Husband and wife team, Warren & Jo Ladd have 25 years’ experience running tours in the Whitsundays. Their vision always has, and still, is to share the enjoyable experience of sailing on a heritage Tall Ship in the beautiful Whitsundays, while still delivering a tour that has un underlying focus on sustainability and reef education while being as eco-friendly as possible.
Back in the 1990’s Tallship Adventures lead the way to became the first sailing tour in the Whitsundays to obtain ecotourism accreditation (formally NEAP), and went on in later years to become the first Advanced Eco Accredited overnight sailing tour, proudly today Tallship Adventures is listed as a Green Travel Leader with Ecotourism Australia.
Originally specialising in overnight sailing tours, since 2012 Tall Ship Adventures has offered day tours delighting guests of all ages and nationalities. The Derwent Hunter Tall Ship Reef Adventure sails to dedicated sites where the crew help monitor the reefs for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority through their Eye on the Reef programm. Alexander Stewart offers a similar experience on a two day, one night tour visiting not only beautiful snorkel spots, but beaches and picturesque overnight anchorages.
Their passion in maintaining traditional timber sailing boats goes hand in hand with their vision to offer informative and eco friendly tours in one of the most beautiful destinations in the world.
Meet the Tall Ship Adventure Crew
At Tall Ship Adventures we pride ourselves on not only having beautiful timber vessels but also a dedicated and passionate group of staff. Sharing in our vision for an informative and eco-friendly, traditional sailing experience our staff go above and beyond to deliver the best Whitsundays experience possible.
Jo Ladd – Owner
Meet Jo! She is the better half of the husband and wife team behind Tall Ship Adventures. She is also the cheerful voice on the end of the phone and smiley, welcoming face at the marina.
After graduating uni in the UK and travelling the world, Jo fell in love with Airlie Beach and a salty sea dog named Warren Ladd. She married him on board the Derwent Hunter in 2003. Although a qualified legal practitioner, she prefers the feel-good tourism industry and loves sharing her passion for sailing and the outdoors.
The ship has been in the Ladd family for almost 25 years.
“The ship has a soul, it’s like a living thing, and very much part of the family.”
Warren Ladd aka Wazza – Owner
Warren has been the owner of the Derwent Hunter for over 25 years, and says that seafaring is in his blood.
The Whitsundays are a perfect sailing ground for this great old lady of the sea. She allows Warren to pursue his other passions of wildlife and nature.
His aim for the Derwent Hunter day sail experience is simple:
“We want our guests to have an appreciation of sailing on a fine piece of Australian maritime history along with a greater knowledge of just how special this World Heritage Marine and National Park is.
“Hopefully, through this experience, they may tread a little lighter on their own part of the planet and develop a deeper respect for our unique maritime history.”
Amy – Derwent Hunter Captain
At 26 years old Amy is the current Captain of Derwent Hunter. Growing up in the Queensland town of Yeppoon, Amy has been sailing since the age of five and at fourteen took up a high school job as a sailing instructor.
Growing up on the water and being an avid ocean lover resulted in Amy pursuing a career in Marine Biology. Studying at James Cook University in Townsville before making her way to the Whitsundays after graduating. She has been here ever since working on a number of different boats and eventually settling into the Tall Ship Adventure Family.
“The Derwent Hunter is unlike any other boat in the Whitsunday’s and that’s what I like about her. She has character.”
Fiona – Eco Host, Marine Biologist & Master Reef Guide
Hailing from Aberdeen in Scotland, Fiona studied marine and freshwater biology in Edinburgh before travelling and ending up in the Whitsundays. Growing up as a water baby, Fiona decided she wanted to study marine biology after visiting the Great Barrier Reef on a family holiday when she was 12!
Fast forward and Fiona has been part of the Tall Ship Adventure crew for the last four years and recently joined the ranks of Master Reef Guide, enabling her to provide up to date information on the reef to guests and share knowledge and insights on how they can make a difference.
“I love showing the reef to our guests. They are always interested in finding out more which usually leads to great conversation about sustainability and the longevity of this amazing eco-system.”
We have more information about Fiona’s reef involvement coming soon to a blog post.
Josh – Captain
Josh is a real old salt from a seafaring family and has spent most of his life on boats. He bought his first boat when he was 18 aptly named “First Love”, but promptly changed its name to something a little less romantic.
When not at work, Josh likes to “get away from buildings” this usually involves jumping on his own boat and heading away from civilisation for a while.Josh’s knowledge of marine life is so extensive, we think he must have been a fish in an earlier life.
“I love when we’re under sail with 21 knots of breeze and introducing people to the whole new world out there”
Sammy – Eco Host & Deckhand
Growing up in the Whitsundays Sammy has spent most of her life on the water. “I was that kid that grew up on a sailing boat, but wanted nothing to do with it.” A lot has changed since then and now Sammy is part of the all-female crew of the Derwent Hunter. With a background in hospitality Sammy made the switch to boat crew early in 2019.
“I love that Tall Ship Adventure offers so much more than just a ‘tick the box tour’. The staff and owners really care and coming to work is always fun and interesting.”
Aram – Captain
Aram started working on boats in the Whitsundays six years ago! Since then he has become a Master, gaining his open sea time by working on prawn trawlers. Having also worked as a Dive Instructor in Cairns, he has plenty of knowledge to impart about the Great Barrier Reef marine parks to guests. An avid Acro-Yogi when Aram is not working on boats you can find him lifting people up in the air and spinning them around (yup, that’s what Acro Yoga is.)
“The Whitsundays is the best place for sailing in the Southern Hemisphere, the islands are beautiful and there is so much variety in experiences and places to see.”