Bark Europa

THE HAGUE – The COVID-19 coronavirus has made barque Europa unwelcome everywhere. It has halted her Southern Ocean cruising, sending the 56m (184ft.) tall ship on a non-stop, crew-only voyage home from Argentina to The Netherlands.

That voyage – 9,750 nautical miles, 70 days – of the 3-masted vessel will take it from Ushuaia around the tip of South America, north toward Europe.

The Europa runs cruises worldwide. Its homeward voyage, that started March 28, can be followed on the website of the vessel. Onboard are Captain Eric Kesteloo and an 18-strong crew.

The barque uses only her sails (1.250 m2/13.455ft2 max) as the coronavirus pandemic prevents it from entering a port for refueling.

Dutch-registered Europa was built in 1911 in Hamburg. Until 1977, she served as an Elbe River lightship. In 1985, Dutchman Harry Smit bought the vessel. In 1994, she was fully restored and has circumnavigated the world several times.