Life on board Belem


Belem, the last surviving 19th century French trading ship, represents France and its maritime traditions at tall ship gatherings and international events (Odyssée 2002 - Brazil and the West Indies -, Quebec 2008, Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II and the 2012 Summer Olympics in London). In 2014, Venetians celebrated the return of Belem/Giorgio Cini to La Serenissima.

As the last three-masted French barque still under sail, Belem provides a chance to experiencewhat it is like to be on board a major 19th century tall ship with square sails. From standing at the helm to using a sextant, and, for the bravest among you, climbing up the mast, you will dive into a world of traditional sailing and take part in every aspect of on-board life.

The days spent on board are split into quarters. Since each quarter has its own specific characteristics, you will be able to get involved both day and night. Whether you are climbing up to the yards to secure the sails, steering the ship from the famous Belem helm, polishing the copperware or baking the bread to help your crewmates start the day with a smile, there are many activities that need tending to that are sure to turn your time on board into a valuable life experience.

The crew will also take the time to talk you through more theoretical aspects of being on board. You will take a specific look at studying the ship's long history, deciphering a nautical chart and creating a sailing route and taking a closer look at the rigging.

Become a Belem crew member and take part in The Tall Ships Race!

The Chief Mate draws up the timetable for each third, who take it in turn to occupy all of the work stations, under the supervision of the appointed sailor. A crew of 16 professional sailors for the Merchant Navy will supervise you around the clock. Crew members are tasked with sharing their knowledge and love for traditional sailing.

The Tall Ships Race is an incredible event. You will be under race conditions and, with all of your help, perhaps Belem will win the La Corogne and Dunkerque leg.
Take up the challenge!