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Sailing as a trainee

Now is your chance to embark on the adventure of a lifetime with one of the beautiful tall ships and meet lots of other young people from all over the world!

Take the sea voyage of your life!

Are you between 15 and 25 years old and ready for an incredible summer holiday experience?

If you are, then why not sign up as a trainee? You will have a unique opportunity to sail on one of the sailing ships during the 2022 Tall Ships Races.

As a trainee, you become a part of life on board the large sailing ships and will lend a hand with the various work tasks. It is also a great opportunity to meet young people from other countries.

The ships are from different countries in Europe and are used to having young and inexperienced sailors on board in addition to their regular crews, who are professional sailors.

Spruce up your English skills, pack your kitbag and get ready for an experience that is beyond the ordinary.

What is a tall ship?

A tall ship is a large, traditionally rigged sailing ship, so not one of the ships you would normally see in the Port of Esbjerg. Sailing on a ship of this type is a very different experience to sailing on a modern ship. It is, in fact, an experience that fewer and fewer people ever get to have.

What will make your experience even more unique is that most of the crew on board are required to be under 25 years old. The old ships have therefore a youthful and cheerful atmosphere.

What skills do you need?

It is not even an obstacle if you have never sailed before. All you need is an open mind, drive, the desire to be with other people and the ability to communicate in English. There are also Danish, Norwegian and Swedish ships in the flotilla.

You will have the opportunity to learn skills like collaboration, communication and leadership. These are all factors that help to get the ship safely to harbour. There are also entirely practical duties like setting the sails, climbing the masts, catering, polishing brass and even navigating the ship.

All in all, you may find yourself a little out of your comfort zone, but you will in turn get to have some completely unique experiences! 

When the ship is in port

When the ship docks in Harlingen, the second part of trainee life begins. Various activities have been arranged for the crews, during which you will compete against trainees from the other ships. There is also a festive Crew Parade through the city streets and a fun Crew Party at which all the crew members get to eat and party together.

How to take part (opens in autumn 2021)

Your ticket to a seat on board can be granted in one of two ways:

  1. You can choose to find a sponsor who will pay for you. Your sponsor will be part of the Sailors’ Club with associated rights, such as an invitation to a reception on board one of the large sailing ships during The Tall Ships Races in Esbjerg. A sponsorship guarantees you a place aboard a ship. Read more about the Sailors' Club here.
  2. You have no sponsor but are applying for a place. You will then take part in a draw for one of the 150 places on board. If you get a place, you will have to pay a participation fee. You will receive a reply to your application in January 2022.