Voyage to the Gulf of Mexico

In the spring of 2018, join Picton Castle on a voyage to the Gulf of Mexico. For the first time ever, Tall Ships America is hosting the Tall Ships Challenge in ports on the Gulf coast. Picton Castle has been invited to participate and we couldn't be more happy to accept! 

This means that Picton Castle will be joining an impressive fleet of tall ships from around the world for a series of tall ships events in Galveston, Texas; Pensacola, Florida; and New Orleans, Louisiana. We'll spend a few days in each port welcoming the public on board for deck tours in a festive waterfront atmosphere. On the way from port to port, the ships will be racing and sailing in friendly competition. 

You can be part of this historic gathering of tall ships. Trainee applications are now being accepted from people ages 15 and up of all nationalities. No sailing experience is required, just good health and the desire to be part of the working crew of the ship. Trainees are truly involved in sailing the ship: steering, doing forward lookout, hauling on lines and handling sails, scrubbing the decks, painting, helping in the galley, standing watches through the day and night. With the guidance of our experienced, qualified professional crew, you'll learn all you need to know to be a beginning deckhand on board our square rigger. 

Bermuda and Bahamas

The voyage begins in beautiful St. George's, Bermuda. Picton Castle has been here many times and our crew always enjoy the island's warm hospitality. Each leg of the voyage will begin with orientation and training for all new trainees signing on, which will keep you busy much of the time in Bermuda, but there will be time to get ashore and see the pink sand beaches and some old English colonial architecture, like at the Royal Naval Dockyard.

The first leg will take you from Bermuda to Spanish Wells in the Bahamas. There are a few options for getting to and from Spanish Wells by air, one is to fly to the North Eluthera Airport then take a land taxi and then a short water taxi to Spanish Wells, the other is to fly to Nassau then take a ferry to Spanish Wells. This small island has about 1,500 residents, many of whom are fishermen. We'll enjoy a relaxing time here before heading to the big urban cities on the Gulf coast. 

Tall Ships Challenge

The first of the three tall ships festivals takes place in Galveston, Texas. Galveston is the home port of the Barque Elissa, and the Galveston Historical Foundation. Elissa will join us as part of the fleet for this series of events. 

From Galveston, you'll sail to Pensacola, Florida, almost as far west on the Florida coast as it's possible to be. The conventional technology of tall ships will meet the modern technology of aviation as Pensacola is the home of the Blue Angels, the flight demonstration team. 

The final passage of the voyage will take you to to New Orleans, Louisiana. After a short crossing at sea, the final part of the passage will take you up the Mississippi River to Woldenberg Park, near the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and the famous French Quarter. 

In each port, Picton Castle will open her decks for public tours and private events. As a trainee, you will get to experience these festivals as crew, participating in various crew-only events and checking out the other ships. 

Voyage to the Gulf 2018 Itinerary

LegLocationPort Date
Leg 1St. George's, BermudaMarch 9, 2018
 Spanish Wells, BahamasMarch 21, 2018
Leg 2Spanish Wells, BahamasMarch 21, 2018
 Galveston, Texas, USAApril 6, 2018
Leg 3Galveston, Texas, USAApril 6, 2018
 Pensacola, Florida, USAApril 13, 2018
Leg 4Pensacola, Florida, USAApril 13, 2018
 New Orleans, Louisiana, USAApril 22, 2018

*All dates and ports are subject to change.

Who Can Join

This voyage is open to men and women of all nationalities ages 15 and up. While those with sailing experience are welcome, no sailing experience is needed to apply. You do need to be in good health and will be required to obtain a note from your doctor attesting that you can do moderately strenuous physical activity. 

As a trainee on Picton Castle, you will be part of the crew that actually sails the ship. You will stand watches, take your turn at the wheel, scrub the deck, help the cook in the galley, haul on lines to set sails, do lookout duty, and be involved in the daily operation of the ship. Our experienced crew will show you how and guide you through it all. 

This is the ideal voyage for someone who wants a taste of life on board a tall ship. Picton Castle will set sail for a year-long world circumnavigation voyage immediately following this voyage, so this will be the last chance until at least 2019 for you to join the crew for just a week or two. 

Voyage prices include room, board, passage and instruction. You are responsible for your own travel to and from the ship. 


Prices for the voyage, in US dollars (USD), are as follows.

Entire Voyage: $4900
Leg 1: $1400
Leg 2: $1750
Leg 3: $975
Leg 4: $1250

Uncertain about the cost? Look more closely at our voyage fees.

Apply Now

Step aboard for this adventurous journey. Start by filling out the online trainee application form. For more information, contact the voyage coordinator. We look forward to receiving your application.

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