16 мая 2010 г.

Kruzenshtern sailing ship to arrive in Kaliningrad on May 9

The Russian sailing ship Kruzenshtern will end its Transatlantic expedition on May 9 in Kaliningrad.

Russia's Kruzenshtern sailing ship has returned to her home port in Russia’s exclave on the Baltic Sea, completing its International Trans-Atlantic Expedition commemorating the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II.

The voyage was over a year long and comprised two stages. The Kruzenshtern crew supported the Russian national team at the Vancouver winter Olympics in Canada. The Russian barque was one of the popular sights in the Olympic city.

On her way to Canada, the ship completed the difficult maneuver of passing through the Panama Canal for the first time, and played host to two heads of state, Prime Minister Russia Vladimir Putin and Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, in Caracas.

The Kruzenshtern was built in 1926 and in spite of its age is widely regarded as one of the jewels of the Russian sailing fleet.

The second stage of the Kruzenshtern sailing vessel's Transatlantic expedition has come to an end and the ship has returned to its base in Kaliningrad. Vladimir Volkogon, Rector of the Baltic State Fishing Fleet Academy, which operates the vessel, discusses the results.

What previous Kruzenshtern expedition would you compare this tour with?

The difficulties of the tasks and route place the second stage of the expedition in the same category as our sailing ship's most famous tours. By intensity, it is probably incomparable. It was the first time that two major political leaders (Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and the Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez) have been on board the vessel. This was also the first time that the vessel's crew has participated in the Russian program at the Olympic Games and the first time the ship completed the difficult maneuver of passing through the Panama Channel; and we did it twice! A large part of the route crossed areas where weather conditions and navigation were difficult.

This tour was dedicated to the 65th anniversary of the Allied Victory over Nazi German in World War II...

Kruzenshtern's crew and the cadets completed the world tour in honor of the Victory. They accomplished all of the challenges at a high standard. During the first stage of its journey, the Kruzenshtern sailed near the U.S and Canadian coast line, on routes sailed by the famous North Convoy during World War II. Despite the fact that Canada was the main base for shipments of aid to the Soviet Union and countries of Europe, the people there now know little about the events that took place during the war. Several visitors to the Kruzenshtern's photo exhibition, dedicated to the allied Victory, were amazed to find out that the Russians were the main force in the defeat of the Nazis. Many people didn't believe the photos of Soviet soldiers, putting up a red flag on the top of the Reichstag, had not been manipulated. When you see it with your own eyes you start to value the necessity of educational work about the war even more. Our people paid too high a price for Victory, and we do not have the right to forget that.

Apart from sailing experience, what other skills have the cadets gained from the tour?

They got experience of diplomatic work and organizing receptions for senior guests. There is a certain art to welcoming guests on board of a vessel and the cadets took it in their stride. Without a doubt, these skills will come in useful in the future when our cadets are working as captains and other specialists after they graduate.

How were cadets chosen for the expedition?

The candidates had to study hard, be fluent in foreign languages and undertake extracurricular activities. Sporting achievements and even musical talents were taken into account. We had a lot of applicants and we chose the best of the best. We never once regretted our choice during the expedition.

Le voilier russe Kruzenshtern est de retour dans son port d'attache, à Kaliningrad. Il a ainsi terminé son expédition transatlantique internationale à l'occasion du 65e anniversaire de la Victoire.

Lors de l'expédition qui a duré plus d'une année, le voilier-école à fait escale à Vancouver pour soutenir la sélection olympique russe. Le navire a pour la première fois effectué une traversée complexe du canal de Panama.

A Caracas deux dirigeants haut placés sont montés à bord en même temps, à savoir le premier ministre russe Vladimir Poutine et le président vénézuélien Hugo Chavez.

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