Couples Policy

The Picton Castle does not accept couples as trainee applicants on the our World Voyages. We make no exceptions.

The reason for this policy is that couples, particularly life partners, typically and naturally put their relationship with each other above their individual relationships with the ship. They usually form a closed social unit, and, even if they make an effort not to be one, are often treated as a closed unit by the rest of the crew. While perfectly natural, this dynamic prevents couples from focusing primarily on their roles as trainees, the needs of the ship and their shipmates. Since their roles as crew members require their full attention at all times, we have found that the couple dynamic has a destructive and even corrosive social effect on the Picton Castle crew as a whole.

On past World Voyages, we have made exceptions to this policy. Each time, we and typically the couple in question, have been genuinely disappointed. The group cohesion suffered, individuals suffered, and typically, the couple involved were unhappy with their experience as well. Nobody ended up very pleased.

Many other ships and maritime organizations have had the same or a similar policy. Examples include the Brigantine Yankee, Brigantine Romance, Sea Education Association (SEA), Royal Canadian Navy, U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard Ship Eagle, and the Danish School Ship Danmark. Many of these ships will discharge couples should they form after a voyage begins.

So, as stated above, we do not accept couples who apply for our World Voyages. We do, however, welcome couples to apply for our shorter summer and winter trips.

We also refer couples to other sailing ships, such as the Soren Larsen, a brigantine out of New Zealand that makes shorter regional cruises in the western South Pacific. Contact the Soren Larsen by e-mail or explore their website for more information. Couples can also contact the American Sail Training Association (ASTA) at (401) 846-1775, e-mail them, or visit the ASTA web site to learn more about hundreds of other vessels that have sailing programs.

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