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Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions about our voyages? We have answers.

Common Voyage Questions

When do I apply to get on board?

Applications are normally taken all year.

For the best chance of getting a berth you should apply during the ballot. We normally open two ballots each year – typically from August through to the end of September, and from January through to the end of March.

Please apply on line or call 1800 020 444 if you need assistance.

Subscribe to our e-newsletter to be the first to hear about new voyage dates.

Do I need to know anything about sailing?

Not at all, we have taken young people to sea who have never seen the ocean before!

Youth Crew are supervised and supported by a professional Royal Australian Navy crew whose members have been carefully selected and trained to deliver the program and to ensure the highest standards of safety and care.

I am not yet 16 years old, when can I apply?

Our application system will let you apply for voyages that you will be aged 16 on, so you may be able to apply when you are 15 years and six months old for a voyage six months away.

I am over 23 years old but would love to sail on a tall ship. What can I do?

Check this link to find other tall ships for which you may be eligible to apply.

What do I have to do before I sail?

Firstly, apply. If you are drawn from the ballot you will be sent an offer which you can accept or refuse. If you accept you will be provided some forms to fill out and you will need to undertake a health check with a doctor of your choice. Your voyage fare must also be fully paid before you sail. You will also need to book travel and we strongly recommend that you arrange travel insurance for the voyage as well.

Can I apply for someone else?

This is not preferred as there are specific questions that we ask of applicants that they need to truthfully answer. We also communicate directly with applicants via the email address provided during application, so to save confusion or missed offers we recommend that the application be made directly by the young person wishing to participate.

I want to sail on a longer (or shorter) voyage.

Our Youth Development voyages are normally 11 days (10 nights) long. Sometimes there are longer voyages when we have to sail a little further between ports, this does not happen very often so you shouldn’t hold out for one – you may miss out completely.

Why is there a weight limit of 120kg?

The safety equipment of the ship is rated to a limit of 120kg. It is not possible to participate in the program if you are exceed that limit. For safety reasons, all participants are weighed on the first day of the voyage.

Since I applied my health situation has changed, what should I do?

Please update your application as soon as possible. Contact the office on 1800 020 444 if you need help.

Want to know more about our voyages?

Do you have a question that we haven't addressed here? Drop us an email or give us a call on 1800 020 444.

If you have any more questions, check out our FAQs section.

Common Voyage Questions

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What is a ballot?

There is a great number of young people who want to sail with us. To keep things as fair as possible we take applications for about two months and then fill the ship by randomly drawing applicants.

First round offers are generally made around two months after the ballot is announced. If an offer is refused by an applicant, further offers are made until the voyage is full.

Applications are accepted all year round. To maximise your chances of selection, we recommend applying at the start of the ballot and for as many voyages as you can. Subscribe to our e-newsletter to be the first to hear about a new ballot.

Am I penalised if I decline an offer?

No. If you decline an offer you are returned to the ballot for future consideration for any other voyages you have applied for.

Can I change my mind about which voyages I want to sail?

You can amend your application at any time, you can add or remove any voyages presently on offer to your application. If a voyage offer has been made to you, it is too late to change the application for that voyage – you must either accept or refuse the offer.

Can I apply more than once?

Absolutely. If you do not get offered a voyage the first time you apply, please update your application again at the next ballot. In fact you can reapply as many times as you wish as long as you are still aged 16 - 23 when you go on a voyage (ie you can sail up to the day before your 24th birthday).

If I am drawn from the ballot, can I change voyage?

No. To be fair to all applicants, we do not allow for changes between voyages to be made. If you cannot sail on the voyage you are offered, you can refuse it and go back on the application list for the other voyages you selected.

How can I increase my chances of getting a berth?

Statistically, most applicants are on a voyage by the completion of their second ballot. Some voyages are more popular than others (School Holidays for example), so if you only apply for a small number of voyages during peak periods you are less likely to be drawn in the ballot. Your best course of action is to apply for as many voyages in the ballot as you can, but only ones you think you will be able to sail on.

I have applied many times but have never been offered a berth, why?

Ensure that the contact details on your application are correct and that all questions have been answered. Next, give consideration to which voyages you are applying for. If you only ever apply for one voyage in a ballot that is over the school holidays, you will be one applicant among potentially >500 for that voyage. Try applying for more voyages in the next ballot (giving consideration for when you can take the time off).

What happens if I apply after the ballot?

Your name will be added to the list of all applicants for the voyages you have selected. If any spots become vacant, we randomly select an applicant from this list.

I want to encourage someone to apply?

If you work at a School or club we can send you posters and brochures to distribute. Otherwise, tell them to head to our website.

If you have any more questions, check out our FAQs section.

Do Staff Crew complete working with children checks?

Yes. All Staff Crew hold a current NSW Working With Children Check and have undertaken suitability screening. For more information please see our Youth Safety page.

I am a parent and my child is sailing with you, can they be met at the airport by the crew?

No. Please read our Terms and Conditions. We are unable to take responsibility of participants before the prescribed joining time or at any other location away from the ship.

Will my child be the youngest (or oldest) aboard?

Until the Youth Crew for the voyage is finalised, this question cannot be answered. The Youth Development Program is designed to cater for 16-23 year olds, so no matter what your child should derive great benefit from the program.

What happens if my child is evacuated from the ship for medical treatment? Do I have to pay?

Please read our Terms and Conditions. Also review your travel insurance policy.

Common questions about Pricing and Financial Assistance

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I want to sail, how do I apply for a Scholarship?

Our Scholarship program does not work the way it sometimes does for Schools. Business and community groups provide scholarships to candidates of their choosing.

If you meet the criteria for receiving financial assistance, you can apply for a Financially Assisted berth during the application process - but please note that the number of these berths is limited and you will not be considered for full fare berths.

Can I get VET Fee Help for Young Endeavour?

No, We are not an eligible provider for VET Fee Help.

I applied for a regular berth but my circumstances have since changed, how can I change my status?

You can email us and we will update your application.

I applied for financial assistance but my circumstances have since changed, how can I change my status?

You can email us and we will update your application.

I have been offered a regular berth but I cannot afford it, can I change it to a Financially Assisted berth?

No. To be fair to all applicants we do not allow this. You can refuse the berth and return to the application list for the voyages you have applied for, then email us and we can amend your application to consider you only for financially assisted berths in the future.

If you have any more questions, check out our FAQs section.

Do I have to pay for travel to and from the voyage?

Yes, please read our Terms and Conditions. Your voyage fare only covers participation in the voyage, including the Youth Development program, catering, accommodations and equipment.

If you are offered a berth in Young Endeavour, you are responsible for arranging your own travel to the point of departure and from the point of arrival. When booking transport consider the policy of the service provider in case you need to make changes to the time of your travel or if you need to cancel your booking.

Are transfers to and from the ship provided?

No. Please read our Terms and Conditions. We are unable to take responsibility of participants before the prescribed joining time or at any other location away from the ship.

Am I covered by insurance when I sail?

Short answer is no. Please read our Terms and Conditions. We strongly recommend that all participants have an adequate travel insurance policy to cover them to and from the ship and during the voyage. Please call 1800 020 444 or email us if you are having trouble identifying an insurer.

Will I get seasick?

The short answer is yes. The long answer is that the vast majority of participants will adapt to life at sea after a few days and the memory of sea sickness soon forgotten as the voyage progresses and the excitement and adventure takes over.

What happens on board during a voyage?

Every voyage is different, but we do offer some regular activities and things to learn on board over the course of each eleven day voyage. These include:

Meet The Crew
Ship's Tour
Basic Knots
Climb Aloft

Day 2
Watch on Deck Duties
Line Handling and Deck Safety
Safety Equipment
Sail Setting and Furling
Tacking and Wearing

Day 3-7 
More Sailing
Lectures on Navigation, Tacking Drills, Sail Theory
Visits Ashore
Deck Games (Weather Permitting)
Team Building and Leadership Exercises

Day 8 
Setting and Furling Drills
Elections for Command Day

Day 9 
Command Day - Youth Crew take command of the ship for 24 hours

Day 10 
Community Day Sail
Harbour Furls
Sod's Opera - live performance by the crew

Day 11
Proceed to Berth

There is also often a chance to go swimming, play sports, check out National Parks, spot whales and dolphins and of course, enjoy the wonderful food cooked by our on board chef!

What time does the Young Endeavour depart and arrive?

DEPARTURE: All eleven day voyages depart in the afternoon. You will be advised what time to board by the Scheme.

ARRIVAL: All eleven day voyages finish at 11am, however you can invite your friends and family to welcome you and see the ship at 10:00am. There will be a short ceremony at the end of your voyage after the ship comes alongside.

Where does the ship leave from?

Often the ship is only notified of its allocated berth (parking space!) a few days before the voyage departs or arrives.
The Young Endeavour Youth Scheme will contact you as soon as details are known.

Are transfers to and from the ship provided?

No. Please read our Terms and Conditions. We are unable to take responsibility of participants before the prescribed joining time or at any other location away from the ship.

How are the other Youth Crew on my voyage getting to the ship?

In the lead up to the voyage we will send you a list of your fellow Youth Crew (that have consented to share contact details) so that you can make shared travel arrangements.

What do I pack?

Once you have completed and returned all your forms the Scheme will send you a backpack, Youth Crew shirt, sailing gloves, hat, water bottle and a voyage handbook as well as a list of all the things you need to bring with you for your voyage. These include:

Sleeping Bag and Pillow Case
Sleeping Attire
Underwear and Socks (including a pair of thick woollen socks for cold nights!)
Trousers (jeans are not recommended as they are difficult to dry)
Shorts (on voyages north of Brisbane, swap a pair of pants for extra shorts)
Shirts/T-shirts (long sleeve shirts and collars are recommended for sun protection
Warm Jumper (fleece or wool)
Swimming Costume/board shorts
Toiletries (include sunscreen SPF30+, lip balm, soap, comb, toothbrush and paste, shaving gear, sanitary protection, etc)
Towels (for swimming and showering)
Gym or Deck Shoes (test your shoes on a smooth wet surface for grip. Thongs are only for the shower)
Hat, Sunglasses
Thermals (especially in the south)
Water Bottle

Camera and/or GoPro (waterproof!)

Wet Weather Gear (Jacket and Pants) is provided on board

Mobile Phones can be brought but not used on board as they detract from the experience. Urgent calls can be made via the ship's communication facilities (Commanding Officer's approval necessary)

Glasses / Contact Lenses (if you wear contacts, bring a pair of glasses as well)

Radios/Walkman/MP3 players etc are not allowed (for safety reasons)

Musical Instruments - Space is limited for cases and bulky instruments so please discuss in advance. There is a guitar already onboard.

Washing facilities - You will be able to hand wash clothing and hang out on the upper deck to dry as required. Do not bring detergent

Your locker size will be approximately 22cm x 40cm x 67cm, and you will need to fit everything inside.

Can I bring an extra bag?

If you must travel with an extra bag, ensure that it packs flat (no hard suitcases) and be prepared for it to be stowed below decks where it may get damp or crushed.

Where do you send the kit bag and clothing items?

We will send your kit bag and items to the postal address nominated on your application, unless you let us know an alternative.

The Young Endeavour shirt/gloves I have been sent are the wrong size, can I swap them?

If the voyage is still some time away, send them back to the office with a note about which size would be better and we will send you a new item. If the voyage is about to start, please contact the office on 1800 020 444 or email.

If I bring a laptop, is there somewhere to store it?

We do not recommend bringing laptops or tablets. Please be prepared for such things to get wet and subject to knocks and bumps. If you do not want to keep them in your locker, the ship has a small amount of space to put them in before the voyage sails and the device will be returned to you when the voyage ends.

I am very tall, will I fit on the bunks?

We have had some very tall sailors and they all sleep soundly with their knees bent a little.

I have special dietary needs, will there be food for me to eat?

So long as we know about your needs early enough (normally on your health check paperwork), we will ensure that there are menu choices appropriate for you.

For my health check form, my regular doctor is away – can I see any doctor?

Yes, just make sure that which ever doctor you see is given a good understanding of your medical history.

Since I applied and received an offer for a berth, my health has changed (or my medications have changed), what should I do?

Contact the office as soon as you can. We may need you to undertake a new health check or get additional information from your doctor or treating specialist before you can sail.

Is there a doctor on the ship?

There is always a Navy medical care provider on every voyage.

How do I pay for my voyage?

You will be issued an invoice which can be paid online by credit card or BPay.

Can I pay for my voyage on a payment plan?

You will be sent an invoice for the deposit for your voyage which must be paid promptly to secure your berth. The invoice for the balance may be sent separately but must be paid by the due date for you to sail. Once you have been given the invoice you can pay it off in instalments whenever you need, just ensure it is fully paid off in time. If you are having trouble making the due date, please let us know before it is too late. Regardless, your voyage needs to be paid for before you sail.

Do you send receipts for payments?

If you have made a payment online, you should print the receipt that is issued when you made the payment. If you have need for a receipt later on, please contact our office.

Will I get a refund if I cannot sail?

Please review our Terms and Conditions. Generally if you provide adequate notice you may be refunded your balance payment or part thereof, but excepting special circumstances the deposit payment is non-refundable.

If I have paid the deposit and cancel one voyage, but accept another – do I need to pay the deposit again?


Can I apply for a Community Day Sail?

Community Day Sails are provided for the benefit of young Australians who are not otherwise able to sail a longer Young Endeavour voyage. Community Day Sails are not available for general applications.

I left something on the ship, can I get it back?

We will do our best to find it and get it back to you, but your item may not be found.

Can I sail Young Endeavour more than once?

Due to the high demand for berths on Young Endeavour, we restrict participation in Youth Development Voyages to once per person. There are other vessels around the country that offer similar programs, follow this link to find some of them.

How do I keep in contact with the Young Endeavour?

The best way to know what's going on is to subscribe to the e-newsletter, visit this website often or follow us on social media channels. You can find us on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Twitter - look for the links at the footer of our webpages.

I'd like tell others about the Young Endeavour. Can I help?

Of course! We have a network of Ambassadors across the country who regularly talk at schools, unis, Rotary Clubs etc about our program. Learn more about becoming an Ambassador here.

Can I get my sea time recorded for my Masters ticket?

Maybe, please send an email to us with the details.

Does a voyage count towards Duke of Ed?

I'd like a youth crew member to visit my school to talk about Young Endeavour - is this possible?

Yes. We have a network of Ambassadors across the country who just love talking about their time in Young Endeavour. Call our office on 1800 020 444 or send us an email to arrange for someone to visit your school or community group.

Can I have a look on board the ship?

We try to have an Open Day in each of our regular ports at least once a year. You can step aboard, meet youth crew and staff and learn all about what we do. All Open Days will be advertised on the websie.

Subscribe to our e-newsletter to be alerted to our open days and other events, or follow us on Facebook.

Can I apply for a Community Day Sail?

Community Day Sails are provided for the benefit of young Australians who are not otherwise able to sail a longer Young Endeavour voyage. Community Day Sails are not available for general applications.

I work with a group who I think would benefit from participation in a Community Day Sail, how do I apply?

Send us an email with contact details for the group and a précis of what your group does. If your group is appropriate and located in or near a port we visit, we will add the group to the list and look for an opportunity for a Community Day Sail.

I have extensive sailing experience and would like to work on STS Young Endeavour.

STS Young Endeavour is operated and manned by the Royal Australian Navy and is unable to embark any other volunteer or paid crew.

Does the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme have an ABN?

Yes, two of them. Please contact our office so that you are given the correct one for your needs.

More questions?
Get in touch with the Young Endeavour team.

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