Cold Climate Sailing

Europa – Antarctic & South Georgia Expeditions 2020-21

Six Antarctic Sailing Expeditions on Europa 2020-21

Bark Europa has been exploring the Southern Ocean, the Antarctic Peninsula and offshore islands like South Shetland, South Georgia and South Orkney for over a decade. 

For many, the chance to explore the Antarctic is a trip of a lifetime, but if you really want to connect with this pristine wilderness and understand its allure then you need to spend time outdoors, up close and personal with the wildlife and the elements.

We might be biased but Classic Sailing thinks the best way to do that is to sail there on a tall ship as voyage crew. You are part of the ship’s community, but don’t have to be a sailor – just have a willing heart to take part in the adventure as best you can.

Expedition Choices in 2020-21 are:

24-31 Oct 2020 (8 Days from €1200)  – Sub Antarctic – Around the Falklands – Wildlife & Sailing Expedition

31 Oct – 03 Dec 2020 (34 Days from €9860) – Falklands – South Georgia – Antarctic Peninsula – South America (Ushuaia)

03 Dec – 26 Dec 2020 (22 Days from €8900) – Ushuaia – Antarctic Peninsula – Ushuaia – Christmas & solar eclipse

28 Dec – 18 Jan 2021 (22 Days from €8900) – Ushuaia – Antarctic Peninsula – Ushuaia – New Year

20 Jan – 10 Feb 2021 (22 Days from €8900) – Ushuaia – Antarctic Peninsula – Ushuaia

12 Feb – 05 March 2021 (22 Days from €8900) – Ushuaia – Antarctic Peninsula – Ushuaia

07 Mar – 29 April 2021 (52 Days from €10 660) – Ushuaia – Antarctic Peninsula – South Georgia – Tristan Da Cuhna – Cape Town

There are landing fees charged separately for South Georgia (£205 last time), Tristan da Cuhna (£40 last time)

How do I apply ?

Quickly. Last year, on the day the bookings opened, each voyage was over subscribed by approx 4 times the berth spaces.

Now the voyages have been released – you can follow the ‘book now’ button to fill in your application form right now.

These voyages are always hugely oversubscribed, so applying is not a guarantee of a place.

Classic Sailing will pass on your applications in date order on Tues 29th October 1200 CET, and we are very efficient at sending these to the shipping office at precisely the BOOKINGS OPEN TIME

However this year the bookings are not a ‘first past the post’ process. 

The idea is to ensure each voyage has a mix of genders, nationalities, ages and physical abilities and everybody’s application will be fully reviewed.

No bookings will be reviewed or processed until after the Tues 29th October 1200 CET deadline, but Classic Sailing will check the application for any mistakes or omissions.

Who Will Need Health Statement?

If you have to say YES to any of the booking form medical questions or are on medication, then we kindly ask you to take the Europa Health Form to your doctor for a signature.

(For example, I am only 53 and very fit but take high blood pressure tablets, so I am required to submit a health form for the Pacific Europa Voyage I want to do. Classic Sailing Director Debbie) 

Every applicant over 65 will need to take the Europa Health Statement Form to your doctor for a signature.

  • If you need to fill in a Health Declaration Form* please print off PDF and arrange a doctor’s appointment asap. Meanwhile, please APPLY for the voyage as normal and add a note to your application form that you will be supplying a Health Statement
  • Please email your Health Declaration Form (signed by your doctor) to as soon as possible.
  • See below for who might need to take a Health Declaration Form to your doctor for a signature.

Europa Health Statement pdf

You can email the document to and we can link it to your booking application details.

This health statement will be discussed by Europa ship’s doctors to make a final decision, based on safety, fitness and health, together with the views of our captains and shipping office.

70 and Over

Sailors over the age of 70 that want to sail an ocean crossing or an Antarctica voyage with us, Europa operators have ask that you book a shorter coastal voyage first and to complete the Europa Health Statement pdf

This may not be required if you have sailed with Europa in the last three years. Our captains and or ships doctor will on this coastal voyage decide if the sailor can sail an ocean crossing or Antarctica voyage in remote areas. 


All medical information is handled in strict confidentiality.  


Chinstrap Penguins
Chinstrap Penguins

Spend more time outdoors with Antarctic Wildlife

The more time you spend outdoors in Antarctica, the more wonderful things you will see: Sunsets and moody light conditions, humpback whales breeching, a rare orca passing, or a glacier calving are momentary things that a tannoy announcement would never enable you to catch in time if you were below decks. As guest crew, physical activities like steering the ship or hauling on blocks and tackles keeps you warm, so it becomes quite natural to spend time out on deck… you will see more, hear more and experience more unforgettable moments.

Bark Europa is not a big ship compared with modern expedition ships with only about 3m freeboard in the middle of the ship, so when a humpback whale pops his head up to look at you they are damn close and you can feel the spray. You could be sipping a cup of coffee when a fur seal does a back flip right next to you and you may spend time trying to rescue a stunned Prion staggering around the deck after flying into the rigging at night. Being able to climb the rigging gives you a view from a different dimension. Look down on Weddle Seals resting on a slab of pack ice with shadows of the ships rigging cutting across the scene, or see whales diving under the ship to check out our barnacles.

Whilst sailing at 3-8 knots you can see penguins in their natural element as they porpoise in and out the water, or killer whales as they glide effortlessly by like sleek submarines and overtake a 300 ton sailing ship at speed.

Beach landings can be very entertaining with crowds of fur seals and penguins entering and leaving the surf around you. Europa’s wildlife guides will always brief you on what to see and how to behave around very curious animals ashore but it is still a pleasant shock when they come right up to you. (Penguins don’t read the rules).

There are many open stretches where you can sail on Europa in Antarctica. Its a big place
There are many open stretches where you can sail on Europa in Antarctica.

The Antarctic Mainland – Mountains & Glaciers

Around the mainland peninsula Bark Europa sails in and out bays and deep water channels between awesome mountain scenery. The geology is an extension of the Andes mountain chain and it always surprises first time visitors to see such towering mountains which seem to get higher as you go further south. Near Govuvernoren Harbour or Cuverville Island there is plenty of krill, so prime whale spotting territory. Europa guests have even seen a few sightings of the Blue Whale – the worlds biggest creature.

The shipwreck of a 1916 whaler still survives and her bows provide a home for Antarctic Terns. Ashore at Cuverville are 4500 breeding pairs of Gentoo Penguins. If the zodiacs can get through the broken brash ice from five glaciers you can step onto the mainland at Nekko Harbour and look back at the ship appearing to be stuck in the ice. Ice falls thunder into the sea and sometimes a whole ice wall will fall creating a large wave. Being in the middle of this awe inspiring natural wilderness is indescribable and standing a night watch listening to the ice tinkle down the side of the hull is a very strange feeling.

Leopard Seal by Europa guest crew Keith Martin
Leopard Seal by Europa guest crew Keith Martin


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