Deutsche Stiftung Sail Training: On Board the Alexander von Humboldt II

The German Sail Training Trust (Deutsche Stiftung Sail Training), based in Bremerhaven, is responsible for the first German-flagged new build ocean-going sailing vessel since the 1960s. The Alexander von Humboldt II is a three-mast steel barque with 992 tons displacement. She cost ca. € 15.000.000,00 and was built at the dockyards in Bremen. 

A few weeks ago, she passed by Cuxhaven on her way back to home port.

The rigging is a complex system which links the hull to the sails; the force of the wind moves the Alexander von Humboldt II forward, except for the small auxiliary diesel motor. The crew must master all of the ropes and become proficient in operating the sails.

At least the ropes are color-coded for ease of use (not kidding).

At least the ropes are color-coded for ease of use (not kidding).

The Alexander von Humboldt II generally cruises around the North Sea, going as far as Edinburgh and Norway. Extended voyages can take up to two weeks, sometimes longer.

The cabins look comfortable and contemporary, and the view is amazing.

The crew is divided into members in full standing and trainees. All of the crew on board must work during the journey; once the necessary level of skill has been attained, the trainees have the chance to become members in full standing, who travel on board free of charge. If you are a member in full standing, however, your responsibilities include teaching trainees. In this way, practical knowledge of sailing is passed on from veterans to newcomers.

And if it is nerve-wracking for you to imagine being on the high seas with nothing to rely upon but your fellow crew members and their maritime skill, seaman's courage and raw toughness, rest assured that the bridge is fully outfitted with the most modern navigational equipment.

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