A new sailing vessel for Class Afloat; the Gulden Leeuw

Class Afloat is excited to announce that our 2015-16 academic year will take place aboard the beautiful Class ‘A’ sail training tall ship Gulden Leeuw.

Though we have had some incredible experiences aboard our current ship, the Sørlandet, over the last 4 years, Class Afloat must continually strive to provide the most effective and healthy platform possible for the success of our academic goals, community programme and sail training experience. As such, we have been assessing all aspects of the Sørlandet and, after much analysis, have determined that there is a vessel available for a long-term charter that is significantly better suited to the needs of our school and students. We are proud to call the Gulden Leeuw Class Afloat’s new ship!

The Gulden Leeuw offers important improvements over our current ship, with dedicated classroom facilities, separate sleeping quarters and mess (dining) area, expanded deck space, quiet areas, and an innovative and refreshing approach to youth sail training. The Class Afloat schedule is demanding and better facilities on the Gulden Leeuw will meet these needs, contributing to our students’ academic success, the strength of our community and enjoyment of their sail training experience.

We know that our class of 2014-15 will develop the same bonds of love and respect for their ship and will experience the same magic of the Class Afloat programme as our alumni who have sailed the 4 ships that have been home to our school previously. For 30 years, aboard 4 different ships that visited hundreds of ports and sailed for hundreds of thousands of nautical miles, Class Afloat has provided over 1500 students with the experience of a lifetime. We celebrate this legacy as a world leader in experiential education, and look forward to implementing improvements to our programme as we start the next chapter of the Class Afloat story aboard the Gulden Leeuw.

More information on Class Afloat, write an e-mail to info@studycanada.eu

The Dutch flag registered ship Gulden Leeuw is five meters longer overall than our current ship at 70.1m, the masts are 5m higher at 40m, and her three-mast topsail schooner rigging carries more sail area at 1,400 sq m. But the real value of the new ship will be the opportunities that the Gulden Leeuw will bring to our students and the Class Afloat programme, including:

  • Classroom space – Classrooms on the main deck level with lots of natural light and direct access to the deck are a major improvement over our current ship where classes, sleeping, eating and socialising take place in the same space. Gulden Leeuw is much better suited for the purposes of a high school and university ship.
  • Dedicated dormitory – A dedicated dormitory area with individual bunks will provide our students with a quiet sleeping and rest area 24 hours/day, with access to directly adjacent washroom, shower facilities and private changing areas. The dormitory is climate controlled with heating, air conditioning and fresh air exchange systems.
  • Deck layout – The deck layout offers more space than our current ship for students to gather for social activities, classes, meetings and group projects.
  • Fully reconditioned in 2010 – The ship has a classic design hull from 1937, but the interior was completely redesigned and rebuilt in 2010 for sail training purposes. The ship has preserved its 30’s heritage ambience, but offers us modern, clean and safe spaces for our classrooms, galley (meal preparation), social areas, dormitory, washroom and shower facilities.
  • Schooner and square sail rig – The Gulden Leeuw has a versatile three-mast topsail schooner rig with schooner sails and square rig sails on the foremast for an authentic ‘blue water’ sail training experience and improved sail time. The schooner rig will allow us to sail in lighter winds and on courses that are ‘closer’ to the wind than a rig with only square sails. The rigging is designed for safety and efficiency, so is less labour intensive. Watch requirements will be lighter than on our current ship, allowing some students to ‘stand down’ from their watch duty when not required for ship manoeuvres and sail changes. This will help our crew stay more rested and create additional study or social time for them.