Sailing Swedes are back in port
13 September 2012
One of Sweden’s largest sailing ships is currently docked at Gunwharf Quays Marina, Portsmouth - enjoying her thirteenth consecutive visit.
Sail Training Ship Gunilla is an integral part of the Swedish school system, taking forty-four Swedish pupils aged 16-19 years on a unique educational journey, with the world as their classroom.
Thanks to Gunilla’s strong relationship with Portsmouth Grammar School the Swedish students earn the opportunity to integrate their normal curriculum with two months of sailing. Students with the highest grades have the opportunity to join the ship and visit up to six ports for a week at a time. The aim is to foster a more sustainable future through cultural exchange and experiences at sea.
A major part of their learning experience comes from the cultural and social experiences of visiting others countries and the challenges of living on board at close quarters.
Since 165ft Gunilla arrived in Portsmouth from Lubbeck, Germany students have been on excursions visiting the Isle of Wight, D-Day museum, HMS Victory and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. They have also visited local families and stayed a night in their homes.
Captain of Gunilla, Jörgen Hansson said, “It’s always great to be back in Portsmouth. As well as the strong links we have with Portsmouth Grammar School, there is so much for our students to do here. We’ve had a very warm welcome from everyone we’ve met; I think the fact we’re here for the thirteenth time in a row says it all.”
Peter Cardy, Chief Executive of Sail Training International said. “This is what sail training is all about – adventure, experience, fun and challenge. STI’s research and thousands of personal stories show that those who undertake even one sail training voyage undergo some form of life change – it’s a terrific way for young people to acquire self-confidence, social skills and team working ability.”
If you feel inspired to embark on a Tall Ship adventure Sail Training International has opportunities for you to board a ship in 2013. Simply register your interest on the message board at www.sailtraininginternational.org/get-on-board No experience necessary.