Are you ready for the adventure of a lifetime? Join the crew of a traditional tall ship as she sails this transatlantic voyage south to north in May 2018. Set sail from Cape Town, South Africa, cross the Atlantic Ocean and finish in the beautiful Azores.
This transatlantic voyage north from Cape Town includes visiting the remote Atlantic islands of Saint Helena and Ascension Island. In between these visits, you and your shipmates will find out what life at sea is all about, and with ample time for sail training, you will disembark in the Azores as fully- fledged tall ship sailors.
Crossing the Atlantic
Most people cannot begin to imagine what it is like to cross an ocean under sail. Perhaps the idea seems daunting – spending weeks on board a ship, far away from civilization and internet connection, living and working with people you have never met before. It is precisely this though, that makes an ocean-crossing a life-changing experience. On board, people from all over the world, of different ages and with different life stories, come together and work as one team to keep the ship sailing. As you get into the routine of life at sea, you will be surprised at how quickly you forget about social media. And while the seas are not always smooth, the beauty of the ocean will never cease to take your breath away.
Learn to Sail
Of course, staring at the ocean or admiring a sky full of stars is only one part of your experience on board. From day one, our experienced permanent crew will also start to teach you all there is to know about square-rig sailing. A long voyage like this one gives us enough time to go beyond the basics of sail training, letting you in on all the tricks of the trade and giving you a deeper understanding of tall ship sailing.
Life at Sea
In between the visits to Saint Helena and Ascension Island, this voyage will of course involve plenty of days spent at sea. During these weeks, you and your watch mates will get a chance to really get used to the rhythm of life at sea, which includes standing watches of four hours on, eight hours off, day and night. When you are not busy with standing lookout and steering the ship, you will be given lectures in sail training, navigation, marine life and all other aspects of life at sea. In between, you can get involved in the maintenance and running of the ship, or sit back and read a book on the sunny poop deck. On days when the wind is light and we are barely moving forward under sail, it might be a good time to go for a dip in the tropical Atlantic waters. Jumping from the bowsprit and having a swim around the ship as she slowly bobs forward, with 3 Km of deep blue ocean under you, is a truly unforgettable experience.
Why We Love This Adventure
- A real chance to experience life at sea and learn to sail
- Full digital detox! Truly switch off, there's no phone reception in the middle of the ocean
- Visit remote Atlantic Islands
Starting in Cape Town, South Africa the voyage will take in St Helena and Ascension Island before finishing in Horta, Azores.
The ship will sail 3,440 nautical miles over 54 days from Cape Town, South Africa to Horta Azores via St Helena and Ascension Island.
The journey will start with embarkation in Cape Town in the afternoon of the 15th of May, and we will likely be setting sail already the next morning. But why miss the chance to explore the southern-most city in Africa? Those who arrive in Cape Town a few days early will have the opportunity to experience this unique city, which really has something for everyone. Perhaps you want to hike up Table Mountain, to which Cape Town owes its iconic silhouette? Or maybe you would prefer to pay a visit to one of the many bustling food and craft markets in the area? For the water sports junkies out there, Cape Town is also home to some of the best sur ng spots in the world. And make sure not to miss out on some wine tasting at the beautiful vineyards in Stellenbosch, outside the city.
After a couple of weeks at sea, during which you will be busy with getting to know your watch mates, learning the ropes and getting used to the rhythm of life at sea, suddenly a tall silhouette will appear on the horizon. Without a functioning airport, the paradise-like island of Saint Helena is still only accessible by ship. This tropical oasis in the middle of the Atlantic is most famous for being the site where Napoléon Bonaparte was exiled by the British government in 1815. Here, you can visit both his residence and the tomb where he was rst buried after his death in 1821. But there is also plenty more to see! Take a tour around the island and let yourself be amazed by the dramatic landscapes and the spectacular views over the ocean. Or stroll through the historical center of the island’s capital Jamestown, and enjoy a drink at Anne’s place, where the crews of sailing ships have been coming for years. And do not miss a stop at the governor’s residence, where you can visit Jonathan – the 184-year old tortoise.
After leaving Saint Helena, you will spend around a week at sea before you reach the next stop on our journey – Ascension Island. And you will be arriving just at the right time, during turtle-hatching season! At night, you can quietly observe these gentle giants and their little ones, just as they hatch and take their rst stumbling steps towards the sea. During the day, you may want to take a tour around the island, or go for a walk to Comfortless Cove, where you can enjoy a dip in the warm, turquoise water.
After seeing Ascension Island disappear in the distance, you will have a few weeks at sea to look forward to, during which you will cross the equator and go through the ceremony of entering into the kingdom of Neptune. When you reach the Azores by the end of the last part of the voyage, your transition into a tall ship sailor will be complete. And what better place for the journey to end than by this hub for sailors crossing the Atlantic? Located on the island Faial, Horta offers picturesque cobble-stoned streets and a spectacular view of Pico, the neighboring island which also happens to be the highest mountain of Portugal. Before returning home, it is more than worthwhile to take a few days to venture around the island by car, moped or bicycle – the perfect end to a voyage you will not soon forget.
Price3,500 EUR for a berth in a 4-6 person cabin. 4,800 EUR for a berth in a 2-person cabin (reserved for couples or those travelling together).
- All meals on board plus tea, coffee and water
- Sailing instruction from the ship’s crew
- Bedding and towels
What's Not included
- Travel to and from the ship
- Drinks from the bar
- Travel and medical insurance (specialist policy required)
Trip Duration54 days
Start LocationCape Town, South Africa
End LocationHorta, Azores
Average Group Size30
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.
In the aft of the ship you have the library. This is usually the most quiet place of the ship so ideal to read a book or work on your own logbook. On tweendeck level you will find the lounge. Breakfast is served here but this room also is used by the guides to have their lectures and show their movies. In the deckhouse you will find the ships bar and nice benches to meet your fellow crew.
There are four 2-person cabins, four 4-person cabins and four 6-person cabins. The classic bunks are very comfortable. Every bunk has its own sheet, duvet and covers. You do not have to bring your own sleeping bags. Towels will be provided too. All cabins are provided with ensuite shower and toilet.
At sea it is very important to eat and drink well. An experienced cook and cooks mate prepare excellent meals every day. You will be suprised by the variaty of dishes. The cook will often use local ingredients from the ports we visit. And if allowed a fresh caught fish will be on the menu as well.
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)
During the day there are fixed coffee and tea breaks (10h00, 14h00, 16h00 and 20h00). Of course coffee and tea is available to you all the time. Meals usually are served with dairy and juice. We recommend you to bring a waterbottle from home which you can use to (re)fill with water.
Extra drinks like softdrinks and beer and wine can be ordered at the bar. You will pay your barbill at the end of the voyage (in cash).
If you are vegetarian or suffer from a food allergy please let us know on the booking form. The cooks on board the ship are very creative and serve a broad variaty of menu’s. However due to the size of the galley, the possibilities are limited and for example, the ship is not able to cater for vegans. It is possible to request a vegetarian meal.
If you suffer from a food allergy, please let us know as soon as possible and the ship will discuss with the cooks to see what is possible.
Keep in mind several ingredients are used in the gally like nuts and gluten. If you allergic to this the cook will provide for seperate dishes and menu’s. However on board and in the galley these ingredients are present.
The vessel was built in 1911 in Hamburg, put into service 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.
The ship crosses the oceans following the traditional sailing routes, which are often a long way from the routes of commercial trade. This makes the sailing voyages exceptionally interesting for scientific research. Previous voyages have had special equipment on board taking measurements of air and water which are being used for international research on climate change and meteorology. The ship is sometimes joined by scientists on board who investigate their own research goals and give lectures on their field of experience.
This Trip is Suitable For
- All ages over 18 (no upper age limit as long as you are fit & heathy)
- All nationalities (main language spoken on the ship is English)
- All levels of sailing experience from complete novices to experienced sailors
Cape Town is the capital city of the south-west region called Western Cape province. Located on the shore of the Table Mountain, you have a wonderful view over the city once you climb up the mountain. From Lion’s Head, you can watch over Robben island, which was the island where Nelson Mandela has been imprisoned for over nineteen years.
Although tiny in size, St. Helena played an important role in world’s history as a strategic location for ships sailing to Europe from the Far East. The island Saint Helena was discovered by the Portuguese navigator Joao da Nova, on his voyage from India in 1502. In the 19th century the island also played a largely unrecognized role during the abolition of slavery. Thousands of captives were set free and a huge influx of liberated African slaves sought refuge on the island.
About 700 nautical miles from St. Helena, Ascension Island was discovered by the Portuguese navigator Joao da Nova Castella in 1501 and found again in 1503 by Alphonse d’Albuquerque on Ascension Day. The sandy beaches are critical nesting sites for the famous green turtles, which come ashore to lay eggs between January and April. The peak of the hatching season of green turtles will be during your visit to Ascension island, so make yourself ready for a night walk on the beach looking for green turtles.
The nine Portuguese islands, dominated by a volcanic mountain range, offer a rare and unspoiled natural beauty. There are meadows filled with the scent of wild herbs and vivid, colourful flowers line the roads. It is quite the perfect setting to relax watch whales and different species of dolphins. Horta is the capital city of the Island Faial, also called Ilha Azul (blue island). Horta’s renowned marina amongst sailors has become an open-air gallery of colourful painted murals by sailing crew before departing on their next voyage.
Dates & Availability
- 15 May 2018 – 06 Jul 2018
Originally built in 1910, this beautifully restored Dutch tall ship has been crossing oceans and seas on a regular basis since 2000 and has a reputation of a ship that really sails.
Following the favourable winds of traditional sailing routes has brought her to all the continents sailing both the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean, thus earning her nick name ‘ocean wanderer’.
Crew and guests join the ship from all over the world and all ages. As a sail training vessel, everyone on board is assigned to the watch system to help sail the ship - navigating, taking the helm and handling the sails. Sailing experience is not required just a desire to sail to new horizons and experience all aspects of a sailor’s life on board: The wind, the sea, new friends and adventure.
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