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Norway, Shetlands, Faroes, Orkneys, Fair Isles, which will be your favourite?

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Embark Disembark Vessel DurationVoyage No
Mon 12-07-2021, 17:00Boulogne Sur Mer Wed 11-08-2021, 09:00Bremerhaven, Germany Oosterschelde 30 NightsOS120721

The Big Summer Mystery Adventure

At last, you can plan a big break.
This is a real sailors adventure!
A month sailing on Oosterschelde that could let you visit all or some of Scotland, Norway, Orkney, Shetland and maybe even the Faeroes.
The mystery surrounds where you will be going, and like all sailing voyages the route depends on the weather and the Captains decision.
The Objective – perfect sailing for great opportunities to explore ashore.

  • Voyage
  • Vessel

Ideal Voyage for ….

 Wild and remote places, small communities, and great opportunities for wildlife spotting. Be prepared for four season and stunning scenery.


  • Big Summer Sailing Adventure
  • Heading north on a long leg away from mainland Europe
  • 30 nights on board Oosterschelde
  • Norway
  • Scotland
  • Orkneys
  • Shetland
  • Faroes


Vessel type / Rig Three Masted Schooner
Guest Berths 24
Beam 25ft
Draft 9.8ft
Deck Length 131ft
Overall Length 164ft
Tonnage 400 tons
Year Built 1917/1992
More about the Vessel

Voyage Description

"Oosterschelde under sail"
Arthur op Zee


When we are at sea and sailing and you will be part of the crew and participate in the watches. Everyone will help with setting the sails, steering, navigating and watch keeping (of course all to your ability). There is a lot to see along the way. We can expect visits from dolphins and maybe we will even spot the fin of a sunfish. There will also be many seabirds.

Leaving Boulogne we will head north as fast a possible and as we go and the weather pattern for the coming days becomes clear we can set our course in basically one of two directions.

Option one we can head North East for Norway to explore the fabulous Fjords. From there we can either head west to the Shetlands, the Fait Isles and even the Faroes if the wind is suitable, or we can continue further up the Norwegian Coast towards or beyond Trondheim. 

Option two is to head almost due North to Scotland, the Orkney and Shetland Isles. Again it could be possible to aim for the Fair Isles or Faroes.

Explore The Orkneys and Shetlands

These northern most Isles of Great Britain are closer to Norway than to Edinburgh so the wildlife is truly wild and the air is full of the sound of sea birds. The rugged beauty of the hundreds of islands that make up Shetland & Orkney make this a wonderful opportunity for exploring.

Both the Shetlands and Orkney’s are very different culturally and visually from mainland Scotland. There beauty is in there ruggedness. The ancient stone circle homes and other structures testify to the fact that man has lived her for a tough four millennium or more. Where you go will be weather dependent but the aim is to give as much of these distinctive isles as possible.

Shetland and the Vikings

It is very rare to find a map of the British Isles that shows Shetland in its true position way out North of John a Groats.  Shetland is closer to Bergen in Norway than Aberdeen and Muckle Flugga is further from the Scotland/England border than Lands End. Shetland archipelago (classic sailing directors favourite word !) of over 29 islands and was a strategic ‘naval base’ harbour for Vikings raiding Ireland or sailing West to Newfoundland and Greenland.

Unst is the most Northerly island in Britain and the lighthouse of Muckle Flugga sits right on the Northern tip.  There is a 76ft replica of a Viking longship at Haroldswick and the island is home to the annual Viking Fire Festival of Up Helly Aa.  Whalsay is named after the Viking name ‘Hvals-oy’ meaning island of whales and this is a great location to spot Orcas, minke whales and dolphins.

The islands were Norse until the 15th century when Scotland annexed both Orkney and Shetland and they still feel very different from the Scottish Mainland

Lerwick is the capital of this archipelago of 100 islands.  Fair Isle is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland and is a well known for its bird sanctuary and wonderful flora. The island is some thirty miles north of Orkney and twenty five south of Shetland.

Fair Isles

Orkney, Scapa Flow and Fair Isle

Before the advent of radar there was a shipwreck on Fair Isle on average every 4-5 years – including the El Gran Griggon – an escapee member of the defeated Spanish Armada in 1588. The 200 survivors were shipped off to Shetland as there was not enough food on the island to support everyone.  Today more famous for the distinctive Fair Isle fishermen’s jumper, a stop off Fair Isle would be an interesting island conquest for your sailing logbook if the ship stops there on the way South.

Orkney Islands

There could be time to go ashore in Kirkwall and explore some of the Orkney Islands ancient buildings from the bronze age and earlier. Standing in the door way of a building over 4000 years old at looking at the sea view that has not changed in all that time is truly memorable.

The Orkney Islanders are great mariners and have a keen eye for a gracious ship.

Leaving the Orkneys you may pass through Scapa Flow where the German First World War Naval Fleet was scuttled and is a now a Mecca for divers.

Passing through the Pentland Firth you pass John O Groats’ the most northerly point on mainland Britain and aiming to round Cape Wrath.

Did you know that Cape Wrath is so named because the Vikings on heading back to Scandinavia got this far north and then turned right for home Wrath being a derivation of there word for right.

The is so much to choose from in this exciting area that your Captain will have a hard time deciding where to visit.

The Faroes for Viking Culture

Whatever you might think of the whaling, the Faroes are a place of dramatic sea cliffs, swirling mists and legend. The cliffs of Slaettaratindur are 882 metres high and the tallest sea cliffs in Europe. Ashore there are Viking village remains to visit at Kvalvik. Maybe find a sauna to relax in at Torshavn. The ship will be well stocked with Dutch beer so chatting to the locals with a beer on deck, will help preserve your ‘pocket money’. Look out for the colourful turf roof houses.

summits on Faroes

High summits in the Faroes

Returning South to Bremerhaven will always be the final part of the voyage.


"Oosterschelde on the bow sprit"
“Oosterschelde on the bow sprit”


Sailing from  Oban to Aberdeen will expose you to all sorts of winds, tides and weather, best be prepared for cold and wet and enjoy the sunshine. The thing about the weather up here is it changes very quickly, even dramatically on many occasions. 


Whether you are an experienced sailor or a complete beginner, the professional crew will train you to be guest crew from the moment you arrive, with the intention that everybody works together to sail the ship. The common thread to all Classic Sailing holidays is ‘Hands on’ participation on ships that use ropes, blocks and tackles and ‘people power’ to set sail.


We cater for a wide range of ages and physical abilities and how much you are expected to do varies a bit between vessels. See the vessel tab above which explains all about the ‘sailing style’ and what to expect in terms of hands on participation. There is a lot of information about day to day life, the ships facilities and accommodation on the vessel pages.


Every customer sailing with us will need to fill in basic medical questions on their booking application. If you are not sure if your current level of fitness and agility are up to a voyage, then please ring the Classic Sailing Office on 00326 53 1234 and we can chat through your concerns and possibly find options that might suit you better.


Start & End Port

Boulogne Sur Mer


Bremerhaven, Germany

Bremerhaven has a long history as a trading port. It is also famous for SAIL Bremerhaven – a regular tall ship festival which attracts some of the biggest tall ships and windjammers in Europe. Some are original sailing ships and others are replicas built for sail training or naval recruits. It has the wharf space to show off the bigger ships to the public and the entrance river is wide for parades of sail.

If you are joining or leaving a ship here it will be very busy. Make sure you study what is distinctive about your ship – especially the masts, as we may not know exact dock berths. Please take the ships phone number with you and make sure you have printed proof you are sailing on board as crew to get in the festival entrance gates.

Kit List

Oosterschelde Kit List



  • Sailing Instruction
  • Safety Equipment (life jackets and harnesses)
  • All meals to including refreshments throughout the day
  • Duvet, pillow and sheets
  • Hand towels

What is not Included

  • Waterproof jackets and trousers
  • Alcoholic drinks but there is a bar on board

What to Bring

Suitcases take up a lot of room in a cabin, so it is better to uses soft bags in a ship. A small rucksack for going ashore is useful.

  • Oosterschelde does not supply waterproof jackets and salopette type trousers. Please bring your own waterproof clothing.
  • A mix of warm and wind proof clothing.
  • Lots of thin layers is better than one thick layer in cold destinations.
  • In tropical countries - long sleeves and long trousers to protect you from the sun 
  • Footwear on board needs a good grip and soft soles- the decks are wood or steel.
  • Ashore stout, waterproof walking boots are best if you are in remote places.
  • Oosterschelde has European 2 pin sockets 240 V
  • Cameras, chargers and video recorders
  • Binoculars are handy for bird watching etc.
  • Suntan lotion, hats, sunglasses
  • Dont forget any regular medication, persciption glasses and spare
  • Euros for bar bill
  • Passport, travel insurance, tickets etc
  •  To get ashore is usually by dinghy so be prepared to get wet feet. Rubber boots or quick drying sandals - depending on the location.


Cape Verde & Caribbean Crew

Together with my husband Bert we were on the trip around the Cape Verde on the Oosterschelde and had a great time. The crew was fantastic and very friendly. They showed us what has to be done to sail a beautiful ship like this. Made some new friends among the passengers and it was a trip I will not forget for a long while. And who knows when we will meet again. Thanks" Jenny H E.  from NL Mar 2018

I've just completed my fourth voyage in four years and it was like a big family holiday! Familiar faces welcomed us aboard, we met up with guests and friends from previous voyages and the islands that we visited in the French West Indies were beautiful. The best part of the voyage was our last sailing day when the "lunatics took over the asylum". Maarten let the guest crew sail the Oosterschelde from St Lucia to Martinique (while keeping an eye on us to make sure that neither we or the ship were in danger) It was hard work but safe to say that I learned a lot more on that day, having to think about what I was doing, rather than just being told what to do. We are just about to book our next voyage" Richard D. British Columbia

What was the best bit?
Variety of sailing and the islands visited.

What was the worst bit?
One rough passage.

Why do you sail?
We enjoy the technicalities of sailing a large vessel and the passage planning involved. We generally enjoy off-shore sailing.

Any other comments
The skipper and crew were very friendly, helpful and informative. Accommodation and food was very good.- Phillip B - Cape Verde 

Ocean Passages

What was the best bit?
A genuine feel for a bit of a longer ocean voyage with great people.

What was the worst bit?
Somewhat cramped cabins if sharing

Why do you sail? 
Comraderie; understanding historical sailing voyages; seeing interesting parts of the world" Robbin C: Ocean Crossings

Credit to Robbin Conner - Oosterschelde Ocean Crossing from Cape Verde to Rotterdam
Credit to Robbin Conner - Oosterschelde Ocean Crossing from Cape Verde to Rotterdam

Canada Tall Ships Race Participants

So happy to have sailed from Miramichi to Quebec! So good to be on this beautiful grand old lady with only nice and funny people. Miss you all! And for this moment especially Richards' breakfast. Thank you so much Jenny Edward Richard Jan-Willem Jurriaan and Maarten, and all the other guests for this wonderful and amazing time. Love and hugs xxx Ernst and Ellen V.

The dream come true! What a georgous trip I had between Québec and Halifax! A part of me will be onboard forever... Il will be back to you, most beautiful ship of the world! I will be back, Oosterschelde!  What a crew! What a captain! Marteen, I could write a novel with you as the major character! You are an amazing guy, a good, a great man! Your team is fantastic! I am now back ashore but... "I must go down to sea again... "

" C'est pas l'homme qui prend la mer
C'est la mer qui prend l'homme " 

Pierre-Luc. Canada

Now is the hour that I must say goodbye, soon you'll be sailing far across the sea. We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when. Maybe in the south pacific or around Cape Horn. Captain Arian, I would sail anywhere in the world with you, your crew and Oosterschelde. Warren C. New Zealand

The Word from European Voyages

Just sailed on the Oosterschelde across the North Sea to the Netherlands! Great taste of sailing would recommend to anyone who is thinking of dipping their toe in. Loved every second of it, hauling ropes out in the elements (mainly with the Sun on my back) rolling around in the middle of the North Sea on the deck of an authentic lovely Dutch schooner brilliant! A life changing experience of the open sea, next stop RYA competent crew! Many thanks to Adam and Classic Sailing for all the arrangements at such short notice and thanks too to all the crew for looking after me and feeding me so well. Be warned though life ashore afterwards can seem very hum-drum." Rex aka Steve W

I  want to thank the crew for the three magnificent days passed on board, between "Golfe du Morbihan" and "Le Havre". I sailed on numerous occasions on about ten different ships, and this sailing on Oosterschelde is the best experience I ever had. I was impressed by the good performances of the ship, and by the way the crew adjusts sails permanently so that the ship always gives the best ; it was an immense pleasure to participate of my best in all these operations. I regret that our different languages did not allow us to communicate more, because all the crew members were really very nice and very thoughtful with us. I have now only an envy: to embark again on Oosterschelde, to be on the deck to participate in the laborers of sails, to climb on the mast to help the crew, and to share again these excellent moments given by sailing on Oosterschelde !!! " Excuse my bad English, Gilbert P. Vernon, France

Vessel Gallery

Three Masted Topsail Schooner Oosterschelde in action and images. Photos from Classic Sailing customers, ships crew and professional photographers. We hope it gives a flavour of her sailing, life on board, the people that come, her beautiful sailing grounds and what it is like to live below decks.

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