|Mon 16-10-2023, 17:00Rotterdam, the Netherlands||Sun 18-02-2024, 10:00Rotterdam, the Netherlands||Morgenster||125 Nights||MR161023roundtrip|
Morgenster is offering the chance to join their crew for the entirety of their 2023 to 2024 New World Grand Tour, starting and finishing in Rotterdam, and taking in Portugal, the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, French Guiana, Suriname, Grenada, Martinique, Guadeloupe, St Martin, a host of other Caribbean islands, Bermuda and the Azores.
Committing to this incredible full circuit of the Atlantic allows you the adventure of a lifetime with next to no carbon emissions, no flights and, best of all, no need to organise! You will explore rugged coasts, beautiful islands, charming towns, bustling cities, volcanoes, cloud forests, sandy beaches of all colours and the vast expanse of the ocean.
Booking the whole voyage also allows you save up to €5000 compared to the individual legs.
4 months. 10,000 nautical miles. More than 25 islands. One vast Atlantic Ocean.
One for the storm chasers as you’re thrown in to some of the most exciting sailing of the tour, straight from the off. If you want to experience a square rigger in wild seas and strong winds then this ocean challenge could be the adrenalin buzz you are looking for. Morgenster sails from the Netherlands in November, down the English Channel and out into the Atlantic, well clear of the Bay of Biscay, to reach the Iberian Peninsula and Lisbon at a time when the Westerly gales roll in. You may be lucky and get some calm and balmy days, but you will also get lots of night hours and 1500 miles of tough sailing experience, setting you up for the rest of the trip.
This is a varied leg, exploring the stunning archipelagos of the Canaries and Cape Verde, in increasingly warm air and balmy seas, before undertaking your first Atlantic crossing of the Grand Tour, sailing for South America.
From Lisbon, you will start your crossing to the New World by heading Southwest towards the Canary Islands. Here the Atlantic Ocean waves are long and roll lazily under the ship.
After about 5 days at sea, your first landfall is La Gomera, one of the less touristy islands in the archipelago. There will be time to disembark and enjoy the island, making the most of a proper leg stretch before another sea passage. La Gomera is a volcanic island with beautiful bays, spectacular scenery and thick jungle.
The next stop follows a passage of about the same difference, South again to the Cape Verde islands. You will dock in Mindelo, capital of Sao Vincente, a bustling city and well worth exploring for a couple of days while the ship stocks up with water and supplies for the Atlantic crossing.
The trade winds are strong here, and will blow Morgenster quickly to the coast of South America. On the ocean you mentally separate from the shore, helping the crew to navigate, steer and trim sails. The temperature is pleasant and there’s plenty of time to relax into the routine of life on board. If the wind drops sufficiently it’s possible to swim off the ship with five kilometers of water beneath you and no land in sight.
And then, suddenly, it’s land-ho, a very special experience after an extensive period at sea. You’ll anchor in the mouth of the Cayenne river, before heading ashore to celebrate (watch out for land sickness, it can take several days to adjust again!).
Explore an area of unsurpassable beauty that few tourists see. The leg begins in Cayenne, the capital of French Guiana. The city boasts a market, beaches, museums, botanic gardens and superb cuisine.
We do love to sail, though, so off we are to the deep blue sea. And that is not just metaphorical, the sea here is a stunning blue. We sail due west along mangrove forests towards Paramaribo Capital of Suriname.
Morgenster drops anchor in the Kourou river at the city of Kourou, a colonial town that was established over two centuries ago.
Offshore is the famous French Penal Colony Island made infamous in the film ‘Papillon’. It is now in ruin and rapidly returning to the jungle.
The French found that near Kourou was the best place to establish their rocket launching site that has now become the Centre Spatial Guyanais where the European space rockets are launched.
A great mixture of local sailing and short hops on the coast of South America followed by a two or three days of great sailing to Tobago, possibly snorkelling on the famous and beautiful Buccoo Reef. Finally heading for a warm welcome in Grenada.
The first day’s sail is to Nieuw Nickerie, the most western port in Suriname. As the last stop on the South American Coast you may wish to just chill out in a local bar or visit the Protected Natural area of Bigi Pan which is home to many rare bird species.
The first stop in Tobago will be in Scarborough for customs clearance and permission to sail and anchor around this amazing islands cays, bays and reefs. Tobago was hidden from the Western World until Columbus saw it in 1498 but like the rest of the New World it has been inhabited for over 7000 years. In the words of a famous English folk band, Show of Hands, “Columbus did not discover America, it was always there!”
The north shore boasts beautiful palm beaches and lone bays where we are the only anchored ship. The south shore lays claim to one of the most beautiful diving and snorkelling spots of the Caribbean: the Buccoo Reef.
It takes about ten hours to sail from Tobago to Grenada harnessing the power of the North East Trade Winds on broad reach will help Morgenster fly across the waves. The island is largely covered by tropical rainforest and many small streams crisscross the mountainsides, fed by sources and ending in dazzling waterfalls.
If you like nutmeg you are in for a treat. Not only is it a speciality of the island but it also finds its way into your evening drinks. Try a Rum Calabash, rum, like Westerhall’s Jack Iron Rum, with coconut and nutmeg, enjoy.
Cliché time, the islands of and between Grenada and Martinique have every Caribbean Cliché you can imagine, cay, bay, reef, whale, tropical beaches, sunsets, drinks, snorkeling, frigate birds, wildlife, restaurants and more. All of this as well as the chance to enjoy Christmas on board ship in the sunshine… what could be better?
The first destination on this leg of the Tour are the Tobago Cays, (not to be confused with Tobago Island) half way between Grenada and the Grenadine Islands: A picture perfect collection of 100 inhabited and uninhabited islands. This area is considered one of the best in the world for sailing and exploring ashore.
There’ll be ample time for exploration as we have a lazy meander through the archipelagos, celebrating the festive season in style. The famous Horseshoe Reef will definitely be one of the highlights on our way to Saint Vincent.
Saint Vincent is a volcanic island. La Soufriere is still active and occasionally spews some ash. The crater lake features a small island. The rich volcanic soil is planted with bananas and high quality cotton. Tourism is modest on this island, though the volcanic landscape, jungle, waterfalls and sandy beaches make a visit highly worthwhile.
The island of Saint Lucia is only a few sailing hours away. The indigenous people of the Caribbean called it the “Land of the Iguanas”. The island is rather densely populated and is known for its delicious fruit, such as papaya, mango, passionfruit and bananas.
Martinique is one of the larger islands of the Lesser Antilles and like the others has many sugar plantations, the bulk of the harvest is used to make good rum. In other words, it’s a perfect location for a drink to celebrate the successful conclusion of this amazing Caribbean Leg.
You continue your Caribbean island hopping. Some night sailing and interesting places to explore in the daytime ashore. Plus you’ll be on the look out for a party, or a beautiful beach on which to uncork a bottle, to see in the New Year in a way you’ll never forget!
Setting sails and aiming for Dominica, an island paradise and a well-known eco-tourism destination. The volcanoes on Dominica are so steep and mountainous that much of the rain forest has been spared deforestation for wood and to make way for plantations. Rivers meander here and there and become stunning waterfalls. Colourful birds flit among the trees, and hot springs emanate from the volcanic waters. On top of the mountain a crater lake bubbles away. The island is home to around a thousand plant species, among which many flowers, and 195 bird species. Mammals are virtually non-existent; only bats are found on the island, although sperm whales, manatees and humpback whales can all be found patrolling the seas.
Then onwards to Guadeloupe: not a single island, but rather a group of larger and smaller, inhabited and uninhabited islands.
The names are almost bigger than the islands , Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre, La Désirade, Marie-Galante and Les Saintes and the Petite Terre Islands. Some of them can only be reached by boat which makes sailing there the ideal way to explore them. They are famous for their sandy white palm beaches and lack of human habitation.
The itinerary for this week in the sun is mutually decided between everyone on board, and the crew know all the best places! Some possible stopovers include Antigua, Barbuda, St Kitts, St Eustatius and St Barts, as well as the countless uninhabited islands around Guadeloupe.
Antigua and Barbuda have beautiful reefs and busy towns. Saint Kitts and Nevis are still unspoilt, and the railway that used to transport sugar from the plantations can now be used to explore the island. Saint Eustatius has a huge underwater nature reserve with pristine coral reefs and 18th century shipwrecks. It is teeming with seahorses, rays, sharks and sea turtles. The island is also on the migration route of humpback whales, and there’s a good chance of encountering them.
Saint Barthelemy (St Barts) is a jet-setters island, recognisable by the mega yachts anchored here. If you can avoid the movie stars and supermodels crowding the beaches, you’ll see the beauty of this island and understand its popularity.
The final port of call is Saint Martin, the only place in the world where the Netherlands borders France! The island is divided north / south between these two territories. The island is well known for its fusion cuisine, vibrant nightlife, hilly peaks and hiking trails. A perfect place to relax ahead of the final leg, which takes in Bermuda, the Azores and back to Rotterdam.
First landfall of this Eastward leg will be Bermuda in about six days. This lonely island in the Atlantic has iconic pastel coloured streets, businessmen in ties and colourful shorts, pink sandy beaches and coral reefs. A few days spent exploring the island and it will be time to set sail once more.
Departing Bermuda you’ll be in the wide open ocean once more, and you’ll be surprised how different it feels from your first Atlantic crossing, only a few weeks ago. You’ve learned so much since being on board you’re now running round the deck like an old hand!
The archipelago of the Azores is known for its dramatic landscapes and for whale watching. If you get the chance there are some amazing water filled multicoloured volcanic crater lakes to visit. Tradition has it that we head down to Café Peter Sport for a gin tonic and paint one of the harbour wall’s stones to commemorate our arrival on the Morgenster. You can spot hundreds of other ship murals along the quay, some of them over a hundred years old.
Sailing from the Azores and your thoughts begin to turn homewards. The prevailing winds should be pushing you along at a great rate of knots. Things change quite quickly now. The sea gets darker as you cross over onto the continental shelf of Europe. The temperature drops and you begin to see fishing boats and other ocean going vessels.
You are part of long long tradition of sailors with the Ocean behind them, the sea is still king and the wind dictates more determinedly your sail trim. But that is all second nature to you now. Look out for the first sight of Europe and as you reach soundings. (Depths it is possible to measure with a long lead line.) Imagine as they did in the past that you could be anywhere between the Isles of Scilly and Isle de Ouessant, a distance of 35 leagues according to the shanty. (Of course with GPS you will know exactly where you are but that misses the fun of it.)
Morgenster will make a stop off at one of the Channel Islands, likely Alderney, to celebrate a successful Atlantic crossing.
You are all heroes, this is the time to celebrate your epic adventure. Enjoy! From here it is only a couple of days sailing to Rotterdam, one of the busiest ports in the world, which may well feel strange after so long at sea. You will be sad to leave but friends and family will be waiting for you and think of all the stories you have to tell.
This epic Atlantic circuit will encompass weather of all sorts. Some of the most uncomfortable may well be within the first week on board as you cross Biscay, but be prepared for it to pick up at any point during the 4 months on board. It will almost certainly be rough at points with strong winds and big waves. Morgenster has handled similar many times before and the ship will just shrug and get on it with it under the command of her highly experienced Captains Harry or Jakob. You will also be amazed at how you acclimatise to life on board. Don’t panic if you feel seasick in the first few days. This happens to the best of us, and after a few nights on board it will fade.
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 01326 53 1234 and we can chat through your concerns and possibly find options that might suit you better.
There are a few places in Rotterdam where you could potentially be meeting your vessel. Make sure you have made a note of the ship’s phone number found in your final confirmation email in case of any problems on the day.
Rotterdam is easy to get by high speed train.
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.
- Online Reviews
I loved it.
I loved everything about my week. The crew were fantastic, the ship was beautiful, the singing on the deck was great fun, the dolphins were around a lot. It was brilliant!
Least enjoy - Nothing.
Why do I Sail?
I love the ocean and have always loved boats. For this particular voyage I was also researching a children's book involving mermaids and pirates!
Liz K sailed in 2017
What was the best bit?
Climbing in the rigging, unfurling the sails on the yardarm.
The cameraderie between the paid and guest crew was second to none. A fantastic atmosphere. Singing in the evenings on deck accompanied by guitar and trumpet. New Year on St Lucia, we celebrated the New Year 3 times (once for Dutch/European time, once for GMT and once for Caribbean time).
The sun glinstering off the ocean surface like a thousand shards of broken mirror.......flying fish like small humming birds skimming over the surface of the water, dolphins on New Years day: what a start to 2019!
Too wonderful to describe, a life changing experience, I want to pack in my job and sail the world! (making plans now) - Carol from Caribbean Season 2019.
Great experience, will definitely be doing it again. Climbing the rigging was the best bit. 'First time' sailor. John M July 2018
"Thank you for a very nice trip, some hours on Kattegatt this afternoon. Beautiful boat, nice and joyful captain and crew. I loved it! Wish you all a really nice trip during Tall Ships Races. And I would love to join again someday for a longer trip." Camilla A. June 2017
Thank you Harry, Mariann and all your wonderful crew for an amazing week on Morgenster. Great food Will, such patient climbing instruction Michelle, fun birthday outing Evy and lovely guests from 80 to 22 years old. So many highlights but sailing at night with sparkling dolphins at the bow was truly breathtaking!" Sue G.
Just returned from 11 days sailing round Cape Verde. The whole experience was exceptional - friendly, knowledgeable and caring crew; wonderful sailing (the 4am night watch experience was particularly magical!); interesting trips exploring the islands; and great food." Julia G-F
Thank you Harry, Marian, Joost, Rene, Hessel & Willie for a fantastic week's sailing. I'll be humming sea shanties and saying "o nay!!!" for days! I really hope to sail with you again. Happy New Year" Kerry Mc C.
Had a fantastic trip around Cape Verde, Jan/Feb 2016. Lovely crew, felt like a family. Thanks to you all xxxx. Really special people and a holiday to remember. My penguins X" Louise G
What a fantastic time, thanks to everyone on the Morgenster both crew and passengers hope to see you all again, maybe next year?" George Mc L
Harry, Marian and their crew make your stay on board the Morgenster wonderful!" Aleike K
What was the best bit?
The trip was fabulous. The crew were incredibly supportive and even helped me overcome enough of my fear to get out onto the first yard. I felt that I was included in everything and that my contribution, however small, was appreciated. The food was excellent and there were plenty of drinks and snacks throughout the day. We had gorgeous weather all the way. I really enjoyed it. - Caribbean Season 2019 by Amanda G.
Tall Ship Morgenster 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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