The international Tall Ships fleet has enjoying a flying start to this year’s Cruise in Company.
The fleet left Helsinki on Saturday 20 July and needs to arrive in the port of Riga, Latvia by the deadline of 12 noon, Thursday 25 July.
A Cruise in Company is the opportunity for sail trainees from all over the world to sail together in a more relaxed atmosphere, than when racing. It gives vessels and crews a chance to sail in the spirit of friendship and explore the coastline, islands and nature of the Baltic Sea.
On the 325 nautical mile route the fleet has the opportunity to visit nine different guest harbours in three different countries - Finland, Estonia and Latvia. Each harbour guarantees a warm welcome and hospitality to those vessels who decide to visit.
Paul Bishop, Race Director explained the background to the Cruise in Company ethos. “We recommend that vessels sail in groups from harbour to harbour. Sailing in groups makes the voyage more interesting and fun and also gives better opportunities to exchange trainees between ships so the young crews can meet and make new friends.
The ports put on entertainment, cultural tours and services such as wifi, showers, saunas and washing facilities. But many vessels also hold their own parties and invite other crews on board so there’s an opportunity to mix with as many different nationalities as possible".
Class B vessel Maybe (UK) reports good winds and sailing through the night before arriving at the port of Saaremaa, Estonia early evening, Monday 22 July. Saaremaa is a deep water harbour, able to provide suitable berthing for all Class vessels. When Maybe arrived a lot of C and D class vessels had already moored up and there were also a good number of A and B classes.
Maybe’s trainees were responsible for the planning the trip, following a full brief from their Captain, and decided to stay the night and sail on to Roja, Latvia the next day. To help them make new friends they are also hosting a ‘Dress your head’ party and inviting crews from other vessels to come on board.
The Island of Saaremaa is celebrating it’s 450th anniversary and all the crews of the visiting TSR vessels have been given the opportunity to take part in their joint event programme with bus tours, entertainment stages and port-side bars.
The fleet will enjoy Riga’s port activities from Thursday 25 – Sunday 28 July. On Monday 29 July the fleet officially starts its second race leg from Riga to the final port in Szczecin, Poland.
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What is sail training?
Sail Training is an adventure activity, which includes far more than sailing instruction. Participants are required to confront demanding challenges, both physical and emotional. It is an activity that inspires self-confidence and personal responsibility. It promotes an acceptance of others, whatever their social or cultural backgrounds, and develops a willingness to take controlled risks. Those who undertake Sail Training on Tall Ships generally find it a positive life-changing experience.
About Sail Training International (STI)
STI is the international voice of Sail Training, a registered charity (not-for-profit organisation), which has worldwide membership and activities. Its purpose is the development and education of young people through the Sail Training experience, regardless of nationality, culture, religion, gender or social background. It organises the annual Tall Ship Races and other international Tall Ship sailing events. STI members are 29 national Sail Training organisations around the world and STI’s head office is in Gosport, Hampshire, UK.
The organisation was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2007 for its work in promoting international understanding and friendship.