In the few days before the Greenwich tall ships Festival, it is perhaps appropriate that we welcome a regular visitor to West India Dock, the tall ship the Stad Amsterdam.
The Stad Amsterdam (City of Amsterdam) is a three-masted clipper that was built in Amsterdam in 2000.
The ship was built when Frits Goldschmeding, founder of the Randstad employment agency and council of Amsterdam decided that the Dutch needed to build a tall ship to represent the historic maritime nation.
The ship was designed by Gerard Dijkstra basing his design on the 19th century frigate Amsterdam, however although she looks like 19th Century ship she is fitted with modern materials which means that she was fast enough to win the 2001 Cutty Sark Tall Ships’ Race.
The Stad Amsterdam follows in the wake of famous clippers Cutty Sark and Thermopylae who often frequented the West India Docks.
The Stad Amsterdam is used as a training ship but also undertakes luxury cruises and adventure holidays all over the world, in 2009 she was used by Dutch Television to retrace the second voyage of the HMS Beagle.
She is a fully rigged tall ship with an overall length of 76 m, height of 46.3 and over 2000 square metres of sail. She usually operates with a crew of 32 and can accommodate 120 passengers for day trips and 58 for longer journeys.