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Tall Ship Bark Europa

56m  Dutch Tall Ship Barque Europa

Classic Sailing staff Adam and Debbie have been guest working crew for many months on Bark Europa in Anarctica and South America so we can tell you what it is really like to sail on our favourite tall ship.

Read about our most recent adventures on our Classic Sailing Facebook blog. We joined old friends on the Centennial Voyage Expedition to sail from Montevideo to the Falklands, South Georgia and South to remote Antarctic research stations on South Orkney and back via the Weddell Sea and the Antarctic Peninsula.  We love to talk about the ship, destinations, her crew and what it is like to sail her on extended ocean voyages - so just ring us on 01872 580022.

Bark Europa - Vessel Brochure

Europa on Facebook

Galley Assistant Anna swops pots for sextant


Ocean Wanderer

56m Dutch Barque Europa has sailed the world, doubled the Horn, cruised the Southern Ocean with charter crews, and is well known in ports for sailing in under sail—almost to the dock. This Tall Ship has earned her reputation for piling on the canvas and really sailing. Built in 1911 and completely re rigged as a 3 masted barque in 1986, she follows the trade wind routes to maximise downwind sailing and is equally at home in the roller-coasters of the ‘roaring forties’ or in lighter tropical conditions where she can set an awesome suite of 30 sails.
The working language on board is English but like the tea clippers of old, the cultural mix of guest and professional crew are truly international, so the conversation can get complicated—but never dull.

Europa Ocean Crossings - Sailing Schedule

Bark Europa - Antarctic Specialist

Bark Europa from William Collinson on Vimeo.

The lure of the Antarctic is hard to resist, and for over a decade this tough 330 ton sailing ship has made the long passage down to the Southernmost tip of South America. From the Chilean Fjords and Ushuaia, Argentina she runs to run a series of 21 and 52 day sailing expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula, Weddell Sea and South Georgia. If you want to experience the polar wilderness as Shackleton, de Gerlache and Scott did - then help Tall Ship Europa sail amongst the icebergs. Full instruction from an extremely tough and knowledgable professional crew, and wildlife guides who pull ropes with you too.


These voyages make deep and lasting Impressions on those who sign up before the mast.  The sense of wilderness and togetherness of the ships company; the teeming wildlife and the extreme weather from sun and lunch on deck  to sudden katabatic winds.

Read some of the customer comments and travel blogs from the Bark Europa expeditions.


Bark Europa Antarctic Voyage Schedule - descriptions, dates & prices


Mini Brochures and more pages on Antarctica

We have many more web pages and PDF Antarctic Brochures on what it is like to sail Barque Europa across the Drakes Passage, explore the Antarctic Peninsula, anchor in the South Shetland Isles, dodge icebergs in the Weddell Sea and sit amongst millions of penguins in South Georgia in our destinations section.  Both directors in the office have sailed Europa to Antarctica and South Georgia so ring us for a chat on 01872 580022


Europa Antarctica General Brochure

Europa Antarctica Flight information

Europa Antarctica Kit List

See our Antarctica Destination Pages

More on South Georgia and the Southern Ocean as a destination.

Fancy following in the wake of polar explorers ? - then read more about why these voyages really feel like authentic exploration adventures from another century.

Closer to the Wildlife on a Tall Ship

Eye contact with whale on bark europa

As square rigger crew you will find it easier to spend more time outside than on an expedition cruise ship.  Pulling on ropes keeps you warm, and if the wind is not too strong you can often get away with jumpers on deck.  There is still a large deckhouse with heating and windows all around but you are much closer to the action outside if there is an exciting wildlife sighting or evening light over the mountains. At anchor the lunch crew often serve hot soup and a fantastic buffet lunch on deck if the sun is out.  As you aclimatise to the Antarctic Summer, you are more likely to wander the decks as the sun sets or before breakf


ast and the wildlife often comes to you.  Penguins dive under the ship and acrobatic fur seals perform back flips 'just for you.'  Being on watch gives you a reason to wrap up and spend time out in the elements when you might have otherwise chosen a book. Sighting whales at sea whilst on lookout gets quite competitive, and if they come to play then aloft in the crows nest is a perfect place to take photos.  Europa's main deck is only about 2m above the sea so you can get eye ball to eye ball with a Humpback Whale.

More on Antarctic Wildlife & Icebergs

Photo Gallery - Antarctic Wildlife

5500 miles accross the Southern Ocean

If you have dreamt about doing a Trans Atlantic crossing, then Tierra del Fuego to Cape Town is is the ultimate route for a square rigger, but with the Antarctic and South Georgia to explore on the way. The Roaring Forties and Furious Fifties latitudes in the South Atlantic are where the westerlies blow around the world without interuption. Iff you want to experience the windjammers emortalised by the black and white photos of Newby and Villiers, then Tall Ship Europa is about as close as you can get.. The sailing is awesome but so is the wildlife, so if you are a brave bird watcher, pack your bags and harden up your hands !

Classic Sailing Directors hot tip - this is one of the best tall ship experiences in the world.

Europa Voyage to South Georgia & the Southern Ocean - dates & prices

"We travelled between 3 continents under sail, dodged countless icebergs, enjoyed 19 wild anchorages without sight of another vessel, and came home in awe of the vast but fragile ocean and its wildlife." Jackie, Ushuaia- Antarctica- South Georgia - Cape Town Voyage



Tall Ship Round the World Voyage Announced 2013

Dutch Tall Ships Europa and Oosterschelde are to sail around the world together during 2013. All ages and nationalities are able to take part in the voyage legs on this one off adventure.  The project has come about due to an invite from Australia to participate in the 100th birthday celebration of the Australian Navy with a series of tall ships races.  These two ocean wandering tall ships do not need much excuse to sail around the world, but this is a rare opportunity for the rest of us to take some time out. Legs from 12 days (€2100 euros) to 49 days (€5375 euros).

slushing the mast aloftLeg 1- Amsterdam to Punta Arenas, Chile

Leg 2 Punta Arenas to Ushuaia - exploring Chilean Fjords & Antarctica

Leg 3 Ushuaia to Cape Town via expeditions in Antarctica, South Georgia and Tristan Da Cuhna

Leg 4  Cape Town to Mauritius - See awesome 'Sardine Run'

Leg 5 Mauritius to Perth - La Reunion & Cross the Indian Ocean

PP      Perth to Perth - Western Australia adventure to Abrolhos Islands

Leg 6 Perth to Adelaide- South Australia Adventure

Leg 7 Adelaide to Melbourne - South Australia Adventure

Leg 8 Melbourne - Tasmania - Tall Ghip gathering in Hobart - Cruise in Company

Leg 9 Hobart - Sydney - Tall Ships Race 1

Leg 10 Sydney to Auckland - Tall Ships Race 2

Leg 11 Auckland to Falklands via Cape Horn - a classic rounding from 50 degrees South latitude -down around Cape Horn and back north to 50 degrees South - aiming to sail the last 3000 miles without using the engine

Photo: Europa and Gloria sailing around Cape Horn in 2010

Europa Tall Ship Around the World - Voyage Legs - descriptions, dates & prices


stunsails set on EuropaWarm Ocean Sailing & Square Rig Advanced Class

If you have already sailed on a tall ship, or are an experienced yacht sailor wanting to immerse yourself in square rig seamanship or maybe learn some Astro Navigation, then Europa is a good choice. Approaching equatorial crossings the extra sky-sail masts and yards are sent aloft and the whole crew can easily be kept busy setting the studding sails that few training ships dare rig. The 14 professional crew and guest crew soon become indistinguishable as you learn the ropes, gain a healthy tan and perhaps help out with the ships maintenance. If you are an adventurous spirit sailing for the first time then Europa keeps the romance of sailing alive with a great library, lectures, and enthusiastic crew who can teach a range of topics.

Tall Ships Races are also great opportunities to really push a square rigger.  Europa can set 30 sails but this takes a lot of crew action, and everybody needs to keep on their toes as manouvering the ship gets quite complicated.  The professional crew take great pride in not shouting orders, but action to set or hand sail is fast, even with novice crew.

Europa Ocean Crossings - Sailing Schedule

Tall Ships Race 2013 Tasmania - Sydney - Auckland

Tall Ships Race from Sydney HarbourBarque Europa returns to the Northern Hemisphere most summers to take part in the Sail Training International Tall Ships Race but in 2013 she will be taking part in a one off Tall Ships Regatta and Race in Australia and New Zealand. 15 tall ships have already committed to racing 'down under' including a small fleet of Southern Hemisphere tall ships.

Europa crew rarely shout to get things done, so it appears quite casual - but they are very proud of the ship and like to  help you sail it to her full potential. Europa is one of the smaller class A  tall ships but they are always determined to steal the scene and win tall ships race legs ( and often do). Over 50% of the crew must be under 25 for tall ships races, so if you think you can show up the energetic young crew then now is the time to apply for the limited berths for over 25 years, or better still - bring some young people with you.

Take part in Europa's Around the Wolrd Voyage and race other tall ships in deep blue seas. Combine the opportunity with stunning scenery in Tasmania, Strong winds to race in the Bass Straits, a grand entrance into Sydney Harbour, big 100 year birthday celebrations for Austraila's Royal Navy and a second race across the Tasman Sea to Auckland in New Zealand to show the Aussies what a European tall ship can do.

If that is not an excuse for a GAP year, I don't know what is.

Australian Tall Ship Race Legs - dates & prices

Captain Klaas GaastraBark Europa Captains

Europa has two regular Captains:- Klaas Gaastra (ex submariner) and Eric (ex viking ?) who generally live on the ship for 3 month blocks. All have sailed Europa for many years, are excellent linguists and have a real love and deep knowledge about square riggers, the marine environment  and the ocean wildlife. For non- Antarctic voyages you may find Klaas and Marianne's new ships dog 'Sirius' on board. Their last dog was an excellent whale watcher !

Wildlife Guides - multi - talented sailors

On the Antarctic Voyages, Europa carries two wildlife guides who are part of the profesional crew too.  They plan and guide all the zodiac landings, liase with scientists in the Antarctic bases and offer a fantastic lecture programme.

Read more about Europa's Captains and Wildlife guides


All prices for Europa are fixed in Euros. Ring us for a price quote in sterling 01872 580022

* For South Georgia voyages the British Government in South Georgia charges a €192 euro landing fee (2012-13) per person which is not included in the voyage price.




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