Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

What is your policy regarding corona?

The crew is fully vaccinated. All guests must comply with the rules and regulations set by the countries and areas that you will visit with the OOSTERSCHELDE.

How can I support the ships?

Supporters of the OOSTERSCHELDE and HELENA are indispensable. Thanks to our Friends, we can realise expensive restoration projects on our unique ships. Besides that, we can organise sailing trips and other activities for special target groups at cost price. Read here the three ways on how to support the ships.

Which voyage will suit me?

A voyage with a tall ship is suitable for everyone. To cater for different interest, we make voyages with diverse themes. On most of our trips, we seek a balance between sailing on a beautiful tall ship and discovering an area. During Tall Ships Races the focus is on sailing and teamwork, whereas mile maker voyages are designed to experience the real sailors life. There is no age limit, but it is important to be fit, in order to participate in the life on board.

Can I participate in sailing the ship?

Participating in sailing and running the ship is an important part of the overall experience on board and is a valuable asset of our voyages. Everyone is welcome to take the helm, set sails, assist with manoeuvres, learn more on navigation, help furling the sails and much more. Our permanent crew will instruct you during the voyage. This will be done in a “Dutch” style, so without yelling, blowing whistles and so on. Sailing experience is not necessary.

Am I fit enough for a voyage on board?

The circumstances on board can be challenging, so you need to be fit in order to participate. On long crossings you need to be able to adjust to the constant movements and angle of the ship. When we are anchored, you must be able to climb the pilot ladder to enter the dinghy and during expeditions we often make long hikes on shore. On our booking form, we request information about your allergies, use of medication and other medical details which can be relevant. If you have, or the shipping company has, any doubts concerning your health, we will ask you to consult to your doctor. The shipping company can advise an alternative voyage, or in rare cases, decide to turn down your booking.

Please keep in mind it is not a bad idea to get started with training and get in shape. You will enjoy your voyage even more when you are fit. Please inform us about any changes in your health occurring between booking the voyage and embarking the ship.

The watch system

Once we are at sea we might sail for several days and nights. The professional crew takes turns in operating the ship. Before we cast off, you will get extensive safety instructions and we invite you to join the watch system. This means we ask you to join the permanent crew for 4 hours to help sail the ship, after which you will be off for 8 hours. The level of participation depends on your interest and physical condition.


Our experienced ships’ cook prepares three delicious meals a day. In between the meals, snacks and/or fruit is served. Coffee, tea, milk and water are included in the voyage fee. Other drinks will be charged at the end of the voyage, at the rate of normal bar prices.


On deck shoes with soft, but sturdy, soles are recommended. Other practicalities are insurance papers and obviously a valid passport. Please don’t forget to take your personal belonging such as medication, extra glasses and lens solution, etcetera.

Furthermore, you can think of:
-Sunglasses and sunscreen.
-Warm, water and wind proof clothes (and perhaps gloves).
-Photo and/or video camera.


In every cabin there are sheets, a pillow and blankets so, you don’t need to bring a sleeping bag. We do have a towel for you, but we do recommend taking an extra towel. It is best to use bags (or soft suitcases) for your luggage, as suitcases take up a lot of space in the cabin. We advise you not to take large amounts of cash or valuables on board.


The shipping company is responsible for the safety of all people on board. But you are also responsible for your own safety. If your health depends on your medication, it can have negative consequences to be seasick for a day. On board there are always crewmembers who are medically trained, but a doctor or hospital might be far away. In case your mental or physical health is not sufficient, you might be at extra risk during a voyage on sea. Sometimes, it is a good idea to get advice from your physician. On the booking form, you are obliged to state all medical information that might be relevant for this voyage. In case of questions regarding your health, the shipping company will contact you. The shipping company has the right to decline your booking on basis of medical concerns.


The shipping company insured for legal liabilities during your stay on board. This insurance does not cover any damages that you might encounter getting to the ship or during trips on shore.

You need to have a travel insurance for your voyage. On our booking form, we ask you to confirm this.

In between the time of booking and getting on board, anything can happen with you or your family. You can choose to insure the voyage fee, but also additional costs such as the flights and the hotel by means of an annulation insurance.


Yes, the shipping company is affiliated with SGR guarantee. If the shipping company gets into financial problems, SGR will guarantee the travel sum will be refunded. As of February 1, 2021, every traveler will pay a contribution of 5 euros per person per booking. Do you want to know more? Click here for more information.


Are you cold at night and would you prefer an extra blanket? Do you have special wishes regarding the meals? Or do you have a broken lamp in your cabin? Please do mention this to the captain or the first mate while you’re still on board. In most of the cases, we can accommodate your wishes or solve the problem.

Personalized offer?

Do you have another question? Please contact us.