bark europa cape to cape cruise ushuaia to cape town south africa

Cape to Cape via South Georgia

  • Overview
    After leaving the Beagle Channel it is time to cross the Drake, visit the Antarctic Peninsula and depending on ice- and weather conditions the Weddellsea. The sails are hoisted for a serious sail to the beautiful island of South Georgia. We will spend about a week here and have a daily routine of moving the ship from one fjord to the other and make landings, enjoying the wildlife and hikes. We’ll find the remains of a former whaling station at Grytviken and see the grave of Shackleton, one of the most heroic pole travellers. It is an old tradition to drink a glass of whisky near his grave. Heading back to sea course is set for Tristan da Cunha: the most remote island of the world. Here, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, a small community lives on top of an active volcano. Let’s hope that the swell isn’t big enough to prevent a safe landing. On Tristan you can play golf on the most remote course of the planet or go fishing for lobster with the local fisherman. The final leg of this long voyage is a beautiful sail of about 10 days to Cape Town. Mid April the Table Mountain will appear on the horizon and the ship will be berthed along the quay in the V&A Waterfront.
    Duration: 52 days
    Passengers: 48 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Ushuaia, Argentina
    Disembarkation Point: Cape Town, South Africa
    Physical rating: Expedition
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: Unavailable
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Signing on in Ushuaia; Embarkation Day

      The trip, starts in Ushuaia, capital of the Argentine province of Tierra del Fuego and commonly regarded as the southernmost city in the world. It is highly recommended that you will arrive in Ushuaia 1 day before embarkation, leaving room for flight delays or late arrival of your luggage. The scenery around the touristic city is outstanding, as the rugged spine of the Andes Mountains spanning the entire length of the South American continent, comes right down to meet the sea here at the southern tip of Chile and Argentina. After signing on and taking your luggage to your cabin, the captain and expedition leader will introduce themselves, the crew and talk about our plans. Then you will enjoy your first meal on board, followed by a short talk by the guides on “Life on board the Europa” to familiarize you with the ship. Usually we will stay in port overnight, but occasionally we already depart during the night.

    • Day 2 - Beagle Channel

      After our first night on board, we cast off our mooring lines early in the morning and start sailing the Beagle Channel. This channel is named after Robert Fitzroy’s ship, whose second voyage here brought along a solitary guest acting as the naturalist on board, a young man who would revolutionise the way we view the world - Charles Darwin. The Channel was also defined as the southern border between Chile and Argentina during the 1881 Boundary Treaty. Once on our way, we will conduct a mandatory safety drill, followed by several introductory talks by the crew to further familiarize you with the ship and her many lines, the watch system and your tasks on board.

    • Day 3/6 - Drake Passage

      During the night we will enter the famed stretch of 450 nautical miles known as the Drake Passage - a wild part of the Southern Ocean with a fierce reputation. The sailing journey to our first destination - the South Shetland Islands - is going to take around four days.

      The winds through the Drake Passage are predominantly from the west and usually are most intense in the northern half. Low-pressure systems formed in the Pacific Ocean traverse the passage towards the southern end. As we sail south, we realise that the surface water temperature gradually drops down, until a sudden change occurs in an area close to the 6o°S, where the cold Antarctic waters meet the temperate Subantarctic ones. This transitional zone is known as the Antarctic Convergence. We are getting closer to Antarctica!

      As we sail southwards, the increasing number of icebergs is an unmistakable sign that we are approaching this icy continent. The large ones are visible on the ship’s radar, but the smaller bergy bits and growlers are not, hence the necessity of keeping a good lookout to avoid them! Fortunately, the nights are short during the austral summer.

    • Day 7/9 - South Shetland islands and Deception Island

      Soon we will spot the South Shetland Islands, our first destination in Antarctica. Some examples of islands we may visit of the South Shetland archipelago could include Barrientos, Half Moon, Greenwich or Livingston Island. All of them are home to impressive penguin rookeries, including Gentoo and Chinstrap penguins and several species of other birds and seals.

      When we arrive in Antarctica the watch system for voyage crew is discontinued for a while so everybody can enjoy the most of landings on shore. South Shetlands geology is also very interesting, as sedimentary layers rich with fossils are mixed with posterior volcanism. A beautiful example is Edinburgh Hill, a cliff rising vertically out of the water, where a closer look reveals its beauty - a classic columnar basalt formation rising nearly 150 metres straight out of the sea. The columns are deformed into a smooth bellied curve, with their soft grey colour posing a striking contrast to the bright glaciers surrounding it. Further south, on latitude 63° south, looms Deception Island, a ring-shaped island with an extensive internal crater.

      The EUROPA will sail through a small opening called ‘Neptunes Bellows’ into the volcanic crater and will drop anchor in Whalers Bay, near the ruins of a whaling station. Latterly the buildings where used as a base for research work, but in 1969/70 several stations were destroyed by a volcanic eruption. There is still volcanic activity in this area. You can walk to ‘Neptune’s Window’ and enjoy the magnificent view where the rim of the crater steeply goes back to the sea. It’s also an impressive panorama to look back into the crater. Weather depending we can spend between two or three days in this area, and afterwards we plan to leave to the Weddell Sea, sailing across the Bransfield Strait to the icy Antarctic Sound. This strait was named after the wrecked ship of the Swedish Antarctic Expedition of 1902 lead by the Swedish geologist Otto Nordenskjold.

    • Day 10/13 - Weddell Sea

      The Weddell Sea is known as an area where the breaking off of vast ice shelves produce large tabular icebergs. These huge icebergs drift away with the currents and winds, offering a magnificent view to
      lucky observers. The weather, the winds and the state of the sea dictate our sailing, speed and progress.

      But especially in Weddell Sea, the ice conditions play a key role on our scheduling. The last few years there was simply too much ice to pass the Antarctic Sound and we alternatively spend some extra days on the Antarctic peninsula.
      The captain and the expedition leader will try to find the best places to anchor, land or cruise between the icebergs and pack ice. We may encounter Gentoo and Adelie penguins on our way and have the chance of sighting the rare Snow and Antarctic Petrels. Furthermore, we hope to see Weddell, Leopard, Crab-eater and Elephant seals, and if we keep a good eye on the sea, there is a chance to spot Minke and Humpback whales, or if we’re very lucky, even a pod of Orcas!

      Many of us have read the incredible story of Sir Ernest Shackleton. From now on we will follow his steps to South Georgia. About 90 years ago in this area, an epic journey of survival and endurance started. Ernest Shackleton’s ship, the Endurance, was crushed by the pack ice and sank in the Weddell Sea. After a tough journey on the pack ice and sailing to Elephant Island using their small sloops, Shackleton and his men managed to land on this rocky island. But no help was to be found there, so he decided to sail all the way to South Georgia with a handful of his crew on board the sloop James Caird. After 17 days, they landed on the western coast of the island. From there, they had to undertake a strenuous and dangerous alpine crossing to the other side of South Georgia, where the whaling station Stromness was located. There, finally back in civilisation and safety Shackleton still had to rescue the rest of his crew from Elephant Island. That enterprise took several attempts before he finally succeeded. In the evening of the 13th day of our trip we leave the Weddell Sea and start our sail towards South Georgia. Depending on our progress under sail, we may approach Elephant Island on our way. If the sea conditions and weather are not too rough, it’s worth to have a closer look at this barren and inhospitable island.

    • Day 14/20 - Sailing to South Georgia

      The sailing to South Georgia “in the wake of the James Caird” will probably take place between the day 14th and 20th of our trip, always trying to make progress under sail. Every day at sea is different. We will learn to see the difference between the Black browed Albatrosses and Light-mantled Albatrosses. Nature decides the daily work on board. Then, on the horizon the ice-covered mountains of this Sub Antarctic Island will be visible.

    • Day 21/26 - South Georgia

      Once in South Georgia, we count on approximately six days to enjoy this remote and spectacular oasis in the Southern Ocean, offering one of the best wildlife spectacles on earth. The island is well known for its changeable weather and harsh conditions, located as it is in the middle of the Scotia Sea and completely exposed to the weather systems passing by, predominantly from west to east. It is for this reason, that the chances for visits ashore are highly dependant on the weather and sea conditions.

      During this week, we will have the opportunity to make several landfalls exploring the impressive landscapes that the island offers. We will try on several occasions to visit a variety of different landing sites, mixing activities themed on history, wildlife, glaciology and geology. For example, we may visit some derelict whaling stations from the golden age of whaling in the Antarctic area at the beginning of the 20th century (keeping a safety perimeter of 200m around the remains). Also, we could have the opportunity to visit Wandering Albatross nesting colonies where strict rules apply.

      The incredibly vast King Penguin rookeries spreading over the beaches and lower slopes of the mountainous landscape provide another highlight we hope to enjoy. Other penguin colonies may be visited, including those of the Macaroni penguins. But we need to have in mind that usually they nest in swell exposed areas amongst steep cliffs, making their colonies difficult to reach. Ifthe weather allows us, we also plan to do some hikes, for example one following Ernest Shackleton’s footsteps on the last part of his epic crossing of the whole island. We may pay a visit to his grave in Grytviken, where he lies side by side with his right hand during their expedition, Frank Wild. There we have the opportunity to walk around the whaling station, which has been taken care of, cleaned and prepared for visitors. In Grytviken, we can also visit the station’s interesting museum on the natural history of the island and its whaling era. On the island’s shores, we can also find several shipwrecks, like that of the Bayard. She was a fully rigged ship - one of the first to be built of steel in 1864 in Liverpool. In 1911 she was blown from her moorings and, despite rescue efforts, ran hard aground. This was the very same year the Bark Europa was launched.

    • Day 27/37 - Return to the ocean

      After finishing our visit to South Georgia, we will steer the Europa back into open oceanic waters. Even more then during the previous weeks the wind will determine our course, but if winds are from the right direction we will try to visit the most remote island of the world Tristan da Cunha.

      As far as our eyes can see, open ocean spreads all the way to the horizon and beyond. On our way we cross again the Antarctic Converge and soon we will be sailing on temperate waters. At that point we leave the Southern Ocean, where we have been since the beginning of our trip, and start sailing the South Atlantic. We will sail through the Furious Fifties to the Roaring Forties, where the winds usually blow continuously.

      This often keeps the watches active, helping the permanent crew with steering the ship, setting, taking away and furling sails. After sailing for about 12 days in this vastness of water, we shall spot the outlines of a very special group of volcanic islands – the Tristan da Cunha archipelago.

    • Day 38 - Tristan da Cunha

      Tristan da Cunha is part of the British overseas territory. With a small community of about 270 Tristanians and over 2400 kilometers from any other civilization, Tristan da Cunha as the largest of the four islands, is considered the most remote inhabited place on earth! Anchoring close to the small harbor of Edinburgh of the Seven Seas - Tristan’s only settlement – we hope to pay this fascinating place a visit.

      However, we need to be lucky to land our zodiacs at the jetty. The harbor is in no way protected from the elements!

      Due to Tristan’s position in the middle of the Southern Atlantic Ocean and steep coastline, it is fully exposed to open ocean swell and strong winds. Some seasons, hardly any of the visiting ships are fortunate enough to land. Should the weather be in our favor, we hope to enjoy various activities organized by Tristan’s local guides, like tours of the settlement, long hikes up to the base or peak of the volcanic cone or a shorter walk to the 1961 volcanic crater, where the last eruption took place. The islanders also offer to take us fishing or to play golf on their “world’s most remote golf course”. The archipelago’s extreme isolation has lead to a very unique plant and wildlife community. Many species are endemic, meaning they are found only on these islands and nowhere else in the world. Weather permitting, we may visit one of the archipelago’s small outer islands, Nightingale or Inaccessible Island before starting our way to Cape Town.

    • Day 39 - Tristan da Cunha

      Tristan da Cunha is part of the British overseas territory. With a small community of about 270 Tristanians and over 2400 kilometers from any other civilization, Tristan da Cunha as the largest of the four islands, is considered the most remote inhabited place on earth! Anchoring close to the small harbor of Edinburgh of the Seven Seas - Tristan’s only settlement – we hope to pay this fascinating place a visit. However, we need to be luckyto land our zodiacs at the jetty. The harbor is in no way protected from the elements! Due to Tristan’s position in the middle of the Southern Atlantic Ocean and steep coastline, it is fully exposed to open ocean swell and strong winds. Some seasons, hardly any of the visiting ships are fortunate enough to land. Should the weather be in our favor, we hope to enjoy various activities organized by Tristan’s local guides, like tours of the settlement, long hikes up to the base or peak of the volcanic cone or a shorter walk to the 1961 volcanic crater, where the last eruption took place. The islanders also offer to take us fishing or to play golf on their “world’s most remote golf course”. The archipelago’s extreme isolation has lead to a very unique plant and wildlife community. Many species are endemic, meaning they are found only on these islands and nowhere else in the world. Weather permitting, we may visit one of the archipelago’s small outer islands, Nightingale or Inaccessible Island before starting our way to Cape Town.

    • Day 40/51 - Ocean crossing towards Cape Town

      After this short break from sailing and the sea we return to the ocean for another 12 days. Back to oceanic sailing, our progress will depend once again on the weather’s mood. We will experience our transoceanic sailing trip in the same style as the sailors in historic times.

      The last part of the expedition to Cape Town is 1510 NM. The predominant winds are still westerly.

      Everyone is adjusted to the ship and experienced with the sea in his own way. The ocean is different for the birdwatcher, the biologist, clerk, or sailor. It depends on what you are looking for. The sea is a sea from enthusiastic stories, a sea that you deal with carefully and with respect. We come close to the Cape of Good Hope and now we sometimes see other ships on the horizon.

      After arrival in Cape Town we will berth in the harbor of Cape Town. Seals are playing and taking a sunbath on the piers. On the 1st April it is time to say goodbye to each other and the ship. At 9 a.m. we sign off. The return home has started and the EUROPA begins a new chapter. The ship shall go to the shipyard for maintenance. After a long ocean voyage many memories remain. Memories of a cold but favourable wind, longdistance birds on deck, groups of dolphins, petrels staying over for one night, skuas waiting for something to eat, a humpback waving farewell with his tail, a growing moon, but more than anything, memories of a group of people sailing this deep water sailing ship together to another continent.

    • Day 52 - Ocean crossing towards Cape Town; Disembarkation

      After this short break from sailing and the sea we return to the ocean for another 12 days. Back to oceanic sailing, our progress will depend once again on the weather’s mood. We will experience our transoceanic sailing trip in the same style as the sailors in historic times.

      The last part of the expedition to Cape Town is 1510 NM. The predominant winds are still westerly.

      Everyone is adjusted to the ship and experienced with the sea in his own way. The ocean is different for the birdwatcher, the biologist, clerk, or sailor. It depends on what you are looking for. The sea is a sea from enthusiastic stories, a sea that you deal with carefully and with respect. We come close to the Cape of Good Hope and now we sometimes see other ships on the horizon.

      After arrival in Cape Town we will berth in the harbor of Cape Town. Seals are playing and taking a sunbath on the piers. On the 1st April it is time to say goodbye to each other and the ship. At 9 a.m. we sign off. The return home has started and the EUROPA begins a new chapter. The ship shall go to the shipyard for maintenance. After a long ocean voyage many memories remain. Memories of a cold but favourable wind, longdistance birds on deck, groups of dolphins, petrels staying over for one night, skuas waiting for something to eat, a humpback waving farewell with his tail, a growing moon, but more than anything, memories of a group of people sailing this deep water sailing ship together to another continent.

    Please consider that our voyages are expeditionary in nature. This means, that there are no concrete itineraries, your Captain and Expedition Leader will utilise their vast experience to chart the best course for your expedition depending on the climatic and environmental conditions. Mentioned highlights and wildlife cannot be guaranteed.

  • Highlights & Activities

    Arrive in Antarctica under sail!

    Arriving into Antarctic under sail, is a privilege afforded to a few adventurous sailing souls. The Bark Europa is the only Tall Ship sailing in Antarctica waters, you’ll share moments of absolute tranquility with your companions,as the ship sails silently through the Antarctic waters.

    South Georgia; Wildlife Mecca

    One of the true wildlife experiences on our planet, often the wildlife displays here are referred to as the greatest on Earth. Set amongst awe inspiring scenery and home to King penguins, Wondering albatross and Elephant seals, it’s hard to imagine how early pioneers survived in this harsh landscape.

    Whales

    Whale numbers swell in Antarctica over the southern summer. Arriving in Antarctica from November onwards, whale numbers reach their peak around December and January. Sightings and particularly breachings reach a pinnacle in February and March, when the Krill is closer to the surface. Some 10 species of whales are found in Antarctic water each summer, with the most abundant species being the Humpack.

    Cape to Cape

    This journey’s ultimate voyage is from the Cape of South America to the Cape of South Africa. This sailing expedition will explore Antarctica, South Georgia and the remote islands of Tristan da Cunha, considered the most remote inhabited place on earth.

  • Inclusions
    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Zodiac & shore excursions
    - Pre-departure information package
    - All meals onboard
    - Hiking & guided walks
    - All onboard educational presentations
    - Hot beverages

    Not included in your Expedition

    - - in total); South Georgia GBP 200- p.p. (34 and 52 day voyages) and Tristan da Cunha GBP 30- p.p. (52 day voyage)
    - Landing fees excluded: Falklands between GBP 10- and GBP 20- per landing (approx GBP 120
    - Gratuities
    - Trip interruption / cancellation insurance
    - Travel medical insurance including medical repatriation (mandatory)
    - Medical expenses - fees / prescriptions / medications
    - Postage / telephone calls / email
    - Personal laundry
    - Spa treatments
    - Soft drink and alcoholic beverages
    - Personal expenses
    - Pre & post cruise transfers and hotel
    - Airport taxes
    - Visa and passport fees
    - International & internal airfares
  • Map
    Screen shot 2017 07 05 at 3.39.52 pm
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    BARK EUROPA

    Many people who come on board struggle to believe the history of the hull of this classic three-master. The Special purpose sail training ship EUROPA was built in 1911. In 1994 she was fully restored as a barque (three mast rigged ship) and now roams the seas of the world in the best seafaring tradition. With a professional crew of maximum 14 and a complement of 48 voyage crew members of different ages and nationalities, EUROPA is powered by canvas and co-operation. The crew makes sure the ship operates safely. The atmosphere on board reflects an adventurous maritime history. The traditional mahogany deckhouse, teakwood decks and floors as well as the beautiful interior with authentic early 20th century details provide a perfect ambiance for a fantastic voyage.

    Everyone is welcome to take the helm, set sails, assist with manoeuvres, navigation, weather observations, furling the sails on the yards and much more. The permanent crew will give lectures and instruct you during the voyage in steering, navigation and line handling. This will be done in a “Dutch” style, so without yelling, blowing whistles and so on. Also, you will find no uniforms on the Bark EUROPA. Crossing the ocean properly with a square rigger under sail like the Bark EUROPA is a team effort, so we appreciate every input from the voyage crew. Sailing experience is not necessary. Instructions will be given in watch responsibilities, basic sail theory, line handling, steering and navigation. There is always something new to see or to learn from the crew, of the voyage crew or by our environment. For some of the guests sailing on board EUROPA feels like an escape from their daily routine. Think of a relaxing time without your phone and without internet. Without Google you turn to each other and books for information. Let the people onboard surprise you with their knowledge of very diverse subjects. Live in the moment and admire the wonder of nature. During a voyage on board you establish a routine that is relaxing and comfortable but keeps you occupied.

    The ship is ideal for ocean crossings and longer voyages, with various places for relaxing: library, lounge, poker corner and deckhouse. These different areas allow you to do your own thing: perhaps some quiet reading or a more active role in the social life in the deckhouse. In the aft of the ship you have the Library. This is usually the most quit place of the ship so ideal to read a book or work on your own logbook. On tweendeck level you will find the Lounge. Breakfast is served here but this room also is used by the guides to have their lectures and show their movies. In the deckhouse you will find the ships Bar with the nice benches to meet your fellow crew and toast on another wonderful day.

    There are four 2-person cabins, four 4-person cabins and four 6-person cabins. The classic romantic bunks are very comfortable. All cabins are provided with ensuite shower and toilet. There are 12 cabins, of which four are 2 person cabins, four are 4-person cabins and four are 6 person cabins.

    Features & Facilities
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 3
    Guests #: 40
    Crew #: 62
    Ice Class:
    Speed: 12
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built:
    Length: 56m
    Width: 7
    Draft:
    Tonnage:
    Registry:
    Elec Outlets: 220V / 2 Round Pin
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
All available dates

4/6 Person Cabin

03 Mar 2018 - 23 Apr 2018
Comfortable bunk cabins with private facilties
Euro 9,490pp
Euro 9,490pp

2 Person Cabin

03 Mar 2018 - 23 Apr 2018
Comfortable twin cabin with private facilities
Euro 10,790pp
Euro 10,790pp