More than 10 months at sea, 23 visited ports and 33 thousand nautical miles made in a round-the-world cruise to celebrate the 100th anniversary of regaining independence by Poland. Dar Młodzieży [The Gift of Youth], Poland’s most famous tall ship came back to the home Port of Gdynia.
It is a historical moment. It took place for the first time in 1935, when on 3 September at 11.00 a.m. Dar Pomorza arrived with pride at the Port of Gdynia, coming back from its pioneer voyage. The ship of the National Maritime School was the first one to sail around the world under the Polish flag. It was the most famous and longest cruise in the history of the “White Frigate” – an event of a great symbolical meaning, documenting the sea ambitions of the II Republic. After 84 years, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Poland’s regaining independence, at exactly the same time we welcomed the grand Polish frigate – Dar Młodzieży – at the Port of Gdynia.
“A new important chapter is added today to the rich and eventful history of the Port of Gdynia. Dar Młodzieży returned from its most important mission – it successfully sailed around the world and represented with dignity our Motherland on its 100th anniversary of regaining independence. The white-and-red flag was seen at 23 ports, reminding of our history, identity and national heritage,” comments Adam Meller, President of PoGA.
The 100th anniversary of regaining independence by Poland was also a unique occasion to remember the importance of the Port of Gdynia for the development of the Polish economy. At an art exhibition at the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation and then at the Polish Parliament a gallery of photographs from the times of port construction and its first years of operation could be seen. Its objective was to show the unique history of the Port of Gdynia in view of investments completed over the past decades that have guaranteed its today’s position in the Baltic Sea region. The exhibition was organized by the of the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation and the Port of Gdynia Authority S.A.
Port of Gdynia kept company to the White Frigate half way through the cruise in Singapore, then in Panama during the World Youth Days, in Cape Town and London. The capital of Great Britain was the last stop of Dar Młodzieży before calling at the home port.
“The independence cruise was also a great opportunity to tighten business relations and to promote the Port of Gdynia’s offer on four continents. We have held a number of meetings with representatives of world’s largest ports, carriers and logistics companies. New contacts will contribute to completion of our key investment promoting the port’s further development, i.e. the construction of the External Port,” says Grzegorz Dyrmo, Vice-President of PoGA S.A.
To celebrate the return of Dar Młodzieży a sea festival was held at Kosciuszko Square, organised by the Port of Gdynia. Among attractions there were mainly sea activities to be found, such as messaging using the Morse code or demonstrations of logistic processes in the port area including options provided by the External Port. Real sea gourmets could enjoy healthy snacks and hot seaman’s tea. Those who wanted to capture unique moments could take advantage of a photobooth with Dar Młodzieży as a backdrop.