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Corona lockdown updates for sailing on the Dutch Wadden Sea and the IJsselmeer

If sailing has been your lust and your life ever since you were a child, a dream will come true if you can make this your work. Until the beginning of this year we were, with more than 300 ships, a close community of antique sailing ship owners. Besides the fun of sailing, we also had a lot of fun with the many people we were allowed to take on our sailing trips to the Wadden Sea and the IJsselmeer.

Unfortunately – and of course more than justifiably – we suddenly had to deal with the Corona lock-down, just like the rest of the Netherlands. Our boyhood dream turned into a nightmare with far-reaching consequences.

Below you can read about what the Corona lockdown means for you and us and what the expectations are for the future.

Update 6-9-2020 Extra support for the Dutch sailing fleet, how will it be distributed?

That 15 million will be made available is fantastic news! This recognises that the Dutch sailing fleet belongs to national [varend] heritage. It is now up to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science to distribute this amount. Read all about it in the article from the ‘Zeepost’.

Update 28-8-2020 Additional financial support for maritime heritage

The cultural sector is having an above-average hard time and that is why extra help is coming! Read all about it via this link

Update 14-8-2020 No quarantine obligation yet

Following last Wednesday’s debate, it appears that the majority of the Chamber is against a quarantine obligation. This is when one has come into contact with a person infected with Corona or has complaints of one’s own. Prime Minister Rutte, however, considers this to be of the utmost importance in view of the developments surrounding the virus.

Learn all about it in this article

Update 24-7-2020: No tightening of Corona rules

This was announced by Minister Ferd Grapperhaus of Justice and Security at a press conference today. The decision follows an hour-long consultation with chairman of the security council Hugo Bruls. The Minister has asked the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) to investigate the use of mouth masks outside public transport, and to advise the Cabinet on this.

According to Grapperhaus and Bruls, the masks have not been proven to work in the public space: ‘The masks must never become more important than the other half-measure rule. I keep repeating it like a chorus: not in place of’, says Grapperhaus.

Read more about it inthis article of de Volkskrant

Update 23-7-2020: Sailing again, how safe is it?

We’ve carefully been sailing again for a couple of weeks now. Mainly with families and small groups. We see in the various harbours that there is a cozy holiday atmosphere but also that people sometimes have trouble keeping to the Corona rules. The RIVM’s current figures also show this last week.

We therefore choose to look for quiet places with our groups. Like anchoring on the Wadden Sea or falling dry on beautiful sandbanks or on the amazing beach of Ameland. Of course we also visit the 5 Wadden Islands and port cities around the IJsselmeer.

If you’d like to get out this summer, away from the crowds and not far from home, then book a wonderful week of sailing here.

Sailing yacht Lotus , sailing into the sunset on the Waddensea in the Netherlands

Update 13-2020: Updated Corona protocols on board

As a result of the broadening measures regarding the Corona protocols on board sailing ships, these have been adapted. You can find the renewed protocols here

Of course, the protocols for day trips on board our ships have also been adapted on our website!

How Corona affects Sailing

Update 10-7-2020: Loosening the Corona protocols for sailing

Sailing on charter ships is seen as a sport. This means that there is no need to keep a distance and the mouth mask on deck is not necessary. For the time being, the loosening only applies to sailing.

Sailing ships can sail daytrips again with full capacity. Above deck there is no need to keep a distance and there is no need for a mouth mask. The Ministry of Infrastructure and Public Works has just announced this. Below deck there is no need to keep a distance, but the mouth mask is mandatory. Another limitation is that there is no catering service on board while sailing. That’ s not possible again until the ship is moored. Of course the people on board are allowed to eat and drink while sailing, but it should be avoided that people sit down in the bar or have a meal together below deck. The exceptional position for sailing is based on the idea that it is a sport.

Update 6-7-2020: How the Corona crisis has a positive effect in the Wadden Sea area

A study carried out last April shows that the Corona crisis also has a positive effect on nature in the Wadden Sea area. Researchers from the University of Wageningen counted 20% moresealsin the Wadden Sea than in the previous year. Not only the mild winter but also the undisturbed rest during the Corona crisis are probably the cause of this.

Whether there really are more seals or whether there are just more counted is the question. Because of the Lock down and thus more peace and quiet on the Wadden Sea and the beautiful weather, the common seal and the Cone seal may have been lazing more visibly on the sandbanks than usual. Read all about it inthis article!

Update 29-6-2020: The State Secretary for Economic Affairs visits distressed sailing fleet

Today Mona Keizer, State Secretary for Economic Affairs, visited a number of skippers of the ‘Hollandsche Zeilvloot’ to talk about the future and financial support for this sector. Together with a number of members of the committee ‘Save the Dutch Sailing Fleet’ she visited the Sudwester sailing ship in Kampen. Read all about it in this article!

Update 20-6-2020: Petition is offered to the cabinet

After a day in front of Pampus island, with the necessary media attention and support from councillors and mayors of cities around the IJsselmeer and Wadden Sea. Can we report that questions have now been asked at the Ministers of Culture and Economy.

Thanks to Twirre Boogaard

We also ask everyone to sign the petition to reinforce these questions. On Monday these will be offered to the second room. Every vote counts, if you haven’t signed yet you can still do so via this link, thank you very much.

Update 9-6-2020: Over 150 Ships for Pampus island

Today more than 150 of our ships are moored in front of Pampus to draw attention to the precarious situation in which we find ourselves as skippers. Fortunately,the national media give us the necessary attention, but you too can contribute by sharing this article about why we are a symbol for the Netherlands on social media.

175 Authentic ships for Pampus

Update 2-6-2020: A review of the first day on the water yesterday

The first step towards sailing with guests was successfully made yesterday. Local families from Enkhuizen were able to take a sailing trip on the IJsselmeer yesterday. Our colleagues sailed away at 12:30, check out the footagehere.

Update 1-6-2020: The first ships are allowed to make short trips again under strict conditions.

After weeks of preparations, a lot of setbacks and lack of clarity, today we are allowed to sail short stretches again under strict conditions. Due to the hard work of skippers and those involved to get protocols ready and approved. The commitment of the interest group BBZ and above all a lot of good courage. Today we sailed a first round with the mayor of Enkhuizen and from now on it is possible to make short trips with families registered at the same address this week, to have a break from the Corona crisis.

A sailing ship on its first voyage 1 June 2020

Update 22-5-2020: Skippers of the Dutch sailing fleet float in uncertainty by corona

In the broadcast of ‘Hart van Nederland’ our colleague Rob Peetoom from the ship Avondrood spoke. Our association has applied to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate for an emergency fund in order to preserve our ships.

Not being able to sail is problematic, but applying the 1.5 meter rule on board is simply impossible. We’re awaiting a response from the government. Watch the broadcast here. The item about our ships starts after 10 minutes.

Update 20-5-2020: Sign the petition to preserve our authentic sailing fleet.

Skippers of the sailing fleet supported by trade association BBZ (sailing and motor passenger shipping) have drawn up a petition and call on everyone to sign it online. After just a few days, the meter already stands at more than 2500 people. You can sign the petition here.

Update 13-5-2020: Until at least September 1st no tourists on board of our sailing ships

Until further notice it is not possible to sail with guests on board. Not even with families. We are not allowed to have any tourists on board at all and the expectation is that this can take until at least September 1, 2020 or even longer.

Many of our colleagues and we are also struggling financially. The sailing season has started and these are the months in which we achieve our turnover. While the maintenance costs, demurrage, insurances, inspections and of course the costs for our own maintenance just continue, we can’t count on any support from our government for the time being.

It is clear that we are in serious financial trouble This also makes it uncertain for many people whether they will be able to sail again if the government allows them to do so. Some will have to make costs for maintenance and certification of income that do not exist.

Update 5-5-2020: Antique sailboats industry is under water

Sailing on sailing ships on the Wadden Sea or the IJsselmeer has been on the rise since the late 1970s. Most skippers started this for fun and knew beforehand that it wouldn’t make you rich. The intensive maintenance, permits, inspections, insurances and certifications are very expensive and the sailing season is short. Yet this was all worth it until the Corona lockdown flooded the antique sailboats & seagoing industry.

All bookings were cancelled and the enthusiastic skipper does not have to count on new bookings in the near future. Many guests of course wanted their deposit back immediately, but even that is not a feasible card for the skippers. That money has already been invested in costs that have to be paid in advance, such as personnel, maintenance, permits and ongoing insurances.

While the water on the sailing ships is up to their eyeballs, some clients try to get their money back through lawyers. Although every skipper can be more than sympathetic to the situation in which these early bookers find themselves, it is not possible to refund all guests due to the situation that has arisen. Although they are legally entitled to do so.

A voucher for the next sailing trip

The branch [HISWA] has therefore set up a guarantee fund, which covers a voucher for money already paid. The ship owners do everything they can to persuade the customer to make use of it. And they also need the sympathy of the customer. Together’ is a credo among sailors and nature lovers. Skippers and we too hope that a little understanding will make this a credo for the consumer who has been able to enjoy the Wadden Sea for so long, partly thanks to the skippers.

n the case of a voucher, the skipper still suffers a loss but this is considerably less than a monetary amount to be paid for the 100% cancellations of one day on the other. This would otherwise mean that after sometimes more than 30 years of passionate sailing and having given millions of people sailing pleasure, they would be facing bankruptcy for a few hundred euros or less. At the expense of themselves and the many million people who still want to sail on the Wadden Sea or the IJsselmeer. A voucher for a next sailing trip

Everyone gets an appropriate solution. Namely a voucher for a future trip. The only difference with the previous booking is the date of the trip. In a special time as now during the ‘intelligent Corona lockdown’ this is a suitable solution for everyone where the customer gets what he has paid for and hopefully the antique sailing ship can retain its right to exist.

Update 27 April: A silent disaster takes place

It is beginning to get through to ship owners and entrepreneurs that this ongoing emergency regulation will not allow our floating heritage to survive.

Not only the ships that sail over our IJsselmeer and Wadden area, but also the antique sailing ship [Tallships] that sail over the world under the Dutch flag, often as a specialised training ship but also with guests. What they have in common and what makes them unique is that entrepreneurs with these ships do not receive subsidies and are completely self-sufficient.

What they also have in common is that the historical certificates that were once issued for these antique ships and are rigorously inspected annually, once expired, cannot be obtained again.niet meer opnieuw verkregen kunnen worden.

This means that if no emergency fund is set up now, it will never be possible for sailing enthusiasts and guests to sail on these beautiful sailing ships.

With this, the largest and only historic fleet in the world is lost, something that hurts us as sailing enthusiasts and entrepreneurs enormously.

This post is also available in: German