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Cross the Bay of Biscay to Northern Spain in Summer - good for dolphin spotting

A chance for Oosterschelde to get into the rhythm of continuous sailing for a few days. Whilst it will feel like ocean sailing, you may spot other tall ships and sail training yachts heading to La Coruna for the International Tall Ships Race series. The corner of Spain is a great place for spotting dolphins as the Continental Shelf comes quite close to the European coast.

Embark
Mon, 20-07-2020 - 17:00
Douarnenez
Disembark
Sun, 26-07-2020 - 09:00
La Coruna, Spain
Duration
6 Days
Vessel
Oosterschelde
Voyage No.
OS200720

Berths and voyage availability

TYPE: 4 Berth Cabin Per Person. AVAILABILITY: Available. PRICE: 600 EUR. BOOK NOW
TYPE: 2 Berth Cabin pp. AVAILABILITY: Available. PRICE: 720 EUR. BOOK NOW

Oosterschelde - DZ to A Coruna Tall Ships Festival

IDEAL VOYAGE FOR...

True sailors who love the contrast between being ashore in busy ports and the freedom of the seas. Sail Oosterschelde across the Bay of Biscay to A Coruna on the corner of Northern Spain. Tall ships from all over the world will also be aiming for La Coruna as this port is the first host for the summer tall ships race. This This 131ft tall ship offers a powerful sailing experience and comfortable living spaces below decks. Oosterschelde has three big gaff sails which are all involving to gybe or tack, as well as square sails. The ship already has a lot of fans around the world after two circumnavigations, so crews are multi national and the working language is English.

  • A great way to leave Douarnenez if you have been at the Temps Fete Festival 2020
  • Sail the fast tides past Isle du Sein & iconic lighthouses
  • Possible stop on Belle Isle
  • Cross Biscay - a good spot for dolphins
  • Powerful ocean going schooner with square sails too
  • excellent below decks accommodation
  • see other tall ships as they head for tall hips regatta
Douarnenez festival in port

FULL VOYAGE DESCRIPTION

 

On a sailing voyage, we never use the word itinerary, as skippers will always be aiming for the best sailing and shore landings for the forecast and most idyllic or sheltered anchors and ports. They are as keen as you to include some of the highlights described below, but you have to go with Mother Nature, not fight her. The description below is based on what we think might be possible, based on past trips, or experience, but nothing is guaranteed on a sailing voyage.

Every year the OOSTERSCHELDE is invited to a few maritime festivals. For instance, the festival in Douarnenez, the place where we welcome you on board. This fishermen’s town is situated spectacularly in a deep bay. From this bay you enter the Bay of Biscay. The many autumn storms give Biscay a bad name, but during summer it is often lovely weather.

offshore and ocean sailing on Oosterschelde

Bay of Biscay is very deep, in some places even 5000 meters and that gives the seawater a beautiful deep blue colour. We stay on the French coast and visit Belle-Île. We can anchor at Le Palais from where we can explore the island. Then it is time to start our crossing. It is about 250 nautical miles to reach the south side of the bay and expect that we will need 48 hours before we arrive in Galicia on the north side of Spain. We will drop anchor in one of the deep bays that are typical for this area before we sail to A Coruña.

A Coruña is the starting point for the Tall Ships Races. We will arrive on Friday. The harbour is full of participating vessels and it is well worth spending a day visiting the ships and crews before you leave the OOSTERSCHELDE after breakfast on the last day.

Northern Spain - Isle de Cies near Vigo
Northern Spain - Isle de Cies near Vigo

Find Out More about Oosterschelde Voyages

Naturally, the crew will explain how to sail on a three-masted tall ship, the purpose of all the lines (ropes), and the ship's daily routine. The crew on Oosterschelde are full time and most have been with the ship for a long time. If you are thinking about a longer trip then you can talk to them about their favourite places and what it is like to sail across the world, or island-hop in Cape Verde on a historic topsail schooner. Everyone is encouraged to help to steer, navigating and sailing the ship. The working language is English and Dutch but the crew are multinational.

Oosterschelde is very well known in Holland and a favourite of sea and nature lovers. Her ethos is one of active and direct exposure to the sea and sailing, the region being explored and its wildlife. Below decks the two and four cabins are fitted with a washbasin with hot and cold water. Showers are separate. The lounge is very stylish with a wood burning stove (for Spitsbergen trips etc) a piano and library. All cabins have forced ventilation and a window or hatch to open. In hot sailing areas like Cape Verde the ever present trade winds keep it a pleasant temperature below decks. She has a large galley and professional cook and you can buy drinks at the bar. On board euros are accepted but not credit cards.

Oosterschelde is well used to running sailing expeditions to remote places like Spitsbergen, Antarctica, Indonesia with well educated guests interested in nature, walking, maritime history and local culture ashore. Whilst the ship does do social projects / sail training, for most the year the hospitality and style of sailing is geared towards adults on an adventure holiday.

explaining how square sails work
explaining how square sails work
 

A different way of life

This voyage offers you the chance to experience the life of a tall ship sailor for a few days. You will be part of the ship's crew, but the style of leadership is very relaxed and you learn as you go, with occasional teaching sessions for those who want to know more. If Oosterschelde is sailing to a next port overnight this might mean getting up for a 4 hour watch in the dark. If you have never travelled at night without headlights, this is a new experience. Steering by the stars is not a cliche. It is easier to keep a bright star in line with the edge of a sail or the mast than squinting at a binnacle compass with a back-light. The lovely thing about a night sail is you are quite justified going off for a 'power nap' in the afternoon or whenever you are off watch!

 

The Captain or mate will hold a daily meeting to explain the plan for the day.

.
 
 
dolphins in our bow wave. Oosterschelde in Cape Verde
Photo Arthur Smeets
 

WINDS, WAVES & WEATHER

 

HANDS ON HOLIDAYS

Whether you are an experienced sailor or a complete beginner, the professional crew will train you to be guest crew from the moment you arrive, with the intention that everybody works together to sail the ship. The common thread to all Classic Sailing holidays is ‘Hands on’ participation on ships that use ropes, blocks and tackles and ‘people power’ to set sail.

SAILING STYLE & LIFE ON BOARD

We cater for a wide range of ages and physical abilities and how much you are expected to do varies a bit between vessels. See the vessel tab above which explains all about the ‘sailing style’ and what to expect in terms of hands on participation. There is a lot of information about day to day life, the ships facilities and accommodation on the vessel pages.

The gaff sails on all three masts are huge and it is a long way up to release the gaskets and set Oosterschelde's square sails. There is a Captain, Mate, couple of deck hands, engineer and chef so the ships guest crew will need to work hard as a team to race this impressive ship.

Oosterschelde is a very comfy ship - restored for adventure charter with a huge saloon with bar, piano, wood burning stove and library so if you have always fancied running away to sea for a few weeks, we can't think of a more stylish way to do it as hands on ships crew.

Both of Classic Sailing working directors have sailed on Oosterschelde in Jan 2011 so we can tell you what she is like to sail on if you give us a ring.

More details and photos of Oosterschelde - see vessel details tab above.

blue water sailing on tall ship oosterschelde

AGILITY & FITNESS

Every customer sailing with us will need to fill in basic medical questions on their booking application. If you are not sure if your current level of fitness and agility are up to a voyage, then please ring the Classic Sailing Office on 01872 58 00 22 and we can chat through your concerns and possibly find options that might suit you better.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Skipper & professional crew
  • Personal Safety Equipment
  • Sailing Instruction
  • All meals, snacks and refreshments
  • Port and landing fees
  • Linen and duvets
  • Third Party liability insurance

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

  • Travel to Joining Port
  • Travel from end port
  • Alcoholic Drinks but there is a bar on board
  • Towels
  • Waterproofs

 

 

IDEAL VOYAGE FOR...

 

A bit of Sizzle then…..


On a sailing voyage we never use the word itinerary, as skippers will always be aiming for the best sailing and shore landings for the forecast and most idyllic or sheltered anchors and ports. They are as keen as you to include some of the highlights described below, but you have to go with Mother Nature, not fight her. The description below is based on what we think might be possible, based on past trips, or experience, but nothing is guaranteed on a sailing voyage.


YOU CAN PASTE OLD VOYAGE DESCRIPTION or SAILING PARTNER VOYAGE DESCRIPTION into the body text here and then improve or shorten text.
Or write from new prompt list of things to write e.g.

    Possible day to day if it is appropriate

    WHAT CAN I SEE? (WILDLIFE - CULTURE _EVENTS etc),

    WHAT CAN I LEARN? Day to day suggestions and photos,

    Customer quotes or reviews if Possible

WINDS, WAVES & WEATHER

winds / how rough / climate etc - keep it generic rather than seasonal.

HANDS ON HOLIDAYS

Whether you are an experienced sailor or a complete beginner, the professional crew will train you to be guest crew from the moment you arrive, with the intention that everybody works together to sail the ship. The common thread to all Classic Sailing holidays is ‘Hands on’ participation on ships that use ropes, blocks and tackles and ‘people power’ to set sail.

SAILING STYLE & LIFE ON BOARD

We cater for a wide range of ages and physical abilities and how much you are expected to do varies a bit between vessels. See the vessel tab above which explains all about the ‘sailing style’ and what to expect in terms of hands on participation. There is a lot of information about day to day life, the ships facilities and accommodation on the vessel pages.

AGILITY & FITNESS

Every customer sailing with us will need to fill in basic medical questions on their booking application. If you are not sure if your current level of fitness and agility are up to a voyage, then please ring the Classic Sailing Office on 01872 58 00 22 and we can chat through your concerns and possibly find options that might suit you better.

WHAT’S INCLUDED

  • Skipper & professional crew
  • Personal Safety Equipment
  • Sailing Instruction
  • All meals, snacks and refreshments
  • Port and landing fees
  • Linen and duvets
  • Third Party liability insurance

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

  • Travel to Joining Port
  • Travel from end port
  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • Towels
  • Waterproofs

 

 

Douarnenez, Brittany

Latest port updates

Grayhound has her own berth at Port Rhu and the port is small enough for you to be able to easily spot her distinctive wooden masts. 

How to get here

Douarnenez is about five and a half hours' drive from Paris via Rennes, Lorient and Quimper. Quimper is also the best destination for air and rail connections to the region. There are regular bus connections between Quimper and Douarnenez, taking about 35 minutes. From Quimper, there are high speed trains to Paris (4 hours) and to other parts of France.

By Bike

Take the Plymouth to Roscoff Ferry (Approx £35), it is then a 97 km ride via the D75

By Road

Douarnenez is about five and a half hours' drive from Paris via Rennes, Lorient and Quimper. Quimper bus/train station – Douarnenez tourist info office 40 mins Line 51 bus runs every two hours. ( different on Sundays) Approx 3 Euros

Douarnenez

Rail & transfers

Option 1

Portsmouth – St Malo Ferry – St Malo take the train change at Rennes for Quimper approx 3 hours 40 mins. Train is approx 50 Euros. Both trains run hourly.

Option 2

Travel on the Eurostar from London to Paris. Train from Paris Montparnasse station via Rennes (sometimes direct) to Quimper train station. 3 hours 40 mins. Approx 100 Euros , runs every two hours, sometimes hourly.

Option 3

Plymouth – Roscoff Ferry –  Although Roscoff is closest to Douarnenez, it is by far the hardest place to get to Douarnenez by public transport. The ferry and trains do not link, therefore waiting the morning in Roscoff for a train to Morlaix, to take you to Brest which then allows you to get to Quimper. The journey does work but it is slow. If you fancy a morning in Roscoff and are determined to do this route please let us know as you may be later than the joining time.

Air & transfers

Quimper airport is about 20 minutes by taxi from Douarnenez, has flights to Paris while Brest airport connects to Paris, Lyon, Birmingham, Southampton and other destinations. Fly from London City Airport to Quimper then bus to Douarnenez

Feeling Guilty? - Carbon Offsetting Schemes

Act historically, experience real sailing today, look to the future, get onboard Grayhound.

Some of our crew bike one way and sail the other. Roscoff to Douarnenez is 97 km via the D75. We stow your bikes under the cover in the rowing gigs on the deck of Grayhound. 

Douarnenez is home port for sailing lugger Grayhound. She offers the opportunity to help revive tradition and trade under sail between France and the UK. Rather than needing to plan your travel back or to this Breton port, why not take a look at Grayhound's schedule and sail back across the channel?

Places to stay, Things to do, Travel companions

B & B/Chambres d’hotes our recommendation in Douarnenez   http://www.pour-les-vacances.com/site-9780/

Classic Sailing invites to a private facebook group where you can connect with other sailors who have booked with us. If you want to find a travel companion or share ideas on accommodation options before your trip, then posting a request on this is this is a safer option than our public facebook page. (due to data protection laws we cannot pass on contact details for other sailors on your trip directly)

Your travel responsibilities

Passports and Visas***

*** “Classic Sailing cannot cover every possible visa scenario as customers may have dual nationality, or be working or living in a country different from their passport nationality.

To avoid any last-minute stress, we advise you to contact the local embassies of the countries you will be visiting in your country to find out which travel documents you need. Please start early, obtaining a visa can take some time. It is your responsibility to have the right travel documents for all countries you visit during your stay on board.

If you plan to travel onto other destinations please check you have a right to stay in the country too as you may be classed as arriving in a country as ‘yacht sailors in transit’ and not have same rights as a tourist.

Even if you don’t need a visa, please check your passport expiry date is sufficient for country entry requirements.”***

Travel, Health, Vaccinations and Safety

Security for tourists in certain countries, regions or cities can change rapidly. Please check with your own Government Foreign Office for their latest advice for travellers.

UK travellers check under specific destination at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Likewise we suggest you check if there are any recommended or required vaccinations well before departure as some take more than one jab. For UK travellers check out ‘Fit for Travel’ http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations

Travel Insurance

It is compulsory that you have travel insurance to sail on any of our voyages, but you do not have to buy the insurance from us. If you purchase your own please make sure it covers sailing as an activity, and racing if you are racing crew. Most our voyages sail further than 3 miles from the shore so check that you will be covered sailing outside territorial waters.

Classic Sailing recommend Topsail Insurance http://www.classic-sailing.co.uk/travel-insurance They have policies designed for sailing crew on yachts or tall ships, whether you want an annual policy or a single trip. These are suitable for UK based sailors but the page also has links to alternative companies and recommended insurance companies for non UK citizens.

La Coruna, Spain

Latest port updates

The exact location of your ship within the harbour will be given in time for your voyage.

How to get here

By Road & Parking

Taxi service: In the Arrivals area of the airport you will find many taxis waiting to take you to your destination if you wish to avoid crowd in a public bus. The price for a one way ride is about 20,00€. NOTE: Make sure to ask the driver about the price prior to your journey, because taxi fares vary depending on time of the day and the season.

Bus

Intercity bus: This is the only line which connects the airport to the city of Coruña. It stops in Puerta Real, Marina, Plaza de Orense, Avenida A. Molina Alcampo, Portazgo, Corveira and Vilaboa. • A single ticket costs 1,50€. • On working days the bus runs from 07:15 a.m. to 9:45 p.m. every 30 minutes. • On Saturdays the bus runs from 07:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. • On Sundays and holidays the line goes from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Air & transfers

The closest airport to the Marina is A Coruna Airport (15 minutes) or Santiago de Compostela Airport (45 mins). Both airports have daily international flights.

Places to stay, Things to do, Travel companions

La Coruna is in Galicia in Northern Spain. Galicia is Spain's main seafaring region - three of its four provinces have an Atlantic coastline and its cuisine is based on superb seafood. The Galicians, who's origins are Celtic, are firecely proud of their culture and language.

This proud city and bustling seaport has played a sizeable role in Spanish Maritime history. Felipe II's doomed Spanish Armada sailed from here to invade England in 1588. The elegant town centre is laid out along an isthmus leading to a headland where Europe's oldest working lighthouse 'Torres De Hercules" still flashes. It was built by the Romans and tourists can climb its 242 steps - which should be easy for a fit tall ship sailor after 10 days at sea (maybe).

Classic Sailing invites to a private facebook group where you can connect with other sailors who have booked with us. If you want to find a travel companion or share ideas on accommodation options before your trip, then posting a request on this is this is a safer option than our public facebook page. (due to data protection laws we cannot pass on contact details for other sailors on your trip directly)

Your travel responsibilities

Passports and Visas***

*** “Classic Sailing cannot cover every possible visa scenario as customers may have dual nationality, or be working or living in a country different from their passport nationality.

To avoid any last-minute stress, we advise you to contact the local embassies of the countries you will be visiting in your country to find out which travel documents you need. Please start early, obtaining a visa can take some time. It is your responsibility to have the right travel documents for all countries you visit during your stay on board.

If you plan to travel onto other destinations please check you have a right to stay in the country too as you may be classed as arriving in a country as ‘yacht sailors in transit’ and not have same rights as a tourist.

Even if you don’t need a visa, please check your passport expiry date is sufficient for country entry requirements.”***

Travel, Health, Vaccinations and Safety

Security for tourists in certain countries, regions or cities can change rapidly. Please check with your own Government Foreign Office for their latest advice for travellers.

UK travellers check under specific destination at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Likewise we suggest you check if there are any recommended or required vaccinations well before departure as some take more than one jab. For UK travellers check out ‘Fit for Travel’ http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations

Travel Insurance

It is compulsory that you have travel insurance to sail on any of our voyages, but you do not have to buy the insurance from us. If you purchase your own please make sure it covers sailing as an activity, and racing if you are racing crew. Most our voyages sail further than 3 miles from the shore so check that you will be covered sailing outside territorial waters.

Classic Sailing recommend Topsail Insurance http://www.classic-sailing.co.uk/travel-insurance They have policies designed for sailing crew on yachts or tall ships, whether you want an annual policy or a single trip. These are suitable for UK based sailors but the page also has links to alternative companies and recommended insurance companies for non UK citizens.

Oosterschelde

Oosterschelde's sleek lines and huge sail area has sailed her charter crews around the world twice including a rounding of Cape Horn purely under sail in 2013, and as far afield as the Arctic, Australia and Antarctica. Be part of her guest crew as she continues to explore the very best cruising grounds with exciting schedules planned each year. It is not all hardcore sailing: Oosterschelde has the most spacious and elegant living space of all our fleet, and loves to explore warm places too like Cape Verde, the Caribbean, Brazil and Cuba. 

If you want an example of sail power, Oosterschelde is the real thing. A 'National Historic Monument' in the Netherlands, she is the only remaining working example of a large fleet of fast schooners that carried cargoes at the beginning of the last century.

Statistics
  • Length overall:164ft (50.00m)
  • Length on deck: 131.00ft (40.10m)
  • Year built:  1917/1992
  • Vessel type/rig: Three masted schooner 

 

  • Guest berths:24
  • Crew berths:   7

 

 

Oosterschelde off Cape Verde
Winter Sun. Oosterschelde off Cape Verde

What Oosterschelde Does Best

Seeks Out Perfect Sailing Grounds

For a while Oosterschelde was the Dutch sailors secret holiday favourite. The tall ship was known in her own country for her first Round the World Voyage in 1992 and sailing expeditions for wildlife and wilderness lovers in places like Spitsbergen. Classic Sailing has been working with this impressive tall ship for a decade now, and we are proud to have helped her reach a wider international audience.  Part of her success is her impeccable taste in sailing destinations.  Her small professional crew chose sailing programmes that stay close to their ethos for following the trade winds or historic routes, anchoring in wild places, appreciating nature and getting to know resilient island communities.

You don't have to go aloft but the view is great on Oosterschelde
You don't have to go aloft but the view is great on Oosterschelde. Photo Arthur Smeets

Impressive Sail Power

Oosterschelde is a three masted topsail schooner which means she has a mizzen, mainsail, and fore gaff - all with topsails above and many jibs on her huge bowsprit.  This means you can tack her upwind like a super yacht. On her foremast she also has three square sails so at tall ships races she can compete with the biggest Class A square riggers, and she can notch up the miles downwind too.

Her lofty rig carries an incredible 9,590 sq ft of sail (891 sq metres) but there are only 12 sails.  With a small professional crew, setting the huge gaff sails takes teamwork from the guest crew, but once they are up you have an 'ocean thoroughbred' to enjoy. 

girl power

Tasteful Interior from a Bygone Era

You enter the ships saloon down a wide companionway stairs to a real treat.  The vast old cargo hold in the heart of the ship has been tastefully converted into a dining area, bar and library with period furnishings from the era of ocean liners.  There is even a mezzanine deck from the saloon with leather sofas to relax on.

The cabins are separate so this stylish grand space is for the guest crew to relax and socialise.  There is even a piano and a wood burning stove.  There are skylights to deck here and in the cabins that can be opened in the tropics to allow natural ventilation.

Oosterschelde has a large galley and professional cook and you can buy drinks at the bar when off watch.

Schooner Oosterschelde has a spacious and elegant saloon with a bar and a piano


I  want to thank the crew for the three magnificent days passed on board, between "Golfe du Morbihan" and "Le Havre". I sailed on numerous occasions on about ten different ships, and this sailing on Oosterschelde is the best experience I ever had. I was impressed by the good performances of the ship, and by the way the crew adjusts sails permanently so that the ship always gives the best ; it was an immense pleasure to participate of my best in all these operations. I regret that our different languages did not allow us to communicate more, because all the crew members were really very nice and very thoughtful with us. I have now only an envy: to embark again on Oosterschelde, to be on the deck to participate in the laborers of sails, to climb on the mast to help the crew, and to share again these excellent moments given by sailing on Oosterschelde !!!" Gilbert Pépin Location: Vernon, France  

What to Expect on Oosterschelde

Photo by Arthur Smeets. Setting the main sail requires teams on two halliards
Photo by Arthur Smeets. Setting the main sail requires teams on two halliards

Oosterschelde Sailing Style

On board Oosterschelde, as on all of Classic Sailing holidays, you are not a passenger but part of the guest crew. You will be assigned a watch together with the professional crew to sail, steer and navigate the ship. No sailing experience is necessary. The crew will be happy to explain the functions of all the ropes.

On a fore and aft rigged schooner there is more sail trimming, tacking and gybing than you might find on a square rigger, so at times on watch you may be very busy. With two square sails there is still an excuse (if you need it) to go aloft.

11 knots in tropical Cape Verde trade winds
11 knots in tropical Cape Verde trade winds

Life on Board

Oosterschelde is very well known in Holland and a favourite of sea and nature lovers. Her ethos is one of active and direct exposure to the sea and sailing, the region being explored and its wildlife. Below decks the two and four cabins are fitted with a washbasin with hot and cold water. Showers are separate. The lounge is very stylish with a wood burning stove (for Spitsbergen trips etc) a piano and library. All cabins have forced ventilation and a window or hatch to open. In hot sailing areas like Cape Verde the ever present trade winds keep it a pleasant temperature below decks. She has a large galley and professional cook and you can buy drinks at the bar. On board euros are accepted but not credit cards.

Oosterschelde is well used to running sailing expeditions to remote places like Spitsbergen, Antarctica, Indonesia with well educated guests interested in nature, walking, maritime history and local culture ashore. Whilst the ship does do social projects / sail training, for most the year the hospitality and style of sailing is geared towards adults on an adventure holiday. The landing places will be carefully selected to show you the best of each island and there will be some organised expeditions ashore.

The Captain or mate will hold a daily meeting to explain the plan for the day.  Whilst Oosterschelde is a Dutch ship, crews are multi national so English is the common language most things are explained in. 

Schooner Oosterschelde: Going ashore by zodiac in Cape Verde
Photo by Arthur Smeets. Trip ashore in Cape Verde

Accommodation on Oosterschelde

Photo by Arthur Smeets. The saloon on Oosterschelde is huge and even has a piano
Oosterschelde Ship Specification: Up the rigging on this impressive topsail schooner by Arthur Smeets

Below Decks on Oosterschelde

Oosterschelde is very spacious below decks.  There is a wide main companionway down to the main saloon, which is probably one of the most impressive ship's interiors in the Classic Sailing Fleet. What was once the main cargo hold on this historic sailing ship, is a large open plan saloon, bar and library with an 'upstairs' lounge with leather sofa's and a DVD screen - hidden in a wooden cabinet.  The saloon has long polished oak tables so an evening meal has an atmosphere not that dissimilar to a Captain's Great Cabin.  There is a piano and a wood burning stove and books, magazines and wildlife guide in many languages.  Oosterschelde is fitted out for ocean travelling and comfortable extended expeditions well away from her home port of Rotterdam.

You can buy alcoholic drinks at the bar if you are not on watch.  Teas and coffee are free and available throughout the day.  There is a professional chef on board and meals on board are an important and much anticipated part of the voyage.  

Guests playing the piano in Oosterschelde's saloon
Guests playing the piano in Oosterschelde's saloon. Photo by Arthur Smeets

Heating and Ventilation

There is underfloor heating in parts of the ship, plus the warmth from the wood burning stove, which is useful in destinations like Antarctica or Spitsbergen. In hotter climates there is a ventilation system and each cabin has a skylight which can be opened in all but the roughest weather.

Cabins with washbasins

Oosterschelde can take 24 guest crew overnight and has 6-7 professional crew - Captain, Mate, Cook, Engineer, and 2-3 deckhands. She sometimes carries a wildlife or local guide.

If you ever want to hire the whole ship for a function or day sail she can take 120 persons which gives you an idea of the scale of this three masted sailing ship

The majority of the cabins are aft of the main saloon down a corridor which only leads to the cabins so is fairly quiet. There are showers and toilets in the corridor just outside the cabins. There are also two 2 person cabins either side of the main companionway stairs with showers and toilets just outside in the corridor.  Oosterschelde has 2 and 4 person cabins and all have a washbasin with hot and cold running waters inside each cabin.  The beds are all bunks and bed linen is all provided.  The crew quarters is in a separate area.

Two person cabin on Oosterschelde with a wash basin
Two person cabin on Oosterschelde with a wash basin

Equipment and Safety

The ship is equipped and certified for world wide charter operation under Dutch Law, which includes all safety equipment and crew qualifications and level of training.  Oosterschelde is fairly self sufficient with a water maker and big fresh water tanks plus 15 000 litres of diesel for engine, heating and 2 generators. Navigation and communications equipment is in the wheelhouse behind the beautiful ships wheel.  Oosterschelde has radar, two compass types, GPS, echo sounder, sextant, SSB radio (medium range, Inmarsat C fax terminal, 4 VHF sets.

Contact with Family and Friends

In case of emergency the ship can be reached directly on the iridium satellite phone (number supplied to guests booking.) but this is very expensive.  The ship is in regular contact with the ships office in Rotterdam by Inmarsat Sat C when out of normal phone range.

Oosterschelde Accommodation - Deck Layout
Oosterschelde Accommodation - Deck Layout

 

Oosterschelde Ship Specification: Up the rigging on this impressive topsail schooner by Arthur Smeets
Up the rigging on this impressive topsail schooner by Arthur Smeets

Oosterschelde - Full Ship Specification 

Three masted topsail schooner - sail area   891 sq m
Built (restored to sail) 1918 1988-1992
home port Rotterdam  
Length overall   50 m
Length on deck   40.12 m
draft   3 m
guest crew 24  
professional crew 5  
Engine    
     
     

EQUIPMENT AND SAFETY

The ‘Oosterschelde’ is equipped to sail the world’s seas. For this purpose the vessel holds all the safety certificates required by Dutch law. The qualified and experienced crew also contributes to ensuring safe passage. On board of the ‘Oosterschelde’ you will be part of the crew yourself. That is why attention will be paid to instructions and exercises of for instance safety procedures on board and your role in these, but there will also be attention for sailing instructions.

The ship is able to produce drinking water from seawater using a filter system. Preservable food is usually brought on board in the Netherlands. Vegetables, fruit, fish and meat will be bought locally. About 16.000 litres of diesel oil will also be bunkered for the generators and the main engine.

There are two rubber dinghies with outboard engines and a wooden sloop for transport to the shore.

In the interests of safety there are safety vests and life rafts, fire detection and fire extinction installations, a very extensive medicine cabinet, Epirb, radar transponder etc.

Oosterschelde hot on the heels of Europa in Australia. Photo Ruud Blokj
Oosterschelde hot on the heels of Europa in Australia. Photo Ruud Blokj

Navigation & Communications

For navigation and communication purposes the ‘Oosterschelde’ is equipped with a radar set, two compasses, satellite navigation system, an echo sounder, a sextant, an SSB radio, an Inmarsat-cfax terminal, iridium telefphones, marine telephones.

Captain and Crew Profiles on Oosterschelde

The crew generally consist of the captain, mate, engineer, boatswain, two ordinary seamen (AB’s) and a cook. The crew is qualified according to the STCW ’95 standards. This means that the captain and mate have a certificate of competency for ships of this size for a worldwide trading area, plus a special module for sailing ships. They must also have the certificates Marcom-A, Radar Observer, Radar Navigator, Medical care on board, Advanced fire fighting, etcetera. Before anyone can be appointed as an officer they need to be able to show that they have spend a considerable amount of time at sea as an AB. The regular deck crew has passed the course ‘safety at sea’, and every crew member has passed a complete medical check up which is necessary for sailing at sea. The regular crew is not only concerned with sailing the ship, but they also instruct the guest crew and help them get used to life on board. In addition, the crew is responsible for the cleaning and maintenance of the ‘Oosterschelde’.

Captain Gerben Nab

Gerben has been involved in Oosterschelde from the beginning an sailed on two Round the World Voyages.  He splits his time between being Captain on board and director back in Rotterdam and keeps this busy historic ship running.  Gerben can often be found getting stuck into practical tasks like fashioning a new bowsprit or supervising dry docking and is well known throughout the Dutch traditional sailing community.

 

Captain Gerben Nab is also the Operations Director of Oosterschelde
Captain Gerben Nab is also the Operations Director of Oosterschelde

Captain Maarten de Jong

Maarten is a larger than life character that has worked his way up from mate to Captain on Oosterschelde. Maarten has sailed around the World on Oosterschelde and dealt with every sort of weather. He loves to teach crews about sailing, sail trim and loves to create quite a splash when jumping in the sea!

Oosterschelde Captain Maarten de Jong
Oosterschelde Captain Maarten de Jong. Photo by Becky Prizeman
Current sailing grounds

Oosterschelde - Kit List

lots of swell in Cape Verde

Oosterschelde Kit List

Included

 

  • Sailing Instruction
  • Safety Equipment (life jackets and harnesses)
  • All meals to including refreshments throughout the day
  • Duvet, pillow and sheets
  • Hand towels

What is not Included

  • Waterproof jackets and trousers
  • Alcoholic drinks but there is a bar on board

What to Bring

Suitcases take up a lot of room in a cabin, so it is better to uses soft bags in a ship. A small rucksack for going ashore is useful.

  • Oosterschelde does not supply waterproof jackets and salopette type trousers. Please bring your own waterproof clothing.
  • A mix of warm and wind proof clothing.
  • Lots of thin layers is better than one thick layer in cold destinations.
  • In tropical countries - long sleeves and long trousers to protect you from the sun 
  • Footwear on board needs a good grip and soft soles- the decks are wood or steel.
  • Ashore stout, waterproof walking boots are best if you are in remote places.
  • Oosterschelde has European 2 pin sockets 240 V
  • Cameras, chargers and video recorders
  • Binoculars are handy for bird watching etc.
  • Suntan lotion, hats, sunglasses
  • Dont forget any regular medication, persciption glasses and spare
  • Euros for bar bill
  • Passport, travel insurance, tickets etc
  •  To get ashore is usually by dinghy so be prepared to get wet feet. Rubber boots or quick drying sandals - depending on the location.

Oosterschelde Reviews

Hi from aloft on oosterschelde

Cape Verde & Caribbean Crew

Together with my husband Bert we were on the trip around the Cape Verde on the Oosterschelde and had a great time. The crew was fantastic and very friendly. They showed us what has to be done to sail a beautiful ship like this. Made some new friends among the passengers and it was a trip I will not forget for a long while. And who knows when we will meet again. Thanks" Jenny H E.  from NL Mar 2018

I've just completed my fourth voyage in four years and it was like a big family holiday! Familiar faces welcomed us aboard, we met up with guests and friends from previous voyages and the islands that we visited in the French West Indies were beautiful. The best part of the voyage was our last sailing day when the "lunatics took over the asylum". Maarten let the guest crew sail the Oosterschelde from St Lucia to Martinique (while keeping an eye on us to make sure that neither we or the ship were in danger) It was hard work but safe to say that I learned a lot more on that day, having to think about what I was doing, rather than just being told what to do. We are just about to book our next voyage" Richard D. British Columbia

What was the best bit?
Variety of sailing and the islands visited.

What was the worst bit?
One rough passage.

Why do you sail?
We enjoy the technicalities of sailing a large vessel and the passage planning involved. We generally enjoy off-shore sailing.

Any other comments
The skipper and crew were very friendly, helpful and informative. Accommodation and food was very good.- Phillip B - Cape Verde 

Ocean Passages

What was the best bit?
A genuine feel for a bit of a longer ocean voyage with great people.

What was the worst bit?
Somewhat cramped cabins if sharing

Why do you sail? 
Comraderie; understanding historical sailing voyages; seeing interesting parts of the world" Robbin C: Ocean Crossings

Credit to Robbin Conner - Oosterschelde Ocean Crossing from Cape Verde to Rotterdam
Credit to Robbin Conner - Oosterschelde Ocean Crossing from Cape Verde to Rotterdam

Canada Tall Ships Race Participants

So happy to have sailed from Miramichi to Quebec! So good to be on this beautiful grand old lady with only nice and funny people. Miss you all! And for this moment especially Richards' breakfast. Thank you so much Jenny Edward Richard Jan-Willem Jurriaan and Maarten, and all the other guests for this wonderful and amazing time. Love and hugs xxx Ernst and Ellen V.

The dream come true! What a georgous trip I had between Québec and Halifax! A part of me will be onboard forever... Il will be back to you, most beautiful ship of the world! I will be back, Oosterschelde!  What a crew! What a captain! Marteen, I could write a novel with you as the major character! You are an amazing guy, a good, a great man! Your team is fantastic! I am now back ashore but... "I must go down to sea again... "

" C'est pas l'homme qui prend la mer
C'est la mer qui prend l'homme " 

Pierre-Luc. Canada

Now is the hour that I must say goodbye, soon you'll be sailing far across the sea. We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when. Maybe in the south pacific or around Cape Horn. Captain Arian, I would sail anywhere in the world with you, your crew and Oosterschelde. Warren C. New Zealand

The Word from European Voyages

Just sailed on the Oosterschelde across the North Sea to the Netherlands! Great taste of sailing would recommend to anyone who is thinking of dipping their toe in. Loved every second of it, hauling ropes out in the elements (mainly with the Sun on my back) rolling around in the middle of the North Sea on the deck of an authentic lovely Dutch schooner brilliant! A life changing experience of the open sea, next stop RYA competent crew! Many thanks to Adam and Classic Sailing for all the arrangements at such short notice and thanks too to all the crew for looking after me and feeding me so well. Be warned though life ashore afterwards can seem very hum-drum." Rex aka Steve W

I  want to thank the crew for the three magnificent days passed on board, between "Golfe du Morbihan" and "Le Havre". I sailed on numerous occasions on about ten different ships, and this sailing on Oosterschelde is the best experience I ever had. I was impressed by the good performances of the ship, and by the way the crew adjusts sails permanently so that the ship always gives the best ; it was an immense pleasure to participate of my best in all these operations. I regret that our different languages did not allow us to communicate more, because all the crew members were really very nice and very thoughtful with us. I have now only an envy: to embark again on Oosterschelde, to be on the deck to participate in the laborers of sails, to climb on the mast to help the crew, and to share again these excellent moments given by sailing on Oosterschelde !!! " Excuse my bad English, Gilbert P. Vernon, France
 

Off

Itinerary

On a sailing voyage, we never use the word itinerary, as skippers will always be aiming for the best sailing and shore landings for the forecast and most idyllic or sheltered anchors and ports. They are as keen as you to include some of the highlights described above, but you have to go with Mother Nature, not fight her.

Visas and Vaccinations

Classic sailing is unable to be an expert for advice on visas and vaccinations for customers traveling outside their own country.

Please seek advice relating to your nationality traveling to the countries of your voyage from the country you will be setting off from and returning to.

Passports

In most instances, you will need a passport that expires six months or more after your return to your home country.

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