The most distinguished guest at the summer highlight event of European Capital of Culture - Tallinn Maritime Days from 15 to 17th of July – is the four masted barque „Krusenstern“. After 20 years „Krusenstern“ will return to her former home port.
The idea to invite „Krusenstern“ to her former home port was born after the first Tallinn Maritime Days in 2008. „We found, that in 2011 when Tallinn is the European Capital of Culture this would be a dignified present to city people and visitors,“ remembers the head of committee of Tallinn Maritime Days, Tallinn’s vice mayor Taavi Aas. After many years of negotiations Tallinn 2011 Foundation and the current owner of „Krusenstern“ Russian Baltic State Academy of the Fishing Fleet signed an agreement in the beginning of 2011 to bring the former barque and current research and training ship to Tallinn.
The sailing ship, built 85 years ago in 1926 at Joh.C. Tecklenborg shipyard at the order of Hamburg ship-owner Ferdinand Laeisz, with steel hull and masts was christened „Padua“. Before the Second World War the ship sailed 15 long journeys between Australia and Chile, the fastest one in 1938-1939 a record breaking trip from Hamburg via Chile to Australia and return in 8 months and 23 days with Captain Richard Wendt at the helm.
During the Second World War Hamburg remained the ship’s home port and it was used for nearby journeys as cargo barge. Luckily the ship wasn’t damaged notably during the war. On 12th of January 1946 the ship was transferred to Soviet navy as part of war reparations, was named „Krusenstern“ and her new home port became Riga. The new name was chosen in the honour of Adam Johann von Krusenstern (1770–1846), born in Hagudi, Estonia, who led the first Russian circumnavigation with the ships „Nadežda“ and „Neva“ in 1803–1806.
Between 1959–1961 the ship was completely refurbished and turned into a research and training vessel. The next large scale modernisation took place between 1968–1972. At the initiative of Hugo Maide, head of Estonian Fisheries, from 1981 Tallinn became „Krusensterns“ new home port and between long sailing trips the ship anchored at Paljassaare port. Ten years later on 29th of May 1991 the ship was handed over to Kaliningrad (Konigsberg) School of Marine Engineers. Kaliningrad is today „Krusenstern’s“ home port.
The historical sailing ship „Krusenstern“ will arrive at Tallinn Maritime Days at midday on Friday 15th of July. The ship will dock at Tallinn Harbour quay no 8. The ship will be open for public from 14.00 to 20.00. On Saturday 16th of July the ship will be open from 11.00-20.00 and on Sunday 17th of July from 11.00 to 18.00.
Tallinn Maritime Days will take place from 15th to 17th of July in three Tallinn ports – Admiralty Inlet, Seaplane Harbour and Peetri Harbour as the biggest free family festival of the European Capital of Culture summer programme. During three days Tallinn’s coastline and surrounding waters will be filled with intense cultural programme – exclusive marine themed concerts by great Estonian musicians, stalls selling marine products, open access to historical ships, police and border guard ships, Estonian Maritime Administration’s ships, small ships will be sailing between the harbours. In addition there will be a special regatta Tallinn Race with 49ers, Optimists and double boats RS Fevas competing. During Tallinn maritime Days also the closing ceremony of Muhuväina regatta will take place.
The main organisers of Tallinn Maritime Days are Tallinn 2011 Foundation, Tallinn City government, Port of Tallinn, Estonian Maritime Museum and Estonian Historical Ships Society. As main sponsors of the event Viking Line Eesti OÜ and BLRT Grupp will contribute to the success of the festival as well as cooperation partners Clarion Euroopa Hotell, Eesti Jahtklubide Liit, Jazzkaar, Nargenfestival, Energia Discovery Centre, Estonian Maritime Administration, Estonian Police and Border Guard, EMA Marine School and Säästva Renoveerimise Infokeskus.