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Sustainability and research

At Bark EUROPA, respecting the oceans is at the heart of it all. We strive to increase the awareness of our trainees and draw attention to the oceans and their vulnerability during our voyages. We inspire our trainees to open themselves up to the beauty and diversity of ocean life. Through onboard lectures, collaboration with researchers, and promoting environmentally friendly products, we aim for a more sustainable future. 

Care for the environment

Respect for the oceans plays an important role in the philosophy of EUROPA and her crew. In addition to sailtraining we therefore try to increase the awareness of the trainees during our travels and to draw more attention to the ocean and the dangers it faces every day. We hope to inspire our trainees to focus on everything that’s around them: not just a vast open ocean but a world on its own. We encourage them to listen to the sound of the ocean, the winds in our sails, the tranquility and peace and quiet around us. When you focus on all life that lives in the ocean, the wildlife, plankton species, other creatures and unfortunately (micro)plastics you learn so much more next to sail handling and travelling from A to B.

We encourage our voyage crew to take care of the marine environment by educating them with lectures by researchers, taking part in research projects and by promoting the use of environmental friendly products. We promote the use of less plastic products, we inform our guests before embarkation on the use of biodegradable shampoo and toothpaste and on bringing their own water bottle. We hope that this way all our guests become inspired to use more eco-friendly products once they disembark after their voyage.


During a long crossing with Bark EUROPA, the ocean may sometimes appear as a vast empty space. Ten minutes trawling with our plankton net and manta trawl show otherwise, revealing that the water is filled with microscopic animals. Examining these through a microscope allows us to gain greater appreciation for the abundance of organisms inhabiting the oceans.

For longer ocean crossings, EUROPA welcomes scientists on board, carrying out their own research projects. We have been joined in the past by oceanographers, astronomers and marine biologists. The presence and knowledge of students on board is highly appreciated by both our crew and trainees. The students 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, we hope to connect the scientific world with our world at sea on board Bark EUROPA. Scientific knowledge is brought to a wider audience and helps to create more awareness, inspiring our guests to commit to the oceans they have just sailed. This way we create a network of oceanists around the world, a team dedicated to the oceans.

In collaboration with various universities such as Bangor University and Wageningen University, we offer students the opportunity to gain practical experience at sea, to put into practice what they have just learned in the class rooms. Doing research at sea, with only limited resources, requires creativity, perseverance and adaptation if things go differently than expected.

Together with researchers, universities and companies such as the Ocean Clean Up, 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. In this way, we can contribute to oceanographic research and to better map the state of the oceans that we love to sail. If you are interested in conducting your research on board, please contact the Rederij Bark EUROPA at


Because EUROPA crosses oceans and sails to remote locations rarely visited by other ships, she can contribute to important data related to oceanographic science, weather forecasting and climate change. We enjoy working with partners from all over the world and hope that this way we can do our part for a more sustainable future.

As a member of IAATO we promote and practice safe and environmentally responsible travel to the Antarctic. We recognize the potential environmental impact that growing numbers of tourism could cause and therefore promote safe travel in this remote and delicate region of the world. With our trips to Antarctica we hope to make our guests more aware of the untouched landscapes and the power of nature and hope that after this trip they will become ambassadors for the preservation of Antarctica. To support this process, we have professional guides on board, each with a different background in, for example, history, flora or fauna of Antarctica. In addition, we prepare our guests thoroughly with the help of extensive brochures from IAATO.

Bark EUROPA was selected by UN coordinators from the World Meteorological Organization and UNESCO to deploy floaters contributing to the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS). As such, she contributed to the collection of data vital for the development of climate forecasts and climate change detection. In 2016 EUROPA was awarded with a certificate of appreciation from the WMO observation team for her exceptional contributions to the marine data collection program.

Furthermore, the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute, the KNMI, has selected EUROPA to monitor the weather whilst at sea. They supplied the ship with specialized equipment for taking observations and sharing this data with the KNMI. As a trainee you are welcome to help us make weather observations and learn more about meteorology and weather patterns.

EUROPA has been awarded with the Blue Flag. This flag is awarded to vessels that follow the code of conduct of the Sail Training International Blue Flag Scheme for the preservation of and education on marine life.

When in port we aim to share our stories with the public. We love to host open ship and organize lectures and involve our visitors in all that we do to raise awareness on the state of the oceans and what you can do as an individual to contribute to a more sustainable future.

In addition, during the Antarctic season, Bark EUROPA partners with the Polar Citizen Science Collective to facilitate research and public education by connecting researchers, research institutes, and tour operators in the polar regions. This collaboration aims to meet the needs of the scientific community while involving voyage crew in data collection projects. By participating in these projects, EUROPA helps gather valuable data from remote locations, providing an educational experience for the crew and fostering discussions on topics such as ocean currents, water temperature, and wildlife.