Europa has sailed many miles and after a short stop in Tasmania she will set sail again to cross the Bass strait to Melbourne. Set sail to the mainland with us! We will depart from the nature state of Tasmania and across the infamous Bass Strait to the buzzing city of Melbourne. Embark on this adventure, set sail, steer a steady course stand look out and navigate into Port Phillip Bay. But before you will stretch your new found sea legs to explore Melbourne you will first cross the Bass Strait.
This strait separates Tasmania from the Australian mainland and is well known for it's fierce weather conditions. Strong currents between the Antarctic-driven southeast portions of the Indian Ocean and the Tasman Sea's Pacific Ocean waters provide a strait of powerful water. Combined with the winds that drive through this strait the history of this water mass is well known from history books. With the modern technology the strait is now more predictable and you will find many ships around you in this busy strait connecting the big cities and states of Australia. Your voyage will start full of excitement, the strait is interesting to sail and offers a spectacular sailing experience. Stand by your lines and be ready to climb the tall masts of Bark EUROPA because many hands will be needed to sail her across these temperamental waters. During your crossing you might spot some special animals, there are twelve small uninhabited islands in the straight where many birds and seals come to breed. Three of these islands are the only places in Australia where the Pelican breeds, five of these islands are favorite spots for Australian fur seals, other islands are used by the Southern Gannet to find their partners, make their nests and raise their young and if you are very lucky you might spot a shy albatross, these incredible birds nest on albatross island in the Bass Strait. On this crossing you also have a chance of seeing seals, fairy penguins, killer wales, humpbacks and dolphins. After this adventurous crossing you will sail for Port Phillip Bay and into the busy city port of Melbourne.
More than 70 percent of this states' land 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 state 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, there 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.
Tasmania has countless rivers that, together with the regular rain fall, supply the necessary water to this green lush state. The land is mountainous and the windy roads take you past countless waterfalls, only short hikes away from the main roads. When walking along the river bends, make sure to look out for the mysterious platypus. You can spot them playing in the water, rolling around doing little underwater salto's or just floating along baking in the sunlight. For us boat enthousiasts Tasmania offers many spectaculair views of the water. Many bays, beaches and rivers are easily accessible and breathtakingly beautiful. Wooden sailing boats and traditional fishing vessels are dotted across the bays, whatever the weather, there will always be someone out on the water. Once you are out of Hobart there are no high buildings in sight, no big cities and nature sounds takes over. The birds are everywhere and their songs can be enjoyed throughout the day: small wrens in bright blue chipper away, the kookaburra laughs, the green- red and yellow painted parrots are in loud debate among themselves and the deep gurgles of the amusing native hens, also fondly called 'turbo chooks' after their impressive speed, are just a few of this states flying inhabitants. When the sun gives way to the moonlight you can see the animals everywhere. Hear the soft thump of a jumping wallaby, watch a stubborn possum climb a tree, hear the scary sounds of the innocent Tasmanian devil, see the wobbling wombats on the glowing hills and if you hear the leaves softly crisper, have a look if you are maybe close to the spiky echidna with its long nose. Communities are small and townships intimate. One local grocer, a baker, a newsagent and a local pub if you are in luck, many places offer the best local products and produce, arts and crafts but also a wide range of fruit and vegetables and don't forget to taste the local beers, wines and ciders. Embrace the quiet and enjoy this untamed, pristine island immersed by nature's wonders.
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!
Melbourne's harbour area is called 'Dockland' and was once known as the West Melbourne Swamp. After the development of this grand harbour and the surrounding suburb it is a place not to be missed. Dockland is like a free, open air gallery of urban art. Contemporary art sculptures are practically everywhere around Docklands, just waiting to be discovered. These sculptures have become a strong identifier of the area. Read a book and have a coffee at the dockside library or just sit down and enjoy the busy harbour in one of the lush parks. Watch the sun go down while you listen to the typical sounds of the harbour and have a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants in the area.
Behind docklands you will find the city of Melbourne waiting to be explored. Change into your walking shoes and give those, now very experienced, sea-legs a good warming up because there is just so much to see and do. Museums, galleries, lush green gardens, laid-back laneways, theaters and libraries. Melbourne is an international cultural center. Visit the East End Theatre District and watch ballet in the heritage-listed theaters dating from the Victorian era. Or go to the Southbank area and admire Australian and indigenous art in one of the many galleries. Visit the city centre in the modern Federation Square development, with plazas, bars, and restaurants by the Yarra River and let the busy city atmosphere wash over you. Or maybe you just want to sit down at one of the many sailors pubs and share your new salty stories from your latest adventure on board Bark EUROPA.
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