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NEW SEASON: Sailing & Wildlife Expedition to Antarctic Peninsula via Chilean Fjords & Cape Horn

The pristine wilderness of the Antarctic Peninsula with mountains, glaciers and dazzling ice caps is special enough but to journey through it as part of a shared adventure as crew on a tall ship is unique. Barque Europa is starting her first 24 day Antarctic voyage of the season from Punta Arenas, which enables her to weave her way down towards Cape horn through the Chilean fjords. Marvel at the Andes, wander Patagonian ports like Puerto Williams or possibly land on the island of Cape Horn. Southwards is 800 miles of Drakes Passage before you reach the South Shetland Isles and more sheltered waters. Walk amongst elephant seals, chinstrap and gentoo penguins. Icebergs and sail silently watching for whales.

Embark
Sun, 15-12-2019 - 17:00
Punta Arenas
Disembark
Tue, 07-01-2020 - 09:00
Ushuaia
Duration
24 Days
Vessel
Europa
Voyage No.
EU151219

Berths and voyage availability

TYPE: 4-6 berth cabin - en suite - pp. AVAILABILITY: Fully booked. PRICE: 8,790 EUR. BOOK NOW
TYPE: 2 Berth Ensuite Cabin Per Person. AVAILABILITY: Fully booked. PRICE: 9,890 EUR. BOOK NOW

Europa 24 Day Antarctica 2019-20

IDEAL VOYAGE FOR...

Adventurers with a sense of history who want to explore Antarctica in an authentic way, as close to their polar heroes as possible. Wildlife enthusiasts and wilderness lovers who want to see penguins, whales and seals in a pristine wilderness and tread lightly on the planet by travelling under sail as much as possible. Experienced sailors who want the ultimate adventure and a chance to test their mettle in some of the wildest seas on the planet and go aloft with a backdrop of mountains, glaciers and icebergs.

VOYAGE HIGHLIGHTS

  • Sail in the Strait of Magellan
  • Through the Beagle Channel
  • A chance to land at Cape Horn itself
  • Cross the Infamous Drakes Passage
  • Experience the Antarctic with a small crew 
  • Sail amongst Albatrosses & giant petrels
  • A good looking ship that provides great photos
  • Learn to manoeuvre a square rigger in iceberg waters
  • Guest Crew and Professional crew working side by side
  • 2 or 4-6 berth cabins with heating and WC and shower ensuite
  • Wildlife guides running a lecture programme and wildlife trips ashore
  • zodiac safaris around icebergs and ice cliffs
  • snowy walks for great views into the wilderness
  • shorelines packed with penguins and seals
  • Good opportunities to see different whale species
  • Visit historic and modern Research Bases
Half Moon Bay on South Shetland. Tall Ship Bark Europa Expeditions to Antarctica
Half Moon Bay on South Shetland - a chain of offshore islands before you reach the Peninsula

FULL VOYAGE DESCRIPTION

For many the chance to explore the Antarctic Peninsula is a trip of a lifetime, but if you really want to connect with this pristine wilderness and understand its allure then you need to spend time outdoors, up close and personal with the wildlife and the elements. We might be biased but Classic Sailing think the best way to do that is to sail there on a tall ship as voyage crew. You are part of the ships community, but don't have to be a sailor - just have a willing heart to take part in the adventure as best you can.

Antarctic Advice by Phone

Bark Europa and crew have been exploring the Southern Ocean with charter guests since 2002 so they are the real specialists, but Classic Sailing has been offering advice to customers on Europa's Antarctic Voyages for many years. Both Adam and Debbie in the Cornwall Office have sailed Europa several times in Antarctica and South Georgia, so you are welcome to ring us for a chat on 0044 (0) 1872 580022

More on Antarctica as a destination, the wildlife, the weather and sailing winds and a bit about polar explorers.

Southern Summer

Some people become interested in the North and South Pole after reading about the voyages of Scott and Shackleton. Others are more fascinated by the rich wildlife or the beauty of the unspoilt natural environment. Antarctica is one of the oldest continents on our planet, but man has always been unable to live here because of its extremely cold climate. It is the last great wilderness on Earth. A few researchers spend the southern summer living in several research stations. During the southern winter, that number dwindles to less than 1,000. When winter grips this great, white desert, tourist activity is no longer possible.

Sailing across the Bransfield Strait towards Cape Horn
Sailing across the Bransfield Strait towards Cape Horn. Photo Debbie Purser

Sail Training

On this voyage, no sailing experience is required just as on any other voyage of the Bark EUROPA, sail training is a real part of the experience on board and life on board. During the crossing of the Drake Passage you will be assigned to the watch system and help on deck with furling or unfurling the sails, standing at the wheel or standing on lookout. Of course there will be ample time to take pictures of all activities on deck! Once in Antarctica the watch system will be dropped, though we look forward to  guest crew volunteering to do anchor watches for an hour or two at night!. 

Guiding on board

During the Antarctica expedition there will be nature guides on board the Bark EUROPA. They know the area we will be visiting very well. The guide gives lectures on board the ship about the flora and fauna we will encounter, prepares you for the landings on shore and will guide you on the shore walks. The crew will take groups ashore in the dinghies to see glaciers, mosses and lichens, seals, birds and penguin rookeries. Ashore, visitors will often be welcomed by different kinds of penguins, such as the Gentoo, Chinstrap and Adelie penguins. 

Wildlife guide Jordi has been running Europa Antarctic Expeditions for many years
Wildlife guide Jordi has been running Europa Antarctic Expeditions for many years. Photo Valery Vasilevskyi

Get Closer to Antarctic Wildlife on a Tall Ship

Bark Europa is not a big ship compared with modern expedition ships with only about 3m freeboard in the middle of the ship, so when a humpback whale pops his head up to look at you they are damn close and you can feel the spray. You could be sipping a cup of coffee when a fur seal does a back flip right next to you and you may spend time trying to rescue a stunned Prion staggering around the deck after flying into the rigging at night. Being able to climb the rigging gives you a view from a different dimension. Look down on Weddle Seals resting on a slab of pack ice with shadows of the ships rigging cutting across the scene, or see whales diving under the ship to check out our barnacles.

Whilst sailing at 3-8 knots you can see penguins in their natural element as they porpoise in and out the water, or killer whales as they glide effortlessly by like sleek submarines and overtake a 300 ton sailing ship at speed.

Beach landings can be very entertaining with crowds of fur seals and penguins entering and leaving the surf around you. Europa’s wildlife guides will always brief you on what to see and how to behave around very curious animals ashore but it is still a pleasant shock when they come right up to you. (Penguins don’t read the rules).

Now what lenses shall I use? Curious Gentoo Penguin
Now what lenses shall I use?


On a sailing voyage we never normally 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. In Antarctica Europa does have a route planned with specific landings that has been approved by IAATO.  As with all itineraries on a sailing ship, this day by day description can be totally changed by weather, ice blocking a narrow passage or landings on a beach are not safe.  The ship has been exploring long enough here to know excellent alternatives.

The description below is based on what we think might be possible, based on past trips, or experience, but nothing is guaranteed on a sailing voyage.

Day 1 Signing on in Puntas Arenas

You are welcome on board at five p.m. It is highly recommended that you will arrive in Ountas Arenas 1 day before embarkation, leaving room for flight delays or late arrival of your luggage. After signing on to the crew list and taking your luggage to your cabin, you will enjoy your first meal on board. The Captain and the expedition leader will inform you about the plans. Usually we will stay in port overnight, but occasionally we already depart during the night.

New crew briefing from Captain Eric
Ushuaia - New crew briefing from Captain Eric

Day 2 Casting off from Puntas Arenas

 In the morning, we cast off our mooring lines. Once underway, the crew will show you how to put on the life jackets and introduce you to the many lines on board. The days is first in the Magellean Strait before entering the Magellan Channel that heads pretty much due south for a brief foray into the Pacific Ocean. Turning to port and heading generally South East you will soon enter the Beagle Channel.

Day 3 The Beagle Chanel

This a lovely passage between steep green mountains with snow- covered peaks and glaciers descending towards the sea. Keep a look out for Hump Back Whales and Magellan Penguins and a Cape Petrels. There may be a chance to call into Puerto Williams the last port on the Chilean side of the Beagle Channel.

Day 4 - 6 Cape Horn and into Drakes Passage

If the weather is suitable and time allows there may be an opportunity to land on the Island of Cape Horn for it is indeed an island and not attached to the mainland.

Drakes Passage

The crossing of the Drake Passage is approximately 450NM from the lighthouse on Cape Horn. The seas around Cape Horn have the reputation to be stormy but in between the lows they are calm. The wind varies from southwest to northwest; it should, therefore, be possible to have a good crossing under sail. Cape petrels, White-chinned petrels and Albatrosses are our companions. Albatrosses are well equipped for a permanent stay at sea as this is their territory the open ocean. During the crossing everybody can help the crew to steer, set, shorten, take away and stow sails.

Drakes Passage sailing
Climb the rigging in the Drakes Passage or wait for quieter waters in Antarctica

Day 7 Icebergs in Antarctic waters

As we sail south, the likelihood of seeing icebergs increases. Large ice plateaus are visible on the radar, but sometimes smaller ones are not; we keep a good lookout so that we avoid them. Fortunately, the nights are short in the latitudes of 59° to 61° south. It is amazing when we see the brilliant white shapes of the floating icebergs on the horizon. They are huge, and very high! This is the first sign that we are really approaching the great white mass of Antarctica! We hope that we can drop our anchor in the evening in the sheltered bay of the Barrientos Island.

Icebergs Can be huge. Bark Europa navigating between then under full sail
Icebergs Can be huge but it is the little growlers to watch out for

Day 8 Anchoring near Barrientos Island, one of the Aitcho Islands

Everywhere around the ship we see penguins jumping out of the water. The crew will take us ashore with the dinghies. We share the beach with Gentoo and Chinstrap penguins. They walk with us up to the other side of the mountain where we find many Elephant seals. The Aitcho Islands are not completely covered by the ice cap. In the colourful patches of moss, Giant petrels and Antarctic skuas make their nests.

Day 9 Yankee Harbour or Hannah Point

We leave at dawn. For the first time on this voyage we will see the white ice cliffs around us. The chance of spotting a Humpback whale increases. Everywhere around us penguins give a show on floating ice. If there is enough time, we will sail to Edinburgh Hill, a rock that rises straight out of the water. Close up, we can see that it is made of basalt, solidified magma from the centre of a volcano. Pressure from inside the earth pushed the plug to this height, but so far the volcano has not  erupted. When we sail into Yankee Harbour it looks as if we are sailing in between two handmade piers. They are, however, the work of Mother Nature herself. A rookery of Gentoo penguins crowds the beach. Occasionally we see a Weddell seal or a Fur seal. Hannah Point is a peninsula on the  southeast coast of Livingston Island and is a veritable kingdom of animal life. Bird watchers can find nests of American sheathbills, Giant petrels, Skuas, etc. We also look for the Macaroni penguin; we might have the opportunity to meet a lost one. For today the final destination depends on various circumstances.

Macaroni Penguins in Antarctica
Macaroni Penguins

Day 10 Deception Island

Further south, on latitude 63° south, looms Deception Island, a ring-shaped island with an extensive internal crater. The EUROPA will sail through a small opening called ‘Neptunes Bellows’ into the volcanic crater and will drop anchor in Whalers Bay, near the ruins of a whaling station. Latterly the buildings where used as a base for research work, but in 1969/70 several stations were destroyed by a volcanic eruption. There is still volcanic activity in this area. You can walk to ‘Neptune’s Window’ and enjoy the magnificent view where the rim of the crater steeply goes back to the sea. It’s also an impressive panorama to look back into the crater.

A couple of miles further into the crater we sail to Pendulum Cove where thermal currents rise.Depending on the tide, those who so wish may bathe in geothermally warmed waters.

Deception Island Antarctica Bark Europa and crew in a bikini
Don't forget to pack your bikini. Photo by Photography Voyage crew Daina Borrillo

Day 11 Trinity Island

We leave Deception’s crater and set course south, leaving the South Shetland Islands astern. We drop anchor between Spert Island and Trinity Island and visit the beautiful ice scenery of small and large icebergs. Our trip in the dinghies takes us through a landscape of ice that is truly out of this world. The colours and shapes are stunning: overhangs with crystal clear icicles, ice-palaces that could have been created by Gaudí, massive gateways and open-air ballrooms. In some spots a piercing blue light shines through the ice and the water looks turquoise. It is an impressive world created by extreme changes of temperature, sculpted by water and wind. Sometimes we are lucky and will see a Leopard seal.

Stranded icebergs around Trinity Island
Stranded icebergs around Trinity Island. Photo by Joke Tijhuis

Day 12 Gouvernøren Harbour

(Enterpris Island) or Cuverville Island Around this peninsula, whales search for krill in sheltered bays. The sight of whales feeding on krill is truly spectacular. On a previous expedition we saw the world’s largest animal here, the blue whale, which can reach more than 30m. We will visit Enterprise Island, Gouvernøren Harbour. The bay is named after the whaler, the “Gouvernøren”, which was wrecked here in 1916. The 25m bow of the ship still rises out of the water. Breeding Antarctic terns now use the wreck. Cuverville Island is special because of the red and green mosses and is the home to skuas, Dominican gulls with chicks and some 4,800 pairs of gentoo penguins.

Day 13 Continental landing at Paradise-or Neko Harbour

The early birds heave anchor and we go further south to Paradise Harbour or Neko Harbour. Here, huge, impressive glaciers of many shades of blue and white surround us. High cliffs of ice rise out of the sea. We hear the ice crack and see huge chunks of ice breaking off. Sometimes a wall of ice, tens of metres high, slowly tumbles down and when this huge mass large hits the sea it sends a wave rolling under our ship. Being in the middle of this awe-inspiring natural wilderness is indescribable! Here we can visit the solid rock of the Antarctic continent.

Europa in Nekko Harbour. Photo by Valery Vasilevskyi
Europa in Nekko Harbour. Photo by Valery Vasilevskyi

Day 14 Argentine Islands

A long, popular day lies ahead of us. We head for “Kodak Crack”, the Lemaire Channel. 1,000m high mountains tower over the small channel. On ice shelves around us lie Crab-eater seals. Most people want to be on deck, filming or taking photographs of these beautiful sights.

We enter Penola Strait. This stretch might be blocked by ice, and we will find it hard to force a way through, zigzagging round the icebergs and growlers. The ice conditions might completely block our passage further south towards the Argentine Islands. If the ice allows our passage, we will enter the archipelago towards the end of the day. We carefully thread our way between rocks and islets to our anchorage. We anchor at latitude 65° south, the southernmost point of our voyage.

This evening we plan to visit the former British base ‘Faraday’, now a Ukrainian research station called ‘Vernadsky’. One of the research assistants gives us a tour round and tells us about their work.

At anchor in bays like this, we have to keep a constant watch on the weather in case the wind direction changes. Pack ice can suddenly block our way out, preventing us from leaving.

Antarctic Sound is often blocked with big icebergs. Bark Europa found a way around this one
Icebergs. Bark Europa found a way around this one.

Day 15 Petermann Island

We find a way out of the Argentine Islands, and anchor near Petermann Island a few hours later. For the first time we are near a breeding colony of Adelie penguins. The behaviour of these penguins, busy with feeding their hungry chicks, is different from that of the others we have seen. Neighbouring penguins wait until they see the feeding chick disappear half-way up the parent’s bill, then quickly steal small stones from the neighbour’s nest to build up and protect their own nest better. Skuas fly above the rookery and take every chance to snatch a penguin chick when the parents leave it unprotected. This island is a strong reminder of the French explorer Charcot, who spent the whole winter here on his ship the “Pourquoi Pas” (Why not) in 1909. The ship, a similar size to EUROPA, was moored in Port Circumcision (so named because the harbour was first discovered on January 1st 1909, the Catholic celebration of the circumcision of Christ). To make sure that large icebergs couldn’t enter the bay during the winter and damage the ship, the crew stretched cables and chains across the mouth of the bay.

 

Day 16 Port Lockroy

Through Lemaire Channel and Peltier Channel, we reach the Bay of Port Lockroy. We watch blue-eyed shags ashore and in between the rocks, feeding their chicks. There has been a station here since 1944, and the area was declared a monument in the Antarctic Treaty of 1995. It is the oldest existing British station in Antarctica. During the Antarctic summers three British people take care of this base. We will go ashore to visit the station. There we can buy postcards and stamps and send them from the most southerly post office in the world. Sometimes it will take a few months for a letter to arrive in Europe. Ashore we see many Gentoo penguins. Leopard seals are often here, waiting for penguins to enter the water. For these speedy animals it is easy to catch one. Afterwards they lie around on the ice, digesting their last penguin feast.

Day 17 Dorian Bay

Close to Port Lockroy, on the other side of a beautiful icecap, we arrive in Dorian Bay. In the past, this icecap was used as a landing strip for small aeroplanes during the beginning of the summer season. We can’t cross it on foot; it might look like a beautiful, white plain of snow but often there are deep crevasses spanned by snow bridges, some strong enough to carry a man’s weight, some weak. Next to the ice cap we see Jabet Peak. The icecap stretches from high up near the mountain’s peak, reaching out into the sea, a massive, white tongue of snow. You will enjoy the magnificent view of the bay as you walk around. You will see Gentoo penguins and occasionally a Weddell seal.

Late in the afternoon we leave and sail through the Schollaert Channel towards the Melchior Islands. On previous voyages we were sometimes lucky enough to see a pod of Killer whale’s come alongside to bid us farewell. Several large females with young came unbelievably close to the ship,  distinguishable as female by the shape of their fin. They kept us company for so long that we had more than enough time to film them and take photographs of them against a beautiful backdrop.

Humpback whales are common in Antarctica. Photo by Jeff Beller
Europa ran a photography voyage in 2018. Photo by Jeff Beller

Day 18 Melchior Islands

In the morning we make a last zodiac-tour before we depart from Antarctica. We bring along a chart and compass and navigate with the zodiacs in between the small islands and narrow passages, flanked by glaciers. We might see some Fur seals and Wilsons storm petrels fly close to us.

Around noon, we leave sheltered waters and start the crossing back to South America. If the weather is clear we will still see Anvers Island after 100 miles, and Mount Francais, with her 3000-meter high summit, will remain in view for almost a day.

Day 19  - 21 Drake Passage

Back in the watch system, we have time to absorb everything we have done, to let it all settle in. We will be accompanied on this passage by dolphins and many sea birds. Let us hope that the wind is favourable when we return towards Argentina. As we start our crossing from a more southern point, it takes us an extra day to sail the Drake Passage.

Day 22 Cape Horn and Tierra del Fuego

Soon we will see Diego Ramirez Island on our port side. Now we are near to the infamous Cape Horn. Cape Horn confirms to us that our crossing of Drake Passage is almost finished. Today we have reached quieter waters, sheltered by the rocks and islands of Tierra del Fuego. We set a course through the chaotic rocks and islands towards the Beagle Channel. The islands and fjords are remarkably green after our Antarctic visit. They are the habitat of more than 150 kinds of birds. Wild geese, beavers and condors also inhabit this beautiful wilderness.

On the Beagle Channel we wait for the obligatory pilot. We might have the possibility to visit the historic English settlement at ‘Harberton’. This  is an old mission station, now housing a small museum about the flora and fauna of Tierra del Fuego. People who want to stretch their legs after a few days at sea may walk around here. Condors have often been seen.

Cape Horn off our Starboard Quarter. On the way to Antarctica
Cape Horn off our Starboard Quarter. On the way to Antarctica

Day 23 Arriving in Ushuaia

We are close to Ushuaia, but there is still something to see on the way. A few miles before the port of Ushuaia we pass near two rocky islets covered with sea lions, the Islas de Lobos. So keep your binoculars at hand. Sea lions don’t go to Antarctica. Huge males lie around, keeping a watchful eye on their harem, protecting them from invaders. A little further on a Fur seal proudly grasps its prey, and blue-eyed shags take up every free metre of space. It’s packed. When we see the red and white lighthouse ‘Les Eclaireurs’, Ushuaia comes within sight and we enter the harbour.

The citizens in Ushuaia look out over the Beagle Channel. From 1884 to 1947 Ushuaia was a safe haven for political exiles and criminals. The old prison is now open to the public. You are free to do as you please. A quiet walk or perhaps buy a few souvenirs in this welcoming town.

Day 24 Signing off in Ushuaia.

After breakfast you say goodbye to each other. Some will be able to stay for a few days In Argentina. For others the journey home has started. Antarctica has probably been an unforgettable experience for everybody. Some of you will have caught the Polar fever, which will never leave you.

 

WINDS, WAVES & WEATHER

We know several aspects will be there for sure: the ship, the penguins and the beautiful ice sculptures. A fourth aspect is the weather. The weather in Antarctica sometimes has the character of 'four seasons in one day'. It’s not blue skies every day and the challenge on a grey day is to set your camera right and still make the best photo's! And that’s where the guides can help you.

For a personal view of Antarctic weather read Debbie's Article

Bark Europa Guest crew enjoying a sheltered spot in Antarctica
Bark Europa Guest crew enjoying a sheltered spot in Antarctica

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.

See Vessel details for full details on the accommodation, life on board and style of sailing on Europa. Tab above.

Aloft high jinks on Bark Europa
Aloft high jinks on Bark Europa

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 (there is a bar on board)
  • Towels
  • Waterproofs

 

 

Punta Arenas, Chile

Latest port updates

Puntas Arenas is the main port on the Magellan Straits and was only given to Chile in 1949 by the British. There is a nice green park with a memorial plaque commemorating the event.

Today the docks service and maintain many ocean going fishing ships. (Too big to call fishing boats!) There are many day tours operated from Puntas Arenas, Viator Guide

How to get here

By Road & Parking

You can drive to Puntas Arenas from anywhere on the mainlands of North and South America.

Rail & transfers

Not applicable.

Air & transfers

Get to Santiago the capital of Chile and then fly LATAM to Puntas Arenas

 

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.

Ushuaia, Argentina

Latest port updates

For joining your vessel in Ushuaia, it is likely that you will be meeting your ship at the Puerto de Ushuaia. 

The ships exact location in port is often controlled by the port authorities and they will only allocate a docking position a few days before. You will be informed as soon as possible of their exact joining location.

Any changes will be communicated to you before your voyage start date. Make sure you make a note of the ship's number found in your confirmation email in case of any problems on the day.

How to get here

Air & transfers

The normal route from Europe is an international flight to Buenos Aries. This arrives at Ezeiza (EZE) International Airport (also known as Ministro Pistarini Airport). You will need to transfer to Jorge Newbery domestic airport / areoparque on the other side of the city and take a 3.5 hr internal flight from Buenos Airies to Ushuaia – with the main Argentinian airline Aerolineas Argentinas. See more details below.

Flight Information from Classic Sailing

Email: classic.sailing@flightcentre.co.uk

Phone: 0800 188 4533

Flights from Europe To Buenos Aires

Direct flight time from the UK is typically 13 hours. Going via a European city takes about 16hrs.
There is more choice of flights for Europe – Buenos Aries to choose from, compared with the availability on internal flight to Ushuaia so check Aerolineas Argentinas times with seats first.

Flights from North America

Direct flights to Buenos Aries and a few west coast routes via Santiago in Chile but I think you then need to fly across Andes to Buenos Aries and then down, so sounds more expensive ?

Flights from Australia, New Zealand & South Africa
Aerolineas Argentinas and Quantas fly from Sydney via Auckland to Buenos Aries.
South African Airways flys from Johannesburg to both Buenos Aries.

Internal Flights from Buenos Aries to Ushuaia

The normal route from Europe is an international flight to Buenos Aries. This arrives at Ezeiza (EZE) International Airport (also known as Ministro Pistarini Airport). You will need to transfer to Jorge Newbery domestic airport / areoparque on the other side of the city and take a 3.5 hr internal flight from Buenos Airies to Ushuaia – with the main Argentinian airline Aerolineas Argentinas. There is no train route and the distance down the length of Argentina is vast. If you plan to do a Che Gevara motorbike epic please leave plenty of time!

Transfers between Airports

It is not difficult to transfer between airports in Buenos Aries. You have two options – bus or taxi.
Bus: buy your ticket from Manuel Tienda Leon Transport Company. They have a desk inside the Ezeiza International Airport. The bus trip takes 1.5 hrs with a stop at the Manuel Tienda Leon company office downtown before proceeding to Jorge Newbery Domestic Airport.

We recommend you book a taxi inside the airport and beware of private car owners / unauthorised taxis offering lifts outside the airport.

Ushuaia Airport into town

Ushuaia is a busy travel hub but a relatively safe place, even if you arrive at night. People you meet are all nationalities and generally very helpful and practical, as you would expect from a frontier town and discerning eco tourist destination. The taxi from Ushiaia airport to town / waterfront is only 10 mins and about 15 pesos. Bark Europa will be docked alongside the pier in the Puerto Commercial. It’s a very small place - not really a city and the main pier is easy to spot as all the cruise ships and expedition ships dock along it. To join the ship you must pass through security who will want to see your papers. Tell them you are ‘passagero’ on Barque Europa. Spanish for sailing vessel is ‘el velero’ and ship is el barco.

Places to stay, Things to do, Travel companions

Ushuaia is the southernmost city in Argentina. Located in a stunning mountain setting on the shores of the Beagle Channel, it has become starting point for most expedition ships visiting the Antarctic Peninsula. It has plenty of accommodation of all types (see below), restaurants and places to explore nearby if you arrive a few days early. We recommend to plan to arrive in Ushuaia at least the day before the voyage starts as internal flights down to Ushuaia can sometimes be delayed due to Andes weather.

Accommodation in Buenos Aires

There is a wide range of accommodation types in Ushuaia and surrounding countryside. Busiest time is peak Antarctic summer / Andes mountain trekking season in January so do book before you arrive.

Here is a link to a Google Map that shows a selection of hotels in Ushuaia. I suggest you choose one near the quay, but everywhere is very close. It takes 25 minutes to walk from one end of town to the other.

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 sea faring 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 70 or take any medication you will need to complete a Health Statement from your Doctor saying you are fit to sail. The Health Statement will be emailed to you once you have submitted a booking form. 

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.

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

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

Kit List for Europa

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

 

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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 2019

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

 

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As long as the voyage is not about to start, Classic Sailing can reserve your place for 7 days without payment or financial commitment, whilst you talk to your boss, find a home to look after your dog, or check flight prices.

All Classic Sailing need from you is a completed booking form to start the process: We check availability, approve your booking form, and provisionally reserve a berth.  You place is confirmed and booking terms apply, only when you have paid the deposit. We strongly recommend you do not purchase flights or travel tickets until your voyage is fully confirmed.

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The majority of our sailors sail on their own. The boats will always ensure that solo sailors sharing the same cabin are the same sex. Sole occupancy is available on some vessels which will have an extra % charge which varies by vessel.

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