What dates and times do you operate?
Our sailings run Wednesdays through Sundays. Our sailing season for 2018 runs from June 16th to September 7th.
We offer two 3-hour sails and one 1.5-hour harbour cruise, Wednesday through Sunday each week. Private Charters are available, but subject to scheduling and availability.
What are your departure times?
3 Hour Sails depart at 9:00 am and 2:00 pm, Wednesdays through Sundays
Evening Harbour Cruise departs at 7:30 pm, Wednesdays through Sundays
Departure times may vary due to weather or special events.
Please arrive at least 10-15 minutes prior to departure.
Where are you located?
We are located at ‘A’ dock across the street from the Fairmont Empress Hotel.
What services do you offer?
We are proud to offer relaxing marine adventures aboard our classic Tall Ship Duen of Victoria.
We offer 3 hour sails and a 1.5 hour evening cruises from June 15-September 7th. Private Charters are also available upon request.
Duen is Transport Canada Certified to carry up to 25 day passengers along the Coast of British Columbia. We have operated tours without incident since 2000.
Guests are encouraged to bring along a picnic. All ages and abilities are welcome aboard. Alcohol is permitted, however this is not a booze cruise. We do not serve alcohol aboard, and we reserve the discretion to refuse service to guests appearing intoxicated.
We provide light refreshments and water on board. Payment for our tours is taken at the end of your sail. We accept payment through Debit or Credit Card.
Do you offer trips that include special events?
Many great special events happen in Victoria and we get in on the excitement. The Swiftsure Yacht Race, Canada Day and Symphony Splash are examples of special events we participate in yearly.
Do you have gift certificates?
We are not offering gift certificates this season. Pre-payment for our sails can be arranged by contacting us at email@example.com.
What is your eco-tourism certification about?
We are dedicated to a low environmental footprint. We have Green Tourism Canada Gold Certification – their highest level of certification. Our eco-tourism features / activities include:
- Built with > 95% recycled and salvaged materials. What couldn’t be found was purchased with money from recycling scrap metals and bottlesTall Ship Duen is fully self-contained and can operate the season without access to an external power source.
- We have an aft solar array.
- Use less fuel in an entire season than one whale watching tour
- LED lights and a low flush toilet
- We provide reusable utensils, glasses and plates
- We recycle all of our guests plastics, paper and drink containers and compost leftover food
Are you associated with any tourism associations?
We are proud members of Tourism Victoria and Super, Natural British Columbia (Destination BC)
What should we bring?
It is recommended that you bring along a picnic as we don’t sell any food or drinks aboard. We will have fresh water and light refreshments available, but if you’d like anything beyond that for your trip, you are welcome to bring it with you.
It is also a good idea to bring:
- extra warm clothing and wet weather gear -even on a warm day, the wind can be cold, so it advised that you dress in layers
- sun hat
What wildlife can we see?
Every trip is different! We can’t guarantee any particular wildlife sightings, but on many of our tours we have seen dolphins, whales, seals, eagles, jellyfish, and many other interesting and unique BC fauna. Check out our photos on Facebook for some of the sights we’ve seen.
Can we bring wine, beer or liquor?
Alcohol is permitted in moderation. We provide the cooler, glasses and opener. Please be advised that this a family friendly sailing cruise-not a booze cruise. The captain reserves the discretion to cancel a sail due to inappropriate behavior, or to refuse service to guests who appear intoxicated.
Do we actually sail or are we motoring?
During 3 hour sails, we are under full sail with the engine off for most of the trip. By law, we have to motor out of the Inner Harbour because it is a marine airport. During this time we cover the safety features and history of the vessel. It takes about 10 minutes to motor out of the marine airport at which point guests can help remove the sail covers and haul up the sails.
Evening cruises use the motor for most of the tour.We try our best to catch some wind to bring us back into the outer harbour.
A favourite saying of ours: “If there is lots of wind we are going to sail right along and have a good time, and if there is not much wind, we are going to bob along and have a good time. We are going to have a Tall Ship Experience, which means we will be dependent on the wind and not on the engine.”
Where do we go?
We have no set course; every adventure depends on the wind and tide. We sail the Strait of Juan de Fuca in the vicinity of Classic Cove, between Whitty’s Lagoon and Esquimalt Lagoon, towards Port Angeles as far as the Alpha buoy, and down as far as Trial Island. Sights include the historic Fisgard Lighthouse, Naval harbour, Victoria’s largest float home community, and the First Nations Land & Sea Mural.
Can we participate?
Guests are encouraged to become involved in sailing the vessel; hauling the sails, taking the helm, riding the bowsprit,etc.
Some folks prefer to relax and enjoy – nothing is compulsory!
We try to incorporate special events that are taking place on the water. We impart local marine history, geological facts, info on marine wildlife, and throw in a sailing lesson during a fun-filled tour.
Do you offer sailing instructions?
Yes! Sailing instructions are incorporated into our tours in an informal manner. Anyone wanting to learn more just has to mention it and we’ll show you the ropes, but we are NOT a certified sailing school.
Do you have life jackets?
Thane is Transport Canada certified so we a full compliment of life jackets. We also carry Personal Floatation Devices (PFD) and encourage all children to wear them. They can also be used by adults.
What other safety equipment in onboard?
Our critical safety equipment:
- Covered self-inflating life raft for 25 persons
- Full compliment of certified life jackets and optional personal floatation devices for children
- Fire fighting and pumping equipment
- Computerized navigation system, radar, DSC VHF Radio, and cell phones in case of emergency
- Flares and sounders
Is it safe, fun and comfortable for infants? Pregnant women? Seniors?
Yes it is safe, fun and comfortable for all. There is a cushioned bench seat at the stern of the vessel that is reserved for these guests if needed. It is best to mention your special circumstances when booking so we can provide appropriate accommodation.
Are you wheelchair accessible?
This depends on the size of the wheelchair. We can accommodate most chairs on deck and often transfer the passenger to a comfortable seat aboard. The washroom is not wheelchair accessible.
Do you have safe storage for walkers, wheelchairs, baby carriages, etc?
Yes. It is also extremely safe on the dock. We have not yet had anything left on the departure deck go missing.
Is there a washroom / toilet onboard?
Yes. There is a washroom aboard with running hot and cold water, and a flush toilet.
What clothes should we wear?
It is a good idea to dress in layers. It can be cool on the water even in July or August. We strongly recommend shoes over sandals as they keep feet warm. We ask that your footwear have no metal buckles or clips as they damage the woodwork.
What about seasickness?
Seasickness does happen, but is very uncommon on Duen. The ship is wooden and very stable.
We are always within visual range of the shoreline, which makes it easy for guests to keep an eye on the horizon. We also only go out in comfortable and enjoyable conditions- usually with wind blowing at between 10-20 knots.
If sea sickness is something you’re very concerned with, we might suggest trying a 1.5 hour sail, as they are usually run in lower wind levels, with more time motoring than our three hour sails.
Should we take anti-seasickness pills before sailing?
You are welcome to do so if you will feel more comfortable. A drawback to using these medications is that they tend to make you drowsy. Please note that we are not legally able to provide these medications to guests.
As an alternative, we suggest you bring ginger ale, ginger cookies, ginger tea or ginger candies as these are effective at settling the queasy feeling people may experience when on the water.
If you are concerned about seasickness, it is best to arrive with plenty of rest, a full stomach and no alcohol. Ultimately, each person is different and will be affected differently.
Where will we sit?
It’s up to you! We urge guests to explore the vessel. There is outdoor and indoor seating.
The boat is very large and has a variety of seating arrangements. There are no designated seats and people tend to move around between the various areas.
Guests usually divide their time between sitting on the foredeck, riding the bowsprit, and down below. There is also a comfy cushioned table under the boom, which is a great spot for your picnic!
What is the origin of the name Duen?
Duen, (Norwegian for “Dove”) is a classic heritage sailing vessel. She is a traditional, Norwegian-designed, Galeas gaff-rigged ketch, built in 1939 in Flekkefjord, Norway.
She is built of Norwegian pitch pine, constructed with 14cm (9″) sawn frames and double planked throughout the mid-section, making her truly a solid heritage vessel.
Duen is certified as a Passenger Carrying Vessel by Transport Canada and inspected annually. She holds current certification to carry up to 25 guests on day sails and 16 guests on overnight expeditions.
All navigation and safety equipment onboard Duen exceed Canadian Marine Safety requirements.
History of Duen
1939 – 1969: Duen was originally built as a fishing vessel in Flekkefjord, Norway. She was designed using Pitch Pine and Oak wood, and was used as a fishing vessel for 30 years off the coasts of Iceland and Norway.
1941 – WWII Duen was one of the many fishing vessels involved in the ‘Shetland Bus’ which transported to the Shetland Islands Norwegian scientist escaping German-occupied Norway
1971- Duen was purchased by an adventurous American couple, Dottie and Albert Fletcher, who saw the offshore potential in the full keel of Duen.
The Fletchers converted and redesigned Duen to create a loftier and more graceful sail plan. After the conversion, the couple set sail on a fifteen-year world tour.
The couple completed circumnavigation of the earth, as well as two South Pacific journeys, all without electronic aids (except for an old “Simrad” paper depth sounder and a trusted traditional “sextant”).
Jimmy Cornell, author of “Ocean Passages of the World”,dedicated his book to the Fletchers and their incredible journeys aboard Duen.
1986- Under the careful supervision of new owners, Michael and Manon Hobbis, Duen was again renovated and equipped with a full range of new navigational and safety equipment to meet Transport Canada safety requirements. Michael and Manon began sailing Duen with students as part of a youth training program in New York Harbour for the Liberty Day Celebration.
1988– After two amazing years of sailing along the North East Atlantic coastline and through the Caribbean, Michael and Manon made the long journey back to their home waters in the Pacific Northwest.
They sailed the Eastern seaboard, through Panama Canal and back to the beautiful British Columbia coast via the Galapagos Islands and Hawaii. Duen had once more proved herself a solid offshore vessel.
1990-Duen received Canadian passenger carrying certification for the entire British Columbia coastline.
1993– Duen’s interior was completely renovated to create private accommodations, consisting of 4 double or twin cabins, with skylights and porthole in each. A new electrical system and water tanks were added to the vessel.
1990 – 1997-Duenwas recruited to take part in the “Coastwatch” marine environmental program at Lester B. Pearson United World College.
The program allowed students from all over the world, as well as curious explorers from the local community, the opportunity to participate in activies related to local environmental conservation.
1999-2000: A new pilothouse is added to the deck of the ship.
Michael and Manon decide to partner with local sailor and former police officer Martin Pepper to create an educational sail expedition company. The company, known as S.E.A. Programs (Sailing Educational Adventures), offers five day sailing programs to students between the ages of 12-15. Duen is still used as a school ship from March-June and September-October every year.
2002: Mike and Manon begin their own ecotourism company, “The Natural Coast”. They began running summer sailing charters along the Northern Coast of B.C. Their unique charters allow guests to explore the unique and untouched beauty of the Great Bear Rainforest and the Queen Charlotte Islands.
2018: Mike and Manon purchased the Three Hour Sail name and company from former Captain Rob McAllum. They are excited to begin a new chapter in Duen‘s many adventures, and offer a unique and eco-friendly way to appreciate the raw natural beauty of the B.C. coast.