Join the crew to sail around the world in a square-rigger and you'll sail to 20+ ports over 30,000 nautical miles on this incredible circumnavigation in 2023/24 where YOU are the crew.
Sailing 30,000 nautical miles and putting into ports like Panama, Pitcairn Island, Tahiti, Fiji, Bali, Cape Town, St. Helena, Grenada and Bermuda, all while becoming an accomplished seafarer and learning seamanship skills hands-on through sailing a square-rigged ship is the ultimate voyage.
No sailing experience is needed for this voyage. Through a combination of the hands-on practice you’ll get in daily watch standing and educational workshops, you will develop seamanship skills while working together with your shipmates.
Sign aboard a three-masted barque as a trainee crew member on a voyage around the world.
As you sail, you will learn the skills you need such as:
- to take your turn at the helm
- take your turn on lookout
- handle lines and sails
- assist the cook in the galley
- and help with ship’s maintenance projects.
Everyone aboard is a working crew member. Climbing aloft in the rigging is optional, participating in duties on deck is not.
While this is primarily a seafaring voyage, you will visit many exotic ports and remote islands in the tropics. Passages at sea range from a few days in length to a few weeks.
In port, everyone aboard takes turns going ashore and being on duty aboard the ship. Arriving by sailing ship, having earned your way there, is different than arriving by plane or cruise ship.
The ports you’ll visit range from tiny remote islands populated by just a few dozen people who only receive supplies three or four times a year, to bustling tropical urban cities.
You will have unique access to local culture in many of these ports as crew on a ship that has visited before and built good relationships with the people who live there. At some islands you’ll be welcomed into peoples’ homes, at others you’ll learn the local dance style. The friendliness extended to you as a crew member will be unparalleled.
At the same time, you will be getting to know your shipmates and working closely together as a team to sail the ship. A voyage like this often sparks lifelong friendships as crew members share a bond that can only be understood by others who have had that same experience.
You can sign aboard for the full year+ voyage or for leg of the voyage.
See the other listings for details of each of the legs of the voyage.
Planned Ports and Route, Sail Around the World 2023-2024
Leg 1 Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada to Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia – April 15, 2023 to August 25, 2023
- Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada
- Panama Canal
- Panama City, Panama
- Taboga, Panama
- San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands
- Pitcairn Island
- Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia
Leg 2 Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia to Bali, Indonesia – August 26, 2023 to November 26, 2023
- Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia
- Huahine, French Polynesia
- Vava’u, Tonga
- Suva, Fiji
- Malekula, Vanuatu
- Maewo, Vanuatu
- Pentecost, Vanuatu
- Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu
- Bali, Indonesia
Leg 3 Bali, Indonesia to Cape Town, South Africa – November 27, 2023 to February 21, 2024
- Bali, Indonesia
- Maurtius (island of Mauritius or island of Rodrigues)
- Reunion, France
- Cape Town, South Africa
Leg 4 Cape Town, South Africa to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada – February 22, 2024 to July 13, 2024
- Cape Town, South Africa
- Luderitz, Namibia
- St. Helena
- A variety of Caribbean islands, including:
- British Virgin Islands
- Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada
*Itinerary is subject to change for any reason at any time. Particularly with changing travel restrictions and advisories due to COVID-19, flexibility on the part of the ship and each individual crew member will be required, even more so than usual.
Why you'll love this adventure
- Expand your skill set, learning all about square rig sailing ships and seamanship
- Challenge yourself to complete a big goal over an extended period of time
- Visit remote ports and islands that few others get to see or experience
Sailing around the world in a square-rigger is truly an epic voyage! For the full details please make an enquiry and we'll send them over. Catch the tradewinds on this voyage designed around the best seasonal sailing winds in each of the oceans you'll visit. Starting and ending in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada, ports on the way include Panama, the Galapagos Islands, Pitcairn Island, Takaroa, Tahiti, Huahine, Palmerston Atoll, Niue, Fiji, Vanuatu, Bali, Rodrigues Island, Reunion Island, Cape Town, St. Helena, Grenada, Martinique, Anguilla, St. Barths, British Virgin Islands and Bermuda.
Accommodations on board
All meals on board
Passage from port to port
Instruction, both through the daily sailing of the ship and through regular workshops
Entry fees/port fees at the various ports of call
Sea Service Certificate that documents the time you’ve spent at sea (useful if you plan to pursue certification following the voyage)
Travel to and from the port where you will meet the ship
Travel insurance (mandatory, must meet minimum requirements for medical expenses and medical evacuation)
Vaccinations that are required or recommended before signing aboard
Items on the packing list, including foul weather gear (waterproof jacket, pants and boots) and a rigging knife
Any visas you might be required to obtain before signing aboard
Spending money for your days off duty ashore
Accommodations are in upper and lower pilot berths in large compartments. Each crew member has their own berth that will be assigned to them for the duration of the voyage. Each berth has a curtain that provides some privacy, a reading light, and a storage space that is either built in below the berth or in a separate locker. Hooks are provided in each compartment for hanging foul weather gear (waterproof jacket and pants). Sheets and pillows will be provided, you should bring your own sleeping bag or blanket.
There are four heads (marine toilets) aboard and four fresh water showers (two with both hot and cold water, two with cold water only). You will be careful about conserving both fresh water and electricity while on board.
There is a cook as part of the ship’s professional crew, trainee crew (that’s you) will take turns assisting the cook in the galley. Three meals are provided daily, all are offered buffet style and usually eaten casually on deck in good weather. Some dietary restrictions can be accommodated, please ask.
Meals change as the ship is at sea for longer periods – you may start out eating salads and fresh vegetables but after weeks at sea those are no longer available and we need to rely on dry, canned and frozen goods. The ship has no refrigeration, but does have many deep freezers.
Because the crew work hard, meals are simple and hearty. The cook is famous for his fried chicken!
Who is this trip for?
Applications are welcome from individuals of all nationalities and genders, ages 18+. No couples.
Applicants must be in good health, able to be away from normal shore-based medical care for extended periods of time, and able to do moderately strenuous physical activity. As part of the application process, a note from your doctor confirming all of the above will be required.
This voyage is open to people of all nationalities and genders, ages 18 and up. No sailing experience is required. You will be part of the working crew of the ship, so prepare to roll up your sleeves and dive in cheerfully!
There are times you will be hot, uncomfortable, tired and sore. There are time you’ll be content, exhilarated, joyful and relaxed.
There is an application process where your suitability will be assessed. Ideal candidates are positive, flexible, willing to pitch in, and good company for extended periods of time.
Trainees choose to sail with us for a variety of reasons. Maybe you’re looking for a gap year expedition, either after high school or during or after college or university. Maybe you want to do something unique for your big overseas experience. Perhaps you’re looking to develop seamanship skills to help start a career as a seafarer. Maybe you are already working in a maritime career and want to gain deep-water sea time and square rig experience. Or this is the right time to take a break from your job and life ashore to make the voyage in the tradewinds you’ve always dreamed of. Or maybe you’re retired and want to travel and learn and immerse yourself in a South Seas adventure. Whether you’re seeking adventure or a unique way to travel to exotic, iconic places, a foundation from which to launch a maritime career or an authentic square rig sailing experience on a vessel similar to one in the Great Age of Sail, there is a place for you on board. Sailing aboard is truly a life changing opportunity and the dream of a lifetime.
Whatever your reason, we want to be clear that signing aboard as a trainee crew member is a big commitment. On this voyage there will be long stretches where signing off is simply not possible. We encourage anyone who is interested and curious to make an enquiry so we can connect you with the crew office to discuss the voyage and whether it might be a good fit for you.
There is an application process that starts when you make an enquiry on our site and are shared details on how to make an application online. If you complete the application form the crew office will request a note from your doctor that says you’re in good health and can do moderately strenuous physical activity on a remote, oceangoing voyage. They will also request payment of a deposit which will hold your spot.
On previous voyages they have required applicants to come visit the ship in person for an in-person interview. On this voyage, they’ll save you the time and expense of a trip to Lunenburg and arrange an interview with you by online video conference instead. It’s still important for you to see the ship, including what the accommodations are like, how they eat meals, what the bathroom/shower situation is, what you’ll be doing when you stand a watch, and so on, so they’ll recommend some videos for you to watch that give you the full tour.
This ship, its sail training program and its Captain are highly respected in the sail training industry, winning multiple industry awards. This will be the ship’s eighth world circumnavigation voyage, so they know the waters and ports intimately.
What is a typical day like at sea like?
The crew are divided into three watches at sea, each of which is on duty for four hours and off duty for eight hours, around the clock.
While you are on duty, you will take your turn at the wheel, take your turn on forward lookout, handle sails and lines as little or as much as is required by the wind and weather, keep the ship clean and tidy, and work on ship’s maintenance projects, which could include everything from sanding and scraping to painting and tarring, mending sails to taking inventory.
While you are off duty, you will sleep, eat meals, participate in educational workshops if they happen during your off watch time, read books, work on personal projects or watch the world float by.
Trainees take turns being on galley duty, meaning that instead of standing your regular watch you will be assigned to assist the cook. You will wash dishes, set up for meals, and assist with basic food preparation.
What is a typical day on duty in port like?
When the ship reaches port, the crew will be divided into two or three watches, so you will have one day on duty for one or two days off duty.
When you’re on duty in port, you will do a full day of ship’s maintenance projects, including things like oiling the decks, painting the topsides, or running the ship’s boat to ferry people from ship to shore.
Because the ship is never left unattended, you will stand a night watch of approximately an hour where you will be paired up with an experienced crew member to monitor the ship overnight.
What is a typical day off duty in port like?
Your days off duty in port are what you make them! You are welcome to go ashore and explore on your own. The ship does not arrange activities ashore, but before arriving in each port there will be an orientation that includes suggestions for what to do.
There are a few ports, usually the more remote and less populated ports, where there may be some activities planned that you are welcome to join in or not.
The ship visits so many beautiful, amazing places. You will be encouraged to venture beyond the marina or wharf where the ship’s boat will drop you off.
What should I bring?
A packing list will be provided to all accepted trainees.
What will my shipmates be like?
Your shipmates will come from many different countries, it’s a real international mix. Most will be under 35 years old, some will be older. Usually the crew is about half women and half men. All of them will be adventurous souls who are passionate about this particular voyage.
This three-masted tall ship based in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada is best known for adventurous international long distance sail training voyages. Anyone can become a trainee crew member, no experience required, just a desire to become part of the crew that sails the ship. With the guidance of the professional crew, you'll literally learn the ropes.
Sail Around the World As Crew on a Square Rigger
Please complete the enquiry form above with as much detail as you can and we will send you all the trip information and connect you with the operator so you can make a booking directly.
If you have queries and questions about the trip include those in your form and we’ll personally reply to you within 24 hours.
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