The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Falmouth For Orders

In the days of square-rig ships, most charters to Europe called for the vessel to head to Falmouth to await instructions regarding their destination port, hence ‘Falmouth for orders’.

Given that many of their cargoes were bulk commodities and might be traded several times during a journey, they might await their orders swinging at anchor off the town, performing basic maintenance and going on shore leave to the town’s many taverns.

A similar pattern remains in place today, only we are all awaiting better weather.