TASS Russian News Agency, 18 June 2017
KALININRAD, June 18. /TASS/. The world’s biggest sailing ship Sedov, which changed its home port from Murmansk in northwest Russia to Russia’s westernmost port city of Kaliningrad in late May, has sailed off from Svetly port in the Kaliningrad Region on a training voyage in the Baltic Sea.
“The voyage was due to begin on Saturday evening but the fog prevented the ship’s departure. That is why, the voyage began this morning,” spokeswoman for the Baltic State Academy of the Fishing Fleet (part of the Kaliningrad State Technical University, which is the ship’s current manager) Irina Obrazova told TASS.
There are 114 cadets from maritime educational institutions of Murmansk, Kerch and Kaliningrad aboard the barque Sedov. The sailing ship is heading for the port of Den Helder (the Netherlands).
The sailing ship Sedov will follow the route of the barque Kruzenshtern, which embarked on a training voyage on June 14, the spokeswoman said.
Both barques are expected to take part in The Tall Ships Race 2017 (STI), which will pass through Halmstad (Sweden), the Finnish ports of Kotka and Turku, Lithuania’s Klaipeda and Polish Szczecin.
In August, the Russian sailing ships will also call at the German port of Rostock. The voyages are expected to be completed on August 18 in Kaliningrad.
The Sedov barque, originally named the Magdalene Vinnen II, was launched in Kiel in 1921 at Germany’s Friedrich Krupp Germaniwrft. She was used as a cargo ship voyaging from Europe to South America, Australia, South East Asia and Oceania.
In 1936, the Magdalene Vinnen II was sold to Norddeutscher Lloyd, Bremen and renamed the Kommodore Johnsen. The new owner modified it to a cargo-carrying training ship, and apart from its permanent crew, the ship was to have 50 to 60 trainee officers aboard on each journey.
She came under Russian state ownership after the surrender of Germany, on December 20, 1945, when the British handed over the ship to the Soviet Union as war reparation. In the Soviet Union, she was converted into a sail training vessel of the Soviet Navy. She was renamed the Sedov after the Arctic explorer Georgy Sedov who died during an Arctic expedition in 1914.
Today, The Sedov is a sail training vessel, training cadets from the universities of Murmansk, St. Petersburg, and Arkhangelsk. She participates regularly in the big maritime international events as a privileged host and has also been a regular participant in The Tall Ships’ Races.
The Sedov has been entered into the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest traditional sailing ship in operation. The 117.5-meter-long ship has sails more than 4,000 square meters in area. She holds the official world sailing ship’s speed record – 12.6 knots.