COVID-19 – TALL SHIPS  OPERATIONAL STATEMENT

Our priority is, and always has been, safety whilst on board. In March the Tall Ships Youth Trust made the difficult but necessary decision to suspend all voyages between 26 March and 1st August 2020.

We will sail again when we are sure that the risks to our staff and voyagers have been reduced to the lowest practical level. Sailing has never been risk-free, so we are used to assessing and managing risk; Covid-19 is no different. That said, we must follow the Government’s guidelines and will take all practical measures to ensure that those who are sailing with us arrive in good health, join a boat which has been sanitised  and, to the extent possible, adhere to the contemporary hygiene and social distancing guidelines onboard. The protocols we will have in place will not detract from the life-changing experience we offer, but they will evolve over time as Government guidelines change – for the better or the worse -  but this won’t change our commitment to enabling young people to reach their true potential, in a low risk environment.

We know you are just as excited to start sailing again as we are, so we would like to reassure you that you can book with the confidence that we will provide the flexibility and freedom you need at this time. If your voyage is unable to go ahead or you are unable to attend for a valid reason related to Covid-19 (e.g. you have contracted the virus, or you have been directed to self-isolate), we will try to rearrange the voyage for a mutually agreed later date, and if this isn’t possible we will provide a refund in line with our existing terms and conditions.

The pandemic has had a very serious impact on the charity. Whilst we have turned the Trust around over the past two years, and made our first operating profit for 17 years last year, we still do not have the reserves to take us through this unprecedented economic shock. Our income has plummeted, and we are finding ways to cut our cost base, and seeking as much relief as we can from government, potential creditors and lenders. At the same time, our fundraising team are working hard to ensure we have the necessary funds to take us through this storm, and to allow us to continue supporting young people when the pandemic has subsided.

We are hoping to resume operations in August and we are doing all we can to ensure we get through the next few tough months so that we can continue to support vulnerable young people for another 64 years and beyond.

It is imperative that all of us - staff, donors, volunteers and supporters - all pull together now, and continue to do all we can for the charity, as we enter this very challenging period.

Please let us know if we can provide any further information. Thank you in anticipation of your ongoing, and renewed, support.

We would like to thank you for your patience, understanding and unwavering support throughout the pandemic.