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The Young Endeavour Program

The Young Endeavour Program is an internationally recognised sail training program, delivered by a professional Royal Australian Navy crew aboard the national Sail Training Ship Young Endeavour.


During each eleven day voyage, participants disconnect from social media and learn communication, teamwork and leadership skills. Youth crew are supported and encouraged to explore personal and team goals. As a result they become more self-aware and develop confidence and resilience.


Young Endeavour was gifted to the people of Australia by the United Kingdom in 1988  and in this time we have successfully delivered more than 600 youth development voyages and embarked more than 14,000 young Australians for a structured adventure at sea.

What happens during the voyage?

As a member of the 24 strong youth crew, each participant will be challenged to sail a square-rigged tall ship, including learning how to navigate, keep watch, cook in the galley, set and furl sails, climb the 30 metre mast, and take the helm.


In learning how to sail the ship they are learning how to work together as a team, and to recognise and appreciate the strengths of a diverse group of individuals. They are supported by our specially trained Royal Australian Navy staff crew and encouraged to step out of their comfort zones, building the confidence to actively contribute and take on leadership roles amongst their peers.


During their 11 days at sea, they will live ‘between decks’ in a close community with youth from around Australia. While living in close quarters they will respect the personal space of their peers, recognise the authority of the captain and crew, and be collectively responsible for the cleanliness and safe operation of the ship. With no Wi-Fi or mobile phones, participants have the opportunity to be present, focus on the program and enhance their communication skills and interpersonal relationships.

Who oversees the program?

The program is delivered by professional Royal Australian Navy personnel who have been carefully selected and trained to ensure the highest standards of safety and care. The staff crew encourage each participant to identify and pursue personal and team goals and provide them with the tools to meet and negotiate the challenges they will face on board.


The ship itself is a modern sailing vessel, equipped with contemporary navigation, communication and safety equipment, which is maintained by the Royal Australian Navy and certified to the relevant standard for a sailing ship by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. Young Endeavour is traditionally rigged as a brigantine and was designed for sail training.


The Young Endeavour Youth Scheme is a not-for-profit organisation established to administer the youth development program delivered in STS Young Endeavour. The Scheme reports to an independent Advisory Board, the members of which are appointed by the Australian Government. Our Patron is the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Why Young Endeavour?

The tall ship environment is a unique and powerful opportunity in which to conduct outdoor education. The immersive nature of the program encourages youth to rapidly develop interpersonal, leadership and teamwork skills, which are transferable to everyday life and career settings.


Participants are given opportunities to reflect and learn about themselves, to discover hidden strengths and talents and to understand the value of working as a team. The program is also designed to elicit an appreciation of the strength diversity brings to the voyage, and to instil a desire in participants to give back to the community.


International research has shown that the Young Endeavour program produces significant outcomes, drawing on a purposefully structured program and consistent efforts to develop participants’ capabilities, particularly their confidence, in areas such as meeting new people, taking a leadership role, working cooperatively, and speaking in a formal settings. These skills are immediately transferrable to every day settings at home, at school and at work.


Who will be on board?

Our youth crew come from around Australia – from capital cities, regional centres and rural communities in every state and territory. They include students, apprentices, graduates, trainees and employees who have gone on to work and volunteer for a range of organisations, and to make a significant contribution to society.


No prior sailing experience is required and most participants have never been to sea before. Youth crew are supervised and supported by a professional Royal Australian Navy crew whose members are carefully selected and trained to deliver the program and to ensure the highest standards of safety and care.


Why an adventure at sea?

Sail training is an outdoor adventure activity which uses the immersive environment of a tall ship to develop participants’ personal skills and attributes. It requires participants to confront physical, mental and emotional challenges.


It inspires self-confidence and the acceptance of personal responsibility. It promotes an acceptance of others whatever their social or cultural backgrounds, and develops a willingness to take controlled risks. For many participants it not only a positive experience, it is also life-changing.



Catch all the action from the current voyage in the Captain’s Log.

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Join Lieutenant Evan Healy – ship’s navigator – for a video tour of Young Endeavour.

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Upcoming Voyages

See the upcoming program of youth development voyages.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions from parents or guardians.

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.

captain's log

v06/19 newcastle to brisbane

may 06 2021

2024 Voyages now available ⚓️    APPLY NOW
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