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Tall Ship Taster – Rotterdam to Kiel

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4 Berth Cabin Per Person



2 Berth Cabin pp



Embark Disembark Vessel DurationVoyage No
Tue 14-06-2022, 17:00Rotterdam, the Netherlands Sun 19-06-2022, 09:00Kiel, Germany Oosterschelde 5 NightsOS140622

A great tall ship taster from Rotterdam to Kiel. Full on board training will be given so all guest crew can help tack and gybe this big schooner. You can also learn how to set square sails too. Climb the mast if you dare or just enjoy learning the ropes at deck level. Oosterschelde is in home waters exploring the Waddensea. There may be a possible stop on Heligoland island before entering the mighty Elbe river heading for the Kiel Canal.

  • Voyage
  • Vessel


  • Sail along the Frisian Island Chain towards the river Elbe.
  • Powerful ocean going schooner with square sails
  • excellent below decks accommodation
  • Join in all the sailing
  • Journey through the Kiel Canal.


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



A great tall ship taster from Rotterdam to the Kiel. Full on board training will be given so all guest crew can help tack and gybe this big schooner. You can also learn how to set square sails too. Climb the mast if you dare or just enjoy learning the ropes at deck level. Oosterschelde is in home waters exploring the Waddensea. There may be a possible stop on Heligoland Island before entering the mighty Elbe river in company with other tall ships heading for the Kiel via the Kiel Canal.

On a sailing voyage, we never use the word itinerary, as skippers will always be aiming for the best sailing and shore landings for the forecast and most idyllic or sheltered anchors and ports. They are as keen as you to include some of the highlights described below, but you have to go with Mother Nature, not fight her. The description below is based on what we think might be possible, based on past trips, or experience, but nothing is guaranteed on a sailing voyage.


Oosterschelde in Rotterdam

The OOSTERSCHELDE will be waiting for you in the Rotterdam. When you arrive on board the coffee will be ready for you and family and friends who have accompanied you. There is enough time to show them the ship. The captain will welcome all the guests onboard.

As soon as everybody is on board, the captain will explain all the (safety)rules on board and will go through the plans for the voyage. Depending on the weather, he will decide to leave straight away or get a few hours of sleep and leave at dawn.

sail on oosterschelde

Dutch & German Waddensea islands

Oosterschelde we will follow the Dutch coast in northeast direction and sail north of the Dutch and German Wadden Islands. The prevailing wind is west most of the time, so with a bit of luck we will be under full sail during this part of the voyage. Our first stop will probably be on Helgoland (widget 2).

Elbe River into the Kiel Canal

After which we sail in the direction of the estuary of the Elbe. It will be very adventurous to sail on this fast-flowing river, with all the big ships around us.

At Brünsbuttel we pass the locks to the ‘Nord-Ostsee Kanal’, which is also known as the ‘Kieler Canal’. On this canal, which has been dug out by hand, big seagoing vessels will pass us. Remarkable are the many bridges we pass. For example, the Eisenbahnhochbrücke  which has been designed by Dr. H.C. Friedrich Voss, like all the bridges on the canal. All the bridges are high enough for the OOSTERSCHELDE to pass without any problems. We will probably make a stop in Rendsburg.

The next day we go through the locks at Holtenau and enter the Kielerfjord , where we set the sails again. On the last day after breakfast it is time to say goodbye. The OOSTERSCHELDE will be on walking distance from the Central Station of Kiel, from which you travel back home.

piano on board oosterschelde. Photo Arthur Smeets
piano on board Oosterschelde. Photo Arthur Smeets

Find Out More about Oosterschelde Voyages

Naturally, the crew will explain how to sail on a three-masted tall ship, the purpose of all the lines (ropes), and the ship’s daily routine. The crew on Oosterschelde are full time and most have been with the ship for a long time. If you are thinking about a longer trip then you can talk to them about their favourite places and what it is like to sail across the world, or island-hop in Cape Verde on a historic topsail schooner. Everyone is encouraged to help to steer, navigating and sailing the ship. The working language is English and Dutch but the crew are multinational.

Oosterschelde is very well known in Holland and a favourite of sea and nature lovers. Her ethos is one of active and direct exposure to the sea and sailing, the region being explored and its wildlife. Below decks the two and four cabins are fitted with a washbasin with hot and cold water. Showers are separate. The lounge is very stylish with a wood burning stove (for Spitsbergen trips etc) a piano and library. All cabins have forced ventilation and a window or hatch to open. In hot sailing areas like Cape Verde the ever present trade winds keep it a pleasant temperature below decks. She has a large galley and professional cook and you can buy drinks at the bar. On board euros are accepted but not credit cards.

Oosterschelde is well used to running sailing expeditions to remote places like Spitsbergen, Antarctica, Indonesia with well educated guests interested in nature, walking, maritime history and local culture ashore. Whilst the ship does do social projects / sail training, for most the year the hospitality and style of sailing is geared towards adults on an adventure holiday.

explaining how square sails work
explaining how square sails work

A different way of life

This voyage offers you the chance to experience the life of a tall ship sailor for a few days. You will be part of the ship’s crew, but the style of leadership is very relaxed and you learn as you go, with occasional teaching sessions for those who want to know more. If Oosterschelde is sailing to a next port overnight this might mean getting up for a 4 hour watch in the dark. If you have never travelled at night without headlights, this is a new experience. Steering by the stars is not a cliche. It is easier to keep a bright star in line with the edge of a sail or the mast than squinting at a binnacle compass with a back-light. The lovely thing about a night sail is you are quite justified going off for a ‘power nap’ in the afternoon or whenever you are off watch!


The Captain or mate will hold a daily meeting to explain the plan for the day.

dolphins in our bow wave. Oosterschelde in Cape Verde
Photo Arthur Smeets




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.

The gaff sails on all three masts are huge and it is a long way up to release the gaskets and set Oosterschelde’s square sails. There is a Captain, Mate, couple of deck hands, engineer and chef so the ships guest crew will need to work hard as a team to race this impressive ship.

Oosterschelde is a very comfy ship – restored for adventure charter with a huge saloon with bar, piano, wood burning stove and library so if you have always fancied running away to sea for a few weeks, we can’t think of a more stylish way to do it as hands on ships crew.

Both of Classic Sailing working directors have sailed on Oosterschelde in Jan 2011 so we can tell you what she is like to sail on if you give us a ring.

More details and photos of Oosterschelde – see vessel details tab above.

blue water sailing on tall ship oosterschelde
blue water sailing on tall ship oosterschelde


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.


  • Skipper & professional crew
  • Personal Safety Equipment
  • Sailing Instruction
  • All meals, snacks and refreshments
  • Port and landing fees
  • Linen and duvets
  • Third Party liability insurance


  • Travel to Joining Port
  • Travel from end port
  • Alcoholic Drinks but there is a bar on board
  • Towels
  • Waterproofs

Start & End Port

Rotterdam, the Netherlands


Rotterdam – With Oosterschelde

  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. Rotterdam  

Kiel, Germany

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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