Call a Skipper 01872 580022

Tall Ships

Tall Ship ccean crossings

Tall Ships Race, Square Rig Tasters to Ocean Crossings

An Introduction to Tall Ship Crewing

 Have you always wanted to sail a tall ship as ‘hands on’ crew ? Imagine 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.

Sailing a tall ship on an ocean crossing and working on the yardarm

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 for the first time, looking for a challenging square rig experience or a real romantic wanting live out a Patrick O’ Brien novel.

We have worked on bowsprits, aloft on the yardarms, in the galley, as navigators, watch officers, watch leaders, bosun, bosun's mate and most often just as crew like you!

We love climging the ratlines to hand and set the square sails. In fact Adam was so impressed by this young woman giiving instruction on the yardarm that he married her!

Debbie has done an ocean crossing on Europa, Adam has sailed around Cape Horn, and between us we have sailed many parts of the Seven Seas. For us we choose each new voyage to be a voyage of discovery.

Call Debbie or Adam on 01872 580022

South Pacific, Australia & NZ

If you are looking for GAP year or adult career break ideas (June 2011-Nov 2011) then look at our blue water voyages on authentic wooden sailing ship Soren Larsen - our South Pacific specialist. She has already started her voyage of discovery around the South Sea islands, but there are still places to join her in Tonga, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia. Sail her triumphantly into Sydney Harbour or cross the Tasman Sea to her home port of Auckland, New Zealand.

Voyage dates & descriptions: Soren Larsen South Pacific 2011

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

Taster Voyages from UK Ports

No flights needed for high adventure around our shores. There are a few 2-7 day taster tall ship voyages around the UK coast May - June 2011 on British Brig Stavros S Niarchos. These voyages start from as little as £99 for a day sail or £189 for a 2 day voyage and are a great introduction to living and sailing on a 500 ton sailing ship.

Winter Sun at sea

Topsail schooner Oosterschelde is returning to Cape Verde archipelago this winter 2011/2012. Reliable trade winds, great sailing between islands - some just a a day sail apart and others a good 100 mile blast in tropical sun. Direct flights from the UK. Escape for Christmas and New Year.

120ft wooden sailing ship Bessie Ellen will be based in the Canaries most of the British Winter for 7 day wildlife and exploration voyages. An affordable way to sail an authentic 1904 West Country trading ketch in pleasantly warm and often hot sunshine, and stand an excellent chance of seeing dolphins and whales in this marine wildlife hotspot. 

 More on Tall Ship Tasters, Mini ocean passages & Winter Sun


Some tall ships like Europa can set stunsails aloft and allow when on a ocean crossingBecome Tall Ships Race Crew 2011

There will be tall ships race berths on both Barque Europa and three masted schooner Oosterschelde around Irish and British shores in 2011. Historic UK sailing ship Bessie Ellen is also potentially available for groups upto 12 for race legs or charter or corporate bookings.

Most legs will have opportunities for tall ship crew of all ages to take part.

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.

2011 Tall Ships Race Circuit

Waterford, Ireland - Greenock, Scotland (race leg)

Greenock -Lerwick ,Shetland (sail in company)

Lerwick -Stavanger, Norway (race leg)

Stavanger - Halmstad, Sweden (race leg)


More information about the tall ships race in 2011 & how you can sail

Barque Europa Tall Ships Race 2011 - Dates, Prices & Voyage Leg Descriptions



 ‘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 Passages & Wildlife Expeditions

If you prefer adventure on the high seas, exploring unspoilt locations ashore and learning about wildlife then have a look at:

21 day Antarctic Sailing Expeditions on Tall ship Europa

11 day wildlife expeditions around Outer Hebrides, St Kilda or Orkney on Tall Ship Oosterschelde

Arctic wildlife expeditions to Spitsbergen / Svalbard on barquentine Antigua - Summer 2011

10 day Cape Verde expeditions on Oosterschelde (dates for winter 2011-2012)


We have the following Tall Ships working with us (7-7-11)

Tall Ship Europa

Tall Ship Stavros Niarchos

Tall Ship Lord Nelson

Tall Ship Oostercshedle

Tall Ship Antigua

New wooden tall ship Tenacious

Old wooden tall ships;

Tall Ship Soren Larsen

Tall Ship Bessie Ellen

 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

See our RYA courses on boats with bowsprits

Tall Ship Europa in Antarctica working on the bowsprit

Pick your Sailing Holiday

E.g., 27/03/2015

Keep up to date

"I have very fond memories of my first sailing trip, I'll be going again." Sue, Newbury.
Tell us what sort of sailor you are and we'll keep you posted.
I want to start sailing.
Some but need more.
Experienced sailor


Customer Comments

 "I am in awe of Marcus and Freya and what they have achieved. Best bit - "sailing a unique vessel"  ...

This was a one day trip that was a fantastic experience. My previous sailing has been in yachts and it was awesome t...

Cornish Voyage "Best bits were being on the helm and being trusted to do various jobs without havin...

Follow us on Facebook


Search form

RSS Feeds