Dutch school pupils back on dry land after sailing home across the Atlantic

A group of 25 secondary school pupils and their teachers have arrived back in the Netherlands on a two-masted schooner after sailing home from the Caribbean.

The group were on a six week sail and study programme in the region but could not fly home from Cuba as planned because of coronavirus restrictions.

Instead the organisers decided the ship would sail back across the Atlantic, a 8,000 kilometre trip which took them five weeks. The schooner, the Wylde Swan, was built in 1920 and had a 12-man crew on board as well as the pupils and three teachers.

The crew had sailed across the Atlantic previously and would have brought the ship back to the Netherlands anyway on the next scheduled trip, according to the company website.

The boat arrived in the port of Harlingen on Sunday to be met by family and friends –  and social distancing requirements.

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