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Transatlantic sailing adventure Europe to South America

  • Summary
  • Itinerary
  • Dates & Rates
  • The Ship
  • Enquiry Form

Sail Across the Atlantic Ocean

An ocean crossing under sail from Tenerife, Canary Islands to Montevideo, Uruguay. This is the stuff dreams are made of.

An incredible opportunity to join a historic Dutch tall ship on the trip of a lifetime where you are the crew for this transatlantic crossing.

The tropical climate and the always-present trade wind make it a true sailing paradise. Prepare for incredible sunshine and the occasional squall as you journey across the waves to another continent. Marine life is abundant as inquisitive whales, dolphins, flying fish come to visit and explore the magnificent and silent tall ship as she cruises through the waves. You might get a chance to take a dip in the middle of the ocean in water that’s 3.5km deep – a truly extraordinary experience, or try your hand reeling in the fishing line for the delicious crew meal which is made fresh everyday by a talented cook on board keeping you well fed for your 4 hours on 8 hours off watch rotation.

You’ll learn heaps of new skills from the experienced permanent crew who will teach you everything you need to know while on the move. The vessel sails 24 hours a day and is a prize winning training vessel so previous experience isn’t necessary but good health and positive get-involved attitude is.

It’s a hands-on adventure meaning you’ll participate in the watch system when the ship is at sea. You’re daily tasks will vary but mostly include keeping the course by steering on the helm, keeping look out for floating obstacles, other vessels and other things of interest, sail handling (hoisting the huge sails), climbing the rigging, assisting in maintenance and more. When not on watch make the most of the ever-changing 360 ocean views, wildlife spotting, reading, taking part in seminars and learning about navigation, celestial navigation, nautical terms, eating, sleeping and getting to know your fellow crew.

It’s a non-stop crossing to Uruguay once you leave the remote Cape Verde Islands and you’ll experience the infamous Neptune shellback ceremony when you cross the Equator – a top secret initiation all true sailors undergo!

We’ve sailed this voyage and can give helpful and honest advice if you’re thinking about taking part so just fill in the Enquiry Form with any questions and get ready to pack your sunglasses and some good sunscreen because you’ll need them on this trip of a lifetime.

The Voyage

Setting off from Tenerife in the Spanish Canary Islands you’ll travel through the main weather systems of the world and over the equator. The first days at sea will be easy-going with favourable winds and pleasant temperatures. Towards the equator we will leave the trade wind-zone and enter an area with light winds and calms. We will be continuously adjusting our sails to catch the variable winds and make some progress.

The Doldrums are a broad belt of shallow low pressure around the equator. In general little wind can be expected. The localities where the winds of two hemispheres converge are characterized by huge cumulonimbus cloud and associated heavy rainfall, squalls and thunderstorms.

The temperature of the seawater is over 27 degrees and this is the area where the tropical storms and hurricanes are born. Rainfall can be so heavy that visibility is reduced to 50 meters or less. The weather is hot, with the sun almost straight above our heads.

At night the sky is full with stars. Many of them you will never have seen before. The Southern Cross, for example, is now completely visible.

During this voyage you will have plenty of time to learn the skills on square rigged sailing and enjoy a real sailors life. Once the ship has left port you will be assigned to the watch system and you will sail and steer the ship, of course with some help of the crew. As this is quite a long voyage at sea the sail training aspect is a real part of this trip. But of course there still is enough time to relax and enjoy your time with your fellow trainees or take some time to read and star gaze!

Cabo Verde
Ten days after leaving the Canary Islands you’ll make a stop at the Cape Verde Islands before the full ocean crossing to Uruguay. One of the main draws of the remote Atlantic Cape Verde islands is the tropical climate and stunning beaches for the ultimate sun-lovers holiday, but there is much more to discover across the archipelago…

Equator crossing
During this voyage we will cross the equator, for sailors the world over, crossing the Equator means that the sailor leaves the ranks of the landlubber (a person who works and lives on land) and becomes a real sailor, a shellback.

Montevideo, Uruguay
After approximately 44 days at sea the ship will arrive in Montevideo, Uruguay.

If you’re feeling bold you can join this voyage for 67 days starting in the Netherlands and sailing via Portugal, Canary Islands, Cape Verde to Uruguay, South America – a true voyage from Europe to South America where you are the crew. 

These voyage legs are part of a longer (4 leg) voyage from Europe to South America

Leg 3: Tenerife, Canary Islands to Cabo Verde, Verde Islands (10 days)
Leaving Europe behind the tall ship will set sail towards the Cape Verde Islands for a 10 day sail to Cabo Verde.
Embarkation: 29th September 2016 17:00, Tenerife, Canary Islands
Disembarkation: 8th October 2016, 9:00, Cabo Verde, Verde Islands
Days: 10
Fare 4/6 person cabin: EUR 780
Fare 2 person cabin: EUR 980

Leg 4: Cabo Verde, Verde Islands to Montevideo, Uruguay (34 days) Atlantic Crossing
Set sail from Cabo Verde for a true ocean crossing all the way to South America finishing reaching Montevideo, Uruguay 34 days later.
Embarkation: 9th October 2016, 17:00, Cabo Verde, Verde Islands
Disembarkation: 11th November 2016, 9:00 Montevideo, Uruguay
Days: 34
Fare 4/6 person cabin: EUR 2,450
Fare 2 person cabin: EUR 3,150

Combination Voyage Option – Full Atlantic Crossing

44 day transatlantic ocean crossing from Tenerife, Canary Islands to Montevideo Uruguay
A real ocean crossing from Europe to South America including Neptune’s visit as you sail across the Equator.

Embarkation: 29th September 2016, 17:00, Tenerife, Canary Islands
Disembarkation: 11th November 2016, 09:00, Montevideo, Uruguay
Days: 44
Fare 4/6 person cabin: EUR 2,980
Fare 2 person cabin: EUR 3,900


Bark EuropaThe vessel is registered as a sail training ship and as such you will be mustered as voyage crew. This means that, more so than on a passenger ship, you will get extensive safety instructions and we ask you to join in the watch system.

Participating in sailing and running of the tall ship is part of the overall experience on board. The level of participation will depend on your interest and physical condition. On deck you work together with the permanent crew. The watch system consists of joining the permanent crew for 4 hours, after which you will be off for 8 hours.


Everyone is welcome to take the helm, set sails, assist with manoeuvres, navigation, weather observations, furling the sails on the yards and much more. The permanent crew will give lectures and instruct you during the voyage in steering, navigation and line handling.

This will be done in a “Dutch” style, so without yelling, blowing whistles and so on. Also, you will find no uniforms onboard.

Crossing the ocean properly with a square rigger under sail like this is a team effort, so we appreciate every input from the voyage crew. Sailing experience is not necessary. Instructions will be given in watch responsibilities, basic sail theory, line handling, steering and navigation.

One hour on board and it will instantly be clear: “teamwork” has to be the key to this beautiful traditional sailing vessel. No winches, but an infinity of lines; at first glance maybe a complete jungle. The hundreds of blocks look like spiders in their webs. The novice sailor will be introduced to these matters every day and, after a few weeks, all those lines, blocks, stays, booms with their impossible names and functions become an open book.

The ship is ideal for ocean crossings and longer voyages, with various places for relaxing: library, lounge, poker corner and deckhouse. These different areas allow you to do your own thing: perhaps some quiet reading or a more active role in the social life in the deckhouse. The ship is equipped with a DVD player, a CD player, i-Pod connection and radio. There are four 2-person cabins, four 4-person cabins and four 6-person cabins. The comfortable cabins each have an en-suite toilet and shower.

An experienced cook and cook’s assistant will prepare three meals a day. The general meal times on board are:
Breakfast: 07:00 – 09:00
Lunch: 13:00
Dinner: 19:00
Coffee and tea: 10:00, 14:00, 16:00, 20:00

Baking of bread and cookies is done at night.
At sea, midnight snacks are prepared, usually during the dog watch (24:00-04:00)


The vessel was built in 1911 under the name of  “Senator Brockes” at the Stulcken shipyard in Hamburg, at the request of the city of Hamburg. The ship was put into service as Elbe 3 lightship on the river Elbe, and later worked as a stand-by vessel. In 1986 the ship was brought to the Netherlands. Over a period of 8 years, she was completely rebuilt and rigged as a three-masted bark.

The rebuilding and conversion to a sailing vessel was carried out under the supervision of the Dutch Shipping Inspection, Bureau Veritas and Register Holland. She sails with worldwide certificates from each of these authorities and she complies with the highest requirements for sailing ships.

For more information about life on board and the vessel please complete the Enquiry Form.

Enquiry Form

If you’d like more information about Life on Board and what you can expect from joining a tall ship crossing of the Atlantic Ocean then complete the enquiry form and we’ll send you full details and will happily answer any questions! It’s a truly wonderful and exciting voyage of a lifetime – we hope to welcome you on board.

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