Many sailors find that crossing the ocean blue under sail has a profound effect on them. There is comfort that the world is still a big beautiful place. The simple ritual of getting up for your watch, sharing the wonder of a sky full of stars or the sun going down and physical things to do each day will be better for your soul than countless yoga classes. Like the Aboriginal concept of going walkabout, you can truely disappear for a few weeks or months into the big blue yonder and come back a different person. It is a rite of passage.
Sail the Seven Seas - The Last Wild Frontier
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 or a smaller traditional vessel is a challenge and a lifetime ambition you should seize whilst you still can. With coastal sailing you can run and hide from weather systems. In a big ocean you just have to deal with what comes and have a healthy respect for the power of nature in all its moods.
Time to Yourself & Companionship
What did civilisation do before TV, Facebook, the internet ? They talked, entertained each other with stories, co-operated with their fellow humans to achieve things, taught each other new skills, read books, shared dreams for the future, set each other challenges, lived in fear and wonder of nature. Without Google you turn to each other and books for information. Let the people onboard surprise you with their in depth knowledge of very diverse subjects. All our ocean going vessels have a collection of reference and inspirational books on board. You establish a routine that is relaxing and comfortable but keeps you occupied.
If you commit to a longer voyage, something remarkable happens. Everyone learns to give each other space when you need it. There is always somewhere on the ship you can go to read a book without interruption, write a journal or grab an afternoon snooze.
Sail Around the World...or at least part of it
We are not going to pretend that every ocean voyage we offer will be zero carbon, as water makers and electric generators on board need diesel, but you are planning to travel around the world then at least consider a few legs under sail. The ships crew is divided into watch groups and you take turns at being responsible for sailing the ship - day and night, whilst the other watches relax or sleep. It is remarkable how the miles soon notch up and it really is a shared adventure. By the time you reach your destination, everyone will have played an important part in helping to get there - every sail set, potatoes peeled, dorado caught and feasted on, birthday cakes decorated or miles steered.
It takes about 3-4 weeks for a classic North Atlantic Crossing in the Trade Winds, sometimes a lot faster. We have ships that sail from Europe to South America, or Patagonia to Africa if you have a couple of months spare. Occasionally we have ships cross the Pacific or even sail around the world in a series of legs.
Bark Europa for advanced Square Rig Seamanship
Known as the ocean wanderer Europa is a Dutch barque with a reputation for piling on the sail. As an efficient sailing machine she has few equals and I have never seen her under canvased. If you want to learn as much as possible about trimming square sails, handing stunsails in tropical storms, leatherwork, ropework, meteorology, astro navigation and oceanography then Bark Europa is the ship for you. You can do the bare minimum of steering and lookout and frequent the bar off watch, but that would be an awful waste of what you could share with an intelligent and 'daring do' professional crew.
Blue Clipper for Pioneering New Journeys
This three masted schooner is a 'new kid on the block' but run by an experienced sail training charity. They really put adventure and exploration in their sailing schedules with Arctic firsts to Jan Meyen and Iceland to Svalbard or Svalbard to Lofoten. In winter they cross oceans form Europe for some Caribbean destinations which are way off the beaten track in yachting terms. As a former private yacht the accommodation is good with double cabins, air conditioning etc.
Oosterschelde for Classic Ocean Cruising
This impressive three masted topsail schooner has sailed around the world twice and has her favourite winter and summer sailing destinations. Ocean voyages you can always catch are Holland to Cape Verde, half way down the West Coast of Africa. She also crosses the Atlantic regularly. It is very relaxed on Oosterschelde despite the fairly small crew of captain, mate, cook and 2 watch leaders. The gaff sails are huge but they always seem to find enough crew to set sail, but there also seems plenty of time to relax. There is even a piano in the saloon.
Tenacious and Lord Nelson for All Abilities
These two purpose built British square riggers have a mission to prove that able bodied and disabled people can sail as equally crew. Lord Nelson took that concept to a different level in 2013-14 by sailing around the world, linking up with disabled people in Brazil, South Africa, India and Australia and showing they could have adventures too. Since then her sister ship Tenacious has crossed the Pacific, spent a year in Australia and the South Seas and returned via Cape Horn.
They are excellent for introducing novices to sailing a square rigger in a very safe way and a good first choice for a taste of tall ship sailing. As well as shorter coastal voyages around the UK and Europe they often have mini ocean voyages of about 10-14 days.
Northwards Classic Sailing is developing a bit of a specialism in Arctic Voyages from East Greenland right they way across to Svalbard and Arctic Circle Norway and the Lofoten Isles in the Northern Hemisphere summer.
If you want to sail in the Southern Ocean, Weddell Sea, Antarctic Waters, experience huge waves and albatrosses of the Roaring Forties and the Furious Fifties or sail past Cape Horn then we do that too.
We are pretty good on warmer ocean crossings between Western seaboard of South America to South Africa and Trans Atlantic Circuits between Europe and the Caribbean.
Voyages in the Pacific and Indian Ocean do come up from time to time.