Our Trainee Program
The Picton Castle training program offers paying sail trainees an opportunity to sail around the world as deckhands on a traditional square-rigged ship.
Everyone on board participates in the ship's operation: handling sails, scrubbing the deck, taking a turn at the wheel, raising anchor, hauling on lines, helping in the galley, going aloft (optional), or keeping lookout. There are training classes in seamanship and navigation, plenty of opportunity to learn square-rig sailing and to explore exotic tropical ports and islands.
No sailing experience is needed.
Watch the Promotional Video
Who can be a Trainee
Men and women who are physically fit, cheerful, flexible in getting along with new people and situations, and above all, enthusiastic about sailing.
As you have no doubt learned from our web pages, National Geographic Adventure magazine, radio and/or television, you'll join a highly professional crew and a talented and resourceful group of sail trainees.
On our World Voyages and Longer Trips
Individual men and women age 18+ (no couples, please*). We prefer trainees under age 40, though we accept older persons who are healthy and fit. It is a strenuous life. Trainees work hard on board and live in close quarters in tropical weather, so some discomfort is to be expected.
On our Shorter Trips
Men and women ages 15+. Couples are welcome, as are parents with teens.
* Please review the Picton Castle Couples Policy for more details.
More in this Section
Great Lakes 2019
Tall Ships Challenge sailing to nine different ports in the Great Lakes, both USA and Canada - sign on for just a week or the full voyage - June to September 2019Read More >
World Voyage 7
Around the world: Panama, Galapagos, Pitcairn, French Polynesia, Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Bali, Reunion, South Africa, St. Helena, Caribbean - April 2018 to May 2019Read More >