Couples Policy

The Picton Castle does not accept couples as trainee applicants on the our World Voyages. We make no exceptions.

The reason for this policy is that couples, particularly life partners, typically and naturally put their relationship with each other above their individual relationships with the ship. They usually form a closed social unit, and, even if they make an effort not to be one, are often treated as a closed unit by the rest of the crew. While perfectly natural, this dynamic prevents couples from focusing primarily on their roles as trainees, the needs of the ship and their shipmates. Since their roles as crew members require their full attention at all times, we have found that the couple dynamic has a destructive and even corrosive social effect on the Picton Castle crew as a whole.

On past World Voyages, we have made exceptions to this policy. Each time, we and typically the couple in question, have been genuinely disappointed. The group cohesion suffered, individuals suffered, and typically, the couple involved were unhappy with their experience as well. Nobody ended up very pleased.

Many other ships and maritime organizations have had the same or a similar policy. Examples include the Brigantine Yankee, Brigantine Romance, Sea Education Association (SEA), Royal Canadian Navy, U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard Ship Eagle, and the Danish School Ship Danmark. Many of these ships will discharge couples should they form after a voyage begins.

So, as stated above, we do not accept couples who apply for our World Voyages. We do, however, welcome couples to apply for our shorter summer and winter trips.

Couples can also contact Tall Ships America at (401) 846-1775, e-mail them, or visit their web site to learn more about hundreds of other vessels that have sailing programs.

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