More naval training ships arrive

NRP Polar & NRP Zarco follow in the wake of NRP Sagres

Trining ships Polar and Zarco

Thanks to Jaime for alerting blog readers to the imminent arrival of two “miniature” versions of the training ship NRP Sagres, which arrived a few days ago and departed today. He points out that anybody expecting anything on quite the same scale will be disappointed!

The NRP Polar and the NRP Zarco are listed on the port authority, Portos da Madeira (APRAM) website as arriving from Portimão tomorrow at 08:00 and departing 13:00 – a short stay.

Although not as impressive as the NRP Sagres both are navy cadet training ships and seem to operate as a pair, as Jaime found pictures of them in Funchal on the website taken during a visit in August 2019.

NRP Polar

Training ship NRP Polar
NRP Polar

The training ship “Polar” (formerly “ANNE LINDE”), was built in 1977 at the Phoenix BV shipyards, Westerbroeck, in Rotterdam, and was first registered in Viersen (RFA) and was used on cruises until 1982. The Polar was incorporated into the Portuguese Navy on October 21, 1983. 

The Polar carried out its first mission in April 1985, after a long period of manufacture, replacing, in the instruction of cadets at the Naval School, the Sirius (1876), an old royal yacht that King D. Luís had offered to the Queen. On board the training ship Polar, the Cadets and Aspirants of the Naval School have the opportunity to put into practice the acquired knowledge, especially in the areas of navigation, seamanship and adaptation to life at sea.

The name Polar comes from the Polar Star, which has that name because it remains fixed in a position coincident with the projection of the Earth’s axis. It is used, in terms of navigation, as a reference in orientation.

The training ship Polar is a replica of the famous yacht América that crossed the Atlantic to win the 100 Guinea Cup in 1851, giving its name to the most coveted trophy in the world. In 1983 it was acquired by Windjammer of Hamburg to be delivered to the Navy in return for the transfer of “Sagres I”

NRP Zarco

NRP Zarco in Funchal

The Zarco has a very interesting history, as the Navy came into possession of the Zarco after a “drugs bust” off Madeira in 2007

NRP Zarco is a two-masted sailboat, measuring about 23 metres in length for a draft of 3 metres and displacing 60 tons. It was built in 1983, in the Netherlands, its former name was “Blaus VII”, which in February 2007, was boarded 100 miles from the Madeira Archipelago by a team from the Marine Corps of the Portuguese Navy, in the context of combat to drug trafficking, in cooperation with the Judiciary Police, detecting 1,500 kg of cocaine on board. 

In April 2009, the “Blaus VII” was declared “lost in favour of the State”, by the decision of the Court of Mixed Court of Funchal, the sailboat becoming part of the heritage of the Autonomous Region of Madeira. Then a protocol was signed between the Portuguese Navy and the Regional Government of Madeira, maintaining the use of the sailboat as a training ship by the Naval School, having been agreed between the parties that it would be designated NRP “Zarco”, the name of the navigator and settler of Madeira, João Goncalo Zarco. 

1 thought on “More naval training ships arrive”

  1. These two vessels have disappeared from the port website and no sign of them in the port. I wonder, did they arrive earlier than planned and shoot straight off to their next destination?


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