Kruzenshtern or Krusenstern (Russian: Барк Крузенштерн) is a four-masted
barque that was built in 1926 at Geestemünde in Bremerhaven, Germany
as Padua (named after the Italian city). She was surrendered to the
USSR in 1946 as war reparation and renamed after the early 19th
century Baltic German explorer in Russian service, Adam Johann
Krusenstern (1770–1846). She is now a Russian sail training ship.
Of the four remaining Flying P-Liners, the former Padua is the only
one still in use, mainly for training purposes, with her home ports
in Kaliningrad (formerly Königsberg) and Murmansk. After Sedov,
another former German ship, she is the largest traditional sailing
vessel still in operation.
Launched in 1926 as the last of the P-Liners, Padua was commissioned
as a cargo ship, used among other things to ship construction
material to Chile, South America, returning with saltpeter around
Cape Horn. Later she transported wheat from Australia. Her maiden
voyage from Hamburg to Talcahuano, Chile took 87 days. In 1933–1934
she took a record-breaking 67 days from Hamburg to Port Lincoln in
South Australia. Prior to World War II she made 15 long trips to
Chile and Australia. Her fastest voyage was in 1938–1939, from
Hamburg via Chile to Australia and back to Hamburg in 8 months and
23 days under Captain Richard Wendt — a world record voyage for tall
ships that has never been broken.
Like all P-liners, Padua was painted according to the colours of the
German national flag of the German Empire era: black (hull above
water, topsides), white (waterline area) and red (underwater body).
On 12 January 1946 she was surrendered to the USSR and integrated
into the Baltic Fleet of the Soviet Navy. She was moored in
Kronstadt harbour until 1961 where she underwent major repairs and a
refit (e.g. the installation of her first engines) for her missions
for the Hydrographic Department of the Soviet Navy. From 1961 to
1965 she undertook many hydrographic and oceanographical surveys for
the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in the Atlantic Ocean, the
Caribbean, and Mediterranean, and was used as a training vessel for
naval cadets. In 1965 she was transferred to the USSR Ministry of
Fisheries in Riga to be used as a schoolship for future fishery
From 1968 to 1972 a major modernisation took place, installing her
current set of engines and applying her current hull paint – black
with a wide white stripe with black rectangles intended to give the
illusion of gunports. Kruzenshtern led the international procession
of tall ships into New York Harbor for Operation Sail on 4 July
In January 1981 she was transferred to the "Estonian Fisheries
Industry" at Tallinn and in 1991 she became part of the "State
Baltic Academy of the Fisheries" fleet with her new home port in
Kruzenshtern takes part in many international regattas. After the
dissolution of the Soviet Union funding became a problem, so
passengers are carried for that purpose. In 1995–96 she
circumnavigated the world in the trail of her namesake. She again
sailed around the world in 2005–06 to commemorate the 200th
anniversary of Krustenstern's circumnavigation.
The ship was used in three German films — Die Meuterei auf der
Elsinore (1935); Herz geht vor Anker (1940) and Große Freiheit Nr. 7
(1944), as well as a number of Russian and Soviet films.
Крузенштерн at SAIL Amsterdam 2005
In 1997 she was the main subject of an Estonian/British documentary
produced by Allfilm and First Freedom Productions called 'Tall Ship'
and transmitted on Discovery. The one-hour programme was directed by
Rein Kotov and produced by Graham Addicott and Pille Runk.
On 23 June 2009 while she was en route to the Charleston, South
Carolina Harborfest, her foremast was damaged in a storm off Bermuda
when the sail backed and snapped the mast.
On 3 May 2010 she stopped in Bremerhaven after a trip of five months
with stops in Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics and in Cuba,
after which she returned to Kaliningrad. On 4 August 2014,
Kruzenshtern sank the tug Diver Master at Esbjerg, Denmark when a
line between the two vessels failed to release. On 11 June 2015, she
rammed the two Icelandic Coastguard patrol ships Þór and Týr. Both
vessels sustained damage. On 27 June, she ran aground at
Archangelsk. She was refloated that day.