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Azores - Harlingen

Navigate Bark EUROPA from the warm waters of the Azores, through the English Channel to the tall ship fleet in Harlingen

  • 21
  • 2100
    nautical miles
  • cost €2.415,- p.p.
    4/6 person cabin
  • cost €2.835,- p.p.
    2 person cabin
  • cost €2.205,- p.p.
    Age 15-25

This voyage has a waiting list

It’s time to go home! After an exciting year, full of uncertainties, tough decisions and brave moves, EUROPA will be finishing her Antarctica season in the Spring of 2022 in Cape Town. From there, EUROPA will set sail on a voyage up the Atlantic Ocean, finishing in Harlingen, the Netherlands. On our way, we hope to visit the remote Atlantic islands of St. Helena, Ascension and the Azores, before we meet up with the fleet of tall ships in Harlingen. From there on, we will cruise in company with the other tall ships to Antwerp, marking the end of another circumnavigation of the Atlantic Ocean. Join us on one or more legs from Cape Town to Harlingen and help us bring EUROPA home!

Departure from Horta, Azores

Located on the island Faial, the sailors’ hub Horta offers picturesque cobblestoned streets and a spectacular view of Pico, the neighboring island which also happens to be the highest mountain of Portugal. It is Horta where we will spend a few days before we continue our journey north.

We will start the leg from the Azores to Harlingen on the 25th of June 2022 in the afternoon and will likely be setting sail the next morning. These first days you will have time to get to know your fellow travelers a bit more, to see the color of the watch (red, white or blue) that you are assigned to and at what time your watch will start. During your watch you will stand on look out, steer the ship and help with sail handling. Together with your fellow watch mates you will help the permanent crew with sailing the ship on her course to the Netherlands. For many on board this will be their first time on an ocean voyage, others might have done similar voyages before or started their journey already in Cape Town. This mix of beginners and more experienced tall ship sailors creates a learning atmosphere on board, where each person can contribute in their own way to keep the ship sailing.

Our journey north

From the Azores we will continue in north easterly direction towards the Netherlands. This is where the adventure starts! You and your shipmates will immediately delve into the wonders of square-rigged tall ship sailing and for those that joined us from the Azores it will take some time to learn all the ropes, each other’s names and get used to the ship’s movement and daily life on board. There is plenty of time on this 21-day voyage to delve deeper into the arts of sailing, rigging and navigation.

Spending weeks on board a ship, far away from civilization and internet connection, living and working with people you have never met before: most people cannot begin to imagine what it feels like to cross an ocean under sail. It is precisely this though, that makes an ocean voyage on board EUROPA 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.

Without any internet or connection on your phone, life on board is a way to be completely disconnected from our hectic lives at home. It gives you time to really connect with your fellow crewmates, yourself and the moment. Without Google, you’ll turn to each other and books for information. Let the people on board surprise you with their knowledge on very diverse subjects. Being completely disconnected you might find your true inner self, some real happiness or just some relaxing time.

Instead of one day on a plane, it will take us a month and a half to cross the ocean, giving your mind an opportunity to calm down, your body time to relax but most of all it gives you time to admire your surroundings, the beauty of nature and the importance to care for the environment. While you are on lookout, you will experience the all-encompassing nature. The endless mountains of water that appear and disappear around us, the feeling of being so vulnerable to the powers of nature, the indescribable beauty of sunrises and sunsets on the ocean, the millions of stars, animal life and all shades of blue make an ocean crossing an unforgettable experience.

Arrival in Harlingen, Netherlands

Upon leaving the high-pressure system commonly surrounding the Azorean islands, known to sailors and meteorologists as the ‘Azores High’, we have high hopes for a good sail, thanks to the prevailing westerly winds in this part of the Atlantic. After crossing the open sea between the Azores and the mainland of Europe, we will enter the English Channel.

Sailing the English Channel offers a diverse sight. The coast is visible at time and the white beaches and cliffs are a rare treat seen from the sea. At night when you stand on look-out you must be sharp because the Channel is a very busy stretch of water. Be prepared to see ships of every size and shape.

Slowly we will be closing in on Harlingen, where we will join the other tall ships. This event will not only celebrate the tall ship fleet in itself, but also the international friendships and exchanges among your people of different nationalities which characterizes each tall ships event. Throughout the years, Europa and her crew have become famous for making spectacular harbour entrances, coming in under full sail long after other ships have taken away their sails and started their engines. The entrance into Harlingen will be no exception.

Harlingen is one of. The Frisian eleven cities and has an important harbour for the province. The harbor city is an interesting and lively place to visit. You can walk along the original canals and old warehouses where local products such as Harlinger pottery were stored before they were exported. Harlingen is also a gateway to the Wadden Islands of Terschelling and Vlieland.

Upon reaching Harlingen and disembarking after a spectacular ocean crossing and enjoying the festivities during the Tall Ships Event in Harlingen, you can rightfully consider yourself a fully-fledged sailor and shellback and we hope you will have made both memories and friends for life.

Become a sailor on board Bark EUROPA

On board Bark EUROPA we call our guests voyage crew. This means that Europa’s permanent crew will train you to be a sailor. No experience is needed, our crew will learn you everything along the way. Unlike going on a cruise, on Bark Europa you will be going on a hands-on, active sailing adventure. You will be divided into three watches, red, white and blue, named after the colors of the Dutch flag. You will be 'on watch' for four hours after which you have eight hours of free time. 

During your four hours on watch there will be different tasks that will be divided between the members of your watch. There will always be two people on helm duty. The crew will explain how to steer the ship and what to look out for and together you will maintain a steady course on the helm. During the watch there will also be two people on look-out duty at all times. When you spot ships, buys, debris or wildlife then this will be communicated to the officer of the watch.

The rest of the watch members will be on deck duty. The permanent crew will give you sail training and you will assist in all sail handling. This involves setting- and taking away the sails by hauling- and easing lines, climbing the rigging to furl or unfurl the sails. The crew will instruct you how to work on deck and you will learn how to trim the sails to the direction of the wind. During deck duty, there is also time to assist the crew with maintenance tasks. This way you will learn how to work with traditional tools and methods, such as woodworking, sail making, celestial navigation and traditional rope- and rigging work.

During your eight hours 'off watch', there is plenty time to rest and enjoy the scenery. Whether you wish to do some quiet reading or write in your logbook in the library or prefer to enjoy an active role in the social life of the deckhouse: there is a place for everyone. In the deckhouse you will also find the ships bar where you can enjoy a glass of wine with your fellow crewmates, play a board or card game or just enjoy a good talk. The crew will be giving lectures on various subjects, from traditional sailor skills and knowledge to science and astronomy. 

Of course, you can still assist the permanent crew and the voyage crew ‘on watch’ during your time off watch with sail handling and maintenance jobs. Sometimes the galley team asks for a hand with peeling potatoes or apples. Your off-watch time is for you to fill in, you may do as little or as much as you like.

Responsibility to care

Respect for the environment plays an important role in the philosophy of EUROPA and her crew. We hope to inspire our trainees to focus on everything that’s around them: not just a vast open ocean but a world on its own. We ask our voyage crew to listen to the sound of the ocean, the wind in our sails and the peace and tranquillity around us.

By conducting safe and environmentally responsible sailing voyages, we offer first-hand travel experiences to give our guests a better understanding of the ocean itself and the species that inhabit her. We hope that this way we inspire a group of ocean ambassadors all over the world.

For longer ocean crossings, Bark EUROPA welcomes scientists on board, carrying out their own research projects. We have been joined in the past years by oceanographers, astronomers and marine biologists. The presence and knowledge of scientists on board are always highly appreciated by both our crew and trainees.

We show them the wonders of the ocean by inviting our international voyage crew to participate in the ocean research conducted on board. The researchers involve the trainees in their oceanographic research by presentations, organizing special on-board exhibits, discussions and hands-on trawling work.

By working together with universities and other institutions we hope to connect the scientific world with our world at sea, to bring scientific knowledge to a wider audience and help to create more awareness for the state of the oceans and the polar regions. Together with researchers, universities and companies we have been able to collect solid data in recent years. Building a database requires a great deal of effort over several years and we are happy to make every effort as a platform for collecting this data.