Below you will find answers to the questions that we get asked the most by people considering a voyage with us.

  • Q: I am not disabled. Does my disabled buddy sail for free?

    A: No, everyone is asked to contribute toward their voyage fee. We are sometimes able to offer fully funded berths through our partnerships with charities, businesses or other organisations, and we may also have additional bursary funding available to help people (disabled or non-disabled) to afford their voyage. The criteria for these funds or berths are specified by the donor or partner providing them. Watch out for announcements on our website/social media for any new opportunities.

  • Q: I am sailing with a friend, will I have to spend all of my time with my buddy?

    A: You can request to be in the same watch as your friend and then you can both share your experiences with your respective buddies. The aim of the buddy system is to bring you into contact with people you perhaps would not normally interact with. That helps make your voyage an even more enriching experience.

  • Q: Can I sail as a volunteer on the ships?

    A: To be able to sail in one of our volunteer positions on board (Bosun’s Mate and Cook’s Assistant) you will first need to book a voyage and sail with us. The permanent crew assess all voyage crew during a voyage and report back to the office those they think suitable to come back as volunteers or alternatively as a watchleader. Watch Leaders receive a discounted berth on our voyages.

  • Q: I have a range of additional needs. Will I be able to sail with the JST?

    A: The aim of JST is to include everyone as best we can. Those with more complex needs will be asked to complete a medical form which will be assessed before their voyage by one of our volunteer doctors. The doctor will then decide what level of support is required throughout the voyage and whether a buddy can be found from our voyage crew or whether you need to bring your own buddy (and in some cases two known buddies).

    We cannot accept persons with severe dementia or significant learning disabilities. Applicants who have mild autism or who are diagnosed as having Down’s Syndrome or other learning disabilities will be assessed on an individual basis and may be able to sail with us depending upon their level of understanding and providing they are accompanied by a close relative or friend as buddy. In some cases two buddies will be required.

  • Q: I need support with personal care. Will the JST find me a buddy?

    A: If you require support with personal care or have a learning disability then you are asked to bring someone with you who knows you well and is able to assist you in these areas.

  • Q: I am a disabled person. Will my buddy take care of my needs whilst on a voyage?

    A: The purpose of the buddy system is for you to support each other in whatever way you can. Everyone has their own individual strengths be it in a physical way or in strength of character. The purpose is for you to learn about each other through working the ship together to enable you to grow and develop as individuals.

  • Q: I am over 70 but very fit and able. Will I be able to buddy a disabled person?

    A: Whilst you will not be paired with a disabled person as a one-to-one buddy, you will be able to support anyone on board who requires assistance.

  • Q: Can all types of wheelchairs be used on board the tall ships?

    A: Wheelchairs should not exceed the maximum 66.5cm width on board and must be manual. This is due to size restrictions on board. At present, because of the dimensions and design of powered chairs and because there are floor-level obstacles on the gangways and the ships, we cannot accommodate powered chairs.

  • Q: What do I need to bring?

    A: Clothing and equipment checklist can be found in this information sheet – Voyage Crew Joining Checklist