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A Unique Whitsunday Sailing Experience

A Unique Whitsunday Sailing Experience

Aboard this beautifully preserved 113 year old historic tall ship

One thing we know for sure is that you won’t experience a Whitsunday sailing tour like Solway Lass.

She is a beautifully preserved tall ship with a rich history that you’ll feel the moment you step onboard. With expansive deck space, a licensed bar, air-conditioned cabins, and a comfortable saloon, Solway Lass is our largest vessel with plenty of space.

There is a fun rope swing and stand-up paddleboards adding to the excitement and adventure. You can help pull up some of the impressive 11 sails or take a turn on the helm. Whatever your age, Solway Lass is sure to deliver a unique experience and life-long memories as you sail the Whitsunday Islands.

Our customers appreciate her so much we created the ‘Solway Lass Club’ which now has hundreds of members. Many returning time and time again to sail the Whitsundays onboard this unique ship.

Although today she provides leisurely sailing tours around the islands, it wasn’t always this way…

The History Of This Majestic Ship

Built in the Netherlands in 1902 for a Hamburg based shipping company, her original name was Stina.

Designed as a sail-powered cargo ship, the hull being built with German Blue Steel, she was strong to handle heavy loads and seaworthy for the unforgiving North Sea. In 1905 she was renamed to Adolf, and was sailing the Baltic and North seas.

In 1915 when WWI broke out, she was seized as a prize of war by the British Royal Navy and used as a Q-Ship during World War I.

After WWI she was sold by the Navy to a shipping company in the Solway Firth in Scotland, which is where the name Solway Lass first originates. She went back to work as a cargo vessel.

a small boat in a body of water
When World War II broke out, Nazi Germany seized the vessel and used her as a supply ship before hitting one of their own mines while leaving the harbour.

Dramatically, her hull had a hole blown in the side, however, the crew was able to move the boat to shallow water. Quickly repaired and Solway Lass was back to work as a supply ship for the German war effort.

After the war in 1949 sold to the Danish Shipping Company and named “Sundeved.” She worked as a coal, produce and stone carrying vessel between Liverpool and Scotland.

a person standing in front of a bridge
During the 1970s and 1980s Solway Lass sailed the South Pacific as a Coastal Trader.

In 1983, Sydney Businessman Tim Lloyd who owned Matilda Cruises purchased Solway Lass and between 1983 and 1985 spent over $1million on a major restoration project at Berrys Bay in Sydney.

She was welcomed as Sydney’s Tall Ship sailing the Harbour and took part in the 1st Fleet re-enactment of the Tall Ships in Sydney Harbour in 1988.

Then in 1999, Solway Lass was purchased by Australian Tall Ship Cruises and Explore Whitsundays and sailed to the Whitsunday Islands.

a group of people on a boat

After an extensive refurbishment, Solway Lass went to sea as a live-aboard charter yacht. Today regular refits and maintenance works keep Solway Lass presenting a fine figure as she sails the Whitsundays.

a small boat in a large body of water

Itinerary On A 2 Day / 2 Night Charter

Depart from the Coral Sea Marina at 4.00 pm and sail to your first anchorage of the trip in Hook Passage in between Hook and Whitsunday Island.

Feeling energetic?

Get involved with setting the sails! Enjoy the first sunset of the trip as you sit back and relax, floating across the Whitsunday Passage and meet your fellow holidaymakers.

Kids sailing
a group of people on a beach near a body of water Have breakfast whilst on the move to Tongue Bay, the gateway to Whitehaven Beach.

Take a short, guided bush walk up to the Hill Inlet Lookout to take in the 7km stretch of the remarkable Whitehaven Beach below you.

After taking in the breathtaking views, walk down to the beach itself and feel that silica sand between your toes.

Once back on board, you’ll sail north to one of the beautiful bays in the area where you’ll kit up with snorkelling gear, ready to jump in and explore the fringing coral reefs.

The vibrant, tropical fish will welcome you into their home as they flurry about in the water.

Stop again in another secluded bay to the golden hour as the sun sets over the Whitsundays. During dinner get stuck into a conversation with your new-found friends whilst on deck under the stars.

a turtle swimming under water
a group of people in a body of water Early rise for breakfast, for one more chance to snorkel in a nearby bay and see the fringing reef for the final time, maybe spot a turtle if you’re lucky.

Then it’s time to set the sails for the final time to make way across the Whitsunday Passage. Arrive back into Airlie Beach at 1.00 pm.

How to get to Airlie Beach For Your Whitsundays Holiday

Arrive at Airlie Beach by bus, train, or air.

Fly into Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport with any of the Australian domestic airlines – Virgin, Qantas, and Jetstar. Each has daily flights as well as connecting flights from other destinations.

Our private bus transfer will collect you from the airport and take you to Coral Sea Marina Resort ready for departure.

Ready To Book Your Unique Whitsunday Sailing Experience?

Solway Lass hosts a range of Unique and Private Charters for your Whitsunday sailing experience.

Walk the Whitsundays is our popular 6 Day, 5 Night Walking Tour around the Whitsunday Islands, click to find out more!

Or why not try our Whitsunday Explorer 4 Day 3 Night Tour, designed for the whole family, click to find out more!

Our Private Charter Team can also help to organise details for your trip. We can arrange airport transfers to/from your accommodation or the marina, taking the pressure off your shoulders.

We will go through every detail to make sure everything works. This means you can relax, show up and enjoy your holiday!

Find out when you will experience the best weather in the Whitsundays here.

Enquire about available dates on (07) 4967 7555 or email

Download The Explore Whitsundays private yacht charter brochure