Welcome to our 2024 season offering tours and sailing experiences on the River Fal, Cornwall.

Welcome all to our 2024 sailing season, our 7th on the River Fal in Cornwall since 2017. We will be available once more for our unique river trips and sailing experiences from Easter through to October.

Our river trips start and finish at Malpas near Truro, where there have been some welcome improvements over the last year or so. There is now a lovely coffee shop right on the quay which means if you arrive a little early (always recommended) you can grab yourself a nice drink, be sure to ask for takeout so you can bring it onboard with you. Here there is also a sparkly new ‘accessible’ toilet (we do of course have a standard toilet onboard Drifter too) and a new harbour office has been built and staffed by the very friendly team from ‘Port of Truro’.

We pickup and dropoff at Malpas near Truro, amongst the beautiful upper reaches of the river.

Malpas is a great place to start and finish our trips as it places us immediately into the beautiful upper reaches of Fal, a world away from the hustle and bustle of Falmouth. Did you know that the river Fal is an estuary, which means it is tidal with the difference between high and low water as much as 5 meters. We typically time our trips to take advantage of high tide, giving us unique access to the more remote parts of the river, but low tide trips are also wonderful as there is usually much more wildlife feeding on the exposed mudbanks.

Our passengers often comment on how the river has managed to remain wild and unspoiled despite the centuries of industry in the area. In the distant past, development along the river was restricted by the very wise custodians of the Tregothnan and Trelissick estates on the East and West sides of the estuary. These days there are numerous additional protections in place including the very well-known area of outstanding natural beauty, but also it is now home to sites of special scientific interest, a marine conservation zone, a fish nursery and to top off the list, the local harbour authority maintains order and limits the speed to a sedate 8 knots (aka slow) which keeps things very relaxed. The water quality itself is also constantly monitored by the Falmouth port health team as there is a significant Oyster and Mussel industry.

You can now ‘track’ us from our website – see below

You can now ‘track’ our lovely barge from this link to our website or by visiting the ‘MarineTraffic’ website on the Internet. During the day you will see us traveling up and down the various reaches, and at night settled down in some sheltered anchorage. We spend all Summer at anchor and stay aboard, waking up each day in this beautiful place is a privilege and something we will never tire of. Anybody who has met us will tell you how passionate and knowledgeable we are about the river and its past and present.

Drifter at anchor near Malpas

‘Visit Truro’, the local tourist information office has supported our business from the start since 2017. Just recently they added us to their promotional videos for the area. It is heartwarming to be considered one of the few great experiences in the area. By the way, you should definitely pop into their shop in Truro as there is so much to do in the area and you can buy many local products including guides, souvenirs and produce.

An excerpt from a recent Visit Truro promotional film. The full video can be viewed on YouTube.

This season, all of our trips are exclusive hire, which means when you book a trip with us there will be no others onboard. You can bring as many as 6 people along. So whether you want a romantic trip for two, a fun family trip, a friends day out, or even to celebrate a special occasion on the water just let us know and we can reserve the date. We also spectate special harbour events throughout the season which are the most highly prized dates on our calendar so do let us know if you would like to join us during one of these.

You don’t need to have any sailing experience as we take care of all the sailing. We do like to encourage you to have a go at helming (aka steering) if you want to, also it is not uncommon for us to show the younger ones how to tie a (proper) knot or two. Otherwise, you can relax and enjoy the experience of sailing quietly down the river with us as your guides to the nature and heritage of the area. On our longer trips, we will always recommend a stop at anchor for a picnic, or perhaps a swim in a sheltered bay.

We now have over 100 positive reviews across the Internet, which are all 5*. Our advice is to reserve your day with us on the water as early as possible. See you soon.

For more information visit us at sailingbargedrifter.co.uk