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Sail Around the World

photo by Debbie Purser: Climbing upto T'gallant yard on Europa

Sail Around the World

EvBowsprit dreaming on Europaery year Classic Sailing has hands on traditional sailing holidays with destinations for you to sail across the world, and many ocean passages which allow you to cross between continents by wind power as an exciting part of your world travel plans.  The vessels range from square riggers to schooners, historic sailing ketches like Bessie Ellen or authentic replicas like Grayhound sailing lugger and privateer.

See our pages on Ocean voyages for varied opportunities to sail across the world.

Sail Around the World Voyage - Crewed by People Like You

If I were to whisper “Sail Around the World on a Tall Ship ?” ……does your heart race just that bit faster ?

Can you already imagine how you would drop it in to conversation. Where are you going on holiday this year?  Sailing around the world on a tall ship! Shock your work colleagues or amaze your friends with your wild escape plans.

In 2012-2014 Classic Sailing has three tall ships actually sailing around the world to coincide with a series of tall ships races in Australia and New Zealand in 2013. Lord Nelson, Barque Europa and Oosterschelde have voyage legs from 25 days upwards, so you can take part in a once in a lifetime event without giving up the day job.  Each vessel has a slightly different route, but Europa and Oosterschelde will sail in company for much of the journey.

Sail Around the World Voyage Schedules


sail around the world on tall ship  Lord NelsonSail Around The World with Tall Ship Lord Nelson 

British tall ship Lord Nelson will leave the UK in October 2012 to sail 45 000 miles around the world. She will visit 6 continents, 30 countries, cross the equator 4 times, take part in the Australian tall ships race and sail around Cape Horn. Although the ship will be circumnavigating from 2012 until July 2014, many of the legs are close to full already so don’t dream too long.

She takes with her an important message: She aims to show what disabled and able bodied people can achieve together as equals and demonstrate the value of purpose built ships like the Lord Nelson to creating a better world. 

Make history by joining a passage aboard the first accessible tall ship crewed by a mix of able bodied and physically disabled people ever to sail around the globe.

Sail Around the World on Lord Nelson - Voyage schedules

Sail Around the World in the wake of Dutch Explorers

In October 2012 the three-masted topsail schooner ‘Oosterschelde’ will depart from her homeport Rotterdam. Following the ancient trade route past the Cape Verde Islands and Brazil, she will sail to Cape Town (South Africa). At that time the three-masted barque ‘Europa’ is sailing East after completing an expedition to Terra Australis (Antarctica). In Cape Town both ships will meet. From there on, the Tall Ships will be sailing together across the Indian Ocean. In the wake of Dutch explorers such as Cornelis de Houtman, Abel Tasman and Van Diemen, these two well-known Dutch Tall Ships relive ancient times again.

Schooner Oosterschelde, sail the worldTall Ships Races in Australia & New Zealand 2013

The voyage leg from Cape Town to Mauritius is hopefully timed to co-incide with the Sardine Run – made famous by David Attenborough’s ‘BBC Blue Planet’. Millions of sardines annually travel up the Angullas Current past Madagascar and Mozambique, chased by dolphins, tuna, whales and fur seals in one big feeding frenzy. The route North brings the two Dutch Ships Europa and Oosterschelde  to Madagascar, Mauritius, and Reunion. Then, course will be set across the whole Indian Ocean to Perth. After a voyage exploring Western Australia and the Abrolhos Islands, both ships set off for Adelaide, Melbourne and Hobart. In Hobart, Tasmania  a Tall Ships Race has been organized, ending in Sydney.  Tall Ships from around the world have been invited, but many are sailed by Navy cadets, so places on Europa and Oosterschelde will be popular.

On October 4th, 2013, the ships will represent the Netherlands during the International Fleet Review of the Australian Navy, commemorating the centenary of the first entry of the Royal Australian Navy into Sydney. A Tall Ships’ Race is next on the program from Sydney to Auckland.

After completing this race, the ‘Europa’ and ‘Oosterschelde’ start preparations for their long journey around Cape Horn late November 2013, the Falkland Islands and on to Antarctica.


Europa sailing around Cape Horn in 2010Around Cape Horn – in the true style of engineless windjammers

If you want to wear a gold ring in your ear like the old Cape Horners then the only true Cape Horn voyage is to say you have sailed from 50 degrees South in the Pacific to 50 degrees South in the Atlantic around that infamous ships graveyard on a sailing ship. Square rigger Europa and Topsail schooner Oosterschelde plan to Round Cape Horn without using their engines for the 3000 miles between these two oceans.  The whole voyage crosses from Auckland to the Falklands across the Pacific. A downwind rollercoaster of over 5400 miles – Not as fast as Ellen McArthur in B&Q, but 330 tons of sailing ship in the roaring 40’s and Southern Ocean waves is simply awesome….

After this expedition, ‘Oosterschelde’ will sail North, back home to the Netherlands and ‘Europa’ starts her 12th Antarctic Season.

Sail Around the World Voyage Schedule on Bark Europa

Sail  Around the World on Tall Ship Oosterschelde - Voyage Schedule

Reality Check: "Could this really be me ?”

  • Could I sleep in a bunk on a rolling sea ?
  • Would I make it to the royal yard ?
  • I am not sure about heights. Will I still be viewed as useful crew ?
  • What are my chances of seeing albatross or whales on my leg ?
  • Ocean sailing – will I be bored, or will the freedom and time for myself be amazing ?
  • I have always wanted to see a proper storm but how far out my comfort zone will it push me ?
  • Shipboard community – will I make friends for life ?
  • I have never worked with people with disabilities - will I cope and have fun myself ?
  • Does it matter if I am over 50, 60, 70+ ?

Your Questions Answered by Ocean Sailors

Classic Sailing can help you answer some of these deeper questions and the more mundane practical stuff. The staff on the end of the phone at Classic Sailing office (01872 580022) are pretty unique in that we have been on ocean voyages on different tall ships and yachts to many far flung parts of the world, including Lord Nelson, barque Europa and three masted topsail schooner Oosterschelde.

We can help find the right voyage legs to suit your dreams, or it the dates don’t fit your window of freedom or land travel plans then we can help you search for other opportunities to sail the world.

If your next thought is: “Bet it would cost a fortune” then read on….

You can be part of a Round the World adventure without selling your house or quitting your job. Lord Nelson Voyage Legs start from £2495 for 28 days. Compare this with the Clipper Round the World Race 2013-14 where novice crew pay £4800 for pre voyage training and clothing, plus £4500 for a 24 day leg, that’s £9,300!!

Choose an exciting leg that sails between continents and gives you a chance to see several countries or island groups on route. See if your boss would give you some unpaid leave. If you are able bodied then helping a disabled person have an adventure of a lifetime is a very worthy reason for some extended leave.

Photo by Debbie Purser: Michelle from France and Claire from New Zealand steering Europa

steering Europa sometimes takes a team effort

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