Maidentrip Movie Poster Image




Excellent docu about teen sailor; some brief profanity.
  • Review Date: July 15, 2014
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 82 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This documentary teaches the importance of perseverance and determination when trying to make a dream come true.

Positive role models

Against difficult odds and attempts by her home government to prevent her from doing so, Laura Dekker becomes the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone. She displays tremendous drive, determination, and focus but also comes across as a normal teenager.


Some storms, but no real peril.

Not applicable

Occasional profanity from the teenage protagonist: "f--k," "s--t," "damn."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Maidentrip is a 2013 documentary about a Dutch teenager named Laura Dekker who became the youngest person to sail around the world alone. During interviews, Laura uses occasional profanity, including "f--k" and "s--t." Aside from this brief language, this wonderful documentary shows what happens when someone lives in service of a dream and applies drive, determination, and focus to make it happen, no matter the odds.

Kids say

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What's the story?

Fourteen-year-old Laura Dekker, a teenager from Holland, sets out to be the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone. Before she attempts to do so, she confronts the Dutch government, who try everything in their power to stop her and to put her in foster care and separate her from her father. She wins her court case and is free to pursue her dream. Using a mix of shots from the camera Laura brought with her on her trip, footage from her childhood, and shots from director Jillian Schlesinger, this documentary shows the highs and lows of Dekker's voyage, as well as the people she meets along the way as she traverses all three oceans in two years.

Is it any good?


This inspiring documentary manages to represent Laura Dekker as both a brave, extraordinary individual and an ordinary teenager looking to grow up and pursue her life's goals. Through a mix of footage Dekker kept on her personal camera as she kept a video diary and director Jillian Schlesinger's beautiful filming and filling in of the blanks in the story line emerges an incredible story of an extremely driven teenage girl and her dream of being the youngest person ever to sail around the world alone.

Although this documentary should prove inspirational for any teen with dreams of his or her own, families in general should find much to admire and enjoy in Maidentrip. The highs and lows of the voyage come through quite clearly, as do the numerous obstacles Dekker had to face before and during the trip. This is an unforgettable documentary that should merit repeated viewings.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about documentaries. How was Laura Dekker's history told, and how was it placed in the context of her goal?

  • In light of the information presented at the beginning of the movie, why do you think Laura decided to change the flag on her ship from Holland's to New Zealand's?

  • How do the "in-the-moment" shots from Laura's camera compare with the shots of the film's director?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 30, 2013
DVD release date:July 8, 2014
Cast:Laura Dekker
Director:Jillian Schlesinger
Studio:First Run Features
Topics:Adventures, Ocean creatures
Character strengths:Courage, Curiosity, Perseverance
Run time:82 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Maidentrip was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 4 and 7 year old Written byimw1984 November 21, 2014

Hard to put an age on

I watched this 'with' my kids recently. My youngest was so bored by it that he watched barely any of it, my oldest watched a bit more of it (on an off) and we had some interesting little chats about some parts, but still too boring for a 7yo to watch the entire thing. My main concern would not be the language (sending your kid to school will expose them to some curse words as well, and uh, it is a movie about a sailor) but rather Laura's family story. Her parents got divorced when she was young, and she chose to live with her dad because she liked sailing while her sister lived with their mom. Her mom gave barely any attention to Laura after the divorce, and her dad worked crazy long hours to make ends meet, was rarely home, and then had a mental breakdown of some sort. In all, I got the impression Laura might have sailed around the world to get her parents' attention and approval rather than just because she wanted a challenge. My kids didn't pick up on that though, but older kids might. Then and again, by the time they pick up on all of that they are probably also ready to handle it, assuming that they have a parent watching it with them to chat about it. It was also just a very minor part of the documentary - most of it was about the sailing and exploring foreign countries. Overall I liked the documentary and I'd be okay with my kids watching the entire documentary; I just don't know at what age they'd be interested in watching the entire thing (they thought it was cool she sailed around the world, but their Legos were just more interesting). I'm thinking maybe tweens and older would like it.
Educator and Parent of a 9 and 11 year old Written bystarsinmyeyes September 14, 2014

Positive message superceeds concerns about language.

I just watched this with my 11 and 9 year olds. I knew about there was swearing but it seemed the message of this young girl following her passion, overcoming big challenges and accomplishing an amazing goal was of greater value than any possible detraction of a few f- bombs. I was right. She is a typical teenager in many ways but then she isn't. She fought her country to be able to embark on her journey at such a young age. In many ways, I feel like we watched her grow up over the course of her 500+ days at sea. In all honesty, I think an eight year old can watch this - as long as parents are aware that s/he will hear Laura swear in frustration and fear. A wonderful and inspiring story. A great watch for anyone who can understand and follow along.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


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