‘Seas Your Future are thrilled to announce that they have acquired a second tall ship, the Fridtjof Nansen, to satisfy the increase in demand over recent times. This is a huge and very historic step for the charity, more than doubling the capacity for taking young people on youth development sail training, maritime careers and ocean science voyages for personal and character development. As this article is being written on 9th April 2022 the ship is on its way from Germany to Albion Dock Bristol, where it will undergo a refit throughout the Spring: so please come and visit!
The tall ship Fridtjof Nansen was originally built as a gaff-rigged freight schooner in 1919 under the name ‘Edith’ and has changed both owners and names on various occasions. The ship has a history of different activities, including transporting fresh produce, leisure, and towards the end of World War II the ship was used to transport refugees. In 1992 she was converted into a three-masted topsail schooner, christened Fridtjof Nansen at the Peene shipyard by the granddaughter of the Norwegian researcher Fridtjof Nansen, Margret Greve, becoming the ship we see today.
Since 1992 she has delivered sail training for young people, including long term voyages on a tall ship. The first of those consisted of an eight-month world voyage in 1993-94, which was a first for a sailing ship from Germany, since the times of the Pamir and Passat. She sailed through the Panama Canal to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. The homeward bound leg went via Cocos Island, Costa Rica, Panama, Cuba and Bermuda, crossing the Atlantic via the Azores and returned to Wilhemshaven. According to her log many of these voyages followed with varied goals and topics.
On the 21st of March 2022 ownership of the Fridtjof Nansen transferred to Seas YourFuture, fulfilling the wishes of the previous owners that the charity continues to use her for youth sail training.
Sail Training enables young people to discover and extend their abilities, values, passions and responsibilities in situations that offer adventure, challenge and the unexpected. They take responsibility by becoming the ship’s crew, communicating and working together to ensure a successful journey, developing their character, resilience, self-confidence, and independence.
We work closely with several strategic partners, the two most prominent of whom are:
Ocean College for the 6-month winter transatlantic voyage: our fourth voyage on Pelican ended in Emden, Germany on Sunday 3rd The growing reputation of this annual voyage has increased demand massively, and the acquisition of Fridtjof Nansen will enable two ships to sail annually and twice the number of young people benefit from the educational adventure of a lifetime. It will also enable SYF and Ocean College to deliver shorter summer voyages for youngsters who may be considering the 6-month voyage.
Sail Training Ireland: with whom we have worked since 2016/17. In 2022 they are undertaking 13 partnership voyages on Pelican with 300-350 young people from the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Having the additional capacity of Fridtjof Nansen means more each year will benefit from their first sail training adventure, opening doors to possible careers in the maritime and environmental sectors.
Since 2018 we have offered voyages to young people interested a maritime career, working with training and skills development leaders to provide pathways into employment, and ocean science research voyages of particular interest to students and graduates of environmental and marine science and those who care passionately about the future of our planet.
Seas Your Future CEO Adrian Ragbourne stated: “We are delighted and honoured to become the new owners of the historic tall ship Fridtjof Nansen, which for 30 years has given thousands of young people the opportunity of a lifetime. We will be welcoming her into Albion Dock Bristol later this month for a refit, which will double our previous capacity, enabling Seas Your Future to offer sail training voyages to more than twice the number of young people over the coming years. We have a full programme of sail training, maritime careers and ocean science voyages scheduled for this year, and the Fridtjof Nansen will be sailing for us from July. We are extremely grateful to our strategic clients and funding partners for their financial support, without which this great step could not have been taken. Please come and visit while she is in Bristol, and especially over the weekend of the Bristol Harbour Festival on 16th and 17th July when Pelican will also be there.”
The family who have been caring for the vessel for the last 30 years was looking for a new owner, keen to ensure that the work with young people continues. They were delighted to be approached by Seas Your Future. “It is excellent news for everyone, that the ship is doing something again after the long break caused by Covid and we wish Seas Your Future every success and look forward to the coming years with confidence”.
Johan Kegler, CEO of Ocean College, Germany said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for many more young people to experience the educational adventure of a lifetime. Our partnership with Seas Your Future has grown so successfully over five years and the reputation of our six-month winter voyages means that many more ask every year to sail with us. Having the Fridtjof Nansen available means that many more dreams will come true”.
Daragh Sheridan, CEO of Sail Training Ireland said: “We have been delighted to work in partnership with Seas Your Future for six years. Their acquisition of Fridtjof Nansen will enable many more young people from Ireland to realise the benefits of a tall ship sail training voyage, which can be life changing in some cases.”
The ship will be sailing into Bristol on 11th or 12th April, so if you see her make sure to give her a welcoming wave! The Fridtjof Nansen will be located in Albion Dock Bristol next to the SS Great Britain, and at times will be open to the public.
The second ship is named after Fridtjof Nansen, a Norwegian polymath and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. He gained prominence at various points in his life as an explorer, scientist, diplomat and humanitarian. He led the team that made the first crossing of the Greenland interior in 1888, traversing the island on cross-country skis. He won international fame after reaching a record northern latitude of 86°14′ during his Fram expedition of 1893—1896. Although he retired from exploration after his return to Norway, his techniques of polar travel and his innovations in equipment and clothing influenced a generation of subsequent Arctic and Antarctic expeditions. As well as the tall ship named after him, Nansen has been recognized in many other ways, including a Norwegian Sea cruise ship operated by Hurtigruten, geographical features including the Nansen Basin and the Nansen-Gakkel Ridge in the Artic Ocean, Mount Nansen in Canada, Nansen Island in Antarctica, 853 Nansenia, an asteroid, Nansen crater at the Moon’s North Pole, and Nansen Crater on Mars.
Contact Simon Thorrington – [email protected] – for more.