6 weeks of learning and experiencing at sea

Masterskip offers an unforgettable experience for every trainee that comes on board the Wylde Swan. It is a unique programme for high school students wanting to further explore the sciences.

There are five trips, each with their own character, and all taking place between November and May. If you sail with Masterskip, you’ll get to experience how theory becomes practice at sea. Our Tall Ships become your classroom at sea!

At this moment we’re not offering an international Masterskip-programme. However, if you’d be interested in joining Masterskip we’d like to know! Get in touch, and we’ll tell you everything about the possibilities of joining the Masterskip.

Sailing and learning?

It’s true! During this 6-week trip, you’ll be continuing your schoolwork on board. Before you leave, you’ll draw up an action plan with your school regarding the material you need to learn and the tests you need to take. Once on board, you’ll spend 3 or 4 hours a day, six days a week, on your schoolwork. It’s self-study and it’s intensive, and we have four experienced teachers on board to help you.


You regularly discuss your personal learning goals and progress with your mentor on board. If you’re having difficulty with self-study, your mentor can help you draw up a structured daily programme, so that you don’t start to lag behind. 

In addition to the 3 or 4 hours of self-study each day, you’ll also follow lessons that broaden or delve deeper into a subject and that are linked to life on board. For instance, workshops on navigation, the forces at play while sailing, on-board technology, meteorology, the composition of sea water, and sea life. These activities and workshops follow through on the subjects you get at school.

Destinations: Where will you go?

Masterskip offers 5 different, and each has its own character and special features. Which journey will you choose?

Trip 1: Oceancrossing to the Caribbean

How many people can say they’ve crossed the Atlantic Ocean on a tall ship?

Make the voyage sea heroes have made across the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean. Discover what makes an ocean crossing so unique. Experience the tranquility of being at sea, and find out about the dolphins, whales and other sea life that you might just meet in the middle of the ocean.
Trip 1

Your journey

An organized trip will take you to Galicia in northwest Spain where you’ll board the ship. Maybe there’s time for an excursion to Santiago de Compostela. You’ll set sail along a coast full of islands, inlets, white, sandy beaches and rugged rocky formations, past the sub-tropical flowery island of Madeira and on to Tenerife. You might even stop off at Casablanca or Agadir in Morocco. Subject to change!

In the first two weeks of this journey, you’ll sail along the European and African side of the Atlantic. At the end of November, a favourable trade wind will take you across the ocean to the Caribbean. The ocean crossing takes about three weeks, which means you’ll then still have plenty of time to explore one or more of the Caribbean islands.

Your journey will end with you flying back to the Netherlands from one of the Caribbean islands.

Trip 2: Learn to sail a Tall Ship - You set the course!

You’re sailing in the Caribbean on a tall ship and you and your fellow trainees and crew carry the responsibility!

Learning to navigate a tall ship is a unique experience for anyone, whether you are an experienced sailor or not. You'll start with learning everything there is to know about sailing a tall ship, from recovering the jibs on the bowsprit to setting the top sail up on the highest yard in the mast. After that you can apply for a particular job on the ship, from cook to helmsman. During your work placement, our crew teaches you all about the tasks and responsibilities of your job and as soon as everyone knows what they have to do, it’s full speed ahead – you take over the sailing of the tall ship in the Ship’s Takeover!
Trip 2

Your journey

An organized trip will take you to the Caribbean where you’ll board the ship. We’ll leave as soon as possible for a long stint of ocean sailing. During this sailing trip calling at various islands, you’ll start your sailing training. At the same time, you’ll visit the islands and explore, like a true Robinson Crusoe, the beautiful nature and culture of the islands.

Our basic Masterskip educational programme is science-based and in addition to the three experienced science teachers, this trip also includes a history teacher who will bring the colourful history of the area to life.

Trip 3: Expedition to the jungle and coral reef

On the lookout for adventure! Go on an expedition to the jungle or take a dive down to the coral reefs in the underwater world of the Caribbean.

This journey will bring out the true explorer in you. The Tall Ship will be your base and you’ll sail from tropical island to tropical island, going on excursions with local guides into the jungles on the islands. Explore extraordinary places where our human footprint is still minimal and enjoy the nature. Above, and below the waterline!
Trip 3

Your journey

An organized trip will take you to the Caribbean where you’ll get straight onboard the tall ship. Once everyone has settled, we’ll set sail for a long stint of ocean sailing. This will be followed by shorter trips taking in different islands where you’ll get to explore the beautiful nature and experience the local economies on the islands.

Our basic Masterskip educational programme is science-based and in addition to the three experienced science teachers, this trip also includes an economics teacher who will delve with you into, for instance, the trade and tourism aspects of the islands in this area.

Trip 4: Caribbean expedition to Jamaica and Cuba

Find out what the local population of Jamaica and Cuba understand by the expressions ‘chill vibes’, ‘limin'’ and ‘don’t worry’!

Jamaica and Cuba; two countries in the Caribbean with a great variety of nature. Did you know for instance that Cuba consists of about 4,000 smaller islands? So there’s enough to explore – and that’s what you’ll definitely do during this trip. On board our Tall Ship, you’ll sail from island to island and discover the famous culture and nature of these amazing islands.
Trip 4

Your journey

An organized trip will take you to the Caribbean where you’ll get straight onboard the Tall Ship. And that’s where the adventure begins. In a few shorter trips you’ll be taking in different Caribbean islands including Jamaica and finally Cuba. You’ll fly home from Cuba.

Four science-based teacher will join this trip.

Trip 5: Oceancrossing from the Caribbean - Azores - Netherlands

Cross the Atlantic Ocean on a tall ship. How cool is that? From the Caribbean to the Azores and then on to the Netherlands.

A long sailing trip over the ocean gives you the chance to find out what it’s like to be on a tall ship for an extended period. Like the sea heroes before you, you’ll get to experience the tranquillity of being at sea, find out about dolphins, whales and other sea life, and explore the beautiful islands of the Azores.
Trip 5

Your journey

An organized trip will take you to the Caribbean where after a few days on Cuba you’ll start your journey over the North Atlantic. A long sailing trip will take you to the beautiful Azorean islands where you will go exploring. After a few days in the Azores, the ocean crossing continues, taking you, depending on the wind, along the South of England or the coast of France. Once in the Netherlands, you’ll be welcomed as a true ocean sailor!

Life on board

A Masterskip journey may mean being at sea for weeks without spying land. Boring? Not at all! There are things to do throughout the day on the Wylde Swan: schoolwork, keeping watch, sailing, cleaning. There’s no time to be bored!

Each journey includes a few days when we go on excursions, whether this is during the trip or on arrival or departure. So it’s not all hard work. There’s plenty of time to enjoy everything around you! Like the huge chance you have of seeing sea life such as pods of dolphins or lost turtles or whales.


You sleep on board nearly every night, even returning to the ship when on land excursions. Everyone has their own bunk or hanging mat and your own sea chest to keep your things in. A total of 30 trainees can sail with us on the ship and there are 10-12 crew members and 4 teachers on board.


Nearly all the tasks on board are done together. You are divided into groups and allocated a task to do. This could for instance be scrubbing the deck, cleaning the holds, or even cooking. And we always eat together. How do you get fresh bread when you’re at sea? Well, you make it yourself with the ship’s cook! We need about 20 loaves a day, so on board, you’ll learn how to make bread!

Our Fleet


The Wylde Swan is the ship you’ll be sailing on. She’s the largest topsail schooner in the world and has been specially designed as a training ship for sailing with youth. It was launched in 2010.

The two 40-meter masts and the extremely large sails form the silhouette of the Wylde Swan. On deck, there’s room enough to come together as a group but there are also enough quiet corners where you can withdraw from the busyness of life on board.

The main hold forms the heart of social life on board. This is where you study, play games, sleep and chill out. The ship’s décor is clean, fresh and modern.


The Reade Swan // Noorderlicht with her ice strengthened bow is the most beautiful Tall ship in the fleet and is suited for all ages. Anyone can come on board, from families with children to elderly sailors, fathers with sons, mothers with daughters, friends for life or budding relationships.

What immediately stands out is the warm and cozy atmosphere in the ship. There are beautiful communal areas that can be well heated in the polar areas. There are also 10 comfortable two-person cabins. Living together on board is a fantastic experience whatever your age. The group process is one of the most important parts of a sea voyage. For leadership voyages the set-up is ideal.


Our ships meets all requirements set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The crew is well-trained in handling emergency situations and particularly in preventing emergencies from arising in the first place. The whole ship and the crew are inspected annually by various governmental organisations.

Contact us to find out more about Masterskip.

For Parents

It’s great that your child is interested in an educative sailing trip with Masterskip. We often hear from parents that they wish they could have done the same kind of thing themselves. And of course, you may also have a lot of questions, and even concerns, about your child wanting to join Masterskip.

What is Masterskip?

Masterskip is a unique programme that has developed over the years into a strong educational concept. The main principles are:

1: Intensive education

Masterskip provides an intensive programme that not only includes theoretical science lessons, but also the chance for your child to find out what physics really is. Night-time sailing under the stars and learning how to navigate and then in the morning getting on with schoolwork during the self-study session – there’s a constant interplay between theory and practice.

2: A rich and varied learning environment

The learning environment on board is drastically differently to that of a classroom. Self-study and teaching on board combined with excursions on land form an amazing learning environment. The Wylde Swan is a sailing training ship and under the professional eye of an international crew, the students learn all about what it takes to sail a ship.

3: Personal development

Your child will step out of their comfort zone, work with other trainees and learn all about themselves in a safe social environment. Life on board is an intensive mini society in which your child will strengthen their social and communicative skills. And where their personal leadership skills will develop rapidly, where necessary with guidance from their personal mentor.

4: Adventure

In addition to life at home and at school, your child wants to discover as much as they can of the world and gain inspiring experiences. A trip with Masterskip is more than just an interesting addition to schoolwork, it’s a chance to see something of the world whilst also developing personally and fundamentally.


Are you in for an adventure of a lifetime? We’re currently not offering an international Masterskip-programma, however we’d like to hear from you if you’re interested. Fill out the contact form below, and let us know! We’ll tell you everything about the possibilities of joining Masterskip as an international.

Contact form

Contact details

Sjaak Bos (education coördinator)
Pean 1, 8494 NB Nes-Akkrum, The Netherlands
0515 231 712