This active sailing holiday is perfect for ocean sailing in the sun! It is a non-stop voyage from the port of Cascais to the port of Santa Cruz in Tenerife. After leaving port we will hoist sails almost immediately, a perfect way to get familiar with all the different lines and get to know the sails. This is the perfect voyage to enjoy a combination of sailing and good weather.
The voyage will start in Cascais, a historical town on the Portuguese coast known for being the centre of the Portuguese Riviera. From the Middle Ages onward, the town has been an important harbor for supplying Lisbon with fish and as a stop over harbor for vessels bound for Lisbon as well.
From the end of the 19th century onwards, the Portuguese Royal family had a summer residence in the town. Following the court, a lot of noble houses also went to Cascais and build beautiful mansions as summer retreats. During the Second World War these served as a safe haven for other European Royal Families.
This is where the adventure starts! You and your shipmates will immediately delve into the wonders of square-rigged tall ship. 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 12-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 more than a week to reach Tenerife, 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.
The more south we sail, temperatures will rise slowly and the wind will fill the sails of EUROPA when we steer towards Tenerife. We have plenty of time to connect with our fellow crewmates, to enjoy the endless mountains of water that appear and disappear around us, the indescribably beauty of sunrises and sunsets on the ocean, the millions of stars and all shades of blue of the ocean.
Leaving the last bit of the European coastline behind, will give you a chance to experience some open seas and get a good feel for the ship and sail handling. You will be amazed how quickly you will have gotten used to the life on board and all it entails. Together with the permanent crew you will have time to learn about maintenance, sail theory, sail making and traditional rigging work. The crew will give lectures on the sunny main deck about (celestial) navigation, ocean winds and currents and marine biology.
These waters are perfect for a mid-Atlantic swim on a quiet and wind still day. Jumping from the bowsprit and having a swim around the ship as she slowly bobs forward, with five kilometers of deep blue ocean under you is truly an unforgettable experience.
A sailing voyage in this part of the world is pleasant. The favorable winds will slowly blow EUROPA towards Tenerife. We may even reach our destination with a few days to spare, giving us time to explore the surroundings of the islands. While famously being home to a multitude of busy seaside resorts, the Canary Islands also hide some strikingly beautiful nature and scenery behind this polished façade, that is definitely worth a visit. Whatever your plans are for the Canaries, you can be certain that you leave Bark EUROPA as a true weathered sailor with new-found friends, newly acquired skills and memories that last a lifetime.
The Canary Islands are an archipelago of Spain located in the Atlantic Ocean. Tenerife is the largest and most popular island of the seven Canary Islands. On the island you can find the third highest volcano in the world; Teide volcano at 3,718 meters. A climb up the mountain will give you exceptional views over the island.
From the 14th century onwards, numerous visits were made by sailors from Mallorca, Portugal and Genoa. In 1402 the Castillian conquest began, with the expedition of French explorers to Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and El Hierro. The natives of other islands resisted the invaders for almost a century. Tenerife was the last island that was conquered and incorporated into the Kingdom of Castile.
The Spanish enslaved many of the natives of whom many died of new infectious diseases. Many of Tenerife’s pine forests were cleared to make fields for crops such as sugar cane, wine grapes, cochineal and plantains. The islands became an important stopping point for Spanish traders on their way to the New World. This brought quite some prosperities to the islands.
The crops-based economy of the islands faced quite some competition of Spain’s American colonies. This caused some severe recessions on the islands. During the 18th, 19th and 20th century, many families emigrated to the New World due to fewer economic possibilities and the relative isolation of the islands. After the establishment of a democratic constitutional monarchy in Spain, autonomy was granted to the Canaries in 1982.
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.
An ocean voyage on a ship like Bark EUROPA not only gives you an idea of what life must have been like as a sailor in the past – it invites you to experience what it is like for yourself. Despite modern safety, navigation and communication equipment, the simplicity of life on board is comparable to how it could have been like more than 200 years ago. It will give you an idea of the enormous pack of water that we will sail, where storms and high speeds will alternate with slower progress and calmer waters.
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. Live in the moment and soak in the peace and serenity around you, the complete silence apart from the sound of the ship gently breaking through the waves.
Respect for the environment and the oceans plays an important role in the philosophy of EUROPA and her crew. We hope to inspire our trainees to focus on everything around them: not just a vast open ocean but a world on its own. We offer our voyage crew the experience to look at this world of endless ever changing blue and listen to the sound of the ocean, the wind in our sails and to 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 create 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.