Russia’s Kruzenshtern has set sail on its first voyage of 2011…

Kruzenshtern has set sail on its first voyage this year from the port of Svetly near Kaliningrad…

During this expedition, the four-mast Kruzenshtern, one of the oldest sailing-ships worldwide, will mark its 85th anniversary. Despite such an advanced age, the bark continues to slough through the vast expanses of seas and oceans. This is largely due to Russian sailors and shipbuilders who exert tremendous efforts to prepare the ship for its expeditions. Kruzenshtern’s captain Mikhail Novikov says that the Kruzenshtern is a top-quality ship with high-class seafaring characteristics…

Kruzenshtern has made two round-the-world voyages, which means that it’s in fairly good condition, the ship’s captain says. It was the one picked for the Trans-Atlantic expedition, even though Russia has four other barks besides it…

Kruzenshtern became famous worldwide after it circumnavigated the world in 308 days covering a total 39 thousand sea miles in honor of the 300th anniversary of the Russian Fleet in 1995-1996. The second circumnavigation was in 2005-2006, and in 2009-2010 the legendary bark went on the Trans-Atlantic expedition timed for the 65th anniversary of Allied Victory in the Second World War. In addition, Kruzenshtern has scored a series of victories in yacht races and regattas…

This year, the Kruzenshtern will call at a number of ports in Europe. First on its itinerary is the Spanish port of Vigo on the Atlantic Ocean. On its way back the ship will call at Bremerhaven in Germany where it was originally built, and will then arrive at Hamburg, just in time for City Day festivities. At Lubeck, the Russian vessel will take part in celebrations on the occasion of the 100th jubilee of its fellow bark, the four-mast Passat, which has been a museum since 1960…

Most of its 75-day voyage Kruzenshtern will travel under sail. Its crew comprises 112 military students who will be keeping watch, swabbing the decks and climbing up the 60-meter mast. There are women students too, as women are now as welcome as men to choose a seafaring job…

The Kruzenshtern is slated to return to Kaliningrad on May 17th.

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