King Harald of Norway has welcomed a special ship home in Bergen after a successful 20-month journey that visited 37 ports across the globe.
The ship “Statsraad Lehmkuhl” has completed its “One Ocean Expedition” tour, covering over 60,000 nautical miles as part of a project of the UN’s ocean decade to create awareness and spread knowledge about the significant role the sea plays in a sustainable future.
The project aimed to equip the ship with modern research equipment and collect data on how humans affect the ocean. Measurements were made of noise and pollutants like microplastics, acidity, and temperature in the sea. It also allowed various research communities, students, politicians, and others to connect and collaborate.
During the visit, the King went on board and met with the crew and some cadets who participated in the voyage. The homecoming marks the beginning of One Ocean Week, where international conferences, high-level meetings, seminars, and events will be held.
“Statsraad Lehmkuhl” serves as a school ship for the Royal Norwegian Navy; it is a three-masted barque rigged sail training vessel based in Bergen.
The ship is one of the world’s largest sailing vessels in operation, built in Germany in 1914. The boat became a school ship in Bergen in the 1920s and has been in year-round operation for the past 20 years. The Royal Court has said it has been “rented out to various companies and organisations for longer sailing trips, tours in the archipelago, and events at the quayside.”
One Ocean Expedition’s success has prompted plans for a new expedition as an ambassador for Norway and the UN Decade of the Seas. The journey has been not only a significant achievement for Statsraad Lehmkuhl but also an important contribution to the preservation and protection of the oceans.