The Passat - a retired square-rigged ship

"A storm threatens the sailors in the North Sea. Thick fog in the busy Channel means danger. The full might of the ocean bears down on her in the Bay of Biscay. Once the Tropic is crossed, the ship heads quickly for her destination port with the trade winds filling her sails.  May kind winds always guide you, you proud ship, quickly and safely into protective harbours. This wish will be embodied in your name. I christen you Passat."

These were the words of Godmother Gertrud Grau at the launch of this truly proud ship, which has been attracting countless visitors and guests in the protective harbour of Travemünde since it was retired in 1959.

Built in 1911 by Blohm & Voss in Hamburg for the shipping company F. Laeisz, she was the last true Cape Horn sailing ship, and has become the maritime symbol of the Baltic resort of Travemünde.

Although she no longer carries heavy freight across the world's seas, this elegant sailing ship reminds visitors of the time when the Passat defied force 10 gales and high waves under full sail. A love of adventure and a desire for freedom often yielded to a simple struggle for survival at this time.

Numerous pictures in the museum section of the ship give an idea of what it was like to serve on board what at the time was a state-of-the-art freight sailing ship.

The Passat was one of a group of ships built for all weathers, and dubbed the “Flying P-Liners” by the sailors because of their speed, which also included the Preußen, Padua, Peking, Pommern and Pamir.

Their voyages took them half-way around the world and lasted for months. Perhaps it is this knowledge that captures your imagination during a visit on board. The romance of the sea and wanderlust take hold and you listen with awe to the exciting stories of the “contemporary witnesses”, who are happy to regale visitors with tales of their experiences at sea during tours on board the Passat.

However, this ship has more to offer than just exciting stories – it is now a well-established meeting place and event venue with overnight accommodation. The ship is also becoming an increasingly popular venue for conferences and celebrations of every kind. There are bunks and washrooms below decks and anyone who looks through the porthole at the beautifully illuminated Travemünde before they go to sleep is bound to get that real “sailing ship feeling”:
because the Passat moves gently with the swell of the Baltic, she truly is
still a proper ship!

Tip: Set sail on the romantic voyage of a lifetime on the Passat – you can get married in a civil ceremony with maritime flair on the Baltic.


Technical data:


3181 GRT/2534 NRT 

Height of the masts above water:

56 m


4.223 t

Sail area:

 4.600 m2 (until1960)

Weight of the rigging with sails:

 170 t


115 m, longest spreader:28m

Greatest width:

14.30 m

Draught when fully laden:

 7 m

Weight of the anchor:

 2 x 3.5 t

Chronicle of the "Passat"


Built by Blohm & Voss in Hamburg as a freight sailing ship for the shipping company F. Laeisz


Converted to a training ship


Sold to Finnish shipping company Erikson


Sold to German shipping company Schliewen - new home port: Travemünde


Sister ship Pamir fell victim to a hurricane in the Atlantic - the Passat narrowly escaped the same fate and is retired. She is the last freight sailing ship to have sailed around Cape Horn


Sold to the Hanseatic City of Lübeck - the Passat becomes a training vessel for the Schleswig-Holsteinischen Seemansschule 


Floating museum and event venue


Last overhaul for 7.2 million DM


The Passat celebrates her 100th birthday

More information