Welcome aboard a unique and very special experience! We are thrilled to invite you to be part of our volunteer team, where you’ll have the opportunity to embark on a journey into the past aboard the Nao Victoria, the Galeón Andalucía, the Nao Trinidad, or the Pascual Flores. This is not just a call to action but an invitation to be part of something greater than oneself.

We are constantly seeking passionate and dedicated individuals who wish to immerse themselves in the authenticity of bygone eras and share that experience with the rest of the crew. While the adventure promises unforgettable moments, we also acknowledge that every step counts. This volunteering requires dedication and effort, so not everyone is suited for this opportunity, and the reward goes beyond the tangible.

Do you want to be a volunteer?

As a volunteer, you will play a crucial role aboard the vessels. You will learn and acquire extensive knowledge about traditional materials or craftsmanship on board. What is needed to keep a historic ship in good condition? What materials were used in those times and what is used today? What are the current navigation techniques? Tasks are varied and can revolve around anything: assisting with mooring and unmooring maneuvers; hosing and cleaning the deck and bathrooms; painting the hull; learning about nautical charts; washing dishes; standing watch; steering or assisting the public during our stays in port, among many other tasks.

Active volunteer participation is crucial for the optimal maintenance of our historic vessels. Becoming a volunteer on board is not only a valuable opportunity to familiarize yourself with the ship, but also to acquire knowledge through interaction with others. Practical work provides an enriching experience, accompanied by a friendly environment where camaraderie is shared both with our permanent crew and other volunteers. This commitment will not only strengthen your connection to sailing but also provide you with practical skills in a collaborative setting.

I want to join the adventure!

Great! Although there are a few things you need to know first… As a volunteer, you will have all expenses covered aboard the ship: insurance, meals, and accommodation, in addition to getting to know a different city practically every week. But… we need a commitment from you. You must have a minimum availability of 3 months, be of legal age, in good health, and, of course, have a strong desire to learn, assist in all tasks on board, and live with the rest of the crew!

Before anything else, we recommend that you take a look at the rest of the pages: check our FAQ; surely all your doubts will be resolved here. Get to know what a normal day is like on board while in port and sailing in the LIFE ON BOARD section. If, after all this information, you believe you can fit into our program, fill out our questionnaire, and we will contact you as soon as possible!

The Nao Victoria Foundation

The Nao Victoria Foundation is part of the Andalusian Volunteer Agency, as well as the Sail Training Association Spain, and shares the same foundational purposes as the Tall Ships Races. In addition to having signed collaboration agreements with numerous universities, training centers, and schools for students from different disciplines to carry out internships on board.

Does the ship sail using the engine or sails?

The voyages are usually mixed; we depend on weather conditions. If there is no wind, we have to use the engine, although whenever possible, we try to hoist sails.

What is the minimum and maximum age to live this experience?

The minimum age is 18, and there is no maximum age, although you always need to have good physical condition and mobility.

Are the ships adapted for people with reduced mobility?

Unfortunately, our ships are replicas of historical vessels and are recreated as closely as possible to reality. Therefore, we do not have the ships adapted for people with reduced mobility.

What conditions could prevent me from sailing?

Any type of illness or condition that impedes physical or elevated work

Is prior experience required?

No previous experience, sailing background, or specific qualifications are required. A strong desire to assist in all ship-related tasks is what’s needed.

Can everyone sail?

Not everyone can sail. The spots are limited, and it is considered a ‘reward’ for those who secure a spot. If you believe you fit the profile and would like to try this experience, fill out our QUESTIONNAIRE.

How long does the volunteering last?

Usually, it’s between 3 and 6 months, although there are volunteers who have stayed for more than a year.

How do I get to the ship?

You will have to make your own way there.

What happens if I miss my train, flight, or bus to reach the ship, and the ship has already left?

You will have to find the means to reach the next port.

Do I have a trial period?

You have a period of about 15 days to adapt to the ship. Not everyone adapts to pirate life, although we will help you fit into the group.

After my 3 months of experience, do I have to find my own way back home?

Yes, just like the outbound journey, but on this occasion, we will try to assist you with the return transportation.

After my 3 months of experience, can I continue?

Yes, as long as all parties are satisfied, an extension can be arranged, provided there is availability.

What is the training like?

In the initial days, you will be on a schedule of 5 days of work and 2 days off (in port). Once this period is over, you will transition to a schedule of 48 hours of work and 48 hours off. We always refer to the port schedule, as during navigation, you will start with a regular schedule.

What is a day like on board the ship while sailing?

We advise you to go to the section LIFE ON BOARD, where you will find all the information, as well as explanatory photos and videos.

What is a day like on board the ship while in port?

We recommend that you go to the LIFE ON BOARD section where you will find all the information, as well as explanatory photos and videos.

Where can I see the routes of the ships?

You can check the Foundation Nao Victoria’s website or social media to see where the ships are located.

With what water can I brush my teeth?

For personal hygiene, you can always use a gallon of water to rinse yourself. Water is a very scarce and precious resource on board, so we need to try to save as much water as possible.

Can I take photos and videos?

Of course! Always remember to mention us on our social media, and if you share them with us, we would appreciate it.

When I arrive in port, can I shower with fresh water?

We must ask the captain/chief engineer. In ports, we usually go to the marina facilities.

Can I shower during navigation?

We should always ask the Captain, but in principle, you can usually shower with saltwater. Freshwater availability depends on the ship and the liters we have on board. You will need to ask the Captain.

Are there pets on board?


Is there a uniform?


Is it allowed to drink during navigation?

No, as we need to be alert and available for any maneuvers or emergencies that may arise on the ship.

Is smoking allowed on board during navigation?

Yes, in the designated areas.

Is it allowed to drink during navigation?

No, as we need to be alert and available for any maneuvers or emergencies that may arise on the ship.

I am vegetarian, is there any problem?

No problem. We have a daily menu that we try to tailor to the needs of the crew above individual preferences. It’s important that you indicate this before boarding.

What time is breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner usually served?

Visit LIFE ON BOARD to find information regarding this.

What meals are included in the volunteer programme?

As a volunteer, you will have breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner covered for the entire week on board the ship. Anything you want to consume outside the ship will be at your own expense. If you want to know the approximate meal times, visit LIFE ON BOARD.

Why do you have to carry a headlamp and a knife?

It is necessary to carry a headlamp in order to have both hands free in case of any mishap. In the nautical world of large sailboats, each crew member usually has a knife and a headlamp, basically as survival material in case of emergency, if they get caught on a line, etc. At sea you never know what might happen.

Do I need to bring waterproof clothing?

All the recommendations of things you should take with you can be found in LIFE ON BOARD.

Do I need to bring gel and shampoo?

This is not necessary. If you want to bring your own shower gel and shampoo there is no problem, although the boat is provided.

Do I need to bring a towel?

Yes, you will need to bring your own towel as well as flip-flops to wear in the shower.

Do I need to bring bed linen?

This is not necessary. We will provide you with a mattress and a sleeping bag that you will use.

Do you take out health insurance?

Yes, although it is always advisable to take out private insurance, especially when touring abroad.

Where do I sleep?

On a cot, that’s for sure!!!! Depending on the ship, the sleeping area is different. We recommend that you take a look at LIFE ON BOARD where you can see the areas where you can spend the night during your stay as a volunteer.

What are the predominant nationalities?

Our ships are multicultural, we have all kinds of nationalities on board, although Spanish predominates.

What is the official language?

The official language is Spanish, although our crew members also speak English and some of them French.

What percentage of women usually go?

We try to ensure that our crews are balanced in terms of both men and women. It should be noted that all sailing manoeuvres are done by hand so it is important that the group is strong and works at the same pace, especially in the manoeuvres.

What tasks do I have to do?

You will be part of a museum ship’s crew, so you will be doing things like guiding, museum care, maintenance, schools, etc., such as navigation guards, steering, stowage, preparing fenders, lowering the engine, etc. Of course you also have to take care of the life on board, such as food, cleaning, night watches, in which we all collaborate.

What is the ship's hierarchy?

There are two, on land and in navigation. In navigation, it will be the Captain, chief engineer and chief mate/boatswain’s mate, the hierarchy to follow. On shore, there will be logistics and foreman.


The boats will be our home for some time, for this reason it is very important to keep our house clean and tidy, so every day we will dedicate a few minutes to cleaning the common areas.

Will I be covered during navigation?

You tend to go close to the coast, so most of the time you usually have coverage. When we get a little further from the coast we lose it, but most of the time there is coverage.

During navigation as well?

Yes, you can also charge your devices, but you will have to keep an eye on them as well.

Can I charge my mobile devices on the ship?

Yes, all ships are equipped with European 220v sockets. All charging devices must be constantly monitored to avoid overloading or fire.

How many people usually sail?

Depending on the boat, crews range from 12 to 30 people.

Do I need an identity document?

It is ESSENTIAL to have a valid ID card to be able to sail. It is also RECOMMENDED and in certain ports it is ESSENTIAL to have a valid passport (not expired) as there are ports in the UK that we will visit and we will have to have all the required documentation, otherwise you will not be able to get off the boat at any time..

Can I bring my own food?

Space on the ship is very limited, with one refrigerator for the entire crew. In exceptional cases, it is possible to keep some food in the bunk, but it is strictly forbidden to carry food in the bunk, basically because it could attract any insects to an open meal.

How long are the navigations?

It depends on the port we go to. There are sailings that take only a few hours and others that can take up to 10 days. The average is usually between 2/3 days

Is there a doctor on board in case there is an emergency during navigation?

The captain and officer are trained to attend to any first aid emergency as well as CPR.

We haven't been able to answer all your questions?

If after this compilation of 50 questions we have not resolved the doubts you had… you can contact us by email at voluntariado@fundacionnaovictoria.org.

Our HR colleagues will try to answer you as soon as possible.

If you’ve come this far, it’s because you think this experience might suit you and you want to experience something different. If this is the case, great, let’s get down to business!

In this section we will immerse ourselves in the extraordinary experience of ship life, where solidarity and adventure meet on the high seas as well as in port. Here, we’ll explore every aspect of life on board from the essential luggage you’ll need to take with you to what a day aboard ship is like both in port and at sea.


  • Documentation: VERY IMPORTANT. It will be compulsory to carry your ID card with you and in case you happen to be visiting a port in the UK it will also be COMPULSORY to have a valid PASSPORT.
  • Bedding: on the boat we have sheets, pillow and sleeping bag so you DO NOT NEED to bring any bedding with you.
  • Clothes: We advise you to wear comfortable shoes (sports shoes), comfortable clothes that do not limit you when you move and can get dirty (for maintenance tasks such as sanding, painting, scratching…). At night for the navigations we recommend that you bring a jacket/windbreaker and some warm clothes (scarf, scarf, gloves…). During the museum hours you will be given a uniform (2 T-shirts and 1 cap), so that you can enjoy the cities we visit during your free time, it won’t be all about work!
  • Personal hygiene items: you will need to bring your own toothbrush and towel. We also recommend that you bring flip-flops. On the boats we have gel, shampoo, toothpaste…
  • Electronic devices: you can bring your laptop, tablet or mobile phone, headphones… on the boats we have European plugs.
  • Necessary utensils: you will also need to carry a head torch, especially at night, as the lights on the boat will be switched off for better vision, so you will need to carry a head torch to move around the boat safely. You will also need to carry a pocket knife: the boats are full of lines so it is advisable to carry a handheld knife with you to cut any lines if necessary.


It is very important for you to know that while in port there will be two work teams that will be on duty for 48 hours each. During these 48 hours you will perform multiple tasks including: preparing the ship for opening to the public, opening to the public, attending to visitors, selling merchandising, “housekeeping” tasks, participating in events and festivals and night watches.

But don’t worry, you will also have time to enjoy the city! After these 48 hours you will have 48 hours to visit the city.

So, what would a working day on the ships be like? You will have 48 hours of work and another 48 hours of rest.

  • 7:30 Wake up. Our colleagues on the night watch will have prepared all the food on the table beforehand so that everyone can have whatever they want for breakfast.


  • 8:30 Cleaning and preparing to open to the public. We will have a series of preliminary tasks before officially opening to the public at 10:00. These tasks include:
    • Cleaning and scrubbing breakfast
    • Mopping and scrubbing the deck and other areas of the ship
    • Put up signage and turn on televisions
    • Set up the museum
    • Set up marquee and merchandising
    • Maintenance
      • In each watch there is a watch leader, who is in charge of distributing the daily tasks and checking that everything is in order, as well as for maintenance tasks we will have the boatswain’s mate giving us the guidelines we need


  • 10:00 Opening to the public. The ship is transformed into a floating museum, where our mission will be to transmit our knowledge of sailing, as well as the history of the ship, which is quite a lot, thus making the public’s visit to our decks very enjoyable. Everyone will have an established position during the opening to the public.


  • 13:00 – 15:00 Lunch. We will take turns so as not to leave our booth empty at any time.


  • 20:00 (approx.) Closing of the museum. We will store props (tent, table, chairs and chests of drawers).


  • 21:00. Preparation and dinner.


When we are sailing we will all have to do our part. In this case there will be 3 working teams, with a watch of 8 hours each, divided as follows: 4 hours on watch, 8 hours off, 4 hours on watch and 8 hours off. During navigation there will be multiple tasks to be carried out, including: maintenance of the boat (these tasks will be done while sailing because in port, with the influx of public, it would be impossible), navigation watches, sailing manoeuvres, docking and undocking manoeuvres, security rounds and tasks on the bridge.

Each watch will have a watch leader who will guide the maintenance and steering of the ship. The watches will last 4 hours, with the following 8 hours free.

All the crew will be available for all sailing manoeuvres, as well as for docking manoeuvres and when we set sail.

You should know that even if you are not on watch and it is your turn to rest during docking and undocking manoeuvres, ALL the crew must be there to help.

  • 7:30 – 8:00 Brekfast


  • 1st Watch
    • Timetable: from 08:00 to 12:00 and from 20:00 to 00:00
    • The watch starts after breakfast and will end before lunch. On night watch, we will take over just after sunset and before dinner until midnight.


  • 2nd Watch
    • Timetable: from 12:00 to 16:00 and from 00:00 to 04:00
    • We will start the watch almost at lunchtime and enjoy the longest period of sunshine on board. During the night watch we will be able to enjoy, weather permitting, a completely starry sky and be able to do astronomy exercises.


  • 3rd Watch
    • Hours: from 16:00 to 20:00 and from 04:00 to 08:00
    • Sunset and sunrise watch, in this watch you will enjoy both moments, you will finish the day watch before breakfast and you will start the night watch with dinner.

If you have arrived here, it is because you think you can fit in and want to live this different and unique experience. Just fill in the form and our HR team will contact you if you meet all the necessary requirements. LUCKY LUCK! See you on board?