Adult Sailing Programs aboard Brilliant

Schooner BRILLIANT at seaJoin seven other adults and the professional crew aboard Brilliant for a hands-on, full-participation sailing experience aboard a classic yacht. Trips are available for adults in the spring and fall. (Summer sails are reserved for teenagers ages 15-18.) Learn to sail a 61-foot schooner while cruising local waters and visiting scenic anchorages and towns. You’ll become part of the crew as you raise sails, haul on lines, steer, help in the galley, and learn traditional seamanship. 

Common ports of call may include Block Island, RI and Shelter Island, NY. The nightly anchorages are weather dependent and at the Captain’s discretion. When space and weather permit, Brilliant will lay to a dock permitting shore leave for the crew. While Brilliant has modern safety and navigation equipment, her accommodations are true to her original construction providing open sleeping quarters and traditional heads.

Participants must be physically fit and agile as well as competent swimmers to take part in the sailing program. Once you reserve a berth aboard Brilliant, you will be sent a health form and handbook outlining what to bring, arrival information, as well as many other details. No sailing experience is necessary.

2014 Brilliant Adult Sails

Trips departing from and returning to Mystic Seaport board at 9 a.m. and return at 4 p.m. unless otherwise noted.


  • August 25-26: Block Island Schooner Rendezvous — Sail out to Great Salt pond on beautiful Block island and join other members of the American Schooner Association for a lobster dinner and an evening of music aboard the Mystic Whaler. Return to Mystic Seaport the following day. Member: $360 / Non-member: $410
  • August 27-29: Mystic to Gloucester — A one-way transit to Gloucester, Mass., for the 30th annual Gloucester Schooner Festival. This adventurous 140-mile trip will transit Block Island Sound, Buzzards Bay, the Cape Cod Canal, and Massachusetts Bay. We will be anchoring every night, however due to the nature of the trip, shore stops will be weather and time permitting. Member: $570 / Non-member: $650
  • August 31: Gloucester Schooner Race –Take part in the 30th Gloucester Schooner Race as dozens of schooners, both large and small, help celebrate the heritage of this glorious fishing port. $185 per person


  • September 1-3: Gloucester to Mystic — A one-way transit to bring Brilliant home from Gloucester. This is the reverse of the August 27 trip and, depending on weather, can be a little challenging. Port stops may be limited and there may be some long days of sailing. Member: $570 / Non-member: $650
  • September 13: Connecticut Maritime Heritage Festival – Sail aboard Brilliant in the Connecticut Maritime Heritage Festival Morgan Cup Race as she defends her title as winner of the 2013 Morgan Cup. You will board Brilliant at 9 a.m. at New London City Pier and will be back at the dock at 4 p.m. Cost is $150 per person and lunch will be provided onboard.
  • September 14: Day sail – This sail departs from Mystic Seaport and returns to the Museum later that day. $150 per person
  • September 19-21: Mystic to Greenport Maritime Festival to Mystic — This trip combines two days of sailing and a day ashore in historic Greenport. We sail to Greenport on day one and tie up downtown, then Brilliant becomes your base of adventure as you explore the Maritime Festival, Greenport’s quaint downtown, or the wine country of Long Island’s North Fork. We’ll return to Mystic on day three. Member: $570 / Non-member: $650
  • September 26-27: Two-day sail – Another weekend getaway. We’ll sail to a quiet anchorage and return the next day, relying on the wind to choose the destination. Member: $360 / Non-member: $410
  • September 28: Day sail — SOLD OUT! This sail departs from Mystic Seaport and returns to the Museum later that day. $150 per person


  • October 3-5: Three-day sail — Three days of sailing wherever the wind decides. Some popular possible stops include Newport, Bristol, Block Island, Greenport, and Shelter Island. Member: $570 / Non-member: $650
  • October 12-15: Mystic to Baltimore – This is one of our most adventurous transits of the season. We will sail around the clock to Baltimore, MD for the start of the Great Chesapeake Schooner Race. Participants will be given watch assignments and duties and should be prepared to be on deck anytime night or day. The trip will transit inside Long Island sound and New York City, or outside via Montauk and the coast, the Delaware River, C&D, Canal and the upper portion of the Chesapeake Bay. Member: $850 / Non-member: $900
  • October 16-18: Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race – The 25th year of one of the largest gatherings of schooners on the East Coast. Upwards of 50 boats, both large and small, will race 126 miles down the Bay from Annapolis, MD to Portsmouth, VA. Brilliant will be sailed through the night and participants will be given watch assignments and duties. Member: $800 / Non-member: $850
  • October 20-23: Portsmouth to Mystic — The season finale, another adventurous romp of 350 miles either up the coast or via the C&D canal to bring Brilliant home. The boat will be sailed through the night and participants will be given watch assignments and duties and should be prepared to be on deck anytime night or day. Member: $850 / Non-member: $900