This summer our brave ocean wanderer will visit her home port and sail in European waters! While she is usually lucky to meet fellow tall ships in small numbers in ports far overseas, this June many impressive tall ships from all over the world will gather in her home port during the first SAIL event in Scheveningen! Our voyage from Scheveningen to Aalborg will begin after 'SAIL op Scheveningen', when a good part of the fleet will make it's way to Aalborg, the start port of this years' Tall Ships Race.
This weeks voyage is perfect for those who want to try tall ships sailing, as it offers a little bit of everything: perhaps a bit of rough water in the North Sea, entering into calmer waters as we reach the Kieler Canal and exploring the impressive coastline of Jutland, Denmark. Going through the Lillebaelt or Storebaelt, sailing past the coastlines up the Kattegat to Aalborg will give us plenty of opportunities to visit some more remote histroical villages and little islands, which is also such a magical part of sailing.
Once we approach Aalborg, we will meet up with all the other participating Tall Ships for a Parade of Sail in to Aalborg. An impressive and exciting ending after some peaceful but handso-on, active days at sea sailing Bark EUROPA, navigating and sharing stories. Once berthed in Aalborg good entertainment is guaranteed on the quay as the city of Aalborg is known to organise a great Tall Ships Race festival!
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, Blue watch and White watch, 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. 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 and or buoysin 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. This involves setting- and taking away the sails by hauling- and easing lines, climbing the rigging to furl or unfurl the sails.
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, what ever the weather. In the evenings the crew prepares team challenges and pub quizzes to enjoy together with your watch mates.
The voyage will start in our hometown, Scheveningen. Scheveningen is an ideal port as it is located directly next to the sea, meaning after departure we can quickly set our sails and sail along the beach of Scheveningen (The Hague) But we also advise you to spend some days before embarkation in Scheveningen as it is an ideal holiday place with the beach and the historical city.
After departure we will first have some days on the North Sea with maybe some rougher water and will set sail through the Kieler Canal, coming into calmer waters. This will be the start of exploring the impressive coastline of Jutland, Denmark. Going through the Lillebaelt or Storebaelt, sailing past the coastlines up the Kattegat to Aalborg will give us plenty of opportunities to visit some historical villages and little islands.
Once we reach Aalborg, we will be joined by other Tall Ships for a Parade of Sail into Aalborg, where lots of festivities will be the perfect end of a Scandinavian sailing trip. The city of Aalborg is located around the narrowest point of the Limfjord. With its theatres, symphony orchestra, opera company, performance venues, and museums such as Aalborg Historical Museum and the Aalborg Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg is an important cultural hub.
Once arrived to Aalborg please dont forget to visit the other Tall Ships, most of them will have open ship so you can have a walk around their decks.