The Kruzenshtern: The End of the Tall Ships?

Kruzenshtern departing the port of Cadiz

The Krunzenshtern, departing the port of Cadiz during the Quincentennial Tall Ships race in 1992.

The four-masted bark, built in 1926 as the “Padua”, is the last vessel of its kind. Built as a cargo-carrying sailing ship, she was one of the Flying P-Liners, the sailing ships of the German F. Laeisz shipping company from Hamburg.

The last Windjammer is still active today, although it has undergone a change in profession and turned training ship. Today the “Kruzenshtern” is the world’s second largest sailing ship – second to Russian “Sedov” – and, without a doubt, the most famous ship in the contemporary Russian sailing fleet.

On August 10, 1957 the “Pamir”left Buenos Aires for Hamburg with a crew of 86, including 52 cadets. Her cargo of 3,780 tons of barley was stored loose in the holds and ballast tanks, secured by 255 tons in sacks stacked on top of the loose grain.

On the morning of September 21, 1957, the ship was caught in Hurricane Carrie before having shortened sails. Pamir soon listed severely to port.

Pamir was able to send distress signals before capsizing at 13:03 local time and sinking within 30 minutes in the middle of the Atlantic 600 sea miles west-southwest of the Azores at position 35°57′N 40°20′W

A nine-day search for survivors was organized by the United States Coast Guard cutter “Absecon”, but only four crewmen and two cadets were rescued alive from two of the life boats.

The shipwreck was perceived as a tragedy around the world and received extensive press coverage. This event signaled the end of an era, that of the great cargo-carrying sailing vessels, the “Cape Horners”. Widgets 
It would seem surprising that as the 21st century dawns, amidst the surge of new technologies in the age of globalization, great wind powered vessels are still crossing the oceans based on the same principles used for more than 6000 years. Even more surprising is the fact that year after year the list of tall ships is constantly being increased with new constructions.

The Kruzenshtern departing the port of Cadiz, during the Quincentennial celebration Tall Ships Race in 1992.

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0 Responses to The Kruzenshtern: The End of the Tall Ships?

  1. Sarah says:

    I have 2 very sturdy tables that were made from the deck planks of the Kruzenstern when they were replaced in the 1950’s. The large table has a plate underneath noting its origin and date. I am looking to sell these to someone who would appreciate them.

    If you or anyone is interested, please email me at

  2. Matt Gagnon says:

    That is a wonderfully tall ship, I think it is great.

  3. Ship Ahoy!

    Good site. Content wise. I was reading about the ex Padua – I saw her last week in Hamburg at the annual Hamburg Hafenfestval.

    Please tell your webmaster to changet the deep blue colour which makes it hard to read. I am straining my eyes.

    Plus the font is a tad too small. Looka the the New York Times homepage. Clear and easy to read.


    John K Lindgren


  4. Pingback: Sail of Hope. YOU CAN HELP!! | The Tall Ships Blog

  5. admin says:
    Thanks for your comment Dani.

    To us who love tall ships in would certainly be great news to see another reason for developing sailing technology.

    May be you have heard of the Maltese Falcon and her revolutionary sailing system.

    I had a chance to she her sailing last summer here in Palma de Mallorca, really impressive!.


  6. dani says:

    Two words,
    Global Warming.
    The shipping industry produce more emmissions than airlines, which obviously is bad.
    Sail power doesnt cost anything (as long as its pushing you in the right direction) Its an option that is now (hopefully) being re-introduced into modern shipping. Not tall ships unfortunatly, but kites.
    Saw this on the BBC the opther week
    There is a good little video that goes with it too.

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