Zero-emission sailing cargo vessel Avontuur returned after 7-month journey

In early 23 July, commercial sailing cargo vessel AVONTUUR moored in the port of Hamburg and ended her 5th journey across transatlantic waters since 2016. The captain and 15 crew members had been sailing for over 7 months. The 100-year-old vessel operated by the shipping company Timbercoast GmbH is Germany’s last commercial sailing cargo vessel in service.

"After over 200 days on the high seas without being able to really leave the ship and the constant uncertainty caused by the corona virus, the crew is now looking forward to finally arriving again", reports owner and captain Cornelius Bockermann.

In early January 2020, the Dutch schooner Avontuur started off to the Caribbean to load and unload fair-trade luxury goods. Owner, shipping operator, and captain Cornelius Bockermann and his crew sailed from Germany to Madeira, to the Canary Islands, the Caribbean Island Marie-Galante, to Honduras, Mexico, and back to Germany via the USA and the Azores - a journey of more than 18.000 nautical miles. Onboard they are carrying 60 tons of fair-trade products like coffee, rum, spices, and tea from overseas.

The aim of the project which was launched in 2014 is to promote zero-emission alternatives to commercial cargo shipping. Bockermann operates the Avontuur to raise awareness for the environmental destruction caused by the shipping industry and proves that zero-emission cargo shipping is possible - although only within a small niche.

"With a lifting capacity of 114 tons, the two-master is only a dwarf compared to container giants, but David was only a tiny guy compared to Goliath," states Bockermann.

Avontuur saves shipwrecked

On 20 Feb 2020, the sailing freighter "Avontuur" with homeport Elsfleth saved 16 refugees from a boat south of the Canary Islands. A group of eleven men and five women who started of the Ivory Coast had been at sea for ten days. They had no food or water for three days. Without any petrol left the boat drifted out of maneuverability in a southwesterly direction out onto the Atlantic. The shipwrecked were taken on board the "Avontuur". Afterwards, a Spanish rescue cruiser brought the people to Gran Canaria. Sailing vessel Avontuur then changed direction and anchored at the port of Puerto de Mogán / Gran Canaria to be professionally disinfected due to corona restrictions. After the disinfection process, Avontuur continued her journey to the Caribbean.

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