared to that of Scheveningen. Besides the pier, the Royal Pavilion is the most famous building in Brighton. It's a striking palace with minarets and domes that was built for prince George IV. Brighton Marina is perfect for sailing yachts and motorboats. It's the largest marina in the United Kingdom with more than 1,300 moorings and easy access to open water. The marina has received the 5 Gold Anchors Award from The Yacht Harbour Association. 

Brighton - Chichester Bay - 72 km

From Brighton we continue our journey along the coastline. Next stop with the flotilla cruise is Chichester Bay.
Chichester Channel is the 'inland sea' near Chichester in West Sussex. It is surrounded by nature reserves, reserves and islands. In the middle, for example, lies Thorney Island with Thorney Island Beach, in the middle of the Pilsey Island nature reserve. We completely relax in this natural environment. Here, we find the small town of Bosham with only 2900 inhabitants and the historic Holy Trinity Church, but important sights in Chichester are also worth seeing, such as the 11th century Anglican Cathedral of the Holy Trinity and Chichester Cross and Square, where the market used to be held.

We stay an extra day in Chichester Bay. Time to relax and enjoy the countryside.

Chichester Bay - Cowes - 87 km

From Chichester Bay we cross the Solent with our charter yachts. The Solent is the 'river' between the main land and the Isle of Wight. We look out for any ferries or maybe sailing contests and cross to the picturesque Cowes on the Isle of Wight.
East Cowes Marina welcomes visiting yachts and motorboats throughout the year. The marina has 360 moorings on the sunny and sheltered banks of the River Medina. Cowes Yacht Haven in the centre of Cowes is a stone's throw away from the bustling centre of Cowes. This harbour has numerous facilities and the moorings are available throughout the year. As the home base for the oldest and largest sailing regatta in the world, Cowes Week, Cowes is the number one destination for sailors and other water lovers during the summer months. Various other regattas with classic yachts, motorboats and sailing boats take place throughout the year. Cowes is a true water sports town with numerous facilities for diving, rowing, paddle boarding, canoeing, fishing, wind- and kite surfing. If you want to get away from the water, you can visit Queen Victoria's royal residence Osborne House, or the Wight Military and Heritage Museum.

Cowes is definitely worth another day, so we will stay here for another night for you to enjoy.

Cowes - Newtown River 12 km

Today is a very relaxing day. Only a few kilometres to cover along the north shore of the Isle of Wight. We cruise our charter yachts to Newtown River. A shallow but large natural inlet on the Isle of Wight, near the town of Newtown. It is sometimes referred to as Newtown Creek. The area around Newtown River is a National Nature Reserve of the National Trust. It is a beautiful flat area, which we must navigate with care. Depending on the tide, there can be strong currents in and out of the bay. There are beautiful anchorages where we can relax for a while. The river and its hinterland have varied habitats ranging from woodland, old meadows, mud flats and marshland. The area is home to a number of rare species and is particularly important as a wintering ground for seabirds.

An absolute Must-See when sailing out the Newtown River towards port is of course 'The Needles'. So important that it has its own website: www.theneedles.co.uk. The striking rock formations and the red and white lighthouse at the very tip are a must-see for every powerboater and sailor on the south coast of England.
Most tourists only see the Needles from land, but we have the unique opportunity to view this landmark from all sides from the water.

Newton River - Beaulieu River - 15 km

Another beautiful and picturesque river is Beaulieu. We cross the River Solent once more and enter Beaulieu River. A narrow river that goes inland for a few kilometres. You will see many sailing boats anchored along the river. Here you can enjoy beautiful nature on board your charter yacht in this flotilla.
Beaulieu is a small village located on the south-eastern edge of the New Forest National Park in Hampshire. It is the home base of the National Motor Museum where around 280 vehicles can be seen, from the first motorised cars to legendary Formula 1 racing cars. Toy cars and pedal cars will bring back memories of your youth. Beaulieu is also well-known for its medieval buildings, such as a large monastery and Palace House. Both buildings are surrounded by extensive gardens, as you would expect of the British. Beaulieu River is popular for canoeing and kayaking, and for exploring the New Forest National Park. Ponies and donkeys roam freely in some places to manage the grass. Various types of deer and pigs live deeper in the forest. The park is also a breeding ground for approximately 100 types of birds. A few rare breeds stay over winter here.  

Beaulieu River - Gosport/Portsmouth - 27 km

We continue our journey, but from here on we slowly start to head back to the east. We are over our half way point. Today a short trip to Portsmouth Harbour, an inland lake at the northern end of the Solent. Here are two places that have quite a name in English nautical history: Gosport and Portsmouth. Gosport is one of the oldest water sports harbours in the UK, but is still one of the places where top Olympic sailors and other competitive sailors, from young to old, call their home. Located on an island, Portsmouth is not only a very lively city, but also one with a very ancient history. This can be traced back to the 3rd century in Roman times. In later times, it became one of the most important shipping cities in England and there were many shipyards. Especially as a naval port, the city became increasingly important over the centuries.

Portsmouth - Eastbourne - 110 km

We travel back along the shores of the UK. We pass the famous chalk cliffs in the surroundings of Eastbourne, whiter and higher than the cliffs of Dover, are the main tourist attraction of this bustling town. Eastbourne, just like Brighton, is a well-known seaside town with many Victorian-style buildings where, in the past, many of the aristocracy and rich industrialists stayed. One of the iconic buildings is the Eastbourne Bandstand, a music dome with a unique blue roof, built in the 1930s. Concerts are still given here. There is a plaque on the back of the dome for John Wesley Woodward, a former cellist from Eastbourne. Woodward was one of the musicians who played on the Titanic when this enormous ship came to its tragic end in 1912. The Eastbourne Marina is a well-equipped marina. The marina is surrounded by boulevards and terraces, where you can easily spend a morning or afternoon without going into the town. 

Eastbourne - Boulogne-sur-Mer 91 km

Today we depart on time from Eastbourne. On todays journey we will again cross the channel from England to France. Our port of call there is Boulogne-sur-Mer, the largest fishery port on France's North Sea coast. Here you will find the freshest fish, excellent restaurants and great terraces for an drink! The City of Boulogne has a long history and this can still be found in the old city centre. The Normans made their very first crossing here in the Middle Ages and there is still quite some proof to be found of those times gone by. 

We will spend another extra day here to discover the history and surroundings of the beautiful city.

Boulogne - Nieuwpoort - 110 km

Another long leg to travel in our Linssen Blue Water flotilla today. From Boulogne-sur-mer in France we head back to Nieuwpoort in Belgium.

Since we have been in this marina at the beginning of our flotilla journey for two days, this will be only an 'overnight' stop. Plenty of time for a nice diner and relaxing evening.

Nieuwpoort - Vlissingen - 75 km

We are nearing the end of our three week flotilla cruise from the Netherlands to Belgium, England, France and back. This second to last leg will take us to Vlissingen, which also brings us back to the Netherlands.

Vlissingen is one of the most vibrant cities in Zeeland. This maritime city has a modern harbour in a historic setting. The marina ´Michiel de Ruyter´ is a perfectly sheltered home port for approximately 90 regular berth holders and hundreds of passers-by that visit the harbour during the summer season. However hard the wind is blowing on the Western Scheldt, once you’re in the harbour you can moor in the calm. Thanks to its central location, shops, catering facilities, the promenade and beach are all within walking distance. There are few buildings left in Vlissingen that serve as a reminder of past Dutch merchant shipping. One building with colonial roots that does still exist is Fort Rammekens, just outside Vlissingen. The ships of the United East India Company (VOC), the Dutch West India Company (WIC) and the Middelburgse Commercie Compagnie (MCC) left for Asia, America and Africa from here. The Beursplein and the Bellamypark are Vlissingen's main catering hotspots. There is even a restaurant in the 17th century stock exchange.

Vlissingen - St. Annaland - 67 km

The trip is almost over. Our last leg goes to St. Annaland. Not the worlds capital, but it has the perfect location, directly connected to the Oosterschelde, the largest National Park of the Netherlands. The village has a tidal harbour on the Krabbenkreek. Maybe we can finnish our Linssen Bluee Water flotilla cruise in Restaurant Buutengaets, located in the marina. We can enjoy a fresh Oosterschelde lobster on the beautiful outdoor terrace and overlook our charter yachts in the harbour.

At this point we end our flotilla. Some of our participants that travel on their own Linssen yachts will start their home journey or continue their own route. You as a charter guest will be accompanied back to Willemstad as your end destination, where you can travel back home.

We hope you have enjoyed our Linssen Blue Water Flotilla cruise. In 2023 we are planning even more exciting and inspiring accompanied flotilla cruises. If you are interested, then get in touch with us.

Images © Shutterstock / Linssen Yachts

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