No problem. Everybody can become a Windseeker. The experienced crew will teach you everything you need to know about life on board. From setting sails to navigating. If you’re not afraid of heights (or if you’d like to overcome your fear), you can climb the masts. Everybody helps with the daily duties on board, like cleaning the deck or assisting the cook in the galley.
If you do have some sailing experience, you can help the other Windseekers or learn new things like navigating, knotting, etc.
Booking with Windseeker is easy, whether you are joining a single leg, multiple Journeys on the same vessel, or even on different vessels!
Go to the page of your chosen Journey and click “Book this Journey” in the blue field on the right. You will be directed to an online form where we ask some of your personal details (like your passport number, address and birthday). These are necessary to provide harbour customs with a passenger list so please fill them out very carefully. We will also ask you to fill out the health statement in order to avoid dangerous surprises during the Journey.
What happens next?
Within a few days you will receive the invoice. We’ll ask you to pay the deposit of 50% of the whole Journey rate in order to secure your place on board. You will receive information about payment in a separate email but we accept bank transfers, credit cards and cheques.
The reminder of the Journey fee is due 2 months before departure at the latest.
You will receive the latest information concerning your Journey by e-mail about one week before the voyage starts.
You will get details of payment options by email with an invoice. All Windseeker Journeys are covered by the STO Garant guarantee, so you do not pay the booking sum to Windseeker but instead into the escrow account which holds your payment in reserve until the trip booked has come to an end.
This means you will receive two emails:
At this moment, the STO accepts payments by bank transfer only. If you want to pay by credit card or PayPal, you can use Wise. In many cases the costs for a regular bank transfer are also lower with Wise.
Please check the SPAM or JUNK folder of your mailbox. Especially (unfortunately) with a Hotmail e-mail adress the confirmation email ends up here. Let your mailbox know it’s safe. Then the next e-mails from us will arrive in your inbox.
Please read our Terms and Conditions here.
A Windseeker is required to carry the following insurances:
1. Medical insurance, for your home country.
2. Travel insurance which covers medical expenses abroad, loss of luggage and third party liability.
Each Tall Ship has a “Protection and Indemnity insurance” that covers you in the event you’re hurt by actions that the crew take (or fail to take).
Your travel insurance will cover your Journey from home to the ship and back. Just make sure to include the travel days in the insurance coverage, not just the days you are actually on board.
Tip: Windeeker has good experience with Topsail Insurance. Topsail Insurance is specialized in maritime insurance, and can cut you a tailor made policy.
It depends on the area of sailing and your nationality. It’s always best to check with the foreign embassy in your own country or with your ministry for foreign affairs. There is also a handy guide here though we would recommend confirming this with the ministry anyway.
For journeys in the United States you can also check here.
Be aware that sometimes entering a country by sea will require different documents than entering by air.
Organizing travel documents is the responsibility of the trainee. If you encounter any problems, let us know.
We understand that finding and booking the best travelling options can be difficult. Please contact our travel councellor Manon Eeken if you’d like to get some help with organising your transfers. Manon is a sailor and a travel agent with 25 years of experience. Contact her at
email@example.com +31 23 5762105
Would you rather contact a travel counsellor from your own country? Please look at www.travelcounsellors.com
Don’t panic. We’ve drawn up a basic Kitlist to help you pack for your Journey. We also email this to you after your booking.
Of course! Just bring your Seamen’s book with you and inform the captain (or mate). When you are in your port of disembarkation ask your captain to sign it off (including voyage details needed).
All Windseeker Journeys are covered by the STO Garant. This means that you do not pay the booking amount to Windseeker but instead into an escrow account. This trust account holds your payment in reserve until your journey’s end. The booking amount is then released to Windseeker on the day after your trip ends. If Windseeker or the Ship should become financially insolvent before the end of your trip, STO Garant will implement the guarantee. The Guarantee Scheme details how you can make a claim under the guarantee in such cases. You can read more about this here.
When you set course on a Windseeker Journey, your official rank on board is that of trainee. A trainee is non-professional crewmember onboard a Sail Training vessel, sailing the ship together with professional crewmembers.
If you’re participating in an International Exchange we will invite you to a closed group where you can connect with your fellow trainees.
Most of all, though – don’t stress! Going sailing for the first time is a scary prospect, but the crew will make sure that you will feel right at home after only a couple of days on board!
Well. It’s a big ship with loads of sails. No, seriously. For a good definition on what a Tall Ship is, visit the Sail on Board website.
Windseeker closely collaborates with Sail Training International. This renowned organization develops officially recognized Sail Training programs that will suit everybody’s profile. Sail Training stimulates participants to overcome many demanding challenges, both physical and emotional. It inspires self-confidence and the acceptance of personal responsibility. It promotes tolerance of others, whatever their social or cultural backgrounds, plus it develops a willingness to take controlled risks. Many participants in the Sail Training programs undergo a life changing experience,.
Most sail training vessels are owned and operated by charities or foundations, schools, universities, governments or other institutions. They generally seek to reflect the breadth of social backgrounds in society at large in the crews they attract. Many have funding programmes to subsidise the participation of those who could otherwise not afford it. Some also run special programmes for those with physical, mental or social difficulties.
Sail Training takes place all over the world and in many different types of vessels. Journeys on small vessels offer the intimacy of working in a small team. Different challenges confront those who undertake Sail Training on the huge and glamorous square-rigged ships, with much demanding work aloft as well as on deck.
Sail Training is an adventurous activity for all ages and abilities. It includes instruction in all aspects of sailing but its purpose goes far, far beyond this. Sail Training uses the experience of being at sea principally as a means to help you learn about yourself, discover hidden strengths and talents and understand the value of working as a team. In some programmes today it forms the setting for much wider aspects of education at sea.
At sea, you keep watch. That is more than just looking out over the water in search of land! During watch, you are responsible for the ship, together with the rest of the watch-keepers and the professional crew. Manoeuvring, climbing the masts, setting the sails, making coffee or providing a snack… Usually, there is a three-watch system aboard.
During an International Exchange, the watch-keepers are mixed as much as possible. Every watch-keeper has duty twice a day. For example, your watch could be from 08.00 to 12.00 hours and from 20.00 to 24.00 hours. On board, every day is different. The weather, the wind, the view. From sunshine to rain, and from dolphins swimming along the bow to a beautiful sunset: Windseekers know no boredom!
The language on board most ships is English (and sometimes a mixture of all nationalities present). The crew speaks English and most teaching and instructions are in English. If you’re not a native English speaker, we’ll just explain it again in a different way or we will look within the group for somebody to translate.
The nice thing about an International Exchange is that not only do you learn about sailing and life on board, but also get into contact with other cultures and countries. Apart from sailing, there are daily intercultural activities like games, in which all Windseekers can participate. In the harbour, you’ll get the chance to meet Windseekers from all over the world. Together, you’ll lively up the crew parade (and have even more fun at the crew party afterwards).
Since 2019 the Exchanges are operating under an additional theme: sustainability. Joining these journeys now also means conducting plastic research with marine biologist on board, doing climate actions on shore and visiting inspiring places.
There is no wi-fi on board. If you participate in the Tall Ships Races or Regattas, you can use the Crew Center, which has wi-fi and computers available for the trainees.
There is no mobile phone reception once you’re farther than 20 nautical miles from the shore. Enjoy your digital detox!
In case of emergency the Ships are equipped with a satellite phone – after all, safety comes first.
Windseekers don’t give up! We realise that Sail Training might be an expensive adventure so we’ve come up with the Windseeker Dinghy Programme. The Dinghy is an online fundraising training and mentorship which will guide you through the process of raising the funds for your own journey. Read more about the Dinghy here.
If you’d prefer to work entirely on your own, we have prepared a handbook to help you. Not only will you get the satisfaction of gathering your own money for the trip, you will also improve your entrepreneurial skills. Download the document Windseeker Fundraise Handbook.
Young Windseekers can apply for the Oman Bursary scheme. It has been established in 2011 in cooperation with the Sultanate of Oman. Each year young people between 15 and 25, who would like to join the Tall Ships Races or Regattas for the first time, can apply for the coverage of the journey costs – up to €500. 100 people are awarded the bursary every year, enabling disadvantaged youth to join in the Sail Training experience.
For application form and more information email firstname.lastname@example.org
No problem. A lot of people travel by themselves or with a couple of friends. It’s all part of your Journey! On a tall ship, getting to know other people takes very little time. Especially when you keep watch together. During International Exchanges there are different nationalities in one watch, which creates diversity and a lot of fun. Windseekers make friends for life!
No, this is not a problem if you let us know when you’re booking.
For A-class Ships it’s easier to take into account an individual diet than for B- or C class Ships.
If you are a vegetarian almost all of the ships can provide meals for you, with Vega Gamleby offering only vegetarian food.
Halal prepared meat and vegan food is possible on some of the big A-class Ships. If you are vegan please contact us first so we can make sure the cook can prepare the right food for you.
Please be aware that some ships will charge an additional fee for a vegan diet – for details write: email@example.com
It depends on which Ship and which leg you would like to sail. Not every Ship is sailing nearby a harbour or hospital, so because of the risks of pregnancy it may lead to problems on board. Please contact us to confer about the Journey and /or the Ship.
No! Sail Training is for everyone who loves sailing on Tall Ships – or who would like to try it! As long as there are no health-related contraindications and you are reasonably fit – you’re welcome on board.
Some Ships/events have additional age restrictions which will be clearly visible in the journey descriptions.
No, according to the Sail Training International the minimum age for the Tall Ships Races is 15 years at the beginning of the journey.
Contact us about sailing opportunities for younger trainees.