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The 10 best things to do during a company outing on a sailing ship

Sailing on the IJsselmeer or the Wadden Sea is a popular and affordable business outing. That’s because you decide what you do and how long you want to be on the water. You can actively help hoist the sails, lock yourself in the spacious cabin for a brainstorm or a combination of both. It is also possible to visit the Wadden Islands or one of the many harbour towns around the IJsselmeer. Below are the top 10 fun things you can do during a company outing on board a sailing ship.

A company outing on a traditional flat-bottomed ship

If you want to do something different with your team for once, you can opt for a sailing trip on a traditional flat-bottomed ship. There is room for up to 25 people and the ship lends itself perfectly to brainstorming or teamwork so that you can keep on working together with renewed energy afterwards.

Without any distractions, the entire ship is at your disposal, with the crew taking care of all drinks and refreshments. In addition, the sailing ships are fitted with all modern equipment such as beamers and audio installations.

Have you ever thought about coaching sessions on board a sailing ship with your entire team? Afterwards you will moor in a harbour for a drink or go for a mudflat walk from one of the many sandbanks aroundthe Wadden Islands.

Sailing together promotes teamwork

Most sailing ships have a home port, but there is always room to discuss another pick up point.

For example, the ships can, by arrangement, pick up guests at a central location in or aroundAmsterdam or other places in the Randstad. The skipper and crew will be happy to help you give your sailing trip the personal touch you want.

The teambuilding part comes naturally, as we like to use the guests as a crew to hoist the sails and set the course. Teamwork is also required to pull down the sails.

Of course there will be plenty of time left for meetings, workshops or brainstorming sessions in the spacious saloon of the ship. Being on the move can be a goal in itself, but you might smell land when the hatch opens after a few hours of roundtable meetings. The choice is entirely up to the team.

All this while delicious freshly prepared lunch, snacks and/or dinner is served on board or reserved ashore. If everyone has survived the day and no one has been thrown overboard, then you can relax together in the bar on board. This while enjoying a cold draught beer, a glass of wine from the refrigerator or a fresh local juice for those who still have to drive.

1. Sailing as a metaphor for working with your team on a real sailing yacht

If you want to use a team day to get closer to each other and learn to work better together, then sailing as a theme is a good starting point. By having to work together in hoisting the sails, determining the course and plotting a route on the water, you will notice that you rely on each other and have to trust each other.[leren]

How about steering yourself, where you need help from colleagues to keep the right course. Together you determine the strategy, just as you do within the business community.

How sporty and intensive a day’s sailing will be depends on the wishes of the team, the weather and the environment in which you are going to sail. An afternoon on the Wadden Sea with waves, currents, sandbanks and seals is a fun adventure.

Especially if you make a stop on, for example, Texel or Terschelling. A round of sailing on the IJsselmeer, where you can work hard on the water when the wind is strong, offers very different options with picturesque harbour towns for a break.

2. Brainstorming on board during a day of sailing

Aboard a traditional sailing ship, you will experience what life was like here 100 years ago. Yet you have all the luxuries of today. In this way, the ship’s salloon can be transformed into a meeting room equipped with all modern conveniences.

Not only is the salloon with long tables, projection screen, non-stop fresh coffee, tea, drinks and snacks a fine setting. The experience that your meeting room is in the middle of a lake or the Wadden Sea really helps you to come up with better ideas or solutions without distractions. In addition, the alternation between intensive consultations with the occasional headwind and, if you wish, making yourself physically tired on deck, is a proven formula for productive meetings!

Of course, the experienced crew will make sure that everything runs smoothly and will provide you with a delicious freshly prepared lunch, drinks and dinner if desired.

3. Visiting a museum during a company outing on a traditional sailing ship

So you had a brainstorming session on it, hoisted the sails together and got to grips with the tricks of the trade. So how fun is it to learn from the history of the ship you are cruising on and the ports you are docking in? The lives of skippers, fishermen and the waters of the Netherlands have an interesting history. Because you are on an antique sailing boat yourself, the often amusingly told stories take on an extra dimension. In the many harbours there are several museums or exhibitions to visit.

How about the Zuiderzee Museum in Enkhuizen or the Museum House in Hoorn, for example.

4. Blokarting on a Wadden Island during a team outing

Step aboard at Harlingen harbour and go on an excursion to a Wadden Island. The trip there is an experience in itself, but you give a company outing an extra sporty touch with an afternoon of Blokarting on the beach. Blokarting is easy to learn. Everyone can do it after a brief instruction. It’s also nice to work with the wind, just like with sailing. After a nice beach trip, make it into a contest and the winner will receive a trophy on board.

5. Tuk Tuk scavenger hunt on Texel during an afternoon with your team

After mooring in the harbour of Oudeschild, a row of Tuk-Tuks will be waiting for you if you wish.

You get an itinerary, a set of questions and a picnic basket full of goodies and off you go. With this fun tricycle you can discover the whole island and the best beaches at your own pace.

Make your way through the dunes, rest for a while on one of the many terraces and drive around the lighthouse for a few laps. If you want to give it a competitive atmosphere, book the scavenger hunt by Tuk-tuk. The skipper likes to think along in an appropriate ‘punishment’ for the losers.

6. City walk in one of the many cities around the IJsselmeer during a coaching session aboard a sailing boat

A company outing on board and certainly a coaching session can be intensive. It is nice when you can leave the ship with an assignment or with newly acquired insights. A stroll in one of the many harbours or V.O.C. towns around the IJsselmeer can be a welcome diversion or a way to think things over. Ask the skipper for some local highlights and walk together or alone through the cosy city centre of places like Stavoren, Medemblik or Enkhuizen.

7. A surf clinic to clear your head during your sportive team day

In the Netherlands you will find the best surfing beaches and getting there is a piece of cake with a sailing ship. Even if you’ve never surfed before, you can try your luck on a good wave.

Take part in a surf clinic as a group or in small groups and learn the basics of golf surfing. Not only do you learn to keep your balance and patience, you also float in the waves together, talking about a team efford. See who catches the first wave. At Paal 9 on Texel you will quickly feel like a real surf dude or dudette. Here you will find nice beach bars and you can book surfing lessons.

8. A cooking course with self-caught fresh fish, cockles and oysters during a day at sea with your colleagues.

Well, fish is a bit ambitious, the seal is a formidable competitor and is known for the many fish they catch. But during the lowtide in the Wadden Sea area, you will find cockles on most of the sandbanks the ship is parked on. Pick them up yourself and learn on board from a real chef what delicious dishes you can make a la vongole! If you are lucky you can visit the best oyster banks and eat your own harvested oysters out of hand.

Save a few for on board, as an aperitif at your self-prepared multi-course dinner!

9. A wine or whiskey tasting on board of an antique sailor after a meeting on location.

After a day of meetings, brainstorming or coaching, it is nice to end the day together. If you are tired of coffee, consider booking a tasting on board. This can be done under the supervision of a sommelier who will let you taste the best wines or whiskies.

If you have a preference, you can choose the type of wine or the region yourself or let yourself be completely surprised. The crew on board can provide a good bottom and the necessary snacks for this cheerful and educational drink.

10. Vrijmibo or presentation on board of an attractive sailing yacht in a port of your choice.

The famous ‘Vrijmibo’, organise the Friday afternoon drink at a different location than the canteen or the pub without too much hassle? With love, many a skipper places his ship in a nice spot. Close to you if you like and provides a drink entirely according to your wishes and budget. What is unique is that it can be made cosy indoors as well as outdoors and can also be sailed for a while. For example, through the ports of Amsterdam and across the IJ river. But if you want to get away from it all,the harbor of Enkhuizen can easily be reached by public transport from the randstad or other area’s in the Netherlands.

A presentation or other special occasion can also be organised and gets just a little more cachet in the nautical setting of a classic sailing ship than in the office.

This post is also available in: Dutch German