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Mon Jan 26 14:26:52 SAST 2015

Tall ships head for Cape Town

Paul Ash | 05 March, 2013 17:57
The bark Europa at sea

THE glorious age of sail returns to Cape Town soon with the imminent arrival from the high seas of three Dutch “tall ships”.

The three sailing vessels Europa, Oosterschelde and Tecla are circumnavigating the planet, following in the wake of famous explorers Abel Tasman and Anthony van Diemen.

After spending some time in Cape Town, the three ships will embark on a voyage that traces part of the old trade route to the East, along the South African coast and across the  Indian Ocean to India and Indonesia. After a short stop in Mauritius to revictual, just as vessels did in the past, the three ships will set sail for Australia.

This will be a rare opportunity to travel on a real working sailing ship – and lend a hand with the daily running of the vessel. You don’t need any sailing experience — the permanent crew will help you learn the arts of navigation, square-rig sailing and how to handle sails, and passengers will also stand watches along with the crew.

After the Indian Ocean, the vessels will sail across the Pacific to round Cape Horn. Europa will stay in the southern latitudes to continue her regular expeditions to the Antarctic, while Oosterschelde and Tecla will turn north and head for home via the Azores.

The ships are expected to leave Cape Town on May 13 for the 35-day voyage to Mauritius.

For more information, see www.dutchtallships.com, and for more detail on the bark Europa and its Antarctic expeditions, see www.barkeuropa.com.

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