In a rather crowded West India Dock, we have seen the arrival of the one of the largest tall ships in the world. The 65 m (213 ft) Alexander von Humboldt II is a German sailing ship which was built as a replacement for the historical original Alexander von Humboldt which was also used as a training ship.
The Alexander von Humboldt II was launched in 2011 and was the first tall ship built-in Germany since 1958. The ship has the distinctive green hull like its predecessor and has been built with a traditional barque rig with 24 sails with a sail area of 1.360 m². In favourable wind conditions, she can reach up to 14 knots.
Unlike her predecessor, the Alexander von Humboldt II has up to date modern technology including radar, radio and satellite communication, electronic charts, life rafts, two high-speed dinghies.
The ship is owned and operated by Deutsche Stiftung Sail Training (German Sail Training Foundation / DSST), based in the barque’s homeport Bremerhaven. DSST is a non-profit, charitable organization. Its aims are to provide traditional high seas sailing for people of all ages, but especially for young men and women aged 15-25.
The ship has a volunteer crew of up to 25 and up to 54 trainees at a time, Most journeys take between five days and two weeks, but there are also day trips. During summertime, the ship usually cruises the North and Baltic Seas, often participating in the tall ships’ races. When the weather gets cooler, the barque sail to the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands and Caribbean.
The ship has arrived from Hamburg and at this time it is not known how long she will be in dock.