Sessions and Sail Australia 2025

February 25th - March 3rd 2025

Price: £1,395 (AU$2,670) per person (please note this price may be tweaked as we finalise costs. Price will not change significantly); this price includes all food, accommodation, sessions and workshops throughout the trip.

Sessions and Sail are very excited to be partnering for the first time with the Brigantine Søren Larsen to offer a voyage on the Australian coast!

Built in Denmark in 1949, this oak-hulled brigantine is now based in Campbell's Cove, Sydney. On this week-long voyage, we will sail from her regular berth with the ship’s crew in charge, and a selection of our regular music tutors aboard – professional musicians who are veterans of our Scottish sailing voyages.

Aboard, you will find a welcoming and encouraging environment in which you will be encouraged to join in the music sessions, start a tune or a song; and when we get the ship sailing, you will be encouraged to get involved in the working of the ship, steering and hauling on halyards and braces under the careful tutelage of the professional sailing crew; however, you may also prefer to let others do this and watch the scenery glide past and look out for whales or dolphins from the foredeck.

Our plan for the week, once we have passed under the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and sailed by the Opera House - and spent an evening at anchor one of the many bays here, playing tunes and getting to know one another - will be to venture beyond the Heads, sailing up the coast if conditions are fitting to the Hawkesbury River, Broken Bay, and the Ku ring gai Chase National Park.

We may also head down the coast to Wollongong or Jervis Bay if conditions dictate.

During one or two overnight passages, we will keep watches so you can experience the joy of a square rigger under sail by night. Other days we will make shorter day-passages, getting the tunes going in the evening, gathering on deck, in Søren’s gorgeous wood-panelled saloon, or in the deckhouse.

There will be opportunities to go ashore – a hike, a beach visit, or a shore-based music session. We will make sure there’s time for onboard tuition and workshops during the day, either at anchor or underway when conditions allow, as we explore this incredible coast.

We have a particular connection with the Søren Larsen, as Sessions and Sail founder Barry Nisbet sailed aboard her from 2000-2008 as 2nd Mate, Mate and Captain; and Sessions and Sail stalwart Carol Anderson sailed aboard her in 2005-2006 as Cook and on-call Fiddle Player. Marty and Lisa Woods, who operate the ship, are old friends and shipmates!

The ship will be your base and your floating home for a week-long voyage of exploration, creativity and music.

The trip and the workshops are open to EVERYONE, from complete beginners to experienced musicians. No sailing experience is required.

​We look forward to having you join us!



Sydney Harbour

One of the world's iconic views, we will start our voyage in Sydney Harbour.


Photograph: Lenny K Photography

Hawkesbury River

Located northwest of Sydney, The Hawkesbury River and its associated main tributary, the Nepean River, almost encircle the metropolitan region of Sydney.

The land adjacent to the Hawkesbury River was occupied by Aboriginal peoples: the Darkinjung, Darug, Fora and Kuringgai. In the languages of the traditional custodians the river is Deerubben or Dyarubbin


Photo credit: Rossco/Flickr

Dangar Island

A small, forested island on the Hawkesbury River, Dangar is home to a small a small community with a strong live music scene.


60 miles down the coast from Sydney and backed by forest-cloaked mountains, Wollongong has a historic lighthouse, a vibrant town and some great beaches.

Jervis Bay

Famous for white sand, sea life and turquoise waters, Jervis Bay may be within reach if weather conditions are very kind to us! We may manage some beach and swim time between the tunes if we get this far south.

Photo: Hyams Beach. Booderee National Park & Jervis Bay Marine Park by Charliekay is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Who is the trip aimed at?

If you are a keen musician playing at any level - whether beginner, intermediate or expert - with an interest in playing folk music, and an adventurous spirit - this trip is for you.  The tutors who will be sailing with you on this voyage with you have particular skill in Bluegrass, in Scottish Traditional music and in Songwriting; we can give good tuition particularly on Fiddle, Mandolin, and Guitar - but we're open to and enjoy all forms of folk music, storytelling etc; if you're thinking of joining us do get in touch, we'd love to hear from you!

We have a strong and friendly community of sailing musicians from our Scottish voyages; some of these may wind their way to Australia for the trip… We also have many good friends in the Australian music scene, and we'd love to see some of you aboard.

No sailing experience is necessary, but those keen to participate will be encouraged to join in the sailing of the ship should they wish to, whether steering, helping set and trim the sails, or even climbing the mast for the finest view of all.

Accommodation on board

You will be allocated a berth in one of Soren Larsen's seven double cabins - or in one of her two four-berth cabins. For solo travellers, cabins will be allocated on a same-sex basis; if two people travelling together wish to share a cabin, we recommend booking early to ensure availability.

There are three shower/toilet rooms below decks; these are shared.

Cabin space is small but cosy, and evocative of an earlier age of travel. if you like an adventure you'll love it.

Meals are prepared in the deck house galley; these are of a high standard and prepared by the ship's full-time cook. Meals, tea and coffee are included in the price of the trip.

The lower deck saloon is warm and evocative, providing an ideal place for everyone to eat together, and a great session space. In good weather, we will spend the bulk of our time on deck, eating and playing tunes in the open air.

Likely Itinerary 

A likely itinerary will be added here soon! This will be a suggestion of how the trip may take form; all destinations are subject to change, are weather dependant, and are at the discretion of the Captain.