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The Environment and Blue Flag


We want to make sure that we’re all doing our bit to protect our environment and keep our seas clean.

Our aim is to work with young people, vessels and ports to make sail training and our events as green, sustainable and positive as possible. Let’s take a look at how we do this.

Tall Ships Sail Training and the Environment

As you might have guessed, Tall Ships, the Tall Ships Races and Regattas, and sailing itself are naturally environmentally friendly. Although vessels do need to use engines at times, there aren’t any emissions during sailing because they harness the power of the wind to move. Some also generate their own electricity on board with solar panels and wind generators.

Many Tall Ships owners and operators prioritise using green ship-building skills. Lots of these new vessels use green technologies, and everyone on board is focused on sustainability.

Sail Training and the Environment.

Why Is Sustainability Important?

At Sail On Board, we think that sustainability is a bit of a no-brainer. It’s about not being harmful to the environment or using up natural resources. So, we want to make this our priority.

We do our bit for the environment by:

  • Supporting vessels with advice and examples of new green technologies. Check out the Living Ship initiative for more information.
  • Supporting and encouraging sail training vessels to participate in (and help to develop) sustainability education. The Swedish Tall Ship Tre Kronor is a great example.
  • Supporting the Sail Training International Youth Council. It has representatives from 22 countries, and promotes sustainable behaviour and environmental awareness amongst young people.
  • Delivering a range of sessions at the annual International Sail Training and Tall Ships Conferece.

Our Races and Regattas visit ports around the world. Of course, we want to make sure that they are also as green as possible. We do this by:

  • Endorsing host ports who sign up to a sustainable event management standard or “green port” initiatives. The only thing we want to leave behind is smiles on the faces of trainees and visitors.
  • Presenting an Environmental Award in ports during a Race or Regatta. This recognises the vessel that has demonstrated best environmental practice during the event.
  • Encouraging adequate recycling and waste disposal schemes.

Blue Flag Scheme

You might have heard of the Blue Flag Scheme. Perhaps your local beach proudly displays its flag? It means that somewhere is environmentally friendly. We think it’s important that Tall Ships can say the same.

The Blue Flag Scheme was introduced by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) to promote clean beaches and marinas. In 2011, Sail Training International worked with the FEE to extend the scheme to include sail training vessels. For sail training vessels, the Blue Flag shows everyone that they have pledged to protect the seas they sail on.

The scheme is open to members of National Sail Training Organisations (NSTOs), the Sail Training International Ships Council, members of the Sail Training International Ships Council, and other vessels that participate in the Tall Ships Races and Regattas. We’re pleased to say that 53 vessels have signed up to-date and we are actively encouraging more to get involved.

Once signed up, we present the awarded vessels with the Blue Flag to fly, a membership certificate, and an educational poster for display in trainee crew quarters.

If you are involved with a sail training vessel and would like to find out more about becoming part of the Blue Flag Scheme, you can download the application form here or email us and we will be happy to help.

Blue Flag

Blue Flag Scheme Behaviours

When vessels join the Blue Flag Scheme, they agree to do the following:

  • Not throw anything overboard, at sea or in port.
  • Not release “black water” (sewage) into the sea near coastal water or sensitive areas.
  • Use and promote recycling facilities.
  • Not buy or use objects from protected species, or from archaeological underwater findings.
  • Report any pollution or environmental violations.
  • Protect animals and plants, and not engage in forbidden fishing.
  • Respect vulnerable and protected areas.
  • Encourage other sailors to take care of the environment.

Check out the full Code of Conduct.

If you’d like to sail on a Blue Flag awarded vessel, look out for the logo displayed on their page.
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Blue Flag Registered Vessels

Vessel

Nation

A. J. MeerwaldUSA
AdventuressUSA
AlbanusFinland
Alexander Von Humboldt IiGermany
Antwerp FlyerBelgium
AtylaVanuatu
Black Diamond Of DurhamUK
Black JackCanada
BylinaRussia
Challenge WalesUK
Dar MlodziezyPoland
EcolutionThe Netherlands
EendrachtThe Netherlands
EspritGermany
EuropaThe Netherlands
Fair JeanneCanada
Far BarcelonaSpain
Far BarcelonetaSpain
FaramirUK
Georg StageDenmark
GloriaColombia
GotheborgSweden
GuayasEcuador
Gulden LeeuwThe Netherlands
GunillaSweden
La GraceCzech Republic
LegendNorway
LoaDenmark
Lord NelsonUK
MercedesThe Netherlands
OosterscheldeThe Netherlands
PathfinderCanada
Picton CastleCook Islands
PioneerUK
PlayfairCanada
PogoriaPoland
ProlificUK
ProvidenceUSA
Queen GaladrielUK
Rhona HAustralia
RupelBelgium
SagresPortugal
Santa Maria ManuelaPortugal
SorlandetNorway
South PassageAustralia
Spirit Of New ZealandNew Zealand
St IvEstonia
St Lawrence IiCanada
Statsraad LehmkuhlNorway
TeclaThe Netherlands
TenaciousUK
ThalassaThe Netherlands
Thor HeyerdahlGermany
TomidiBelgium
Tre Kronor Af StockholmSweden
Vera CruzPortugal