After the Tall Ships Races Events and, the Cruise in Company from Harlingen to Antwerpen and a maintenance period in Zaandam, the EUROPA will visit her homeport of Scheveningen one last time before she sets sail South.
In three legs she will sail across the Atlantic Ocean to Puerto Madryn in Argentina before arriving in Ushuaia for the upcoming Antarctic season. The new trainees are welcome on board on the of 2nd of September 2022 in the harbor of Scheveningen. Once we have said goodbye to the Netherlands, we will set sail and sail training commences! Everyone will get the chance to practice climbing the rigging and getting to know the dozens of lines and sails on board Europa. Out at sea we will set course for the English Channel, the most sailed waters in the world!
Departing from our homeport Scheveningen, the Netherlands, we will set sail on a diverse ocean voyage, beginning with the busy English Channel, to the infamous Bay of Biscay and into the warmer and calmer waters towards Tenerife.
From nearly all corners of the world, our guests will arrive on board. Embarking through our gangway, you will be welcomed on board. You will meet your fellow travelers, a first glance at who you will share your sailing experience with. They will be solo travelers, friends or couples, young and old, from various countries and with different backgrounds, all united in one dream of sailing the oceans on board EUROPA.
After leaving the harbor the crew will prepare you for the next days of sailing. You will learn the color of the watch (red, white or blue) that you are assigned to and at what time your watch will start. The safety instructions begin and you will learn the ropes, learn how to climb the rigging and how to keep a steady course on the helm.
Sailing the English Channel offers a diverse sight. The coast is visible at times 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. In fact, it is the busiest shipping area in the world. Be prepared to see ships of every size and shape. Their lights are visible from a distance and on look-out you will help the officers on watch to navigate these waters safely. Sometimes the lights from other ships blend in with the many lights on land and this, together with the Northern stars and glowing phosphorescence in the water, creates a magical light show at sea.
Exiting the English Channel, you will sail past île Ouessant. The surroundings will start to become quieter and the feeling of being truly out at sea will settle in. By this time, you will be used to the routine on board and there will be time to help the permanent crew with traditional maintenance tasks and navigation. Working with leather, wood, metal, sailcloth, a sextant or sea charts will give you an idea of all that is necessary and useful to sail a traditional sailing vessel. There will be lectures about the aspects of navigation, sail theory, maritime biology and much more.
Slowly we make our way towards the infamous Bay of Biscay. This bay has made a name of itself throughout history for its temperamental weather conditions. Parts of the continental shelf extend far into the bay, resulting in fairly shallow waters in many areas and thus the rough seas for which the region is known. On this voyage, we will not sail into the Bay of Biscay but pass it on our way south and some rough seas can be expected sailing in this region. This will be the perfect opportunity to practice all you've learned the past days. Sail handling in this area sometimes requires the complete crew on watch. Stand by the bunt- and clewlines and be ready to shorten sail!
The more south we sail, temperatures will rise slowly and the wind will fill the sails of EUROPA when we steer towards Cascais/Cadiz. We still 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.
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 Cascais.
The port of Cascais is located 30 km from Lisbon and is the heart of what is called the Portuguese Riviera. The city made its fortune in the Middle Ages, when it transported fish and other goods to Lisbon.
At the end of the 19th century the Portuguese Royal Family constructed a summer residence in the city, where in 1878 the first electrical light of Portugal was installed. Following the Royal Family several other noble families had mansions build in the city, which are still present and can be seen when wandering through the town.
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.