Tall Ship Avatar sold and under new ownership from November 2023

The Avatar will change hands on 1 November 2023. For André it was time for something new after more than 35 years in the charter industry. And a new project is already underway: the construction of the classic sailing yacht Quadra. The Blaak family will become the new owner of the Avatar and under the new name Ocean Sherpa the ship will embark on expedition trips to Greenland and Spitsbergen.

Started as a skipper on the Dutch inland waterways, André built his own two-masted schooner Twister between 1995-1998 and sailed with her on the Baltic Sea, near England, the Channel Islands and around the Canary Islands for 14 seasons. From 2010 to 2014, the construction of a new sailing ship followed, the topsail schooner Avatar, with which sailing trips were continued after the sale of the Twister in the Baltic Sea area, near England and the Channel Islands.

But as said, after 10 great seasons with the Avatar it is time for a new challenge. In 2020, we purchased the hull of a classic yacht based on the design of John Alden's Lelanta II, and we started the construction of this classic yacht, which is to be named Quadra. The Quadra will embark on sailing trips with six passengers. First on the Baltic Sea and later also in other areas in Europe and eventually worldwide.

We have mixed feelings about the sale of the Avatar. On the one hand, it is hard to say goodbye to this beautiful ship and the many loyal customers with whom we have experienced such wonderful trips. On the other hand, it is nice to be able to focus fully on building the Quadra now, and to look forward to something new, literally expanding our horizons in the future. And, of course, we hope to maintain a connection with our customers, suppliers, and associates through this future ship too.

We also hope the same for the new owners of the Avatar. They will be offering fantastic trips in beautiful areas starting from 2024. Below, they introduce themselves and share their plans with you. With their enthusiasm and sympathy, they have convinced us to grant them a bright future with the Avatar. We wish them every success, fair winds, and smooth sailing!

And we sincerely thank you for the trust you have placed in us and for the many wonderful sailing trips we have shared together. For us, this is not a goodbye, but hope to meet you again in the future.

André and Evelien

The new owners: the Blaak family

Growing up in the Dutch provinces of Zeeland and South Holland, the sea has always drawn us in. Gerlé began his maritime career as a 17-year-old deck hand and worked his way up to become a captain with an unlimited navigation license. As a captain, he sailed on cargo ships, container ships, and dredgers. When Jacobine participated as a guest in the Cutty Sark Tall Ships Race in 1995, she could never have imagined that she would one day become the owner of an impressive two-masted ship. Together with our sons Levi and Ben, we are taking over the beautiful topsail schooner Avatar from André and Evelien Hanzens. A very robust, luxurious ship with the look and feel of a yacht. We immediately fell in love with this beautiful lady.

With the purchase of the Avatar in November, we are starting a business-to-business family company. Buying and managing our own ocean-going vessel is not new to us, as we purchased our first cargo ship, 'Sardijn', in 2005 and later became co-owners of the coaster 'Bente'.

Under the new name 'Ocean Sherpa,' the ship will be a sailing basecamp for adventurers and sporty travellers worldwide. In 2024, the ship has been hired to sail with skiers and expedition members around Spitsbergen and Greenland.

Follow the new voyages and future adventures on Oceansherpa.nl. Subscribe to the newsletter and keep up-to-date with travel offers.

See you on board! Levi, Ben, Jacobine and Gerlé Blaak

For more information about our new classic sailing yacht Quadra:

For more information about the new future of the Avatar / Ocean Sherpa:

New owner Avatar from 2024