We have been making plans over the winter for some big changes in how and where we operate and the activities and adventures we offer to our guests.
We have been based in Dartmouth for six years now. It is a beautiful place and we have made good friends here. However, the harbour is understandably busy and will become more so as the Trust’s cruise ship policy develops. As ever, when the big guys move in the little guys are squeezed and this means we cannot provide guests with the quality of experience we would like.
In order to keep our summer voyage prices attractive and to ensure we can keep the Snark well maintained; we need to have a winter income. In the winter months the local market in Dartmouth is small and unable to sustain a wide range of hospitality businesses, so the Snark has been out of service. We have been working in unrelated sectors over the past few years and this was a boon during the Covid years. However, we are not making the best use of our asset, a spectacular sailing ship, and we needed to re-think.
Now our plans are complete and it’s time for the doing!
We are moving to Exeter
What we might look like in Exeter - photoshopped by Snark.
The Exeter Canal and Quay Trust undertook a survey asking visitors what they would like to see in the development of the harbour. The top two answers were a floating restaurant/bar and more traditional sailing vessels berthed in the harbour. By supporting our moving the Snark to Exeter the Trust fulfils both of those objectives.
Our winter base will be in the Canal Basin at the head of the Exeter Ship Canal in the heritage port of Exeter. We will be berthed on the Piazza Terracina where we will be offering dinners and brunches of tasty home cooked food from around the world. Lots more about this on our web site and in upcoming blogs.
In summer 2024 the Snark will be based on the Exe estuary either on Topsham Quay or moored in the Bight off Exmouth, offering some great new adventures, see our web site .
In May we will offer day sailing on the estuary or in the bay as well as short breaks onboard.
During June, July and early August we plan to sail the Snark over 1000 miles right around the English Channel in six stages. Provisionally named ‘Le Grand Tour de la Manche a la voile’ or Sailing slowly around the English Channel, the voyage will take us to 35 ports in England and France. Our guests will be exploring the regions beautiful coastal scenery, heritage and wild life, from the Channel Islands to the Scillys, the Jurassic coast to the Normandy beaches; and of course sampling the wonderful food and drink these place have to offer!
Then as a season finale, in celebration of the sail trading heritage of the South West, we will sail Snark down the coast of Devon and Cornwall visiting the inland ports that were the mainstay of the coastal sailing barge fleet a hundred years ago. The Snark will visit Topsham on the Exe, Totnes on the Dart, Kingsbridge, Cotehele Quay on the Tamar, St German on the Lyner, Looe (possibly), Mixtow on the Fowey River and Truro at the head of the Fal/Truro River; before returning to the Exeter Ship Canal and our winter berth for more Winter Dining.
And of course before any of that happens we will be completing our summer 2023 season. There are still four great one week West Country voyages to choose from, all with late availability. Find out more on our web site.
To mark this change we have also remodelled our web site and branding to reflect our developing business. We hope you like it. Do let us know here if there are any tweaks that would enhance you on line experience or if you have any questions about our plans.