For those lucky enough to be enjoying holidays to South Africa and the Cape Town region this week, eyes may be averted to the surrounding waters of the adjoining Atlantic and Indian Oceans whereby three iconic Dutch ‘tall ships’ will visit the area.
The sailing vessels – Europa, Oosterschelde and Tecla are embarking on Cape Town as part of a wider expedition of the globe in celebration of the life of explorers and Netherlands nationals Abel Tasman and Anthony van Diemen.
This expedition is functioning as a throwback to the ancient sailing era and the three ships will navigate and re-enact the old eastern trade sailing route which comprises a course around the Cape of Good Hope before sailing up the eastern coast of South Africa before heading for India and Indonesia across the Indian Ocean, stopping at Mauritius in between.
The ships aren’t just to look at however, with a real hands-on experience as provided by guests being able to embark onboard and lend a hand to the crew.
For those inclined to set sail, travellers will receive insight into the art of navigation, how to operate the sails while standing watch alongside the crew.
Following the three ships tour of the Indian Ocean before turning back and circling Cape Horn and South America, the convoy will go their separate ways with Europa remaining in the southern hemisphere ahead of an Antarctic expedition, while Oosterschelde and Tecia will embark on a route back to their native Netherlands – not before stopping off at the mid-Atlantic Azores islands belonging to Portugal.
The ships’ prevalence in Cape Town will provide fantastic photographic opportunities, especially from Table Mountain.