With great thanks to all the crew! :)
The best way in which you can support the EUROPA and keep her sailing around the world is by spreading the word about her voyages. By telling your story about your voyage you can serve as a source of inspiration for other to join the adventure. We are very interested in your review, either good or bad, what we can do to improve our sailing voyages or what you liked best on your voyage.
With great thanks to all the crew! :)
This trip hits you very hard in an emotional way. You may think that you understand what you are going through and seeing while you are on the trip -but that is not the case. In the weeks and months after the being on the Bark Europa you begin to fully realize that this kind of experience was unique to the point that it will probably not be duplicated ever again in your global travels. It is an over the top experience. I went in thinking the Bark was the means to an end (seeing Antarctica). It turns out that that sailing through the Drake and the overall ship life was at least 50% of the experience. I doubt that the folks on the 300 person NATGEO cruise ship feel the same way.
Well, what an awesome trip. Antarctica certainly exceeded anything that I had hoped for. Whales, penguins, seals, more penguins, ice bergs, glaciers, stunning scenery. The permanent crew were just so professional, uncomplaining, friendly and forever helpful and our guides clearly have a passion for what they do and the ability to make every little mundane task feel exciting. Words really cannot express what it was like and, to quote from another's blog, if you really want to know you will have to go see for your self. My only disappointment of the trip was the lack of hands-on sail handling - yes, we took the help, stood as look outs, hauled on lines, were instructed as to how to climb the masts and go out on the yards safely but, understandably, we were not permitted to go aloft in the strong winds to help with the sails. And in Antarctic waters we sailed hardly at all with currents, winds, bergs and schedules meaning the engine was used most of the time. If you want to see, hear, smell and experience Antarctica then aboard Europa is really the only way; if you want to be more actively involved in the sailing then an ocean crossing might be the better experience.
So everything was great, i cant really think of improvements because i thought thered be more specific questions to jog my memory. One thing ivepicked up from another boat is once booked and paid they sent the gear shopping list and option to prepay a bartab so you could rock up and have shirts waiting and not have to worry about carrying euro/dollars/pounds in a foreign country.
What a marvellous experience I had on this trip. The ship was incredible and the crew were so helpful for those of us who had never sailed on a square rigger before. It was good to meet new people and to get to know the other voyage crew members, there were 13 different nationalities onboard all of whom experienced their own personal adventure. We swam near the equator, saw dolphins, whales, flying fish and albatross and had perfect sailing weather for most of the trip. A small niggle was that a number of our more experienced fellow male voyage crew were a bit over zealous when it came to rope handling or sail setting and maybe the initial briefing could make it clearer about allowing everyone the opportunity to be involved rather than those who mostly pushed themselves forward. I would absolutely recommend an ocean voyage on Europa to anyone looking for a special experience, I can’t wait to do another trip!
The whole trip was just amazing. From the crew to the food to the ship. It was my second voyage on The Europa and would happily do a third. I would however recommend if I may that perhaps a word to everyone at the beginning of each leg about not taking ropes off or pushing in in front of female crew members. We are there too for the whole experience not just to paint our nails. Every member of the female voyage crew experienced this and some of the crew as well. I did point this out to the Captain who took this on board immediately and spoke to her crew for which I was very thankful.