Catching up a square-rigger!

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Special adult adventure voyage 2009

Voyage now over.

Whenever we take part in Tall Ships events and festivals, which are normally restricted to crew members aged 15-25, one of the most common questions we are asked is whether there are ever opportunities for adults to sail to one of the festivals and take part in the events there.

We can't do this for the races themselves, where entry depends on having a crew of young people, but in 2009 we CAN take adults to the first festival of the Baltic series, with an adults-only (18+) cruise scheduled to arrive in time to enjoy the event.

Ocean Youth Trust South is delighted to offer this very special voyage for adults only in 2009, from Kiel (Germany) to Gdynia (Poland), to see the fabulous Tall Ships festival there. The voyage will run from 28 June - 4 July.


The host ports of a Tall Ships series traditionally lay on superb hospitality for visiting crews, with festivals, entertainments, a wide range of activities and a chance to see other vessels and visit the town itself. More information about the Gdynia festival here. At least 90 vessels are already booked to attend the festival - including 20 of the big square rigged vessels. Don't miss this amazing opportunity to see a gathering of some of the most spectacular sailing vessels in the world!

See here for an account of an adult voyage from someone who sailed with us in the 1960s as a teenager - and then returned to us forty years later!

Voyage details
28 June to 4 July, Kiel (Germany) to Gdynia (Poland), 6 nights, age range 18+ (adult voyage, no upper age limit). £490 plus travel. Ryanair flies from Stansted to Lubeck, from where it is easy to get to Kiel; and they also fly from Gdansk, not far from Gdynia, back to Stansted. If you would like to sail but genuinely cannot afford the full voyage fee, do please discuss it with us - we will help if we possibly can.

Please contact the office to discuss making a booking.

As with all our standard youth voyages, the assumption is that everyone on board will want to join in as active crew members. From complete novice sailors to expert yachtsmen, there is plenty for everyone to do on board.

If you are an experienced sailor, you will quickly get used to John Laing's routines. But there will be some on board who have never sailed before: our staff are always on hand to explain things and show you what to do. We often sail with crew members as young as 12, or with disabilities, and our staff have tremendous experience in keeping people safe while encouraging them to get involved. Everyone will be in a team with an experienced watch leader, with a rota for duty periods on deck and for other jobs such as cooking. We do sometimes sail through the night - which can be truly beautiful - so your watch rota continues as long as we are at sea. There is a great deal of information on this website aimed at young crew members on our standard voyages, but you may find plenty of sections here (including the links at the bottom of the page) that are relevant for adults too.

Above all, remember that, although safety is our first priority, after that the aim is that everyone should have a really good time. The style on board is relaxed, fun and informal. The sea staff won't be shouting at you all the time, and we no longer carry a cat o'nine tails!

The voyage starts at the mouth of the magnificent Kiel Canal.

From there we shall cruise through the Baltic - the exact itinerary depends on the weather, the timings - depending on how fast we can go - and on what everyone on board wants to do. The priority will be to get to Gdynia and enjoy the festival, but we may manage a stop or two near the beautiful Baltic beaches:

We'll aim to reach the Polish port of Gdynia in plenty of time for the crew to enjoy the first of the magnificent Tall Ships race festivals - hoping to allow for a day or two in port here. All Tall Ships festival ports have dozens of magnificent vessels open to the public, plus events, activities and parties ashore or on board other boats. The atmosphere is always great, there should be thousands of visitors to the festival site, and we'll be in the heart of it all.

Last time the fleet visited Poland (Szczecin, August 2007), they laid on a truly magnificent spectacle, with memorable hospitality.

We hope you will be able to join us in 2009!

How to book a voyage - including booking forms


Other types of voyages:

ASTO Small Ships races

UK-based voyages
Duke of Edinburgh's Award Residential Projects

Want to sail but can't afford it? - Help with funding

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“Thanks for another wicked voyage!” Ben, aged 18