After a couple of unusual training ships, we have a more familiar sight in West India Dock with the arrival of the Gulden Leeuw (Golden Lion). The Gulden Leeuw is a regular participant in Tall Ship races and regattas and has been seen in the Thames many times.
The Gulden Leeuw is one of the world’s largest three-mast-topsail schooners and is well known for its 1930’s style which combined good quality materials with great design.
The ship has a very interesting history, it was built in 1937 on behalf of the Danish Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. The ship was then named Dana and was designed and built as an ocean-going ice class ship. During her period of service for the Danish government, she was used for marine biological research and spent the war years in Copenhagen harbour.
After the war, she carried out more marine biology research missions in Danish and international waters until 1980 when she was sold but continued the missions under the name Dana Researcher for Bertra International.
In 1984, the ship was sold to Esvagt and became an offshore support vessel under the name Esvagt Dana. In 2000, the ship was sold to the Danish Naval School Nyborg and renamed Dana Nyborg as a training ship.
Since then she has changed hands to its present Dutch owners who use the ship for charters and sail training. The “Gulden Leeuw” has space for up to 200 passengers on day sails and for 56 trainees on longer voyages.
The ship is due to take part in the Tall Ship races in September.