- Day Sails
- Follow the ship
Sail with us
Since 1994 the barque EUROPA has roamed the seas of the world and built up the reputation of a ship that really sails. A professional crew of 14 and a complement of 48 voyage crewmembers of all ages and nationalities sail her. Tall Ships enthusiasts, some with no sailing experience, take the wheel, hoist the yards, navigate, etc. We, the crew, invite you to sail with us. Each year there are different voyages on the schedule: Antarctica expeditions, Tall Ship Adventures, Tall Ships’ races and long ocean crossings - an experience that many dream of and none will forget.
ANTARCTICA: ONLINE BROCHURES
What to expect during your holiday on board EUROPA
All inclusive? I am sure that many of you are familiar with your local, high street travel agent, even if you have never been inside. Generally, travel agents are pretty and perky and try to sell "All inclusive" holidays. I am not sure why, perhaps the commission is higher. You may have seen the
adverts as you breeze pass when shopping: TENERIFE 4* ALL INCLUSIVE LAST MINUTE FORTNIGHT STAY IN SEPTEMBER.
The brochure will promote crystal white beaches and a variety of cuisines on site. Only once you arrive, the resort is full of tourists from mainland Europa wearing sandals and socks and Brits the colour of salami. The variety of cuisines is presented in a pig trough and the guests tend to be sozzled on Sangria by 11 am in the morning. If hot weather could be transported to Leeds or Bognor Regis, none of these guests would ever travel abroad.
Admittingly, these holidays are sometimes required, but I think it is fair to say, they have not
travelled to experience new cultures, languages and societies. It is a shame that these opportunities are evaded in favour of spending all day by the pool.
However, I think the concept "All inclusive" needs re-evaluating when referring to Bark Europa because it surpasses all of options to be found at the local travel agent. It's true, voyage crew don't, or rather, can't leave the ship. A bed to jump out of and three hearty, healthy square meals are cooked daily by the cook and her mate.
However, daily life on board the ship is all about being included. The day starts with a personalised wake-up call from other members of voyage crew. It might not be the desirable way to begin the day, but everyone pulls together to take their turn at the helm and on watch. As crew, we integrate with the various nationalities on board and have for the time being we have created a small, distinctive community as we share stories about our daily lives. For those willing to risk an adventure, all the trappings of modern life has been left behind as we return to communicating
face-to-face and attempt to entertain one another.
We have enjoyed a comedy night and found various national humour interesting to say the least, it is somewhat timely that most of the jokes told by British members of crew all begin with: An English man, a Scots man and an Irish man. Thankfully, this is not set to change anytime soon. Tonight the crew participated in a sing-song night and we learned a new version of Raw Hide which was written by Adrian.
Later, the ship's engine was switched off, at times the music that could be heard on the deck was like that of an Irish pub. The session concluded with Leander playing his violin, most of the melodies he played were tinged with sadness. Without modern life to interupt the fun, there is
time to be imaginative. Where other travellers pay extortionate fees to visit one sealife centre or another, voyage crew have been fortunate enough to see dolphins frolicking freely through the water, and later the crew cooled off by diving into the sea.
And when events are quieter in the evening, there are the constellations and the occasional thunder and lighting for thrilling excitement.
So we have to do a little to earn such priceless experiences, yet this is nothing compared to the multi-talented, permanent crew who seem to work around the clock to make the passage smooth and enjoyable. Above all, the comraderie aboard the Bark Europa has been the best adventure I
could have hoped for.
In an additional note to the title, "All Inclusive", the United Kingdom has not been divided by the Scottish referendum and the countries of Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland will continue to share a common flag and united people.
By Sarah Fletcher
We have reached the Moroccan coast, we can see the Atlas mountains very well. They must be about 30 miles away, though. Being so close to the coastline, many fishing boats can be spotted.
Sometimes they are very small, using binoculars you can see people sitting in them. Sometimes they are like trawlers, having nets on both sides.
Last night for the first time in our journey there was a little confusion about what the look-out saw in front of the ship: severa clear lights flashing like lighthouses, but they seemed too close and there were too many. Were they fishing boats in the middle of the night? But then we should see green and red lights. They turned out to be marked fishing nets, confusing ships passing by....
For the second day in a row we were able to have lunch outside, although there was a little rain. As always there was a choice between two kinds of soup, bread and salad. Today we were treated sardines, they were really delicious. Every day we enjoy the meals Renske and Leander are
And finally the sails were taken down, the motor was stopped and we jumped into the clear blue ocean! What a joy jumping down from the bowsprit. We were tumbling like dolphins ourselves! Some of us did their daily exercise, others were jumping of the ship in different ways, and others just floated and enjoyed the perfect water temperature. In the meanwhile they enjoyed the acrobatics of their fellow travellers. The award for the scariest swimming suit was for Tom, swimming in some yellowish thing.
Tonight we will have stand-up comedy performances in the deckhouse, it feels like we are on summer camp sometimes. Let's find out what we will have on stage, with so many different nationalities on board.
On the sixth day of Europa's voyage to Las Palmas, a ladder was finally dipped into the infinite blue velvet. The small opening at the side of the main deck opened the gate to a flood of imagination. I was totally enchanted - it is a ladder to infinity on all dimensions, as far as visual capacity is concerned.
My hesitation didn't last long before all the splashes around encouraged a splash from myself. We dived in among all the cheering and laughing. Some dived in with a big statement from
the bow sprit, while some timidly descended the ladder and waves gently took them in. The solemn blue instantly became lively. Wind and waves caressed us and carried with them our joys. Europa stood firmly like a safe harbour while we swam around her.
Laughters continued as the sun extinguished its last flame into the ocean, splashing golden hue all over the skyline. There was almost a moment of silence in remembrance of its glorious hours.
Comedy took stage in the deck house following the captain's daily update.
Here I am, resting my pen at 5am the next day, returning to under the starry sky for my lookout. Oh yeah, there are serious responsibilities. The breeze is sweet here...
It is an experience to be remembered by heart, to the ordinaries. Only wish I can express it better.
Rederij Bark EUROPA
P.O. Box 23183
NL-3001 KD Rotterdam
T +31 10-281 0990
F +31 10-281 0991
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