Spirit of Oysterhaven

Spirit of Oysterhaven

Safe Haven Voyages

Safe Haven Voyages builds community in Ireland and empowers young people through the medium of sail training: live aboard sailing voyages along the Irish coastline.

Each voyage has a mixture of participants from different backgrounds. We include young people (aged 16-17 years) from ethnic minority backgrounds, particularly those who have experienced the asylum system in Ireland. We also offer places to Irish-national participants, for example, from inner city areas, who would not otherwise have this kind of opportunity. The group come together to undertake the experience of a lifetime: a week at sea as the crew of a beautiful 70 foot yacht!

During their time on board the participants learn how to sail a ship and how to navigate in challenging Irish coastal waters, making their own decisions about what course to plot over the week. In the process they learn the vital importance of working as a team 24-hours a day, as they take the helm, set sails, stand watches, cook for each other and keep the vessel ship-shape. Each group of young people step onto the boat as its passengers and disembark as its crew.

This exciting programme enables the participants to gain much more than sailing skills. They build strong bonds with each other by virtue of a shared experience which in many cases will go on to have a profound influence on the rest of their lives. The children educate each other about their backgrounds and different cultures and together forge a new vision for their shared futures on the island of Ireland.


Safe Haven Voyages is run entirely by volunteers. We work in partnership with local youth organisations and migrant charities who select the participants for each voyage, such as Foróige, the CRIB project Sligo, NASC - the Irish immigrant support centre and the European Youth Migrant Forum.