The Call of the Sea 01872 580022

Tall Ship Sailing & Sailing on a Tall Ship

Climbing the rigging on a tall ship is great fun, climb if you can!

Tall Ship Races, Square Rig Tasters to Ocean Crossings


An Introduction to Tall Ship Crewing

Have you ever imagined sailing on a tall ship as ‘hands on’ crew ? Picture yourself steering hundreds of tons of wind powered sailing ship across an ocean with a spoked wheel ? or get a buzz from climbing aloft and stowing sails standing on a swinging foot rope with your new ship mates ?

It’s a myth that only the young or ‘naughty’ youth can sail on square riggers and large traditional sailing vessels. There are plenty of impressive tall ships of all sizes around the world that offer adventures for adults and young people. Classic Sailing currently has tall ship holidays on brigs, barques, barquentines, brigantines, large gaff rigged ketches and schooners from 2 day tasters to ocean journeys of several legs following the trade winds around the globe.

Show me all tall ship voyages - descriptions, dates and prices

How to climb the rigging on a tall ship - tips and photos

Michele from France and Claire from New Zealand

Tall Ships Photo Galleries - It Could Be You

Co founder Debbie Purser has been sailing and photographing tall ships for over 35 years, and since Classic Sailing was founded in 1997 we have been lucky to recieve fantastic photos from our sailing guests and some great images from professional photographers to help promote sailing on tall ships. Every image tells a story of ordinary people doing extra-ordinary feats.  Have a look at some of our photo galleries and then come and sail and take some of your own.

Tall Ship Action Gallery       

More Women at Sea Gallery

Real Men at Sea Gallery

Expert advice to help you book

Classic Sailing office staff have sailed over 15 tall ships as crew so we can give your first hand advice –whether you are trying a tall ship sailing holiday for the first time, looking for a challenging square rig experience or a real romantic wanting live out a Patrick O’ Brien novel.

Call Debbie, Becky, or Adam on 01872 580022


Tall Ship Epics - Antarctica and South Georgia

If you are looking for GAP year or adult career break ideas  then magnificent barque Europa sails between the Northern and Southern hemisphere each year and specialises in Antarctic sailing and wildlife expeditions. If you have been enthralled by the BBC Frozen Planet, you could be aloft on a ship like Shackleton's HMS Endurance watching humpback whales dive under the ship.

Read more about Antarctica, South Georgia and the Falklands and the expeditions we offer.

Adam and Debbie at classic Sailing office have sailed in Antarctica and south Georgia so ring us for a chat 01872 580022



Become Tall Ships Race Crew

International Tall Ships Races are organised in different locations each year. There will be one or occasionally two tall ships race events held in Europe.  

Most legs will have opportunities for tall ship crew of all ages to take part. Lord Nelson and Tenacious are designed to take both able bodied and disabled crew and take part in tall ships races every year. 

Full training will be given so a complete newcomer to sailing can take part. These voyages are fairly 'full on' sailing so you need to be confident about your fitness and stamina.They also fill up fast so ring us soon.

Read more about current Tall Ships Races opportunities

 ‘Adventure: Earths Most Thrilling Experiences’  is a 250 page travel book produced by Time Out Guides Ltd

Read one of their adrenalin choices: "Crew a Tall Ship"  by seasoned sailor and journalist Libby Purves 

Ocean Sailing on a Tall Ship - Am I Up To It ?

Ocean Passages - 10 days to 71 days and crossing an ocean on a square rigger are real voyages of discovery...mostly about yourself and fellow crew. It is possible to live ashore comfortably, and dare we say boringly, but you will never know your true strengths and weaknesses, or what you can achieve working with others. Crossing an ocean on a square rigger is a challenge and a lifetime ambition you should seize whilst you still can. It is also a very ethical way to go between continents - powered by the mighty trade winds - as part of your world travel plans.

You may apreciate the beauty of the open ocean, but would you enjoy it for days? Is it boring ? What will I do ? Paint a sunset, mend a sail, follow an albatross, help the cook bake bread, climb higher up the rigging each day, switch to ocean time, breathe deep and take stock of your life.

Read more about what to expect ocean sailing on a square rigger

Climb aloft on a tall ship sailing adventureDay Sails & Taster Voyages

No flights needed for high adventure around our shores. There are a few short taster tall ship voyages around the UK coast on British square riggers Stavros S Niarchos,  and Tenacious. In Scotland Bessie Ellen offers a more intimate tall ships adventure for 3 days with only 12 guest crew.

Three masted barques Lord Nelson or Tenacious are tall ships built to take disabled and able bodied people sailing as crew and have week long voyages and a few short voyages around the UK this summer, including day sails that several generations can join in together from the age of 12 upwards.


GAP Year or Career Break on a Tall Ship

Typical Career Break Triggers: Do you recognise any of the following feelings: Burn out, guilt at excess and affluence, sensory overload, mid life crisis(es), freedom from responsibilities, retirement, needing new sense of purpose or fulfilment, children flown the nest, no need to work, shaking out the cobwebs, once in a lifetime goals, can now afford to travel ?

Why Live Aboard our vessels as part of a GAP YEAR ? Young or old, there are many lifestyle and career reasons to include sailing on a tall ship as part of your travel plans...and you are travelling ethically using wind power.  There are also opportunities to work with fellow crew with disabilities and a whole load of skills to learn for your CV when you come back.

>> See our suggestions for career break voyages as working crew

 Learn 'Block and Tackle' seamanship on our vessels- tall & small

If you have sailed a square rigger and want to find a smaller vessel with blocks and tackles – we can introduce you to our pilot cutters, Brixham sailing trawlers and other traditionally rigged craft where a tall ship sailor will feel at home, but can progress their boat handling skills on a more intimate scale


Show me all tall ship voyages - descriptions, dates and prices

Tall Ship Europa in Antarctica

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