The Wylde Swan

Achterdijkje 8 Makkum, Other, 8754, Netherlands (view map)

14 to 25 (Coed )
Overnight camp
Sailing/Marine Skills
$1,599 to $1,799


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  VJ Bala
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About this camp

The Wylde Swan

A world-class learning experience for adventurous boys & girls. Choose one, two, or all three organized sails in Scandinavia, Europe! During this sail, students live through a well-rounded experience that will help cultivate confidence and leadership. Students will witness incredible natural wonders with a strong emphasis on seamanship & geographical and geological history.

The Our Kids review of The Wylde Swan


One of a kind, experience of a lifetime, dream come true—the Wylde Swan is certainly all of that. Sailing Europe on a tall ship with like-minded peers from around the world and a world-class crew. It’s as good as it sounds. The administration of the Wylde Swan is world class, as are the amenities on board. It’s challenging. Participants join the crew, and are responsible for all the functions of the ship, from trimming the sails to swabbing the decks. That said, the program is centered around the soft skills as well, namely working as part of a team, giving of yourself while also providing space for others to give of themselves. It’s a chance to see a part of the world from a unique vantage point while, even better, growing into a sense of your place within it.

Session Calendar

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Activities available at this camp: (Currently showing 3 of 3 sessions)

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Overnight Camp
Ages: 14 - 18+
Sailing/Marine Skills $1,808 to $1,808
Rope courses|Travel|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Cooking|Guitar|Vocal training / singing|Photo/Video|Instructor lead (group)|Instructor lead (one on one)|ESL|Language Studies|Leadership training|Public Speaking/Debate|Nature/Environment|Marine Biology|Zooology/Animals|Mindfulness Training|Fishing|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Sailing/Marine Skills|Swimming|Yoga
Rope courses|Travel|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Cooking|Guitar|Vocal training / singing|Photo/Video|Instructor lead (group)|Instructor lead (one on one)|ESL|Language Studies|Leadership training|Public Speaking/Debate|Nature/Environment|Marine Biology|Zooology/Animals|Mindfulness Training|Fishing|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Sailing/Marine Skills|Swimming|Yoga
Overnight Camp
Ages: 14 - 18+
Sailing/Marine Skills $1,849 to $1,849
Rope courses|Travel|Wilderness Out-tripping|Wilderness Skills|Cooking|Guitar|Vocal training / singing|Photo/Video|Instructor lead (group)|Instructor lead (one on one)|ESL|Language Studies|Leadership training|Public Speaking/Debate|Nature/Environment|Marine Biology|Zooology/Animals|Mindfulness Training|Fishing|Kayaking/Sea Kayaking|Sailing/Marine Skills|Swimming|Yoga

Camp Address
Achterdijkje 8, Makkum, Other , Netherlands


The Wylde Swan
The Wylde Swan
Achterdijkje 8 Makkum, Other, 8754, Netherlands
Contact name:
VJ Bala

Phone number:
(647) 457-6181× logo

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Accommodation & Property Details

Property details


  • Electricity in Sleeping Area
  • Shower in Sleeping Area
  • Toilet in Sleeping Area

Washrooms Facilities

  • Flush Toilets
  • Showers (indoor)

Director's Message


Hinke de Vries, Owner

Our dream was to build a Tall Ship that is optimally suited for Sail Training for youngsters and team building for professionals.

Wylde Swan is our dream come alive.  Every year, we welcome students from all over the world to experience a once-in-a-lifetime journey navigating through waters that make them learn about leadership, teamwork, nature, and so much more.  This year, we are offering three different sailings through Scandinavia, Europe and the UK as part of the Tall Ship Races 2018.

We are also proud to be one of the few ships that offer a Bursary for your child if needed. Please read up about this Oman Bursary on our profile.

We hope to see you or your kids on deck!

Thank you,

Hinke de Vries

Cost & Financial Aid


Cost: $1,599 to $1,799 /session

Payment Options:

Deposit required with acceptance Yes
Credit card payment Yes


Discount if paid early 5%
Discount for 2nd child 5%
Discount for 3rd child 10%

Scholarships & awards:

  • Oman Bursary Scheme

    Amount: $750 Deadline: Rolling
    Type: Need based
    Age: 14 to 18
    Details: In 2012, Sail Training International had the pleasure of launching a bursary scheme in partnership with the Sultanate of Oman. It aims to foster international friendship and provide new and exciting opportunities for up to 100 young people each year. It does this by helping them to experience a sail training voyage on a Tall Ship during a Sail Training International (STI) Tall Ships Race or Regatta. Our Sailings are part of the Tall Ship Races so you can apply for this bursary!

    Application Details: The Oman Bursary Scheme is open to applicants who have never taken part in a Tall Ships Race or Regatta (training). We welcome financially or physically disadvantaged people between 15 and 25 years old, regardless of nationality, background, physical ability, or previous sailing experience. The maximum amount awarded is €500 each ($750 Canadian Dollars). We receive applications from a huge variety of young people from all walks of life and from all over the world. Trainees’ support letters often reveal their dedication, motivation and sometimes the difficulties that they’ve faced, such as health and personal problems. Those who are awarded the Oman Bursary achieve something special – they become part of a team of people from different nationalities in a new and exciting environment, form friendships and make memories that last a lifetime.



Testimonial - Wylde Swan Sailing Experienceexpand

"I spent 7 days on The Wylde Swan between Quebec and Halifax and it was a great pleasure. Relaxed atmosphere, comfort more than reasonable, very well-maintained boat, enriching learning.  The whole crew is kind and very competent. I recommend them to all lovers of sailing and adventure." - Claude Emond



A Day in the Life of Laura E., Sail Trainee & Camperexpand

One of our Sail Trainees, Laura E. writes about one of her days aboard our ship, The Wylde Swan, which is currently in the Caribbean.

"HELLO EVERYONE!  Some of the trainees have a little problem with waking up, but luckily we have Chris. Chris is one of our cooks and he has a nice party horn. As you can guess he blows the people that are not up yet out of their bunks and it is really funny to see that happen. We had a nice breakfast with scrambled eggs, bacon and muffins. We did self-study as usual and practiced some of the songs we learned to sing to the children of the school in Dominica. After lunch, it was time for happy hour, the hour to clean the whole ship. I was on maintenance and me and my group went up into the yard with Dee to stow the course. We were up there for almost two hours and worked really hard while the other trainees were writing their application letters for the ship takeover after they finished their tasks. When we went down we packed our bags and went to the shore for an excursion. We helped locals cleaning up the beach and of course, we also went swimming. We also built a big campfire with the wood we collected. Some of the trainees found a part of an old fishing boat and they paddled to the Wylde Swan with it, the rest of us went back with the tender. Just before dinner, I started writing my application letters. My first and second choice for the ship takeover is the medical officer and the captain. In our application letters we had to introduce ourselves, write down our motivation for the function and write down why we thought we were suitable for it. We had to write it in English and it took some time but we wrote a bunch of nice letters. It also was valentines day and we had a romantic dinner in the main hold. The three courses were all delicious! Jaro, our engineer was walking around in a dress and he was wearing heels while serving us and it was just super funny. We had a nice time that evening and the time just flew.

Regards, Laura E."


Voyage 1 SOLD OUT!expand

We are pleased to announce that Voyage 1 out of our three Sailings has now Sold Out! This means that the trip from Sunderland, UK to Esbjerg, Denmark is no longer available. However, don't worry as we have two more sailings with some spots still available!  Learn more here.


Young St. Maartener sails on board Tall Ship Wylde Swan from Holland to St. Martinexpand

Somewhere during the month of April last year, the non-profit association Caribbean Sail Training received a request from friends who asked about the sail training possibilities on the vessel Wylde Swan. Their son Sander, a fresh graduate of Milton Peters College, wanted to take a sabbatical year and do sail training on one of the Tall Ships. Link to full article.

As the Dutch-registered Wylde Swan was already successfully running courses with students for several years and had planned to depart from Holland in October, it was logic that this ship was the first choice. When additional information was received from CST, Sander’s parents decided while on vacation to walk up to Wylde Swan’s offices in Holland to find out more and explore all the possibilities.

The initial plan and possibility was to depart on October 14 in Harlingen and sail to Tenerife in the Canary Islands – an adventure together with 11 other students from the Netherlands. Because the vessel’s schedule after that voyage was a departure from Tenerife with 31 trainees/students to Marigot, St. Martin, as destination, and Sander would be home at that point, Caribbean Sail Training asked the Wylde Swan organization if the young St. Maartener could eventually remain on board in the Canaries and sail all the way across the Atlantic to the Caribbean.

Arrangements were made and it was agreed that Sander could stay on board for the complete voyage! The vessel arrived safely in the Baie de Marigot on January 14. “When I stepped on board in Holland, I started thinking for a few minutes, ‘Will this really be fun?’ ‘Is this something for me?’ ‘What have I done?!’ But minutes later, I realised already that it was a super idea to participate in this adventure,” Sander shared during WEEKender’s interview with him.

You knew from previous sail trips with your parents that you would not become seasick, so I guess that helped also to look forward to the sailing?

Yes, I guess that it is in any case an advantage if you don’t feel seasick. Quite some others did get seasick, but after a few days later; they were fine. I could only assume and hope that I was not going to be seasick, because I was never before on other boats; but this was of course a question mark as it was a different ship and we would sail in the open ocean. I feel lucky. It is annoying mainly for yourself when you are sick.

When you embarked in the Netherlands, you knew nobody on the ship – no crew, no students. Was it not strange to come on board a vessel while you had no clue who the crew and other kids would be?

Well, on the second part of the trip, they had set up a WhatsApp group with the students; and as I was also in that group, I had already communicated with many of them before they came on board. But for the first trip, I was not in the WhatsApp group or anything else, so I indeed knew nobody. That said, it is nice to chat; but when you see people for the first time, it often turns out to be someone that you could not imagine is the same person as the one you were chatting with on WhatsApp anyway.

Was it not difficult to be within that group as the outsider? I mean, all the other youngsters are school students from Holland, and you being the only one from far away in the Caribbean.

No, because when I came, we had just experienced this terrible Hurricane Irma and they all wanted to know the stories and see the pictures; [smiling] most of them wanted actually to learn about the Caribbean and hear the nice stories more than the disaster ones. So I guess it was easy for me as I was a little popular in the beginning [smiling wider]. I think I was very quickly accepted in the group, maybe quicker than some of the kids from Holland in their own groups, because I was the “outsider” from the Caribbean.

Was there anything during the entire adventure from which you can say, “This was something I really never expected” – for example, whales, dolphins, plastic in the ocean, close encounters with other vessels, storms?

Not really. We saw a whale twice; but where I live on the hill in Oyster Pond, we sometimes see whales far out in the sea; so for me that was not so exciting. We saw many dolphins – and it was a surprise to see so many. I expected of course to see dolphins on this voyage; but we saw them almost every day. So I’m quite happy to know that there are still so many swimming around in the ocean. My biggest surprise was actually that I made so many good friends during those trips. I’m really amazed that in such a relatively short period of time, you make more friends than you would normally have in years. And it was not just me, everyone said that. Another good surprise was that we did not see much plastic; which does not mean that there is not a lot in the sea – but not during our trip.

What was your most important activity on board?

On the first leg to the Canary Islands, I was studying a lot for my boat licence and also working on deck. From Tenerife to the Caribbean, it was more working on deck, sails, etc. After a while, I was able to help and instruct the new trainees as I was already working for a while on the ship and knew more than the new ones. So I did a lot of sail trimming, watches, navigation and more, but also painting and other jobs; in fact, everything you need to do while working on a vessel. Also at night during the shifts, I had to do deck controls, check the engine room and more.

As a trainee, you receive the responsibility of the deck and the real person, who is responsible, checks you a few times; but when they trust you, it is up to the trainee. You learn quickly to take your responsibilities on board! They prepare you for the “Ship’s Takeover,” which is the moment when you have to apply for a certain job on board by giving a letter to the captain and crew with your intentions – a kind of resume if you will. They will then look into everything, also how you have been working on the ship during the past weeks, and see if they want to give you the job you applied for. It is during the last week of a trip.

You can apply to be a cook, deckhand, waiter, first mate, engineer and even captain for a few days. You have to indicate also a second or even a third choice in case they have several candidates applying for the same position. Of course, everyone wants to become the captain! If they agree with your choice, it is like receiving the ultimate award.

Could you apply to become cook if you had never done that before?

No [smiles]. I don’t think it’s a good idea to have someone cooking on board, who has never done that! If you are interested in a particular job, you could do “internships” and learn what you needed to know. You have to go through checklists and other things. It is not so that you can for example sit all the time inside the ship and then during the last week and the “Ship’s Takeover” become sail trimmer.

So if you wanted to do navigation, for example, you could learn that, you could be in the kitchen, work on deck, do the sails and more. During the regular watches, you could also ask any questions to the crew, trying to learn what you wanted to know. I did a lot of navigation, plotting charts, calculating routes and courses, checking the instruments, weather, wind and more. The other kids had mostly school class in the morning, but as I was not really part of that program, I followed it only from time to time and worked on deck or in the pilothouse for the rest of the time. But I still did a lot together with all of them: biology and so and also the general studies.

Have you been cooking also?

Well, if you applied for the job as cook for the “Ship’s Takeover”, you had to cook and prove that you were good. I applied for cook during the first “Ship’s Takeover” when we approached the Canary Islands – so yes I cooked [smiles]. On the second trip, I was helping often in the kitchen during Happy Hour and to prepare the dinner, but not as cook. I became Captain during the “Ship’s Takeover”.

Wow! How was that?!

[Proudly] Well, it was incredible. It was a great feeling because I arrived on board doing all the little jobs and learning all the time; and at the end of the trip, to be the captain of the Wylde Swan was a feeling I cannot describe. The “real” captain of course supervises you – and by the way, Captain Tony and all the crew are such wonderful people – but they really let you do your thing.

I was captain from Guadeloupe to St. Martin; and when we departed Guadeloupe, we got notice that another captain fromWylde Swan was actually sailing on a mega yacht schooner Elena of London and would meet us at sea around Antigua. So we decided to wait for that encounter and I had to sail in such a way that he could catch up with us, doing some gybes and tacking. The crew was not aware of the situation so they were asking: ‘Why are you sailing so and so?’ But when I explained that a vessel was coming from behind and trying to catch up with us, they understood more or less what I was doing. It was not in the planning when we left Guadeloupe and it was a little hectic, but it worked out.

Luckily, I learned good sail manoeuvres while sailing with my parents and friends! When Fosse came sailing close to us with the beautiful classic yacht, the trainees were having fun and yelling, “Make the canons ready!” Nobody expected that Fosse and his crew had a real cannon on board and would fire that off right next to us. It was a very loud BOEM!! Everybody jumped in the air. Nobody expected that. It was hilarious.

Was the only job to steer the boat when you were appointed Captain?

No, it was the real captain’s job. It was not only steering and navigating, it was communicating with the complete crew, giving instructions to the first mate and others and making decisions. For example, the cook still had to do some things on shore in Guadeloupe when we left, so I had to make sure there was a tender available and ready with crew to pick him up and come back to the ship while we were sailing already. You have to check and arrange the garbage disposal and other things. Plan your route, check the winds and instruct which sails you want to set up and more.

During the watch at night, you do the watch together with the real captain; the first mate with the real first mate; the engineer with the real engineer; so you’re in fact not on your own, but if you don’t do anything wrong, they will let you do it your way. I still cannot believe what an unforgettable experience those people give the youngsters! No wonder everyone is so happy with the Wylde Swan experience! 

What’s next, Captain?

[Smiles] Aww… I’m not a real captain as yet! I don’t know. Due to my sailing with the family, I was already infected with the sail virus of course; so I will definitely go to Holland in the spring to check out some study possibilities in the maritime world. Other than that, I will do my STCW’2010 at the Maritime School of the West Indies in St. Martin and maybe a few other courses; and if possible, I’ll sail again for a few weeks on a sail training vessel in the Caribbean. My dad used to be a captain on tankers and other ships, which is not really what I see myself doing. But he is a maritime surveyor now, so maybe I will study and sail for some years and do the same; you never know.


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