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Tenerife to Cabo Verde

Sailing from Europe to the African Cabo Verde Islands

  • 10
    days
  • 890
    nautical miles
  • cost €1190,- p.p.
    4/6 person cabin
  • cost €1390,- p.p.
    2 person cabin

In September 2019 Bark EUROPA will depart from Sevilla to commemorate the voyage of Ferdinand Magellan. In 1519, Ferdinand Magellan departed from Sevilla for the first circumnavigation of the Earth. Set sail with us and celebrate the 500th year anniversary of this heroic adventure. We will leave from Sevilla, Spain and make our way South across the ocean and into the Strait of Magellan in Chile where we will arrive on December 12, 2019, in Punta Arenas. Europa will visit Puerto Williams and Cape Horn on our way to Antarctica. After visiting the white wilderness we will follow Magellan’s route again and sail the Pacific Ocean in early 2020.

After a stop in the Canary Islands, we sail to the Cape Verde Islands where the Magellan fleet has stopped at the end of the circumnavigation. Sailing in this part of the world is pleasant and the wind and currents are favorable and warm. The more south we sail, the temperatures will rise. During the voyage we sail about 150 miles off the coast of the Western Sahara with a favorable wind from north east.

The days are filled with assisting in sailing, helping with all kinds of maintenance activities, sailing training, lectures on (celestial) navigation, ocean winds and currents. During nightwatch, there is more than enough time to stargaze. Clear skies with the most magnificent starry nights occur. The sky of the northern hemisphere is losing terrain, with Big Bear and Polaris slowly sinking below the horizon.

Another interesting sight to see at night is the algae lighting up on the bow of the ship. The effect is fantastic when we are accompanied by dolphins, who take some time to swim with us, while their tails light up under water. In the wake of the ship, the trail we leave behind in the water is fluorescent green and blue, with little underwater explosions from time to time. It is the fascinating phenomenon of bioluminescence.

Departure in Tenerife

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.

However, the crops-based economy of the islands faced competition of Spain’s American colonies, which 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.

Being a sailor 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, 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, 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. 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 directing of the wind. During deck duty, there is also time to assist the crew with the maintenance of the ship. This way you will learn how to work with traditional tools and methods. Woodworking, sailmaking, celestial navigation, and traditional rope- and rigging work will all be apart of your sailing voyage. 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, what ever the weather. In the evenings the crew prepares team challenges and pub quizzes to enjoy together with your watch mates. 

Arrival in Cabo Verde

The islands of Cabo Verde are situated in the Atlantic Ocean, over 600 kilometers west of Senegal at approximately 16 degrees North. Cabo Verde consists of 9 inhabited and a few uninhabited islands.

Cabo Verde was discovered by Portuguese navigators in 1456. After the foundation of the first permanent European settlement in the tropics of Ribeira Grande in 1462 was established, the islands became an important station in the transatlantic slave trade. However, the islands’ prosperity brought also unwanted attention in the form of many pirates.

From the 18th century onwards, deforestation and overgrazing resulted in many droughts. To escape hunger, many people left the islands and migrated to New England to work on American whaling ships. Only after the fall of the dictator Salazar, Cabo Verde gained its independence in 1975.

Cabo Verde has a tropical climate. The sea temperature stays around 25 degrees Celsius and the often-strong trade winds originate from the northeast. It rarely rains and the bright sun shines constantly. On some days the fine dusty desert sand limits the sunlight (and even your sight). All islands are volcanic, but at the same time the terrain varies widely. The landscape consists of steep terrace fields with bananas and coffee plantations, sand deserts, black volcano’s and a fierce deep blue ocean. On some of the islands rare seabirds can be found. The waters are full of fly-fish, tuna, sea turtles and whales.

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