MacPharlain offers some great insight about tall ship history and their modern-day relevance.
A Tall Ship Sailing Adventure
Have you ever dreamed of sailing on a tall ship?
This site is a directory of tall ships around the world that you can sail on as a trainee crew member. Many of these tall ships are also available for charter cruises.
Each sail training ship is listed with pictures and a link for you to find more information and begin planning your tall ship sailing adventure.
There are even specially built tall ships for people with physical challenges to sail.
What's A Tall Ship?
A tall ship is a wind-powered ship with tall masts. The term typically refers to large sailing vessels that were the warships, freighters, and ocean liners of their day before the use of modern engines.
A tall ship does not have to be built entirely of wood. Most tall ships built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries had wrought iron or steel hulls and masts.
Tall ships are classified according to their rig (the number of masts and configuration of the sails). The basic rigs include full-rigged ship, brig, barque, brigantine, and barquentine.
Barque Picton Castle
Home Port: Lunenberg, Nova Scotia, Canada
During her lifetime, the Picton Castle has served as a fishing trawler, minesweeper, freighter, and schoolroom. The ship's home port is Lunenberg, Nova Scotia, but spends most of her time sailing the seas with up to 40 trainees at a time.
She also starred as the pirate ship in CBS' reality TV show Pirate Master.
Home Port: Kristiansand, Norway
The full-rigged ship Sorlandet was launched as a training ship in 1927 in Kristiansand, Norway. In 1933, she had the honor of serving as the Norwegian pavilion at the World Fair in Chicago after making her first Atlantic crossing.
Read More From Skyaboveus
The Sorlandet can accommodate up to 70 trainees during the summer months and is also available for charter cruises.
Home Port: The Hague, Netherlands
A three-masted barque, the Europa was built in 1911 and fully restored in 1994. Carrying a crew of 14 professionals and 48 voyage crew members (trainees), she spends most of the year at sea but is also available for day trips and charters.
Home Port: Oslo, Norway
The Norwegian Christian Radich was built in 1937 to serve as a training ship. Her amazing history includes setting speed records crossing the Atlantic, being sunk during World War II, and starring in the 1955 movie Windjammer. She takes on trainees and charters.
U.S. Brig Niagara
Home Port: Erie, Pennsylvania, USA
The original Niagara was built in 1813 during the War of 1812. Under the command of Commodore Perry, she was a key part of the American victory over the British in the Battle of Lake Erie. This replica was built in 1988 and includes some of the timbers from the original ship. She serves as a Sailing School Vessel during the summer and can be toured at the Erie Maritime Museum the rest of the year.
Home Port: Bergen, Norway
Built in 1914 as a German merchant marine training ship, the Statsraad Lehmkuhl is a three-masted barque that was acquired by Norway after World War I. She takes on trainees and chartered mini-cruises.
People Of All Physical Abilities Can Sail!
Thousands of people with a wide variety of disabilities including blindness, paraplegia, and multiple sclerosis have sailed a tall ship with the Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST). The JST is a registered charity that owns and operates Lord Nelson and Tenacious, the only two tall ships in the world designed and built to enable people of all physical abilities to sail side-by-side as equals.
Their ships sail the coasts of Europe, and the Canary Islands, and participate in international tall ship races. Whether out for a day sail or a month-long cruise on one of these ships, everyone who sails becomes part of the crew regardless of ability.
Home Port: Southampton, UK
Launched in 1986, Lord Nelson is the first of two tall ships specially designed and built by the Jubilee Sailing Trust to enable people with physical challenges to crew and sail a tall ship.
She is a three-masted barque that sails from Southampton, U.K., for day sails and longer voyages.
Home Port: Southampton, UK
The Tenacious is a three-masted barque specially designed and built by the Jubilee Sailing Trust to enable people with physical challenges to crew and sail a tall ship. She was launched in 2000 and sails from Southampton, U.K., for day sails and longer voyages.
Sail Training Organizations
- Sail Training International (STI)
Sail Training International is a UK based nonprofit organization with worldwide membership and activities. Their mission is the development and education of young people from all nationalities, cultures, religions and social backgrounds through sail
- The American Sail Training Association (ASTA)
A nonprofit organization focused on youth education, leadership development and the preservation of the maritime heritage of North America. This organization also organizes the annual TALL SHIPS CHALLENGEÂ® race series.
Home Port: Fremantle, Australia
The Leeuwin II is a three-masted barquentine that sails out of Fremantle, Western Australia. She sails primarily along the Western Australian coastline.
In addition to sail training, Leeuwin II offers day sails, brunch sails, school field trips, and private charters. You can even book your voyage online.
Pride of Baltimore II
Home Port: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
The Pride of Baltimore II is a reproduction of an 1812-era Clipper privateer. She sails as a goodwill ambassador of the State of Maryland. You can sail as a guest crew member for cruises from three days up to two weeks or more.
S/V Denis Sullivan
Home Port: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
The Denis Sullivan is a reproduction of a 19th-century Great Lakes cargo schooner. She serves today as a scientific education and nautical training vessel. You can join her crew for day sails on the Great Lakes or sign up for one of her educational expeditions.
Other Recommended Tall Ship Sites
- Tall Ships Tracker | Marine Vessel Finder
Top 79 Tall Ships list with details and current position. Check their nationality, year of build, length, beam, etc.
- Sail Training International - Events
Each year Sail Training International organizes several tall ship races. Thanks to Bruno Girin for providing the link! Check out his awesome tall ship photos.
Tall Ship Photo Credits
Except where otherwise noted, the tall ship photos on this site are used under Creative Commons from their respective owners.
Dar Mlodziezy used under Creative Commons from Bruno Girin.
Picton Castle used under Creative Commons from joannapoe.
Sorlandet used under Creative Commons from savagecat.
Europa used under Creative Commons from joannapoe.
Christian Radich used under Creative Commons from EnDumEn.
Tall Ship Niagara used under Creative Commons from ronnie44052.
Statsraad Lehmkuhl - Hoisting the Royal Yard used under Creative Commons from Bruno Girin.
Leeuwin II used by permission of CarlosEOS30D.
Wheelchair in Rigging used by permission of Jubilee Sailing Trust.
Lord Nelson used by permission of Jubilee Sailing Trust.
Tenacious used by permission of Jubilee Sailing Trust.
Have you sailed on a tall ship? Plan to? Please share your story in the log below...
Sign the Logbook
PurplePansy LM on April 30, 2013:
I would love to sail on a tall ship someday! Ever since I found out that there are still tall ships around and that one can learn how to sail them, I've been fascinated by the idea.
sondra1 on April 12, 2013:
I have sailed on the tall ship American Pride out of Long Beach California each year for the past ten years. This ship specializes in science and history experiences for students. Though we only sail to Santa Catalina Island, I find the experience of being on a tall ship very exciting!
ChoiceBathroom on November 16, 2012:
Wow! Very nice tall ship. I dream to see this boat in actual view. Cheers!
Affordable_Green_Energy on November 02, 2012:
After reading this, me and my family are ready to embark on our own training mission. Hopefully it will teach us to understand our father better on our own fishing trips into the Kills of New Jersey.
anonymous on November 02, 2012:
I FIRST SAILED ON THE ENDEAVOUR A DREAM I HAD SINCE I WAS A CHILD BUT LIVING IN IRELAND I DIDN'T SEE ANY TALL SHIPS WAS BORN IN NEW ZEALAND AND READ BOOKS ABOUT TALL SHIPS AS MUCH AS I COULD OF COURSE CAPTAIN COOKS ADVENTURES WAS OF GREAT INTEREST TO ME WHEN I GOT CHANCE TO DO A TRIP FROM IRELAND TO UK ABOARD ENDEAVOUR THE REPLICA OF CAPTAIN COOKS SHIP I JUMPED AT IT SO MY LOVE WAS REBORN OTHER SHIPS I SAILED WERE THE JEANIE JOHNSTON AN IRISH TALL SHIP ON MANY TRIPS THE DUNBRODY AND TS NELSON WHICH IS A TALL SHIP THAT BRINGS PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES ABOARD WISH TO GOD I COULD DO IT EVERY DAY FOR REST OF MY LIFE SO IF ANYBODY WANTS A CHEAP CREW MEMBER FOR THEIR TALL SHIP LET ME KNOW PLEASE HOPE YOU LIKE MY BRIEF STORY THANKS FOR READING
anonymous on November 02, 2012:
@bikerministry: ITS NEVER TOO LATE
blue22d on October 13, 2012:
I never seen a tall ship up close, but hope to some day. Love your lens.
bikerministry on September 30, 2012:
We always wanted to do a "barefoot cruise," but I'm afraid we waited too late, not sure I have the energy. Great lens, blessings.
anonymous on August 31, 2012:
Hurt you forgot about the Southern Swan and Sydney Harbour Tall Ships.
We take on a lot of short term crew (3mth commitment) and for those that suit the lifestyle provide experience and training that could take you much further in the industry.
Rose Jones on August 30, 2012:
I was blessed to be able to accompany my child on a trip on the Balcutha, a landed ship in the San Francisco Bay when he was in the fourth grade. So wonderful. A real clipper ship. Something about this!
Deadicated LM on August 22, 2012:
Love this Lens, and the wind in my hair and the smell of the sea (as long as we're not sailing by the garbage dump, lol). Arrrrrrr!
anonymous on July 12, 2012:
I've always thought it would be fun to sail away on a tall ship adventure!
anonymous on July 02, 2012:
You forgot to tell about SEA semester. Based in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, they train high school and college students in nautical and oceanographic science. They have 2 tall ships. I am not affiliated, but have gone on a four-day colleague voyage. It was fabulous. Check them out. sea.edu
anonymous on May 21, 2012:
Thanks for noticing my lens about my local tall ship. I only had a few hours, in a gale, so she could only use two small sails. It was great.
Everybody should try the experience if they can.
Miha Gasper from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU on May 18, 2012:
No, but want to!
Another great lens:-)
VisFeminea on April 16, 2012:
Amazing collected info! I love to sail ;)
Country Sunshine from Texas on April 01, 2012:
Years ago, there was a cruise company called Windjammer Barefoot Cruises. You could go on the cruise & just relax, or become part of the crew. I always wanted to do it, and now the company is non-existent. I see that there are still options available. I enjoyed the article. Thanks!
flicker lm on January 19, 2012:
Never sailed on a tall ship, but watched them come into Boston Harbor one year. Nice lens. I especially enjoyed reading about the history of the various ships.
TransplantedSoul on December 07, 2011:
These tall ships are beautiful. I remember touring the Christian Radich years ago when it was in port in Montreal.
Karen1960 on November 27, 2011:
I did a day sail on Tenacious (out of Southampton) a couple of years back. Awesome, and I hope that some day I'll be able to afford a longer trip.
webuser0150 on November 19, 2011:
would love to sail with one of those boats
SIALicenceUK on October 28, 2011:
would love to do this some day!
Close2Art LM on October 10, 2011:
I've been on some decent size sailboats but none like these..they are amazing and so grand!!! Great page..:)rwjr
anonymous on September 24, 2011:
As someone who has sailed several times on the Malcolm Miller, sister-ship to the Sir Winston Churchill, I can only suggest that if you ever get the opportunity to sail on any tall ship seize it with both hands.
E L Seaton from Virginia on September 12, 2011:
Still amazing that hundreds of years later, you can sail around the world with only nature powering you and stars and the sun to guide you. Outstanding nautical lens seafarer squid!
Ronald Tucker from Louisville, Kentucky on September 10, 2011:
Although I never had the opportunity to see a Tall Sip up close, I did see the celebration of Tall Ships entering the New York harbor in 1976 when I was a student at Parsons School of Design.
What was amazing to me where the mast and the navigational expertise the sailors of hundreds of years past possessed. Absolutely amazing.
NidhiRajat on September 07, 2011:
I like to travel on ship..............!!!!!!!!!!!!
MacPharlain (author) on August 15, 2011:
@Diana Wenzel: Thanks!
Renaissance Woman from Colorado on August 15, 2011:
Fabulous lens. I visited my first tall ship in Galveston, TX. To circumnavigate on one of these beautiful ships would be the experience of a lifetime. **Blessed**
Duffysailing on June 29, 2011:
love the museum archive
MacPharlain (author) on June 20, 2011:
@anonymous: Cool pics! Thanks for the link.
anonymous on June 19, 2011:
Have some great shots of the Barque Picton Castle returning home from it's 5th journey around the world! Welcome Home!!! http://www.flickr.com/photos/pashphotography/sets/...
Giovanna from UK on June 11, 2011:
Great page. Perfect for my adventurous nature. I love sailing. Good page. Thanks
KonaGirl from New York on May 29, 2011:
I love to sail and I love to travel. Today I'm traveling on a Squid Angel Road Trip for Memorial Day weekend that brought me to this lens. Leaving you with a Squid Blessing for your well done lens! I also created a featured lens module for my Memorial Day journey at My Squid Angel Wings and have added this lens.
mryachts on April 12, 2011:
Inspirational lens, interesting quality links. Thoroughly enjoyed my visit.
ShamanicShift on February 08, 2011:
What a wondrous dream to unfurl -- Thanks for lensing this information -- blessed by a SquidAngel!
Mary Beth Granger from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA on February 06, 2011:
How very interesting! I've never sailed on a tall ship but this lens has certainly got me thinking. blessed by a squidangel
Annamadagan on February 02, 2011:
Cool lens! I have never really been on a big ship, but I have been on a small boat!
CruiseReady from East Central Florida on January 04, 2011:
What a nice lens tor dreamers! I doubt that I will ever sail a tall ship, but I can dream, and your lens lets me do that! Thank you for putting together.
JJGJJG on December 21, 2010:
I toured one of these ships in St Augustine, Florida. The crew was an eclectic group and very interesting. They definitely were living the adventure of a lifetime.
AuthorNormaBudden on December 05, 2010:
I've never sailed on a tall ship but I've always enjoyed the opportunity to watch one as it sailed by. I'd be happy even having the opportunity to ride on a regular sailboat if the opportunity ever came along.
You have quite a list here; I can't help but wonder if these are the ones you came across when searching for a place in which you could learn to sail such tall ships.
I think it's outstanding that a couple of ships are used to enable sailing lovers with physical limitations to experience the joy of living their dreams.
anonymous on December 05, 2010:
@mariaamoroso: If it was in 2007, I was sailing on SÃ¸rlandet that year. The harbour of Stockholm full of ships was a fantastic sight! I just realised that from that trip I have virtually no pictures of Stockholm, probably because I was too busy having a good time :-)
irenemaria from Sweden on December 05, 2010:
Some years ago we went out in our boat and watched "Tall Ship Race"! These majestic ships were competing and were sailing towards Swedish harbour. I saw some of them you have posted here!
TheGoodSource101 on October 27, 2010:
It took Bravery and Huevos Grande to sail the Tall Ships.
jlshernandez on October 25, 2010:
Unfortunately, I get seasick easily. But great lens, anyway.
oldiesmusicnut on October 24, 2010:
Great Lens! These ships are classic beauty. I've been in love with the Christian Radich since I saw the movie "Windjammer" in 1958. You might like my Windjammer - The Movie lens. I've favorited and lensrolled yours :-)
Bradshaw LM on September 12, 2010:
I read the whole Master & Commander series about sailing during the Napoleonic era and have always wanted to get on one of these ships.
Peregrina LM on August 26, 2010:
I'd love to do this someday! I've featured this lens on my slow journeys lens--it's such an amazing way to travel.
MacPharlain (author) on June 19, 2010:
@anonymous: Bruno, you have taken some beautiful tall ship photos! Thanks for sharing them via Creative Commons and for posting the tall ship race info. Cheers!
anonymous on June 07, 2010:
I was a trainee and a watch leader on asgard 11 and it was one of the best experiences of my life. I plan to do another tall ship voyage, any recemendations?.
anonymous on May 14, 2010:
Nice lens! Thanks for using some of my pictures, it's very much appreciated. I have sailed on several tall ships and in particular SÃ¸rlandet. It is an amazing experience and I heartily recommend it to anybody who wants a holiday out of the ordinary. But even better, what about racing on a tall ship? Sail Training International organise tall ship races every year and they are absolutely amazing events. You can check the routes of the 2010 races here: http://www.sailtraininginternational.org/site-arch...
Don't worry about age for sailing on a tall ship, restrictions vary from ship to ship but generally speaking if you are anywhere between 16 and 70, you should be able to sail. But beware that it's not a cruise in the traditional sense of the word, you'll have to fully take part in running the ship, which is a lot of fun! So just contact some of the ships, see what's available and go sailing, you won't regret it.
TheNayak on May 13, 2010:
wow! this lens is great ! i never knew there are so many tall ships in the world!
Demaw on April 27, 2010:
It seems like it would be interesting sailing on one of those. I enjoyed being a passenger on a regular sail boat and this would also be a fun adventure. 5*
AussieAdrift on April 20, 2010:
No i haven't, but being part of a crew on a tall ship is something i would have loved to have done when i was younger. 5* for this lens and rolled to "Dinghy Building Tips For Dummies"
Jennifer Sullivan from Chicago, IL on April 19, 2010:
I would love to go on a sailing adventure! Blessed by a SquidAngel
anonymous on April 05, 2010:
No, I have never sailed on one of these beautiful ships and have no immediate plans to do so. However peoples lives change. My interest is only as a writer gaining information...I was actually looking for information on the different uses of the anchor...I believe that they are of much more use than what I have read about thus far...I plan to use the information in a Christian Sermon...
bobtyndall on December 18, 2009:
Great Lens. Great information. 5*
anonymous on October 25, 2009:
I built a little tall ship in Victoria bc . Often take on crew for email@example.com during tourist season to make her pay. Check it out.
Rhonda Albom from New Zealand on October 24, 2009:
Fun lens. I sailed on a tall ship back in my single days, but just for a week long holiday.
anonymous on August 16, 2009:
Working on my "bucket list", i am looking for a day trip on a tall ship. Any one have any recommendations?
anonymous on August 08, 2009:
Hey, Im looking to possibly crew a tall ship for the summer of 2010 (roughly from late may till august). Need a summer job before college, plus this would be the chance of a lifetime. Ive grown up around boats and my family has always had one growing up. I love being on the water.. any one know of a ship that hires for the summer or any advice would be appreciated.
MacPharlain (author) on July 09, 2009:
[in reply to ORH-Sr] ORH-Sr, thanks for the good words, I'm glad you liked the lenses. They were some of my favorites to build. You can find more tall ship lenses and fans at the Tall Ships Group.
Yes, I toured the HMS Bounty while she was in St. Pete. Many years ago. Looking forward to reading your Stad Amsterdam lens!
ORH-Sr on July 08, 2009:
It's me again. You mentioned touring the HMS Bounty as a kid. Was that at the pier in St. Petersburg Fl. by any chance. I toured it there years ago.
Again great lenses.
ORH-Sr on July 08, 2009:
Wonderful lens. I have been working on a lens about the Clipper Stad Amsterdam. I was able to do a day trip on this clipper about two years ago. I had heard and read about these great ships and the changing of the sails and all the other things involved in the operation of the ship. Nothing, absolutely nothing compares to being there watching the crew do all the things you had read about. I have told people about the trip repeatedly and when I started on Squidoo earlier this month I decided to share it with everyone.
I was just looking around the travel area and discover two of your lens on tall ships. They are great; I will favorite them and hope to rollens them once I have my lens published.
VicM on June 09, 2009:
wow you really are into tall ships... if you ever wish to sail one and enjoy the beautiful mediterranean sea... 'florette' does charter work... she is one of the last original wooden brigantines still sailing and earning her living from the sea...
MacPharlain (author) on May 13, 2009:
[in reply to MudRider500] Thanks for the comment, MudRider, you might like my Tall Ship Movies lens.
MudRider500 on May 13, 2009:
Wonderful. You need a "tall ships in the movies" section for those of us that want to see one in action.
anonymous on May 01, 2009:
You did a great job!! My family and I enjoyed this sight and will be looking to come back again. Thank you
mikeblack on September 28, 2008:
I grew up making models of the Cutty Sark and sailed on the Alma Doepel in Melbourne. The majesty of these vessels cannot be ignored!
Alpinefolk on August 27, 2008:
Hey great lens. I was looking for something else, but got distracted. It really held my attention. 5*
eccles1 on July 08, 2008:
You did a great job!!I love these pictures Thank you