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Oceans of Hope returns to NZ shores searching for crew

December 18, 2017 | Uncategorised


In May 2015 over 85 people with MS (PwMS) travelled to Auckland to welcome Oceans of Hope, a 67-foot sailing vessel, which left Denmark in 2014 for a 17-month long journey circumnavigating the globe and providing taster sessions for people around the world to experience life at sea. For everyone involved it was an exciting, happy and enlightening experience and fostered relationships between PwMS across the globe. We at MSNZ were humbled to do our part in bringing the project to PwMS in New Zealand. Following the success of the event several New Zealanders travelled around the world as part of the crew with Oceans of Hope to tropical destinations.

Oceans of Hope is the Danish organisation, Sailing Sclerosis’ flagship project which aims to change the perception of MS by showing what is possible when people with a chronic condition are empowered to conquer their individual challenges. By engaging those whose lives are touched by MS they help to develop networks as a foundation for life changing behaviours. MS is an unpredictable condition and each person’s course is unknown and unique. Oceans of Hope aims to broaden the horizons of those who perceive themselves as trapped by their condition, either physically or mentally, and inspire them to realise that they still have the potential to achieve great things.

In November 2018 Oceans of Hope will be returning to New Zealand’s shores and is currently searching for a crew of MS participants from NZ and around the world to take part. UK based skipper Robert Munns, who also lives with MS, will steward the crew of 35 adults with MS on his award-winning sailing challenge. Robert created the Oceans of Hope Challenge in 2015 and since then has shared the experience with over 100 adults affected by MS in 6 different challenges.

The NZ adventure will take place in the Hauraki Gulf, with activities including visiting beautiful islands, bird sanctuaries and dolphin watching. The five-day adventure (8th-13th November) on the NZ based tall ship, Spirit of New Zealand, will give participants the opportunity to challenge themselves and make the impossible possible, as they work together for a common goal. Every crew member will have a valuable part to play. As well as contributing to an enjoyable life at sea on board the ‘Spirit of New Zealand’, each person will have the chance to take command of the ship, and their lives!

Spirit of New Zealand, is equipped with safety equipment and all mod cons to make the stay on board as comfortable as possible. Qualified crew will be on hand to assist people in achieving their goals, helping participants to learn how to sail and to get everything they want from the experience. Food and accommodation is provided on board the boat.

The cost for this sailing event is $1572 (incl GST) per person not including travel to Auckland (Princes Wharf).


How to participate in 2018

More information can be found on the event leaflet Oceans of Hope 2018

If you wish to apply for a place on Oceans of Hope Challenge – New Zealand 2018, or know someone who should please email with all your contact details to be sent an application form.

Places are filling quickly so register your interest as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Training courses will also be available in May and September 2018 for those wishing to prepare and gain sailing experience.



Ingrid Robertson, a former challenge participant who is assisting in running the New Zealand challenge, said “I am delighted to be part of bringing the Oceans of Hope Challenge to Auckland, New Zealand. As someone who has taken part in the challenge myself, I know first-hand how life changing it can be and what a difference it makes to people affected by MS.”



“I had one of the best days ever! Loved meeting the crew and MS’ers from around NZ! The opportunity to be involved with such a remarkable crew/team was inspirational!” 2015 NZ taster sail participant. 


“What an experience! Those very lovely Danish men and their helpers got us all on board safely, including our wheelchair-bound participant. The sun shone for us and the quiet of the yacht as we powered along by sail only was indescribable. Five of us got to take control of the helm, scary as that action was to begin with, but then the exhilaration kicked in and our smiles were as wide as the oceans we sailed on! What a wonderful two hours and an unforgettable experience for all of us.” 2015 NZ taster sail participant. 


Founder of Sailing Sclerosis and Oceans of Hope, the Danish doctor and skipper, Mikkel Anthonisen, says about the new adventure down under: “It´s fantastic that we are now coming back to New Zealand where we made so many friends during our visit on the circumnavigation – this time with the Oceans of Hope Challenge concept that has already proved an immense success in Europe. Continuing to create life changing possibilities for people living with MS to get out into the world and into life.”


On the success of the Oceans of Hope Challenge, Robert Munns said: “I am amazed how the Oceans of Hope Challenge is developing, along with it’s potential to bring an element of hope to so many lives. It is my honour and privilege to be responsible for making sure that it is supported, and it continues in the spirit it was conceived”.

If you would like to apply to take part or know someone who would benefit from the Oceans of Hope Challenge, then please get in touch at

For more information visit