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Explore in the wake of the Polynesians - Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga island groups through to Fiji

Explore in the wake of the Polynesians and learn about how they navigated their outrigger canoes from one island paradise to another by the waves, winds and stars. Ocean Wandering on a square rigger gives you a lofty lookout for navigating the reefs and atolls and you have the benefit of modern navigational equipment, but the method sailing remains unchanged from when men of war and whaling ships patrolled under blazing sun and colbalt blue skies. Cook Islands, Samoa, the Kingdom of Tonga through to the extensive archipelago of Fiji sit astride the South East Trade wind belt so Europa will be trying to sail as much as she can.

Embark
Mon, 08-06-2020 - 17:00
Papeete, Tahiti
Disembark
Thu, 02-07-2020 - 09:00
Suva, Fiji
Duration
24 Days
Vessel
Europa
Voyage No.
EU080620

Berths and voyage availability

TYPE: 4-5 berth cabin ensuite - per person. AVAILABILITY: Fully booked. PRICE: 2,280 EUR. BOOK NOW
TYPE: 2 Berth Ensuite Cabin Per Person. AVAILABILITY: Fully booked. PRICE: 3,000 EUR. BOOK NOW

Europa - Tahiti to Fiji

IDEAL VOYAGE FOR...

The Adventurer in all of us.

Europa Pacific Sailing Programme 2020 is open for bookings

Barque Europa has put together the best Pacific programme we have seen from a tall ship ever. We like it because they have strung together groups of islands that have been on our own wish list for years.  The route sits pretty much in the SE trade winds all the way so the sailing should be good. The huge choice of individual voyage legs and the reduced prices for those doing more than one leg (see combo voyages) should suit the escape options of most ocean sailing lovers. Our biggest difficulty in the Classic Sailing Office is deciding which legs we want to do!


Leg 5: Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga island groups through to Fiji

24 days - 1905 Nautical miles

Explore in the wake of the Polynesians and learn about how they navigated their outrigger canoes from one island paradise to another by the waves, winds and stars around the second half of the first millennium AD.

It was here, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, that the Polynesian navigations opened up the last unsettled frontiers of the Pacific. Seeking for new small islands, preferably with few or no inhabitants, it was them who established cultures that remained the most isolated and peculiar in the world.

While the Polynesians built up their picture of the Pacific by exploring directly into the wind, in order to find their way home with the Southeastern trade winds, we will start the other way around. From Tahiti, the SE trades wind will blow Europa to the range of islands in front of us, such as the Southern Cook Islands, Kingdom of Tonga and Fiji. It is the wind that will decide which islands we will encounter before we arrive in our next stop Fiji.

Ocean Wandering on a square rigger gives you a lofty lookout for navigating the reefs and atolls. You have the benefit of modern navigational equipment and weather forecasting, but the method sailing remains unchanged from when men of war and whaling ships patrolled under blazing sun and colbalt blue skies.

Cook Islands, Samoa, the Kingdom of Tonga through to the extensive archipelago of Fiji sit astride the South East Trade wind belt so Europa will be trying to sail as much as she can.

Soren Larsen tall ship off Suwarrow in the Cook Islands
Soren Larsen tall ship off Suwarrow in the Cook Islands

Leg 6: Polynesia to Melanesia - Fiji island group & Ocean Passage to New Caledonia

11 days - 775 Nautical Miles

Europa will set sail from the Fijian archipelago in Polynesia to the southern areas of the Pacific before we sail further to Australia. With stunning sea life and the beautiful colours of the Pacific Ocean and nearby reefs, this voyage will be a perfect trip for those who are looking for a two week ocean passage in a turquoise, warm and gentle environment.

Fiji - More than 300 islands

Fiji, with its myriad greens in the landscapes, the yellows of the palm trees, the orange colours of the ripe mangos and papayas and blue and greens of the sea, Fiji is a colourful destination. Below the surface an even colourful pallet presents itself, with thriving corals and tropical fish all around.

Fiji is an archipelago of more than 300 islands and more than 500 islets, stretching the Fijians territory about 18.300 square kilometers. The two major islands are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, accounting for more than 80% of the population.

The first settlers of Fiji are known to be the Austronesian people who reached Fiji about 3500 to 1000 BC, followed by the Melanesian people around 1000 BC. It is believed that with the great Lapita migration into the Pacific, the Polynesians settled in Fiji as well, which is clearly shown from archeological evidence, showing a strong connection to the Polynesian culture.

Fiji’s history is one of mobility, and while exploring the region with large elegant watercrafts with rigged sails, a unique Fijian culture developed. The watercraft was called a 'drua', which was originally from Micronesia, spreading to Fiji and from there to Tonga and Samoa.

The first known contact with Europeans is dated in 1643, when Abel Tasman explored Vanua Levu and Taveuni. British explorers followed in the late 18th century. After a period as an independent kingdom, the British established the colony of Fiji in 1874, which went on until 1970, when Fiji gained its independence again as the Dominion of Fiji.

Fiji, the islands of pristine turquoise waters, white sandy beaches and jungle rivers has a very tight-knit society, mostly village based, but at the same time Fijians are very friendly and welcoming to visitors.

On the tropical islands of Fiji more than 800 unique plant species and animals can be found, such as the orange fruit dove, the Fiji petrel or the Gau Iguana, a native lizard.


New Caledonia

After Fiji, we head EUROPA’s bow to the south west, to Australia, but not before we pay a visit to the exotic island of New Caledonia. From the western red-soiled wilderness to the blue lagoons and green lush mountains of the east, New Caledonia has loads to offer! On a self sufficient square rigger you can explore places tourists seldom see. The islands become more rainforest covered, lush and mountainous as you enter Melanesia. Beachside Villages on stilts merge into the forest. Whilst locals are always pleased to great hard working tall ship sailors, away from the tourist favourites it is easy to imagine a not too distant past of tribal warfare and cannibalism here. 

Located between the east coast of Australia and Fiji, the first settlers of New Caledonia are believed to be the Melanesians from Southeast Asia around 3000BCE. The first European to visit the island was Captain James Cook, who gave it the Roman name for Scotland, Caledonia. In 1853 the island was annexed by France, and served as a penal colony until 1897. With the formation of the French overseas territory in 1946, the island became part of it.

Because of this French annexation and overseas territory, the island became a mix of French and Melanesian influences, a melting pot of different ethnic influences including Asian communities and people from other islands.

This mixed culture is still all around, for example in Nouméa, the seaside capital of New Caledonia has European style architecture and sophisticated lifestyle. While at the same time, outside the capital, the mountains, rainforests and grasslands feel like the local Pacific culture again.

About 60% of New Caledonia’s lagoon is listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site and the marine environment is one of the most beautiful in the world. Hundreds of underwater wildlife species and breathtaking corals are preserved in the reefs of Caledonia.

Dancing on Asanvari village, Vanuatu island group

Leg 7: Fast Ocean Passage across the Coral Sea to Brisbane

10 days - 850 nautical miles

Tall ship sailing in the Coral Sea. Tropical sun, boisterous sea conditions and possibly quite windy. If the South East Trade winds blow true then this should be a fast sail on a beam reach. Europa has plenty of fore and aft sails as well as upto 6 yards on main and foremast to set square sails on. Set the stun'sails if you dare...

Your voyage starts on the green and laid back island of New Caledonia. The waters around this small island are many colours of green and blue and at night, the sky is full of magnificent southern stars. Set out a course, brace the masts, haul the halyards and off you go into the deep Coral sea.

Beneath her surface this watermass is home to many incredible coral reefs. They include the Great Barrier Reef, which extends about 2,000 km along the northeast coast of Australia and includes approximately 2,900 individual reefs and 1000 islands. There are at least 30 species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises that live in the coral sea, including the dwarf minke whale, Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin, humpback whale and dugongs. Six species of sea turtles breed on the Great Barrier Reef and can be seen at sea.

More than 200 species of birds (including 22 species of seabirds and 32 species of shorebirds) visit, nest or roost on the islands and reefs in this sea, including the white-bellied sea eagle and roseate tern. Most nesting sites are on islands in the northern and southern regions of the Great Barrier Reef, with 1.4–1.7 million birds using the sites to breed. Even though we will not be sailing close to the reefs these animals can be spotted along the way. 

stunsails and skysails
stunsails and skysails

Leg 8: Australian Waters - Visit Lord Howe Island and anchor in Tasmania

22 days - 1650 nautical miles

Say goodbye to the city of Brisbane and set off on a proper ocean adventure in the Tasman Sea. If you have always wanted to sail the famous Bark Europa here is your chance. She is unlikely to be hopping down the coast as she has arranged to visit Lord Howe Island which is 600km off the New South Wales Coast. Ringed by a protecting Coral reef this 7 million year old extinct volcano rises 4km from the sea bed and has many endemic marine species,  and rare corals. It is a great place for hiking and snorkeling. Seabirds in their thousands breed here. 

Tropical to Roaring 40's

The ship begins her jouurney in the warm Coral Sea, but it ends in the Tasman Sea and Roaring 40's latitudes.The coral sea owes her name to the great coral reefs below the surface of this impressive strech of water. They include the Great Barrier Reef, which extends about 2,000 km along the northeast coast of Australia and includes approximately 2,900 individual reefs and 1000 islands. The sea itself is also known for her warm climate, the East Australian current brings warm waters into the colder Tasman sea.

Bark EUROPA will experience these currents together with the Southeastern trade winds that dominate this area throughout all the seasons, when you are standing by your lines on deck you may also experience some south westerly winds that are frequent for this time of the year. These wind and current patterns will make your voyage extra interesting as they offer the best conditions for some great sailing. You will get to know all there is about sailing a vessel like EUROPA. Hoist the sails, take them away and climb the masts to stow the sails with with an unbeatable 360 degree view of this great continent and its impressive coastlines with many inlets, small bays and harbours leading into the many national parks on this eastern side of Australia. Learn to see the changes in prevailing winds and how to trim the sails accordingly.

There are at least 30 species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises that live in the coral sea, including the dwarf minke whale, Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin, humpback whale and dugongs. Six species of sea turtles breed on the Great barrier Reef and can be seen at sea. More than 200 species of birds (including 22 species of seabirds and 32 species of shorebirds) visit, nest or roost on the islands and reefs in this sea, including the white-bellied sea eagle and roseate tern. Most nesting sites are on islands in the northern and southern regions of the Great Barrier Reef, with 1.4–1.7 million birds using the sites to breed. Even though we will not be sailing close to the reefs these animals can be spotted along our route towards Tasmania. 

When you have crossed the latitude of 30 degrees south you will now officially be sailing into the Tasman sea and well underway to the wild and untamed Lord Howe Island. 

Lord Howe Island

Lord Howe Island is a small island in the Tasman Sea right where the Coral sea changes its name to Tasman sea. It's characterised by sandy beaches, subtropical forests and clear waters. In the south, a walking trail climbs up soaring Mount Gower, with stunning views of this beautiful island. In the north you can find Ned's Beach with her calm fish- and coral-rich waters. The island is home to seabird colonies, including masked boobies. It's a dramatically beautiful place. The pristine lagoon, colourful coral, tall mountains, subtropical forests and unspoiled beaches on this isolated island make for a special and unique experience. 

World Heritage listed in 1982 for its unique beauty and diversity, remarkable geology and its rare collection of birds, plants and marine life, Lord Howe is surrounded by the world’s southernmost coral reef. Crystal clear waters full of marine life and rare coral, protected as part of the Lord Howe Island Marine Park.

Until 1972 the only way to get to Lord Howe was by ship. In 1972 the Island opened its small airport and since there have been more visitors on Lord Howe to enjoy its beauty. Even though the island is now more accessible it still is a very quiet place with only 400 visitors allowed at any time, together with a resident population of around 350. Therefore Lord Howe is an uncrowded island of unspoilt beauty. Lord Howe island is roughly crescent-shaped, about 11 km long and 2 km wide. The island is the result of a seven million-year-old shield volcano. The shape of the island protects a coral reef and a breathtaking lagoon. Mount Lidgbird (777 m) and Mount Gower (875 m) tower over the south end of the island.This island is so far off the beaten track and you will find yourself engulfed in peaceful beauty, still there are plenty of exciting things to do on this wonderful island. Strolling through native Kentia palm and Banyan tree forests or along one of the eleven deserted golden sand beaches.

Snorkelling over pristine and untouched coral reefs. Hiking up Mt Gower, a full on eight-hour walk described as one of the best one-day hikes in the world. Explore the many untouched reefs. At low tide you can walk out on the rock platform to see the coral and fish in the rock pools at Middle beach or hand feed fish at Neds Beach.

Lord Howe was never part of a continent and almost half the island's native plants are endemic. One of the best known is the Kentia Palm. The island is an important breeding ground for sea and land birds and over 400 species of fish and 80 species of coral are to be found in the waters surrounding the island. 

After your visit to Lord Howe Island you will set sail again further south toward Tasmania. Before you will explore this wonderful nature state you will first put all your fresh sailing knowledge to the test and sail the temperamentful Tasman sea. Lying in the belt of westerly winds known as the 'roaring forties', the sea is noted for its storminess. The various currents that flow from differents sides into this stretch of water tend to make the southern Tasman Sea generally temperate in climate and the northern subtropical. These conditions are perfect to further your understanding about sailing this square rigger and practise your new skills. Learn how to steer a steady course, stand lookout on Europa's bow in the gentle salt spray of her bow wave and be the first to spot the green mountainous island of Tasmania.

Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island


Leg 9: Coastal Voyage exploring Tasmania, Bass Strait & Mainland Oz

8 days - 500 nautical miles

If you are thinking of sailing Europa on an Antarctic Voyage or a long ocean epic, then why not try Europa out on a coastal adventure. The land might be near but that doesn't make it tame. This Australian voyage starts in Hobart, Tasmania at 40 degrees South so the Roaring Forties can make their presence felt. The Bass Strait on the way to Melbourne is legendary too. In between there are great anchorages like Wineglass Bay, Port Arthur, or if you go anticlockwise (less likely) around 'Van Dieman's Land' you have real Tasmanian wilderness and incredible National Parks.

Tasmania - Van Dieman's Land
More than 70 percent of the land in this state is covered in forest, more than half of it is protected by the government and more than 1/5 of the land is listed as Wilderness World heritage area. Tasmania is well known to be Australia's natural state. The vast wilderness of this island will impress and amaze you. Her wildlife can be observed everywhere and the state has the cleanest air observed in the world. This unpolluted air allows the most wonderful species of flora and fauna to thrive. The rainforest trees are ancient and incredibly tall, they are usually covered in many different forms of moss. The forest floor is soft to the touch where mosses and leaves make way for mushrooms and flowering shrubs. The massive ferns are everywhere, here where the animals live undisturbed you find yourself in wonder of just how beautiful nature is when left untouched by humans. 

Tasmania - Tall ship Westwarde Bound off Point Raoul
Tasmania - Tall ship Westwarde Bound off Point Raoul. Photo D Purser

 

Leg 10: Coastal sail with a bit of edge - Bass Strait to Wild Tasmanian Shores

Melbourne - Hobart 8 days 500 miles

Bark Europa already had quite an Australian following already as the ship has sailed the West, South and East Coast as far as Sydney before, as well as Tasmania in 2013.

If you live on the Australian mainland and your seafaring spirit cries out for a square rigger that is sailed with daring flair, then this is your chance to try the Dutch barque Europa. English is the working language and full training to participate as the crew is given. Don't leave it too late to book as she has worldwide fame amongst tall ship connoisseurs. 


Sailing the Bass Strait
The Bass Strait separates Tasmania from the Australian mainland and is well known for it's fierce weather conditions. Strong currents between the Antarctic-driven southeast portions of the Indian Ocean and the Tasman Sea's Pacific Ocean waters provide a strait of powerful water. Combined with the winds that drive through this strait the history of this water mass is well known from history books. With the modern technology the strait is now more predictable and you will find many ships around you in this busy strait connecting the big cities and states of Australia. Your voyage will start full of excitement, the strait is interesting to sail and offers a spectacular sailing experience. Stand by your lines and be ready to climb the tall masts of Bark EUROPA because many hands will be needed to sail her across these temperamental waters.

During your crossing you might spot some special animals, as there are twelve small uninhabited islands in the straight where many birds and seals come to breed. Three of these islands are the only places in Australia where the Pelican breeds, five of these islands are favorite spots for Australian fur seals, other islands are used by the Southern Gannet to find their partners, make their nests and raise their young and if you are very lucky you might spot a shy albatross, these incredible birds nest on albatross island in the Bass strait. On this crossing you also have a chance of seeing seals, fairy penguins, killer wales, humpbacks and dolphins. After this adventurous crossing you will sail towards the beautiful state of Tasmania. Tall mountain peaks, impenetrable rainforests, wild flowing rivers, massive man ferns, towering tall eucalyptus trees and her weird and wonderful animals. Tassie devils, fluffy little wallabies, spiky echidna's, playful platypus and brushy possums live in the lush bush of this nature state. Tasmania is something extra special!
 

 

Leg 11: Cross the Pacific on the edge of the Southern Ocean and round Cape Horn

48 days - 6010 nautical miles

The opportunity to sail around Cape Horn on a square rigger like the last great sailing ships of the 19th Century does not come around too often, so 'Carpe Diem.' This 5000 mile voyages is in the Roaring Forties all the way. It is going to be a downwind roller coaster with the Westerly low pressure systems and albatrosses going with you. There may be days when you dip far enough into the Southern Ocean to see icebergs. The ship aims to round the Horn and head Northwards to the Falklands and cross the 50 degrees latitude required for an official Cape Horn Rounding. The whole crew can join the exclusive Cape Horners club if you don't use the engine. There are less people in this group than have stood on Everest.

From Hobart, Tasmania we start with the ultimate sailing voyage, a 48-day South Pacific crossing to Stanley, the Falkland Islands. At 50 degrees south on the Pacific Ocean to 50 degrees south on the Atlantic Ocean we will try to make an official Cape Horn rounding. During this voyage, nothing is sure and it is the ultimate adventure. Weather and wind will shape our route and the result will hopefully be to round Cape Horn. To successfully complete this attempt, only the sails may be used and even more than on other voyages we will need all hard-working men and women on board! Keep in mind that this difficult voyage asks a lot of everyone on board and it will most probably put your stamina to the test.

Cape Horn is only a small part of this ocean epic
After embarkation in Hobart we will head to the ocean. An ocean crossing on a ship like Bark EUROPA will not only give you an idea of several aspects of a sailor’s life in the Golden age of tall ships – it will invite you to experience what it is like for yourself. Despite the modern equipment for safety, navigation and communication, the simplicity of the life on board is similar to what it would have been like more than 200 years ago. It will give your mind an opportunity to rest. It does however not mean you will be restless on board. On the contrary, in between standing watches at the helm or lookout and handling the sails, there is always plenty to learn and maintenance jobs to be done. It offers you the chance to really delve into the theory and practice of tall ship sailing and al that it entails – sail handling, rigging, maintenance, navigation and much more.

Without the access to internet or mobile connection, without the rushing which characterizes the everyday lives of many people, what’s left is the endless blue around us, our destination and the present moment with our fellow sailors, no more, no less. The rhythm of life on an ocean crossing, as determined by the mood of Neptune, will ease our minds and strengthen our legs. Wind and weather will make us furl, unfurl, brace, trim, set sail, take away sail and climb mountains (for a Dutchman) walking from Port to Starboard as on this crossing conditions can be rough.

This simplicity of life, the close proximity to nature and the ultimate freedom. The never-ending mountains of water appearing around and disappearing underneath us, the feeling of being so vulnerable to the magnificence of nature, the indescribable beauty of sunrise and sunset at the ocean, the millions of stars, the wildlife and all shades of blue make a truly once in a life time experience. And at night in the darkest blue, while the stars stare, the moon mumbles and the sun looks at things from another side, we will keep on working and the wind will keep on pushing us forward over the Pacific, towards Cape Horn.

 

Cape Horn - The Legend
Cape Horn, the famous island with a light house on top, is situated at the very bottom of South America. For many sailors, this is one of the three great capes in the world (Cape of Good Hope & Cape Leeuwin). Cape Horn was discovered and first rounded in 1616 by the Dutchman Willem Schouten, who named it Kaap Hoorn, after the city Hoorn in the Netherlands. Cape Horn has an infamous reputation, being at the northern part of the Drake Passage, named after the British sailor Sir Francis Drake, which is the narrowest stretch of water in the whole Southern Ocean, stretching between Antarctica and South America. The weather in this narrow stretch of water is rough and can be very challenging. The prevailing winds and currents that circle the Southern Ocean rush through here. Landmasses usually interrupt the course of the prevailing winds, but with no landmasses in sight in the southern part of the world, the weather has had unlimited space to develop. When arriving at Cape Horn, the weather is forced through this narrow stretch and landmasses obstruct the way. For this reason, many sailors know these waters from hundreds of brave stories and to experience them on board a traditional square rigger will be something is truly special. Be ready to practise all you have learned in the last month, be ready to truly test your sea legs, be ready to act on moment’s notice and brave the weather around Cape Horn.

Becoming an Official Cape Horn Sailor
During the attempt of rounding Cape Horn, everybody on board will participate in the watch system and by doing so learn how to sail a square rigger around Cape Horn. But for those of you who want to walk the extra mile, this is the possibility of becoming an official Cape Horn sailor.

Back in the days when sailing ships sailed the old trade routes, Cape Horn was an infamous part of every sailor’s life. Many sailors reached rock-bottom in the harsh weather conditions of strong winds, large waves and strong currents. At the same time, sailing Cape Horn was considered quite an achievement. In 1933 a group of French captains established the Amicale des Captaines au Long Cours Cap Horniers (AICH). Their aim was to promote and strengthen ties of comradeship between men and women who embodied the distinction of having sailed around Cape Horn in a commercial sailing vessel. The Dutch section of AICH welcome new Cape Horn sailors and honors them with a token. To be eligible for this token, you must show perseverance and actively participate in the watch system for a longer period of time on a sailing ship rounding Cape Horn by sail alone from 50 degrees south on the Pacific to 50 degrees south on the Atlantic Ocean. Be aware, that only the captain can decide whether you have worked hard enough during the Cape Horn rounding to be worthy of such a special token.

arrival on the falkland islands
When the winds are in our favour, EUROPA may arrive in the Falkland Islands a few days early. This will give us some extra time to explore the area and make some visits. The Falkland Islands, with its striking scenery, fascinating wildlife and billowing hills, are well worth a visit. You can find Gentoo, Magellanic and rockhopper penguins, black browed albatrosses and of course large sea lion and elephant seal colonies. In total there are more than 700 islands belonging to the Falklands/Islas Malvinas, each with their own unique features and animal populations.

 

Level of Challenge

It is 12 800 nautical miles across the Pacific on this route, and that is without the sea miles sailing up the Chilean coast from Cape Horn, or the adventures in Australia and Tasmania. Yes, there are more islands involved than your wildest dreams, but there is also a lot of deep ocean blue. These are real hands-on participating adventures where guest crew and professional crew will stand watches and sail the ship together. Like the new emphasis for the Antarctic Adventures, the ship will be looking for a mix of gender, ages and a decent spread of human power to sail the ship. Everyone will need a base level of health and fitness to be able to live on a moving ship for weeks away from 'normal' civilisation

Fitness - Am I Up to It?

This is not a sit-down cruise in-between shore landings. It is an adventure voyage with physical participation in sailing a traditionally rigged tall ship. There is a small professional crew who will always be there to keep the ship sailing safely and help with the domestics so you don't have to, but as guest crew you are part of the ship's community and are strongly encouraged to help with the sailing and all the exciting bits. The more hands there are available - the better the ship can sail to its full potential for everyone's enjoyment. Not everybody is up to furling sails aloft but most people are able to stand a lookout for 15-30 mins, steer the ship outdoors on the poop deck for a short spell and help haul the zodiacs back on board at the end of the day. You don't have to be a sailor as full training will be given - just have a willing heart to take part in the adventure as best you can.

If you are over 65, or on any medication, you will need to send Classic Sailing a completed Europa Health Statement when you apply for a voyage.  The Health Statement has a series of tick boxes and will need to be signed by your doctor, who may charge for the service.

PDF Europa Health Statement

 

Additionally, if you are over 70 you may be able to sail on the Antarctic and other remote Ocean voyages, but the ship requires that you have sailed on Europa recently (in the last 3 years), or are prepared to book on a coastal voyage first, so the ships Captain can make sure that you would be upto the rigours of the voyage. If you think you might meet similar criteria becuase you have sailed on a challenging offshore voyage on another vessel in the last 3 years then please ring us and we can ask the ships operators if they would accept that captain's assessment.

This requirement from Europa shipping company is only for the very remote voyages (Antarctica and ocean legs) where outside medical assistance is not available.

 

Classic Sailing Pacific Expertise

You can speak to Adam and Debbie in Classic Sailing office if you need help deciding which leg or combination of legs to do.  We have sailed on Europa many times as guest crew and Debbie has worked as a deckhand. Both have sailed in the Chilean Fjords and Adam has been all the way to Peru on Europa. Debbie has sailed around Tasmania and East Coast of Australia and we have stayed in the Cook Islands. In the past we have helped sailors with travel advice to join other tall ships crossing the Pacific. 

Once we have your booking application via Classic Sailing website, if there are no medical issues that need approval we can reserve a place for 7 days so you can check travel arrangement options. 

After 7 days a deposit of 20% is due. Once paid by debit or credit card or bank transfer in euros, then your place is confirmed and you are safe to book flights. (Europa conforms to EU Package Travel Regulations)

WINDS, WAVES & WEATHER

You can not expect the Pacific to be calm all the time and the voyages in Southern Australia and around the Cape Horn could be extremely rough.

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

 

 

Europa Pacific Voyage Summary 2021

Voyage Reference: The numbers are the Start dates

Voyage Description

4/5 Berth cabin Price per Person

Twin berth Cabin Price per Person

Combination Voyage Saving 4/5 Berth Cabin Saving per person

Combination Voyage Saving Twin Beth Cabin Saving per person

Overnight Accommodation is only bookable if you are on a Combination Voyage at the marked ports only.

EU200320

Ushuaia to Puerto Natales

1215

1440

     

EU280320

Puerto Natales to Valparaiso

1495

1885

     

EU200320 and EU280320

Ushuaia to Valparaiso

2295

2940

415

385

Puerto Natales

EU180420

Valparaiso to Easter Island

1995

2625

     

EU090520

Easter Island to Tahiti

2750

3625

     

EU080620

Tahiti to Fiji

2280

3000

     

EU180420 and EU090520

Valparaiso to Tahiti

4500

6000

245

250

Easter Island

EU180420, EU090520 and EU080620

Valparaiso to Fiji

6290

8510

735

740

Easter Island

EU040720

Fiji to New Caledonia

1595

2035

     

EU160720

New Caledonia to Brisbane

1450

1850

     

5 Voyages Across the Pacific

Valparaiso to Brisbane

7790

10640

2280

2495

Easter Island

EU090520 and EU080620

Easter Island to Fiji

4770

6360

260

265

 

EU040720 and EU160720

Fiji to Brisbane

2835

3675

210

210

 

EU270720

Brisbane to Hobart

3410

4070

     

EU190820

Hobart to Melbourne

1320

1560

     

EU270820

Melbourne to Hobart

1320

1560

     

EU190820 and EU270820

Hobart- Melbourne - Hobart

2480

2960

160

160

Melbourne

EU050920

Hobart to Stanley

7200

8640

     

 

 

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxx


Leg 5: Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga island groups through to Fiji

Explore in the wake of the Polynesians and learn about how they navigated their outrigger canoes from one island paradise to another by the waves, winds and stars. Ocean Wandering on a square rigger gives you a lofty lookout for navigating the reefs and atolls. You have the benefit of modern navigational equipment and weather forecasting, but the method sailing remains unchanged from when men of war and whaling ships patrolled under blazing sun and colbalt blue skies.

Cook Islands, Samoa, the Kingdom of Tonga through to the extensive archipelago of Fiji sit astride the South East Trade wind belt so Europa will be trying to sail as much as she can.

Soren Larsen tall ship off Suwarrow in the Cook Islands
Soren Larsen tall ship off Suwarrow in the Cook Islands

Leg 6: Polynesia to Melanesia - Fiji island group and New Caledonia

On a self sufficient square rigger you can explore places tourists seldom see. The islands become more rainforest covered, lush and mountainous as you enter Melanesia. Beachside Villages on stilts merge into the forest and you can still find tribes that have little contact with Westerners.

Whilst locals are always pleased to great hard working tall ship sailors, it is easy to imagine a not too distant past of tribal warfare and cannibalism here. Bungee jumping here is still a sometimes fatal test of manhood. Frequently ravaged by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and cyclones the hardy people of the Vanuatu islands, and New Caledonia do their best to pick themselves up and re build.  

Dancing on Asanvari village
Dancing on Asanvari village

Leg 7: Fast Ocean Passage across the Coral Sea to Brisbane

Tall ship sailing in the Coral Sea. Tropical sun, boisterous sea conditions and possibly quite windy. If the South East Trade winds blow true then this should be a fast sail on a beam reach. Europa has plenty of fore and aft sails as well as upto 6 yards on main and foremast to set square sails on. Set the stun'sails if you dare...

Leg 8: Australian Waters - Visit Lord Howe Island and anchor in Tasmania

Say goodbye to the city of Brisbane and set off on a proper ocean adventure in the Tasman Sea. If you have always wanted to sail the famous Bark Europa here is your chance. She is unlikely to be hopping down the coast as she has arranged to visit Lord Howe Island which is 600km off the New South Wales Coast. Ringed by a protecting Coral reef this 7 million year old extinct volcano rises 4km from the sea bed and has many endemic marine species,  and rare corals. It is a great place for hiking and snorkeling. Seabirds in their thousands breed here. 


Leg 9: Coastal Voyage exploring Tasmania, Bass Strait & Mainland Oz

If you are thinking of sailing Europa on an Antarctic Voyage or a long ocean epic, then why not try Europa out on a coastal adventure. The land might be near but that doesn't make it tame. This Australian voyage starts in Hobart, Tasmania at 40 degrees South so the Roaring Forties can make their presence felt. The Bass Strait on the way to Melbourne is legendary too. In between there are great anchorages like Wineglass Bay, Port Arthur, or if you go anticlockwise around 'Van Dieman's Land' you have real Tasmanian wilderness and incredible National Parks.

Tasmania - Tall ship Westwarde Bound off Point Raoul
Tasmania - Tall ship Westwarde Bound off Point Raoul. Photo D Purser

Leg 10: Coastal sail with a bit of edge - Bass Strait to Wild Tasmanian Shores

Bark Europa already had quite an Australian following already as the ship has sailed the West, South and East Coast as far as Sydney before, as well as Tasmania in 2013.

If you live on the Australian mainland and your seafaring spirit cries out for a square rigger that is sailed with daring flair, then this is your chance to try the Dutch barque Europa. English is the working language and full training to participate as the crew is given. Don't leave it too late to book as she has worldwide fame amongst tall ship connoisseurs. 

Leg 11: Cross the Pacific on the edge of the Southern Ocean and round Cape Horn

The opportunity to sail around Cape Horn on a square rigger like the last great sailing ships of the 19th Century does not come around too often, so 'Carpe Diem.' This 5000 mile voyages is in the Roaring Forties all the way. It is going to be a downwind roller coaster with the Westerly low pressure systems and albatrosses going with you. There may be days when you dip far enough into the Southern Ocean to see icebergs. The ship aims to round the Horn and head Northwards to the Falklands and cross the 50 degrees latitude required for an official Cape Horn Rounding. The whole crew can join the exclusive Cape Horners club if you don't use the engine. There are less people in this group than have stood on Everest.

Level of Challenge

It is 12 800 nautical miles across the Pacific on this route, and that is without the sea miles sailing up the Chilean coast from Cape Horn, or the adventures in Australia and Tasmania. Yes, there are more islands involved than your wildest dreams, but there is also a lot of deep ocean blue. These are real hands-on participating adventures where guest crew and professional crew will stand watches and sail the ship together. Like the new emphasis for the Antarctic Adventures, the ship will be looking for a mix of gender, ages and a decent spread of human power to sail the ship. Everyone will need a base level of health and fitness to be able to live on a moving ship for weeks away from 'normal' civilisation

Fitness - Am I Up to It?

This is not a sit-down cruise in-between shore landings. It is an adventure voyage with physical participation in sailing a traditionally rigged tall ship. There is a small professional crew who will always be there to keep the ship sailing safely and help with the domestics so you don't have to, but as guest crew you are part of the ship's community and are strongly encouraged to help with the sailing and all the exciting bits. The more hands there are available - the better the ship can sail to its full potential for everyone's enjoyment. Not everybody is up to furling sails aloft but most people are able to stand a lookout for 15-30 mins, steer the ship outdoors on the poop deck for a short spell and help haul the zodiacs back on board at the end of the day. You don't have to be a sailor as full training will be given - just have a willing heart to take part in the adventure as best you can.

If you are over 65, or on any medication, you will need to send Classic Sailing a completed Europa Health Statement when you apply for a voyage.  The Health Statement has a series of tick boxes and will need to be signed by your doctor, who may charge for the service.

PDF Europa Health Statement

 

Additionally, if you are over 70 you may be able to sail on the Antarctic and other remote Ocean voyages, but the ship requires that you have sailed on Europa recently (in the last 3 years), or are prepared to book on a coastal voyage first, so the ships Captain can make sure that you would be upto the rigours of the voyage. If you think you might meet similar criteria becuase you have sailed on a challenging offshore voyage on another vessel in the last 3 years then please ring us and we can ask the ships operators if they would accept that captain's assessment.

This requirement from Europa shipping company is only for the very remote voyages (Antarctica and ocean legs) where outside medical assistance is not available.

 

Classic Sailing Pacific Expertise

You can speak to Adam and Debbie in Classic Sailing office if you need help deciding which leg or combination of legs to do.  We have sailed on Europa many times as guest crew and Debbie has worked as a deckhand. Both have sailed in the Chilean Fjords and Adam has been all the way to Peru on Europa. Debbie has sailed around Tasmania and East Coast of Australia and we have stayed in the Cook Islands. In the past we have helped sailors with travel advice to join other tall ships crossing the Pacific. 

Once we have your booking application via Classic Sailing website, if there are no medical issues that need approval we can reserve a place for 7 days so you can check travel arrangement options. 

After 7 days a deposit of 20% is due. Once paid by debit or credit card or bank transfer in euros, then your place is confirmed and you are safe to book flights. (Europa conforms to EU Package Travel Regulations)

WINDS, WAVES & WEATHER

You can not expect the Pacific to be calm all the time and the voyages in Southern Australia and around the Cape Horn could be extremely rough.

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

 

 

Europa Pacific Voyage Summary 2021

Voyage Reference: The numbers are the Start dates

Voyage Description

4/5 Berth cabin Price per Person

Twin berth Cabin Price per Person

Combination Voyage Saving 4/5 Berth Cabin Saving per person

Combination Voyage Saving Twin Beth Cabin Saving per person

Overnight Accommodation is only bookable if you are on a Combination Voyage at the marked ports only.

EU200320

Ushuaia to Puerto Natales

1215

1440

     

EU280320

Puerto Natales to Valparaiso

1495

1885

     

EU200320 and EU280320

Ushuaia to Valparaiso

2295

2940

415

385

Puerto Natales

EU180420

Valparaiso to Easter Island

1995

2625

     

EU090520

Easter Island to Tahiti

2750

3625

     

EU080620

Tahiti to Fiji

2280

3000

     

EU180420 and EU090520

Valparaiso to Tahiti

4500

6000

245

250

Easter Island

EU180420, EU090520 and EU080620

Valparaiso to Fiji

6290

8510

735

740

Easter Island

EU040720

Fiji to New Caledonia

1595

2035

     

EU160720

New Caledonia to Brisbane

1450

1850

     

5 Voyages Across the Pacific

Valparaiso to Brisbane

7790

10640

2280

2495

Easter Island

EU090520 and EU080620

Easter Island to Fiji

4770

6360

260

265

 

EU040720 and EU160720

Fiji to Brisbane

2835

3675

210

210

 

EU270720

Brisbane to Hobart

3410

4070

     

EU190820

Hobart to Melbourne

1320

1560

     

EU270820

Melbourne to Hobart

1320

1560

     

EU190820 and EU270820

Hobart- Melbourne - Hobart

2480

2960

160

160

Melbourne

EU050920

Hobart to Stanley

7200

8640

     

 

 

 

Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia

tall ship at anchor in Polynesia
Latest port updates

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How to get here

By Road & Parking

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Rail & transfers

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Places to stay, Things to do, Travel companions

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.

Suva, Fiji

perfect paradise but you do need shade
Latest port updates

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How to get here

By Road & Parking

Content..

Rail & transfers

Content..

Air & transfers

Content..

Discount airlines

Content..

Feeling Guilty? - Carbon Offsetting Schemes

Content..

Places to stay, Things to do, Travel companions

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.

Bark Europa

Bark Europa has a reputation as an ocean wanderer and follows the great trade wind routes around the world. She offers a seafaring adventure and a unique way to explore and learn about nature and the elements. She is equally at home in the roller-coasters of the ‘roaring forties’ or in lighter tropical conditions where she can set an awesome suite of 30 sails.  

In 2001 Europa pioneered the first opportunity for ordinary people to experience an Antarctic Expedition as crew on a square rigger. Since then she has returned to the Antarctica every year. Images of Europa under full sail or anchored amongst the ice and penguins have graced many magazines and lured non sailors and experienced seafarers off on epic ocean adventures. 

If you are over 65, or take any medication you will need to take our Europa Health Statement to your Doctor to complete to say you are fit to sail. The Health Statement can be printed off from our PDF below:

Europa Crew Health Statement

Statistics

 

  • Length overall:  184 ft  (56 m)
  • Length on deck:  160 ft 

 

  • Year built:  1911
  • Vessel type/rig: Barque

 

  • Guest berths: 45
  • Crew berths:  14

 

Ocean Wanderer with a Multi National Crew

Bark Europa has earned her reputation for piling on the canvas and really sailing at every opportunity.  A popular ship amongst traditional sailors worldwide, Europa has the pick of the world’s deckhands, and the enthusiasm of the professional crew is contagious: It is never too much trouble at night to add more sail, or motivate a bunch of wildlife photographers to put down their cameras and set a decent spread of canvas to hop a few miles down the coast....  Europa is notorious at tall ships races and in ports for putting on a show  - often sailing in under sail – almost to the quay.

Maintenence tasks aloft on Bark Europa. Swiss deckhand Jules.
Swiss deckhand Jules with a rigging job aloft on Bark Europa.

Antarctic Specialists

The lure of the Antarctic is hard to resist, and every Southern Hemisphere summer since 2001 this tough 330 ton sailing ship has made the long passage down to the southernmost tip of South America. Once in Patagonia, Bark Europa runs to run a series of sailing expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula, Weddell Sea and South Georgia. If you want to experience the polar wilderness as Shackleton and Scott did - then help Tall Ship Europa sail amongst the icebergs. These voyages make deep and lasting Impressions on those who sign up before the mast.  The sense of wilderness and togetherness you feel as part of the ships company; the teeming wildlife and the extreme weather from sun and lunch on deck to sudden katabatic winds, will stay with you for a lifetime.

 

Tall Ship Bark Europa nestled amongst the ice cliffs and snow domes of Antarctica
Photo by Renne Koster

Warm Ocean Sailing & Square Rig Masterclass

If you are an adventurous spirit sailing for the first time then Europa keeps the romance of sailing alive with a great library, lectures, and enthusiastic crew who can teach a range of topics. Europa captains have a sense of maritime history. This Dutch ship was originally built in 1911, and was converted into a barque rigged tall ship in 1986,  with many authentic sailing ships fittings from a byegone era. Her ocean voyages maximise the prevailing winds and generally follow the routes of the mighty windjammers and cargo sailing ships of the  18th and 19th Century.

If you are an experienced sailor and want to immerse yourself in square rig seamanship or maybe learn some Astro Navigation, then Europa is a good choice. Approaching equatorial crossings the extra sky-sail masts and yards are sent aloft and the whole crew can easily be kept busy setting the studding sails that few training ships dare rig. The 14 professional crew and guest crew soon become indistinguishable as you learn the ropes, gain a healthy tan and perhaps help out with the ships maintenance.

Ocean voyages on tall ships. Serving the steel rigging on Bark Europa
Serving the steel rigging. Always something to help with on long ocean passages

Stealing the Show at Tall Ships Races

Tall Ships Races are also great opportunities to really push a square rigger.  Europa can set 30 sails but this takes a lot of crew action, and everybody needs to keep on their toes as manoeuvring the ship gets quite complicated.

Europa crew rarely shout to get things done, so it appears quite casual - but they are very proud of the ship and like to help you sail it to her full potential. Europa is one of the smaller Class A tall ships but they are always determined to steal the scene and win tall ships race legs (and often do). Over 50% of the crew must be under 25 for tall ships races, so if you think you can show up the energetic young crew, then now is the time to apply for the limited adult berths on these race voyages.

Bark Europa under full sail with stun'sails and skysails. Photo by Brett Yates
Bark Europa under full sail with stun'sails and skysails. Photo by Brett Yates

Style of Sailing

Europa is a sail training ship so everyone is expected to take part in sailing the ship. Everyone receives training in how to sail a square rigger and be part of the ships crew. The guest crew are generally split into three watch groups. Whilst on watch you might be on lookout, helming the ship or helping the professional crew set or reduce sail. In cold locations like Antarctica the lookout duties or steering the ship are only for short bursts on deck, and you can escape to the cosy deck-house in between the sailing action.

Lookout duty with the albatrosses on Europa
Lookout duty with the albatrosses on Europa

On adventure charter voyages, like ocean crossings or Antarctic Expeditions, Europa carries a large professional crew to maximise your holiday experience and keep the ship sailing, whatever the conditions. This means you don't have to clean the ship or work in the galley and you can put as much into the sailing side of the voyage as you want. If you are an adrenalin seeking sailor who wants to help furl sails aloft at night (not at all compulsory) then there is plenty of action. If you are someone who will pull a rope occasionally and contribute to the team effort, but doesn't feel up to doing heroic stuff all the time, then that is fine as there are usually plenty of volunteers to set sails, or go out on the bowsprit. 

On tall ships races the crews are generally younger and the pace can be quite energetic. On these sail training orientated voyages you are more likely to be involved in domestic or maintenance tasks. 

Whatever voyage you coose, on board Bark Europa we call our guests 'voyage crew'. This means that Europa's permanent crew will train you to be a sailor. Unlike going on a cruise, on Bark Europa you will be going on a hands-on, active sailing adventure. You will be divided into three watches; Red watch, Blue watch and White watch, named after the colors of the Dutch flag. You will be 'on watch' for four hours after which you have eight hours of free time. 

At Sea - On Watch

During your four hours on watch there will be different tasks that will be divided between the members of your watch. There will always be two people on helm duty. You will together, maintain a steady course on the helm. The crew will explain how to steer the ship and what to look out for. 

During the watch there will also be two people on look-out duty at all times. On the bow of the ship, you will stand look-out. You spot ships, buoys, debris, and icebergs in the water then communicate this to the officer on watch.

The rest of the watch members will be on deck duty. The permanent crew will give you sail training and you will assist in all sail handling. This involves setting- and taking away the sails by hauling- and easing lines, climbing the rigging to furl or unfurl the sails. The crew will instruct you how to work on deck and you will learn how to trim the sails to the directing of the wind. During deck duty, there is also time to assist the crew with the maintenance of the ship. This way you will learn how to work with traditional tools and methods. Woodworking, sailmaking, celestial navigation, and traditional rope- and rigging work will all be apart of your sailing voyage. 

The captains and officers of Bark Europa are easy to talk to and like to get involved in your sail training. They will explain traditional- as well as modern ways of navigation. They will organize and run you through safety drills and procedures. 

Off Watch for Relaxing, Hobbies & Learning

During your eight hours 'off watch', there is time to rest and enjoy the scenery. You can read a book in the library or in the deckhouse. The bar will be open for a drink and a snack. The crew will be giving lectures on various subjects, from traditional sailors skills and knowledge to science and astronomy. 

During your time off watch, you can still assist the permanent crew and the voyage crew 'on watch' with sail handling and maintenance jobs. The galley team sometimes asks for a hand peeling potatoes or apples on deck so they can make yet another of their famous pies. 

In the deckhouse, there will be people playing games, reading books, listening to music, writing diaries and emails. Your off watch time is for you to fill in, you may do as little or as much as you would like. These hours are also for you to catch up on your sleep.

When you are setting sails, reading or working away on deck, in the galley they are always busy preparing meals to keep everyone well fed. Multiple course meals will be served three times a day with coffee and tea times in between. 
In the evenings the crew prepares team challenges and pub quizzes to enjoy together with your watch mates.  

See more about Europa's stun'sails and skysails and how to sail a square rigger

Relaxing on a long ocean passage on Bark Europa. Hobbies like playing a musical instrument

Life on Board

Europa is ideal for ocean crossings and longer voyages with various places for relaxing. The wood panelled library at the stern of the ship has ships models, charts, an inspiring book collection and plenty of seating for all kinds of hobbies. The deck-house is the more social relaxation space. It has good heating for colder destinations, windows all around so you won't miss any action and easy access outdoors to the main deck. There is also a small lecture room below decks.

See more about the accommodation and life onboard by clicking the tab above. 

Ocean Classroom

We think Europa runs the most comprehensive lecture programme of any of the vessels in the Classic Sailing fleet.  If you want to learn about oceanography, the oceans role in climate change, marine wildlife, nautical history and advanced square rig sailing then a long voyage on Europa is like university of the ocean.  You don't have to go to lectures .....but its great to have the option. Without the internet you learn a lot from each other.

Learn more about Europa's lectures and skills you can learn

Astro navigation class on Bark Europa. Photo by Roland Gockel
Astro navigation class on Bark Europa. Photo by Roland Gockel

Protecting the World's Oceans

As you would expect from an IAATO approved Antarctic Operator, Europa takes care not to pollute the marine environment. Europa charter crews are encouraged to be pro-active and have saved entangled turtles, removed floating rubbish and conducted scientific research as they sail. Captain Klaas Gaastra has won awards from the Dutch Meteorological Office for services to modern meteorology and the watch on deck is involved in  weather reporting. 

See more about Europa - and the ships environmental ethos

 

The deck house on Europa is a social place to write journals or play cards
The deck house on Europa is a social place to write journals or play cards

Below Decks Accommodation

Relaxation spaces include the library, deck-house, lower lounge, poker corner, and many seats around the decks when anchored. The deck-house has a bar selling wines and beers for consumption when you are off watch.

Bark Europa interior - deck house lecture with Elliot
Deck house lecture with Elliot

Cabins with En-suite WC and Shower

Europa has 12 cabins on board for voyage crew. Cabins have heating or air conditioning that you can control (depending on where you are sailing) and all have a WC/ shower/washbasin en-suite. The air conditioning works best with the cabin door shut, but you can also latch it part open for more natural ventilation.

4 berth and 5-6 berth cabins - En suite

There are four large cabins for 4 persons and four for 6-persons cabins. All cabins are comfortable and have their own shower and toilet. During the Antarctica voyages or the long ocean crossings a maximum of 5 persons will be placed in a 6-persons cabin.

2 berth cabins en suite for couples sharing

If you are travelling as a couple you can decide to book a 2-persons cabin, but there are only three of these and they are more expensive.

On Europa these cabins are not available for individuals booking on their own. If you are prepared to share with a person of the same gender, then it will need to be in a larger cabin. 

A cheaper option for couples that are happy to co-habit, you can also be placed together with another couple in a 4-person cabin at the lower berth fee.

Single travellers will usually be placed in a male or female 4- or 6-persons cabin at the lower berth fee. There is a porthole in either the cabin or the en-suite bathroom, and each bunk has its own reading light and privacy curtain. There are drawers each under the bunks and wardrobe space to store your things and hooks for waterproofs.

Duvets and sheets are provided and laundered regularly during the voyage. The cabins have 2 pin European electricity sockets to charge phones and cameras. The power comes from one of 3 ships generators.

We cannot guarantee any specific cabin or bunk to you, we can make a note of your preference, however the final cabin overview will be made on board by the captain.

Bark Europa. Each cabin has a small shower, wash basin and toilet en suite
Bark Europa. Each cabin has a small shower, wash basin and toilet en suite
Bark Europa Accommodation below decks - layout drawing

Plenty of Deck Space

The highest part of the deck is the poop deck where there is a ships wheel outdoors and a chartroom with a good view of the whole ship.

Photo by Roland Gockel

At the same level in the middle of the ship is the boat deck which sits above the deckhouse.

Right at the bow is the fore deck. At a lower level is the main deck, sometimes called the 'waist' of the ship. In good weather the galley teams likes to serve meals 'al fresco' from a big table on the main deck. There are plenty of bench seats and the deck-house if you would rather eat at a table, out of the sun. The main deck on Europa is only a couple of metres from the waterline, which means you sometimes get up close and personal with visiting whales, penguins and dolphins, but it also means in rough weather waves can sweep across it. Nets and safety lines are rigged and there are other drier routes you can take to the poop deck where you steer the big ships wheel, or the boat deck and focastle which are all high above the sea.

main deck on Europa. 'Two o clockie' meeting
main deck on Europa. 'Two o clockie' meeting

What is included

Duvets, linen, pillows, hand towels

Sailing instruction

All meals on board

Wildlife Guide on some voyages

What is not included

Waterproof Trousers & Jacket

Travel to joining port

Alcoholic or canned drinks from bar. (pay in euros at end of trip -cannot accept cards)

Cost of any e mails home by satellite.

There is a landing fee for South Georgia

Communications

Satellite phone (emergencies) 2 Inmarsat C terminals SSB and 2 VHF radio plus mobile VHFs

Medical Care

For Antarctic Voyages and long ocean passages in remote locations the ship will usually carry a doctor as volunteer crew. The Captain and several of the crew have medical training. You must have travel insurance and healthcare insurance for your own country. Please make sure you take enough medication for anything you are prone to. It is vital you tell us of any medical issues on your booking form.

Agility and Fitness

Climbing the mast is fun but not compulsory. You do need to be agile enough to climb a 6ft vertical ladder e.g. to get from the ship into a ships dinghy to go ashore. There are quite steep companionway steps and all the cabins have bunk beds.

Europa in Cape Town after 2006 annual refit
Europa in Cape Town after 2006 annual refit

Bark Europa - Ship Specification & History

Europa History

Europa was built in 1911 as a lightship for the mighty Elbe Estuary. In 1986 her potential as a sailing ship was realised and she was brought to Holland for an 8 year transformation into a three masted barque. The restoration was supervised by the Dutch Shipping Inspection Bureau Veritas and she holds certification for worldwide charter. She is an incredibly strongly built ship with six watertight bulkheads and a strengthened hull around waterline for ice.

Ship Specification

Built (converted into a barque) 1911 1986-94
Rig Bark Barque
Length overall inc bowsprit 56m 184ft
Beam 7.4m 24ft
Draft 3.9m 13ft
Air Draft (height of mast above sea level) 33m 108ft
Max sail area - 30 sails 1250 sq m 13 445 sq ft
2 engines and bow thruster 2 x 365hp  
Max guest crew (less on Antarctic Expeditions) 45  
Professional crew 10-18  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Safety

Dutch Commercial Safety Certificates for Worldwide Operations - covers lifesaving equipment, staff certificates, operations.

There are also very strict rules for ships visiting Antarctica, which the ship conforms to.

Bark Europa Captain Profiles

Captain of Bark Europa Klaas Gaastra
Captain of Bark Europa Klaas Gaastra. Photo by Jordi Plana

Europa has three regular Captains:- Klaas Gaastra, Eric Kesterloo and Harko Lamberts who generally live on the ship for 3 month blocks. All have sailed Europa for many years, are excellent linguists and have a real love and deep knowledge about square riggers, the marine environment  and the ocean wildlife.

Europa Captain Klaas Gaastra

For someone who spends large chunks of his life living on a tall ship as Europa wanders the world's oceans, Captain Klaas is very well known and respected  in the tall ship sailing world. If you sail with him you soon realise why he is unforgettable !  Hard to imagine Klaas as a submariner in the Dutch Navy, now with a wild mane of hair and blue earring.  Klaas has been with the ship as Captain since she was first re-built from lightship to sailing barque, and loves to sail the ship as close to the dock as he can under sail.  If you follow Klaas on facebook you realise how much he cares about maritime history, wildlife and the worlds oceans.  You don't really need a wildlife guide if you sail with him as he has eagle eyes for identifying whales and dolphins in the distance.  Klaas has recently been awarded a medal from the Royal Dutch Meteorology Institute for his exceptional work out at sea and for services to Maritime Meteorology, so if you sail with him you can learn a lot about ocean weather from experience and years of recording actual conditions. His partner Marianne sails as Cook and they make a great team. Dutch but fluent in English, we suspect Klaas can speak quite a few languages....

Captain Eric Kesterloo

Captain Eric is also an iceberg dodger with many years as Captain sailing Europa in Antarctica and around the Oceans. We would love someone, or maybe Eric to write something about himself.

Bark Europa Captain - Eric  Kesterloo
Bark Europa Captain - Eric Kesterloo

 

Ships Cook- Marianne Van de Staay (NL)

Ships Cook Renske (NL)

Bosun - Luci (Brittany)

Bosun Finn (Nova Scotia)

Bosun Matthew Morris (Australia)

Current sailing grounds
Europa has a reputation as an ocean Wanderer - Albatrosses in Southern Ocean; Skysails in tropics

Europa Kit List

Wet landing in South Georgia

Kit List for Europa

Included 

  • Hand towels
  • Bed linen
  • All meals on board and non alcoholic beverages 

What is not included

  • Waterproof clothing 
  • Waterproof boots
  • Alcoholic beverages

What to Bring 

Please pack your belongings in a soft holdall or backpack as storage space is limited on Europa (no room for suitcases!)

• Passport
• Flight tickets
• Voyage Information
• Any Medication

• Light weight wet weather gear - heavy weight waterproof jacket and trousers for Antarctica
• Sun tan lotion
• Washing kit and toiletries
• Clothing for a warm climate or extra for Antarctica - plenty of layers
• Shoes and sandals that protect your toes - warm water proof boots for Antarctica
• Swimwear - warm wind proof hats for Antarctica
• Beach Towel only

• You can charge electrical appliances if you have an adapter for European two pin sockets.
• A book for the flight - there is a good library of books ,CD's and videos on board.
• Camera and batteries – film, spare batteries and storage cards
• Small musical instrument are always welcome

What not to Bring

Your bunk has a comforter/duvet with cover, one pillow with pillowcase and a sheet
- You do not need to bring a sleeping bag or towels, as they will be provided too  
- Jewellery and other valuables
- It is not allowed to bring any alcoholic beverages on board. We try to limit the amount of garbage we produce on board, so if you bring your favourite snacks, please think about sensible packing!

Antarctic Voyages - Comprehensive Kit List

One extreme to the other - Blizzards and heatwaves in Antarctica - Think Ski resort and you won't be far wrong.

Luggage In each cabin you will have a drawer and a small cupboard where you have to stow all the luggage you bring with you, including the bag. Leaving bags on the floor will create a dangerous situation, the movements of the ship will scatter everything around and tripping and falling can be the consequence.  We kindly ask you to bring soft but sturdy luggage bags that can (partly) be folded. Suitcases cannot be stowed in your cabin. Please remember to clean your bags, jackets etc to prevent takings seeds or bacteria into Antarctica.

Suitcases take up a lot of space in your cabin and cannot be stowed, so we ask your only to sue sturdy but soft luggage bags.

Baggage Allowance and Recommendations

To avoid excess baggage charges on international and domsestic flights, check with your ticketing agent about luggage restrictions. In general, you are allowed two normal sized pieces of luggage per person and one carry-on bag. 

Luggage labels

 Please make sure that you luggage is clearly labelled with your name and destination on the outside of your luggage and also put a second label or big piece of papers inside your luggage with detailed information. Also, mention the ship's Argentine phone number and name. This will be given to you by Classic Sailing on confirmation of your booking. 

A small rucksack (daypack) or shoulder bag is handy for walks ashore to store your gear. Waterproof if possible or put your kit in an inner bag that is waterproof and sealed. 

General clothing
On board it is common to wear casual clothing. Staying warm, dry and comfortable will allow you to maximize the enjoyment of your experience. Layer your clothes to easily adapt to the weather circumstances. Especially at night it will be cold. 

Long voyages to and from Antarctica
We will do our best to make sure there is at least one opportunity for personal washing but we cannot guarantee it because we are bound by the weather. We can only use the washing machine if the ship stable. The crew will provide every cabin with one washing bag to collect the laundry and return it to you when cleaned. There is always the possibility to do a small hand wash. 
 
Changing daily:

- Socks: 21 pairs

- Underwear: for 21 days

Change every couple of days:

- Thermos-layers: 5 pairs, with at least one made from Merino wool (these won’t smell for quite some time).

- T-shirts: 12 For the whole voyage

- Knitted sweater: 5 or 6 warm sweaters (wool is always preferred)

- Pants: 2 or 3 thermal pants

- 2 pair of normal jeans

- Water tight/sailing pants 

Base layer
- Thermal underwear: a natural fibre such as merino wool is best to keep you warm and will also stay odourless longer than synthetic fibres. The best would be medium thick to thick.  
- Socks: here we would also suggest merino wool socks, the higher the better! Try to find seamless socks to prevent blisters 
 
Second layer/optional
- Shirts: both long and short sleeves. Shirts made out of 100% cotton are not ideal since it holds moisture and dries slowly. Best would be to have shirts with a bit of elastane.
- Pants: what you prefer. Quickly drying is advised. 
 
Insulation layer
- Often for this layer fleece is suggested, but we would like to ask you to bring wool sweaters instead. During one laundry cycle, a fleece jacket releases up to 250.000 synthetic fibres. These come into the waste water and eventually end up in our oceans contributing to the plastic soup.
- Down jackets 
 
Shell layer
- Wind and waterproof. Since we will be sailing to Antarctica we suggest to go for sailing gear. Big brands are Musto, Helly Hansen, Henry Lloyd, but these are also quite expensive. As an alternative, have a look at oil suits, less pretty but just as effective in keeping out the wind and water 
 
Extremities
- Gloves: inner and outer gloves.  
o Inner gloves: excellent dexterity and good wicking properties
o Outer gloves: pick one of good quality. Select on warmth, waterproofing and dexterity.
- Hats and scarves
o Hats: bring something warm and which you like. Don’t forget something to cover your ears
o Scarves: a neck gaiter is a good option, because it will not leave you with loose ends which can get caught up in something. 

Feet: If you want to wear two pairs of socks make sure there is room in your footwear!
- Muck boots: during landings we might not always be able to do a complete landing, so you will have to walk through a bit of water to reach the shore. Make sure your boots are as high as possible, just under the knee.
- Walking shoes: for walking during the landings you can bring normal hiking shoes. Shoes with not too much profile are preferred, as not to transfer material from one landing site to another. You can bring them in you backpack to shore. 

Rubber boots are necessary on virtually all landings: for getting ashore out of the zodiac trough ankle deep icy out of the zodiac trough ankle deep icy water, walking through snow and sometimes on deck during the crossing.You will be wearing these daily so they should be comfortable for longer wear and walking. If they are too tight they will give you cold feet, space shaft of at least 28 cm high with soft (for better grip on deck) non-slippery heavily for 2 socks is great. We recommend simple rubber boots with a ridged/waffled soles. Yachting/sailing boots don’t offer enough grip ashore on snow, ice and mud, better opt for Wellingtons/farmers boots. You can find these at farm/fishing co-op stores, work clothing stores and garden shops between 20 to 60 Euros. 

Documents
Bring vital documents in your carry on luggage but keep photocopies in your luggage. 

Passport  For a number of nationalities your passport has to be valid for at least 6 months at the moment you enter Argentina. Please check the requirements for your own nationality. 
Visa It is important that you check with your own embassy for visa requirements pertaining to each country. For a number of nationalities no visa is required for a stay of a maximum 90 days. Please check the requirements for your own nationality.
 
Certificates of medical and travel insurance.
Phone number of the Europa in case of delay on the day of embarkation (Dutch) Ships’ cellphone nr.: +31-6-51 180 679 or our Argentine Nr.: from within Ushuaia: 15 602030; from within Argentina: 02901-15 602030.

Money
- ATM card, cash money, credit card. Please make sure you bring enough cash with you as there might not be that many ATM machines in the Falklands and Ushuaia.  - On board you can pay your bar bill and souvenirs at the end of the trip with EUR and USD. We do not accept credit cards. 

Swimwear for a polar plunge or possibly a thermal bath at Deception Island.

Warm pyjamas (the cabins are less warm than the rest of the ship).
Hiking boots.
Extra pair of prescription glasses or contact lenses
Sunglasses (uv filter) and sunscreen. The sun is very strong as the area has little
ozone and light is reflected by snow, ice and water.
Clothes for gateway cities. It is summer in Buenos Aires and one can expect
temperatures of 30°C.

Please not that your rain gear, daypack, camera bag, tri-pod and boots, etc are clean when you join the ship. We advise that you vacuum and clean these items to avoid taking any small seeds or bacteria to Antarctica. 

Cameras and other gear

Please ensure that you test your equipment before you leave. 

Digital photographers spare (rechargeable) batteries, memory cards Bring twice as much storage as you think you might need! In case you bring your own laptop along: empty CD’s or a spare memory stick to store your photographs onto.  

Analog photographers: sufficient rolls of film (100/200 ASA for sunny days, 400 ASA for cloudy days) If you have one: a tele zoom lens (~300mm) allows you to take good pictures of wildlife without disturbing it. A polarization filter is not a must, but it can be useful to bring if you have one. Binoculars for watching wildlife (birds, cetaceans) 7x or 8x is fine  Electricity on board is 220Volt/50Hertz, standard European plugs with two circular metal pins.  Wall socket adapter

Please note that drones with cameras are not allowed in Antarctica or South Georgia. If you bring one on the ship you will not be allowed to use it.

Eating and drinking: It is not allowed to bring your own drinks or large amounts of food on board. 

Sleeping

Your bunk has a duvet with cover, one piollow with pillowcase andd a sheet, so you do not need to bring a sleeping bag. Towels will be provided too. If you sleep light you might like to think about taking ear plugs. 

Medical care: If you have or have had a disorder or sickness for which you use medication we ask you to inform us in advance and we ask you to bring enough medication for the entire voyage. Because on board the ship we live close to each other, colds or influenza are easily passed on to others. We advise you to take an anti-influenza injection before departure. In the Netherlands you can visit www.reisdokter.nl to make an appointment for the vaccination. If you have questions about a specific health problem, we advise you to get in touch with the office. We can put you in contact with one of the ship’s doctors.

Seasickness A sailing ship under sail is steadier in the water in strong winds than a motor vessel. Once in Antarctic waters, we will be sheltered and the wind will be calm, so no one should suffer from seasickness. In the Drake Passage, the winds can be very strong and some people on board will get seasick. Most will get used to the motion of the ship after one day. Healthy eating and sleep are the best ways to prevent seasickness. If you fear that you might be susceptible to seasickness, you can take anti-seasickness pills. Please buy these before you leave home. We advice Primatour or Cinerazine. We don’t recommend strong (Belgian) pills or plasters to stick behind your ear. If you have any more questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Keeping in touch with home while you are away In case of an emergency, the ship can be contacted 24/7 via the office of the Europa. They keep contact with the ship on a daily basis via ship's radio or Satellite communication. Please contact Classic Sailing for the contact details. 

There are two ways to send small messages directly to the ship: Messages for somebody on board can be sent to europa@gmn-usa.com. The ship will download these messages directly via satellite communication. Make your message in plain text (so no HTML). Mention the name of the receiver in the subject field. And do not save this address in your contact persons or use this for bulk mail. The receiver on board will pay for the message. The costs are about 1.50 euro per kilobyte. Half a page of plain text is about 2KB (kilobyte). A larger message for example in HTML text, with colours, fonts etc can easily cost about 15,- euro

The second option is to send emails to our Inmarsat C terminal. To be able to do so, the sender has to subscribe to the provider of the satellite connection to be able to send emails directly to the ship. Please contact our office at info@barkeuropa.com for further information. Trainees and crew aboard the Europa can send text messages to any onshore address, and have to pay cash at the end of the voyage. The messages you want to send must not contain attachments or pictures or any other graphical items. Sending plain text without layout will keep your messages small and therefore cheaper. The satellite telephone number of the ship is: Iridium +88 163 182 9696. Costs may vary with your own telecom company. But they are extremely high in any case! Please remember that there might be a time difference. You can also send a letter or a card to our office in Rotterdam. When new crew or trainees fly from Amsterdam to the ship they can take the mail to the trainees and crew members on board. Please check with the office in the Netherlands if crew is flying and if it is possible for them to take mail. There is no internet connection on board.  Note that: cell phones will stop operating once we get out of the Beagle Channel.  Note that some email accounts, like hotmail, will be blocked after not being used for 1 month. 

Remember to write down the correct email addresses and phone numbers of the people you would like to contact from the ship (otherwise your emails will be automatically returned at your cost)

All guest will be asked to provide a next of kin address in case of an emergency. 

Furthermore, you can check the location of the ship under 'follow the ship'. We have frequent contact with the ship so in case you contact us we can tell you about the whereabouts of your relatives/friends. 

Bark Europa
Bark Europa

 

Off

Europa - Reviews & Blogs

Europa

Ocean Wanderer

Best bit?
En route to Rouen from Horta Azores especially I enjoyed the two days in a force 6 abt. 200miles north of the Azores as it really made one realise that sailing a 500ton sq.rigger requires extraordinary skills in sail handling and as a novice i really felt i could take part working along with the prof. crew. of Europa. Wonderful experience!

What was the worst bit?
Being becalmed in the channel for a day or two!

Why do you sail? 
Really because i've always had that urge & wanted to sail on a tall ship having seen film footage& read several books/accounts of the clippers .

Any other comments
Just like to say a big thank you to Classic Sailing for making it all so worthwhile.
Ocean voyage crew from Azores to France in May 2019. 

Europa
Europa by Mark Walker - Guest crew from Azores to Rouen 2019

Antarctica

Facebook Review 5 stars

I wish I could give more stars! The adventure of a lifetime, my voyage to Antarctica on the Bark Europa was more than I could ever wish for. The experiences of this adventure will stay with me for ever...
The crew are absolutely amazing: hard working, always a smile, and the galley crew are legendary! The guides are very knowledgeable and give lectures, tours and explanations with great enthousiasm as well as humor. I could not imagine this voyage without any of them. My fellow voyage crew members are now friends for life!
If you ever get the opportunity to go on this adventure, do not hesitate for a single second. Just go!
Thank you permanent crew, voyage crew and office staff!!
Elisabeth K, Jan 2016

Enjoyed the Most

All of it. The combination of sailing and shore landings at the various locations, as well as the wildlife and scenery.

Enjoyed the least.

Having people join the ship who had absolutely no intention of joining the Watch System was hugely divisive and caused a lot of angst amongst the Voyage Crew. If someone can go in the Zodiacs and spend all day walking around the shore locations they are capable of doing Look Out. Excuses such as I don't feel like doing Sea Watches, or I am not a Night Person should not be accepted. Everyone should sign to say they are prepared to join the system. Due to sea sickness my particular Watch was, at one point, down to 5 people. Having individuals drinking red wine/Bacardi and coke and then announcing they are off to bed, leaving the remainder to carry on was very selfish and self-centred.

Phil J Antarctica Feb 2019.

Classic Sailing and Europa believe in 'hands on sailing' and we are aware of the problem Phil J mentions above.

We are working to ensure that future participants in all Europa’s voyages are fully signed up to full participation in the sailing including watch keeping at night, sail handling and look out duty, etc. In all instance allowances are made for the weather conditions and that people maybe unwell.

Classic Sailing has and will always believe in 'hands on sailing'. For us, and what we offer, it is the best way to get the most out of the sailing experiences on all our voyages.

Phil Judd - Europa - Guest Feedback
Phil Judd - Europa - Guest Feedback

Customer Comments - Cape to Cape 2018

What did you enjoy most?

On the southern Ocean with the bark rolling out to 40 degrees, water flooding the main deck as we hauled on the clews and buntlines to take in sail

Cape to Cape sailor 2018

Bark Europa, view through the port hole in Antarctica
Bark Europa, view through the port hole in Antarctica

What was the best bit?

All of it!! Maybe seeing over 100 Fin whales feeding on route to Elephant Island - that was pretty cool.

What was the worst bit?

Being stung by a Portuguese Man of War whilst swimming off Tristan da Cuhna....but that in itself was amazing so not really the worst bit!

Why do you sail? It really helps us to know your specific reasons.

Freedom and curiosity

Any other comments

It truly was a life changing experience and one I will treasure for the rest of my life!" - Lucy M - Cape to Cape 2018

Trying to sum up what this journey has meant to me

LOGBOOK 10-01-2012 10:00

We have passed Cape Horn. In a short time the Bark Europa, which has been our home for the last couple of months, will re-join the wider world.

Having spent 47 days in this little island of metal and wood in a very large ocean, and this having been my first time on a sailing ship, I've been trying to sum up what this journey has meant to me in a few lines.

Its not been easy, I keep wanting to use words like "magical", "fantastic" or "otherworldly" to describe the journey into the Antarctic, but it simply can't do justice to the trip as a whole in a few words.The best I can do is draw out some of the most precious moments for me from the trip.

- having the chance to honour Sir Ernest Shackleton - my personal hero - at a short ceremony at his grave,
- to see two humpback whales swimming 25 feet from the ship on Christmas day,
- to see two elephant seals - both the size of family cars fighting.

(also as an ultra-marathon runner being able to run in the Arctic as in the Antarctic was another goal I can tick off after this trip).

This has been an amazing journey, in an amazing ship, with amazing people! Thanks!"

Simon

Simon the Ultra Runner on Europa
Simon the Ultra Runner on Europa

Not Going Home - I am Home

LOGBOOK 13-01-2012 10:00

It's difficult to talk about intense experiences. I'm English, and we are notorious for our stiff upper lips, so please excuse the lack of hyperbole. As a group, we now know how to differentiate between 5 different types of penguin by smell alone, how to fend off a 'harem-less' male fur seal with a raised hand and a hard stare.

And what it feels like to be helmed through fields of ice-bergs by a captain who nobody would want to be in front of in heavy traffic ('Come on, you could get a three-masted square-rigger through that gap!'). Who will we talk to about these last weeks? Each other? I don't know; we've seen the best and the worst of each other, and that's not always a comfortable place to be, socially. Can we talk to anyone else about it? Yeesh. Antarctica bores alert!

Maybe we'll take some time to process these sensations before we share them; the sound like thunder as a glacier creaks its way towards calving, the feeling of helplessness as the katabatic winds sweep off the ice-fields and make the ship heel even though there are no sails up (yes, yes, and they're all beautifully furled already...), the sight of a quarter of a million penguins choosing to nest in one particular spot. Maybe we'll tuck these memories away, hoarded like a miser's gold.

It's as damned sure as mustard, though, that something in our futures will trigger a memory of this. It might be a mention of some previously-unheard-of-but-now-familiar sub-antarctic island, it might be the smell of a basin full of disinfectant (don't pack a pest and whatever you do, don't tread on the moss!),or even just the sight of a teabag in a bar glass, but we now have within us the capacity to call up at will our own, personalised picture of the serenity that we have experienced, and this empowers us- we will be somehow better: serene, content, sorted.

Maybe that's the whole point. I mean, who'd choose to go on a trip like this anyway? Returnees and retirees is an easy but inaccurate answer. Of the 40 voyage crew on this leg, about half fulfill those criteria, but that's just who, not why. We are the mid-life crises, the career breaks, the bereaved and the mad-as-a-monkey-on-a-trampoline types. We're Red, White and Blue watch, helming and looking-out in all kinds of weather, (and Green watch, lying down and groaning in all kinds of weather). We are ruffty-tuffty... oh who am I kidding? A boat full of middle-aged accountants? Nope. Not that either. I've been on this trip since Rotterdam in September and the only thing that's been predictable is the quality of the soup, Yes!

So come on, Europees, and Europites and Europophiles everywhere. Learn the difference between a clew and a buntline, and one day... no, I can't pretend that will make any difference...That's the point. When you need a change, or a challenge, come aboard. Don't cruise the world's oceans in a floating block of flats with its own casino and cinema. Do it the hard way.

We've dodged cross-channel ferries and Brazilian fishermen, We've swum in the horse latitudes and in Antarctica, We've watched Orion cross the night sky closer and closer to the northern horizon until the southern midnight sun hid him from view. Feel every mile...

That's why the hardest time is the morning of our departure. The monstrous bags (I never packed that much stuff, surely) , the hearty handshakes, (English- stiff upper lip, remember), the swapped addresses (if you're ever in Outer Mongolia...), the surreality of wandering around Ushuaia, over 10,000 miles away from where you live, and bumping into people you know all day, (from the ship, obviously, unless you have a fabulous social network,) and that thing that we all say., "Safe trip home".

And you step out of our tiny, dangerous, intense, unbelievably exciting world, back into anonymity, and the spell is broken. And you go home. And some are ready to go home, and some aren't, and the luckiest buggers of all realise that we're already there.

Kate

Kate the Theatre Stage Builder sailing from NL to Antarctica on Europa
Kate the Theatre Stage Builder sailing from NL to Antarctica on Europa

A Personal Pilgrimage on Europa

 LOGBOOK 19-12-2011 10:00

Grytviken on South Georgia contains the ruins of an old whaling station. "Old" in this case, is a matter of perspective. These particular stations were actively processing whales during the lifetimes of some of the Europa's voyage crew.

To many people, seeing these ruins is perhaps like seeing the ruins of an old concentration camp. To them. it is a place of unimaginable horror. Without doubt, these are very sad and mournful places.

Part of my sadness is nostalgia, because unlike many people these days, I have the rare distinction of having been a child in an active whaling town. When I was very young, my town had the last active whaling station in my country - and this was as late as the 1970's. The two primary industries in my town were whaling and salmon - and when the whaling station closed and the salmon cannery shut down, my town was devastated.

My town hunted Southern Right Whales and Humpback Whales, but especially we hunted Sperm Whales for their superior quality oil, their ambergris and the spermaceti organ they used for echo navigation. I have dim memories of watching the whale-catchers steaming out of the harbour through my father's binoculars. I also recall watching those same boats return, towing whales behind them, and the orca's and sharks attacking the carcass as it was towed to the station. They say the water at the end of the flensing ramps used to boil with the frenzy of feeding sharks and orcas.

My father taught me how to mix whale oil with bran & pollard to attract fish. I can still remember the unique silky smoothness of the oil and it's peculiar smell. One day he found two enormous teeth in a friend's garden - they were Sperm Whale teeth, six inches long and wickedly curved. To me, a boy of seven years, they felt as heavy as lead ingots.

My father polished them and used them for scrimshaw - a classical scene of a square-rigged whaler at a quay-side. One still sits above the fireplace in his lounge room and even now, as a man of forty years, it feels as heavy as a lead ingot to me.
Perhaps some of that weight is the guilt of what was done to the Southern Whale Fisheries for greed and profit.

Mikkie from Austraila.

Mikki learning his knots on Europa
Mikki learning his knots on Europa

At Sea when Steve Jobs died

It made me think that it would be nice to share a couple of words from Apple Founder Steve Jobs, an innovator, technology adventurer and creator of at least one great gadget stowed away in every cabin on Europa during this Atlantic crossing, who sadly died earlier this week.

In a speech to the graduates of Stanford University, Steve Jobs advised them: "live each day as if it were your last, as someday you'll most certainly be right. Every day I look in the mirror and ask myself, if today were my last day on earth, would I want to do what I am about to do today?".

And at 3.45am as the lamp by my bed switched on for the 4am watch, were it not for the fear of waking two thirds of our motley training crew who'd been up on watch all night, I would have shouted at the top of my lungs "_YES! This is what I would want to do_!" because another glorious day on the beatuiful Europa was waiting for me on deck.

YES! To more sizzling sunshine, good wind and deep blue sea
YES! To outrageously delicious food - steak and wine, biscuits, tea and cakes. Pina Coladas!
YES! To dolphins, whales and Penelope the pigeon, our voyage stowaway
YES! To thinking up new excuses for why I'm more likely to get us to St Lucia than Salvador when left alone at the helm
YES! To thinking up more excuses for why I've spent the past few days genuinely thinking the schools of flying fish were flocks of birds
YES! To beating the fear of heights and conquering the 'yellow monster' platform
YES! To handstands and gymnastic classes on the deck while Europa rocks and rolls
YES! To the waves that gurgle and lap at the porthole of our en-suite showers where we wash the salt from our hair
YES! To absorbing as much information as possible from Europa's fantastically talented, dedicated and charming professional crew
YES! To new friends, birthdays, and 'thanks giving' all in our first week
YES! To the experience of a life time
YES to all this and more. Many, many, more happy sailing days aboard Europa.

Riss, CREW LOGBOOK October 2011

 

 

 

Voyage Number or start date.

February 8th 2019 from Ushuaia via Antarctica to Capetown.

 

 

What did you think of the safety briefing?

Good

 

What did you think of the accommodation onboard?

Good

 

Did you have enough personal attention?

Excellent

 

Did you think of the Captain/Skipper and the paid crew?

Excellent

 

What did you think of the food quality?

Excellent

 

How was the sailing?

Just right

 

Did you have any rough weather?

Some

 

Did you feel the voyage had?

A good mix of sailing and ashore.

 

What was the best bit?

Hard to decide. Seeing Humpback whales feeding, the green flash as the sun set - a first for me for both these things. The open ocean with only natural noises from wind sails and sea.

 

What was the worst bit?

Struggling to get out of the bunk and get dressed at 0400 to go on watch when Europa on a good angle of lean - kept me in well but hard to get out!

 

Why do you sail? It really helps us to know your specific reasons.

Love feeling close to nature away from the hustle and bustle of city life, and enjoy meeting like minded people

 

Any other comments

A fantastic trip. Tough as away from land for so long but worth it. Luckily I don’t suffer from seasickness, but many did.

 

Christine K.

C

 

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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