Sailing cruise ship S/V Linden

Sailing cruise ship S/V Linden

Stock Press Photo | S/V Linden

The autonomous Åland Islands have always had shipping as one of their principal industries. The Ålanders are very proud of their traditions, and have made great efforts to preserve more than just the memory of the epoch of sailing ships for future generations.
Mariehamn is the homeport of the four-masted barque Pommern, one of the „Flying P-liners” of the German shipyard F. Laeisz, and the only big ocean-going sailor from the beginning of the last century still preserved in her original state. She represents the last heydays of the merchant sailingships, when Åland shipowners, headed by the legendary Gustaf Erikson, operated the great windjammers on their last voyages in the grain trade between England and Australia – the world famous Grain Races.
One smaller, very common type of sailingship formerly used in Åland for trading in the Baltic Sea was the „galeas”, which had only gaff-rigged masts. None of that type remains in their original state, but in 1988, an exact copy of a galeas from the turn of the century was built in Mariehamn, receiving the same name as her prototype, Albanus.
The original Linden was built shortly after the first World War, in 1920. At this time many ships were getting engines put on board, and wind-power as the main source of fuel was quickly diminishing. Linden was intended to have an engine fitted immediately after her build, but due to unexpected problems with launching the installation was postponed. This made Linden of 1920 one of the last remaining sailing ships with no engine, still relying on wind-power alone on the Finnish ship register.
She was part owned by Gustaf Erikson, who became famous during this time for his fleet of windjammers – owning a significant share of the operational tall ships throughout the world. Erikson died in 1947, and his last ships were retired soon after – Linden completed her last voyage in ’47 before being deregistered in 1953.
The main shareholder of Linden however, was Verner Pettersson. This ship was built for him, and he was her skipper too, sailing her for 20 years when she primarily ferried her cargo of wood from Finland and Norrland, Sweden to ports in Denmark and Germany, and occasionally England.
Linden has a long history as a sail training ship in Baltic sea, training young seafarers and competing in tall ships races around Europe.


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