Sail the Coral sea and onwards into the Tasman sea. Visit Lord Howe Island and finish this unique coastal sailing adventure in Hobart. When you embark on this adventure into the great Australian waters you will experience it all. When you leave the harbour of Brisbane behind and hoist the sails you will be watching the sails closely while you steer a course on the blue waters of the coral sea. The coral sea owes her name to the great coral reefs below the surface of this impressive strech of water. They include the Great Barrier Reef, which extends about 2,000 km along the northeast coast of Australia and includes approximately 2,900 individual reefs and 1000 islands. The sea itself is also known for her warm climate, the East Australian current brings warm waters into the colder Tasman sea.
Bark EUROPA will experience these currents together with the Southeastern trade winds that dominate this area throughout all the seasons, when you are standing by your lines on deck you may also experience some south westerly winds that are frequent for this time of the year. These wind and current patterns will make your voyage extra interesting as they offer the best conditions for some great sailing. You will get to know all there is about sailing a vessel like EUROPA. Hoist the sails, take them away and climb the masts to stow the sails with with an unbeatable 360 degree view of this great continent and its impressive coastlines with many inlets, small bays and harbours leading into the many national parks on this eastern side of Australia. Learn to see the changes in prevailing winds and how to trim the sails accordingly.
There are at least 30 species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises that live in the coral sea, including the dwarf minke whale, Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin, humpback whale and dugongs. Six species of sea turtles breed on the Great barrier Reef and can be seen at sea. More than 200 species of birds (including 22 species of seabirds and 32 species of shorebirds) visit, nest or roost on the islands and reefs in this sea, including the white-bellied sea eagle and roseate tern. Most nesting sites are on islands in the northern and southern regions of the Great Barrier Reef, with 1.4–1.7 million birds using the sites to breed. Even though we will not be sailing close to the reefs these animals can be spotted along our route towards Tasmania.
When you have crossed the latitude of 30 degrees south you will now officially be sailing into the Tasman sea and well underway to the wild and untamed Lord Howe Island. The Tasman sea separates Australia and New Zealand and is known by locals as 'the Ditch'. After your visit to Lord Howe Island you will set sail again further south toward Tasmania. Before you will explore this wonderful nature state you will first put all your fresh sailing knowledge to the test and sail the temperamentful Tasman sea. Lying in the belt of westerly winds known as the 'roaring forties', the sea is noted for its storminess. The various currents that flow from differents sides into this stretch of water tend to make the southern Tasman Sea generally temperate in climate and the northern subtropical. These conditions are perfect to further your understanding about sailing this square rigger and practise your new skills. Learn how to steer a steady course, stand lookout on Europa's bow in the gentle salt spray of her bow wave and be the first to spot the green mountainous island of Tasmania.
Your adventure on board Bark EUROPA will start in Brisbane, the river city. This beautiful, warm and sunny city on Australia's east coast lies snuggly between the gold coast and the sunshine coast. It sounds as good as it is, sunshine, sea and a lovely city to explore. Brisbane is called the river city because of her beautiful Brisbane river that curls through the city centre. The city can be explored from the water in the many different kinds of boats that sail around or by foot, bus or bike.
Have a look at the South Bank Grand Arbour with her impressive 443 curling steel collumns covered in flowers. When you are at the South bank area a visit to the Nepal Peace Pagoda is well worth it, with its traditional architecture, art works and meditation area. The Parklands area is home to many cafés and restaurants and a nice place to sit down and enjoy the busy city life before embarking on your great adventure. Have a stroll over one of the many markets in town that offer many different stalls, from fruit and vegetables to garments and accessories from some of Brisbane's most talented young designers.
Another great thing to do while in Brisbane is to visit the City Botanic Gardens, they're Brisbane's most mature gardens with many rare and unusual botanic species. In particular a special collection of cycads, palms, figs and bamboo. It also shows the Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium and the "Tsuki-yama-chisen" Japanese Garden. If you have a bit more time to explore Brisbane and her surroundings a good outing is to go to Brisbane's Forest Park. The large nature reserve lies on the western boudary of the city into the Moreton Bay Region. It lies between Mount Coot-tha Reserve and the higher peaks to the north. The park supports many plants and animals and it essential to their survival. In 2015, a competition by travel guidebook Rough Guides saw Brisbane elected as one of the top ten most beautiful cities in the world, citing reasons such as 'its winning combination of high-rise modern architecture, lush green spaces and the enormous Brisbane River that snakes its way through the centre before emptying itself into the azure Moreton Bay'.
Lord Howe Island is a small island in the Tasman Sea right where the Coral sea changes its name to Tasman sea. It's characterised by sandy beaches, subtropical forests and clear waters. In the south, a walking trail climbs up soaring Mount Gower, with stunning views of this beautiful island. In the north you can find Ned's Beach with her calm fish- and coral-rich waters. The island is home to seabird colonies, including masked boobies. It's a dramatically beautiful place. The pristine lagoon, colourful coral, tall mountains, subtropical forests and unspoiled beaches on this isolated island make for a special and unique experience.
World Heritage listed in 1982 for its unique beauty and diversity, remarkable geology and its rare collection of birds, plants and marine life, Lord Howe is surrounded by the world’s southernmost coral reef. Crystal clear waters full of marine life and rare coral, protected as part of the Lord Howe Island Marine Park.
Until 1972 the only way to get to Lord Howe was by ship. In 1972 the Island opened its small airport and since there have been more visitors on Lord Howe to enjoy its beauty. Even though the island is now more accessible it still is a very quiet place with only 400 visitors allowed at any time, together with a resident population of around 350. Therefore Lord Howe is an uncrowded island of unspoilt beauty. Lord Howe island is roughly crescent-shaped, about 11 km long and 2 km wide. The island is the result of a seven million-year-old shield volcano. The shape of the island protects a coral reef and a breathtaking lagoon. Mount Lidgbird (777 m) and Mount Gower (875 m) tower over the south end of the island.There are not many cars on the island and there is no mobile phone reception.This island is so far off the beaten track and you will find yourself engulfed in peaceful beauty, still there are plenty of exciting things to do on this wonderful island. Strolling through native Kentia palm and Banyan tree forests or along one of the eleven deserted golden sand beaches.
Snorkelling over pristine and untouched coral reefs. Hiking up Mt Gower, a full on eight-hour walk described as one of the best one-day hikes in the world. Explore the many untouched reefs. At low tide you can walk out on the rock platform to see the coral and fish in the rock pools at Middle beach or hand feed fish at Neds Beach.
Lord Howe was never part of a continent and almost half the island's native plants are endemic. One of the best known is the Kentia Palm. The island is an important breeding ground for sea and land birds and over 400 species of fish and 80 species of coral are to be found in the waters surrounding the island.
More than 70 percent of the land in this state is covered in forest, more than half of it is protected by the government and more than 1/5 of the land is listed as Wilderness World heritage area. Tasmania is well known to be Australia's natural state. The vast wilderness of this island will impress and amaze you. Her wildlife can be observed everywhere and the state has the cleanest air observed in the world. This unpolluted air allows the most wonderful species of flora and fauna to thrive. The rainforest trees are ancient and incredibly tall, they are usually covered in many different forms of moss. The forest floor is soft to the touch where mosses and leaves make way for mushrooms and flowering shrubs. The massive ferns are everywhere, here where the animals live undisturbed you find yourself in wonder of just how beautiful nature is when left untouched by humans.
Hobart is Tasmania's capital city, more than 40 percent of the Tasmanian population lives in this city and it has lots to offer. When arriving in Hobart you can see the promise of this nature state as the impressive peak of Mt. Wellington is ever present on the horizon. Bark EUROPA will be berthed at the cities large waterfront. This city is shaped around the water and the city marina is home to some beautiful wooden boats. Salamanca's place is at the water front and is remarkable for it's old architecture, built using convict labour in the Georgian and victorian area, the buildings are an impressive sight. The city has many bars, cafe's and restaurants. All the shops with necessities and many arts, crafts and book stores can be found in Hobart's city centre. There are a few museums well worth a visit, first of all 'MONA' Tasmania's museum of old and new art. A Mona ferry can take you from the city to the museum and the ride itself is already a spectacle. The museums in the city centre usually have interesting exhibitions about native flora and fauna, aboriginal art and history and Tasmania's maritime history. When in Hobart, make sure to visit the Royal Tasmanian Botanical gardens just a few minutes walk from the centre, they are wonderful and many special plant species can be found. There are some tours you can book leaving from the city, you can go to Bruny Island or climb Mt. Wellington. The city and especially the land beyond is worth exploring so make sure to pack your hiking boots for this adventure!
Onboard Bark EUROPA we call our guests 'voyage crew'. This means that EUROPA's permanent crew will train you to be a sailor. 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 watch, White watch and Blue watch, named after the colours 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. You will together, maintain a steady course on the helm. The crew will explain how to steer the ship and what to look out for. During the watch there will also be two people on look-out duty at all times. On the bow of the ship, you will stand look-out. You spot ships, buoys, debris, and icebergs in the water then communicate this to the officer on 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. The captains and officers of Bark Europa are easy to talk to and like to get involved in your sail training. They will explain traditional- as well as modern ways of navigation. They will organize and run you through safety drills and procedures. During your eight hours 'off watch', there is time to rest and enjoy the scenery. You can read a book in the library or in the deckhouse. The bar will be open for a drink and a snack.
The crew will be giving lectures on various subjects, from traditional sailors skills and knowledge to science and astronomy. During your time off watch, you can still assist the permanent crew and the voyage crew 'on watch' with sail handling and maintenance jobs. The galley team sometimes asks for a hand peeling potatoes or apples on deck so they can make yet another of their famous pies. In the deckhouse, there will be people playing games, reading books, listening to music, writing diaries and emails.
Your off watch time is for you to fill in, you may do as little or as much as you would like. These hours are also for you to catch up on your sleep. When you are setting sails, reading or working away on deck, in the galley they are always busy preparing meals to keep everyone well fed. Multiple course meals will be served three times a day with coffee and tea times in between. In the evenings the crew prepares team challenges and pub quizzes to enjoy together with your watch mates.Optional reservation Booking form