While the industry is brimming with sensational contemporary yachts, there is nothing quite like handing yourself over to the elements and discovering the joys of a classic sailing yacht. With plenty of vessels to choose from, we’ve rounded up some of the finest classic sailing yachts out there and showcased the very best of what the market has to offer…
Shenandoah of Sark
Highlights: With ornate, elegant and intrinsically classic interiors, this 104-year-old 54-metre sailing yacht is undoubtedly one of the most sophisticated vessels available for charter. She is a three-masted gaff-rigged schooner that emits a delicate antiquity, but don’t let this fool you, as Shenandoah of Sark is a supercharged sailor who's happy to lean into the waves for some adrenaline-filled action. Her glittering history is filled with aristocracy, royalty and even smugglers and she’s hosted fabulous parties in her time. During the 80's, Shenandoah of Sark became a superstar of sorts, used as the backdrop for Vogue magazine photoshoots and Rod Stewart music videos.
With a flexible configuration that allows for additional berths if required, accommodation is for 10 on board, each set within cabins that are packed with books and rich oil paintings. There's also a baby Steinway on board, taking pride of place in the main saloon. Shenandoah of Sark is the embodiment of the golden age of sailing, and promises one of the most elegant charter yachts one can opt for.
Shenandoah of Sark is available for charter with Burgess from €125,000 per week.
Stats: 40.2m, Camper and Nicholsons, 1899 (2019) 12 guests, 6 crew
Highlights: Originally designed by Charles Nicholson and built in 1899 at Camper and Nicholson in Gosport, England, Black Swan is up there with one of the most important classic sailing yachts in the charter fleet. As a racing yacht, her history is filled with accolades such as winning the King’s Cup at the beginning of the 20th century, while she offers remarkable comfort for cruising.
Over the years, she has undergone several changes and different rig configurations, and at one stage she was renamed Changrilla. She was then rechristened Black Swan in the 1960s and, today, after an extensive restoration project, she is now carrying a gaff-rig, designed by the Faggioni Yacht Design Studio and built by Harry Spencer.
Black Swan is available to charter with Camper and Nicholsons with a weekly rate from €50,000.
Stats: 65.3m, Camper & Nicholsons, 1927 (2007), 11 guests, 15 crew
Highlights: Often considered a masterpiece in sailing circles, 65.3 metre Creole is an iconic three-masted schooner in impeccable condition. Delivered in 1927, she has an illustrious history including service as a mine-hunter in the Second World War and a slew of notable owners who have looked after her during her lifetime, from members of the Gucci fashion family to Stavros Niarchos of the Greek shipping dynasty. Boasting a sail area of 1,040 square metres, Creole can hit top speeds of up to 16 knots when the winds are right, and her impressive performance at sea has seen her collect a number of awards at international regattas including the Grimaldi Trophy Les Voiles des Saint-Tropez.
Timeless styling is evident throughout her interior, especially in the pastel-coloured saloon and dining room, and she also offers al fresco dining for enjoying warmer weather.
Creole is available for charter with Burgess with a weekly rate from €189,000.
Stats: 35m, Brooke Marine, 1938 (2016), 10 guests, 5 crew
Highlights: With a beautifully classical exterior, Eros is everything you would hope to find from a classic schooner – being both remarkably elegant, and filled with history and a sensational performer out on the water. Named after the Greek goddess of love, she retains much of her original features like teak panelling in the dining saloon - a nod to her original art-deco interior.
Those looking for the thrill of sailing can take the helm at her classic wooden wheel, while others can kick back on a sun lounger at the bow. As the sun sets, guests can dine on deck thanks to a large teak table with wraparound seating for up to 10. Eros also boasts a well-stocked toybox, carrying kayaks, deep-sea fishing gear, paddle boards and equipment for waterskiing and wakeboarding.
Eros is available to charter with Classic Charters with a weekly rate from $44,000.
Stats: 63.4m, Holland Jachtbouw, 2010 (2021) 10 guests, 10 crew
Highlights: Perfectly equipped to facilitate the perfect family sailing holiday, Athos strikes that all-important balance between high-powered performance and luxury living at sea. She may be on the newer end of the classic sailing yacht scale, but no less remarkable offering all the stylistic qualities of a truly classic sailing yacht. Her vast exterior deck offers plenty of space for socialising, with a shaded dining area on the aft and a private deck area adjoining the master suite.
The yacht recently returned to the charter market having undergone an extensive refit in 2021, which included a 1.25-metre extension at the stern and a total rebuild of the interior. Hoek Design once again stepped in to oversee the naval architecture, interior styling and layout changes of the guest accommodation, main saloon, crew service areas and deckhouse. Her styling is now warm and inviting, which has made her a more sophisticated offering.
Athos is available to charter with Y.CO from $220,000 per week.
Stats: 33m, Turquoise, 2009 (2014), 8 guests, 4 crew
Highlights: With her classical lines, thrilling performance and sumptuous interiors, Eugenia VII is the stuff of fairy tales. She may fall into the newer category having been delivered in 2009, but this only plays to her advantage. She was designed by Hoek Design, who endowed her with a remarkably well-balanced profile and a classical feel. Inside, she’s filled with wood – contributing nicely to her classical feel – and has plenty of beautiful furnishings and sumptuous seating. A top yacht for charter, she is designed perfectly for socialising and entertaining with family and friends, Eugenia VII is an all-rounder, fit for those after some serious sailing as well as those who would prefer to kick back and bask in the sunshine.
Eugenia VII is available to charter with Fraser with a weekly rate from €44,000.