Age range


Start port


End port





Competent Crew

Voyage code



Up to £350

Voyage highlights

Explore the west coasts of England and Wales while embracing challenges and advancing your sailing skills
Build up your resilience and independence and experience leadership
Set targets for development and adopt a positive attitude towards achieving goals
Opportunities to complete your RYA Competent Crew qualification and the residential section of your DofE Gold Award
Open to previous TSYT voyagers or those with previous sailing or outdoor learning experience

Join Tall Ships Youth Trust (TSYT) and expand your skillset at sea on a nine-night Voyage of Empowerment from Whitehaven to Portsmouth.

If you’ve sailed with us before or you have a different kind of active and residential outdoor learning experience, this is a great opportunity to challenge yourself on board one of our iconic 72ft Challenger yachts.

As you explore West and South England as well as the Welsh coast, you’ll be able to spend time reflecting on your aspirations, setting meaningful goals towards them, and develop tangible life and employability skills which will support you on your journey into adulthood.

Our Empowerment Voyages are designed as the second stage of TSYT’s three-voyage programme, building on the entry-level skills learnt on an Exploration Voyage.

These voyages support young people to develop resilience, a positive attitude towards challenge, greater independence, mental toughness, decision-making ability, self-reliance and an individual understanding of how they function within a team.

For this reason, this Empowerment Voyage may not be suitable for young people with no previous voyaging or residential outdoor learning experience.

Not only can you use this voyage to complete the residential section of your Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, but you will also work towards achieving your RYA Competent Crew qualification. ​

Places you’ll visit

Setting off from Whitehaven, you’ll head out into the Irish Sea towards Northwest Wales and then along the stunning Welsh coast. You’ll then head down to Southwest England and along the South and Jurassic Coasts before finishing in Portsmouth. Possible stopovers on this voyage include Holyhead, Milford Haven, Lundy, Falmouth, Fowey, Torbay, Weymouth, Poole and Cowes.

Bring something to record your ideas and reflections in (this can be a digital device) and be prepared to get involved in co-creating an ocean-based sustainability project to build your awareness and skills around taking action to protect our ocean environment.

Be sure to bring a camera as you may spot dolphinsseals and fin whales along the way.​

Takeaways from your sailing adventure

Life skills. Increased confidence. Independence. Resilience. Decision-making abilities. Lasting memories.

Throughout the week, you’ll experience plenty of opportunities to steer the yacht and enjoy some night and offshore sailing, as well as building proficiency sail handling, ropework and onboard safety.

We divide the crew into two teams (watches). In your watches, you’ll get involved in all aspects of sailing the Challenger, from deck duties to cooking and cleaning.

This voyage is a great way to explore new places, with plenty of time to reflect on your personal development opportunities . There will also be plenty of challenges to build your confidence and deepen your sailing experience along the way.

Each crew member will receive a personal assessment covering their leadershipteamwork and communication skills — a great addition to your CV!


During this voyage, you will work towards achieving your RYA Competent Crew certificate.

The RYA Competent Crew syllabus includes:

  • Sea terms and parts of a boat, rigging and sails
  • Sail handling
  • Ropework
  • Fire precautions and fighting
  • Personal safety equipment
  • Man overboard
  • Emergency equipment
  • Manners and customs
  • Rules of the ‘road’ (at sea)
  • Dinghies

The cost of your RYA Competent Crew certificate is included in the price.

RYA logbooks are available for purchase onboard at a cost of £6 (Skippers are only able to take cash for this).

Duke of Edinburgh Award

All voyages of four nights or more qualify for the residential section of the DofE Gold Award.

Please let our Reservations Team know before sailing if you want to use the voyage for this.​

Further information

The Skipper will determine the final route depending on the weather and other variables.

If you share our values and are keen to do more, you may be able to support our vital work further by joining the TSYT Volunteer Crew.

Your Skipper may recommend you to join future voyages or join our volunteer training programme if they feel you have the skills and attributes that we’re looking for.

All meals on board are included.

TS Challenger Current Navy 1



Vessel Details

handbook challenger


Challenger Handbook


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