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West India Dock Review 2020

It is that time of the year when people begin to review the past 12 months, carrying on the tradition from previous years, normally we would be listing the ships that have visited West India Docks in the last year.

This year has been like no other and the only visitor we had was the Super Yacht Ilona in April.

For the marine lovers out there, I have decided to feature a few favourites from the last few years to show us what we have missed. The most exciting visitors of recent years have tended to be the tall ships which always cause plenty of excitement and gives us a reminder of how the dock would have looked in the 19th century.

Mexican Tall Ship Cuauhtémoc visited West India Dock in 2019.

American Tall Ship USCGC Eagle visited in 2016.

In 2014, the dock featured ships from The Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival.

Royal Navy ships have been regular visitors over the years, here is the HMS Westminster from 2014.

Other Navies have provided ships at the dock, most unusual were the Chinese Navy Ships Huanggang and Yangzhou in 2017.

NATO Ships often berthed in West India Dock, here are some from 2015.

Many types of ships have visited the docks including Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior III in 2019.

Perhaps the most unusual visitor was a H.M. Bruinvis, a Dutch submarine in 2012.

Let us look forward to the return of ships to the dock. The development surrounding West India Dock and Canary Wharf is gradually becoming completed and hopefully we can put the pandemic behind us in 2021.

I would like to wish our readers a happy and healthy New Year.

West India Dock Visitors Review 2016


It is that time of the year when people begin to review the past 12 months, carrying on the tradition from previous years, we are listing the ships that have visited West India Docks in the last year.

With all the development surrounding West India Dock and Canary Wharf, there was some concern that the number visiting the dock would be severely curtailed but although numbers were down a little, we still had an interesting mix of ships and boats.


Some old Tall Ships favourites returned, the Stad Amsterdam, Stavros S Niarchos, STS Lord Nelson, STS Tenacious, Alexander von Humboldt II and Eendracht.

However there were visits from other Tall Ships including the impressive American USCGC Eagle and the Mexican Cuauhtémoc.


Super Yachts seem to be getting bigger and more lavish and we had a number of Super Yacht’s returning to the dock including the very expensive Ilona and Kismet.


There were visits from a number of Navy Ships especially from France and Germany . HMS Duncan, HMS Severn and HMS Kent visited on behalf of the Royal Navy.


There was a degree of nostalgia when  the Thames Sailing Barges had an open day and parade, once made in their thousands, they were the workhorses of the Thames trade and watching them going down the river was one of the treats of the year.  


The Massey Shaw, The Portwey and the Lord Amory which are permanently moored in the dock provide year round interest.

 Super Yachts

Super Yacht Force India

Super Yacht Lady S

Super Yacht Kismet

Super Yacht Ilona

Super Yacht Jamaica Bay

Super Yacht Grace E


Tall Ships

 STS Lord Nelson

Stavros S Niarchos

Alexander von Humboldt II

Dutch Tall Ship Stad Amsterdam

Polish Navy Sailing Ship ORP Iskra

Dutch Tall Ship Eendracht

American Tall Ship USCGC Eagle

Mexican Tall Ship Cuauhtémoc

Navy Ships

German Navy Ships

FGS Main,

FGS Siegburg 

FGS Pegnitz


Royal Navy Ships

HMS Severn

HMS Kent

HMS Duncan

French Navy Ships

FNS Scarpe

FNS Aramis

FNS Céphée

FNS Laplace

FNS Flamant

Swedish Navy

Swedish Navy training ship HMS Falken



Sailing Yacht Anakena

Association of Thames Yachts

Thames Sailing Barge Parade and Open Day

May we wish all our readers a Happy New Year and we look forward to the new visitors to the dock in the New Year.

American Tall Ship USCGC Eagle in West India Dock

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In a crowded West India Dock we welcome another interesting arrival in the shape of an American tall ship with a intriguing past. The USCGC Eagle is a 295-foot (90 m) barque that is used as a training ship for   future officers of the United States Coast Guard. Like many other training ships for other navies, the Eagle is used for training cadets and performs a public relations role visiting ports around the world as a goodwill ambassador.


The Eagle has a standing permanent crew of seven officers and 50 enlisted members; on training missions, she takes on a variety of temporary crew and sails with an average complement of 12 officers, 68 crew, and up to 150 trainees.


The Eagle was built for the German Navy under its previous name of the Horst Wessel, it was launched in 1936 at the famous Blohm and Voss yard in Hamburg.


The Horst Wessel was considered a ship of the Gorch Fock class and has many similarities with the famous German Sailing ship. The Horst Wessel was named after a murdered Nazi activist and the launch was attended by Adolf Hitler and other Nazi dignitaries. From its launch it was used to train future officers of the German Navy until 1939 when the ship was decommissioned. In 1942, the ship was recommissioned and had a number of weapons installed throughout the decks. At the end of the war, four German sailing vessels were distributed to various nations as war reparations. The ship only ended up in the United States by the Americans winning a drawing of lots for the ship with the Russian and British navies.


In 1946, the ship was commissioned into the United States Coast Guard as the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Eagle. Since that date she has been used in training generations of potential officers and is known “America’s Tall Ship.” and is a familiar sight at various Tall Ship races and events. The ship is based at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut and in the ships time in the United States Navy has been visited by a number of Presidents including Kennedy, Nixon and Truman.


It is reported that the Eagle will be open for free public tours from Thursday, June 9 to Monday, June 13.

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Regular contributor Eric Pemberton managed to photograph the Eagle leaving the dock on the 14th June.

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