Monday, June 30, 2008
(All photos by Sailor Girl)
The «[Leão Holandês]» («Dutch Lion») is a classic boat that organizes sailing cruises in Lisbon on the river Tagus or even until Cascais. Her teambuilding or party cruises, incentives, or other events (such as baptisms and even weddings) are always one of the finest I have had the privilege to testimony, along with other ships, such as Lisbon's «Príncipe Perfeito». The «Leão Holandês» makes sailing cruises an event to remember!... Her crew is highly efficient and really nice, just like her owner and captain, Mr. Dirk Willem Gesink, a real Dutch Lion also!!...
She is 35 metres long, 6.2 metres wide and has three masts, a 230-horsepower diesel engine and all the latest navigational and communications equipment, complying with international safety requirements. She is also equipped with double cabins below deck and various toilets and showers. The spacious, stylish lounge, which seats approximately 50 people can be used for both social and business activities. The ample deck space is convenient for various types of events. Meals may be served on deck or below, with a maximum capacity of 75pax on board.
Originally the Leão Holandês was built as a 2-Mast Schooner in the Northern Dutch town of Groningen in 1910 for a German skipper, captain Dehde, who used her as a freighter for wood. At that time she was christened “Amalie”. With this name she was taken to Germany and sawn in two parts at the wharf in Kiel in 1923. The operation served to add 6 metres and one mast to her original 32 meters. Until 1975 the ship was sailed under Danish flag and was then sold to the first Dutch owner. He traced the complete history of the ship obtaining her original blueprint and started to remodel her exactly as she was more than a half century earlier. The ship was then named “Sepha Vollaars” and sailed commercial trips from 1979-1983 in Holland. Sold in 1983, the ship sailed to Tahiti for the new Swiss owner, coming back to Europe 18 months later. By then, much of her beauty was gone.
When the present owners discovered the ship for sale in Belgium it meant an opportunity of a lifetime. They brought her to Portugal and named her «Leão Holandês». Some years later, and after having passed the difficulties of the local licences, the old three-Mast Schooner was once again hosting its sails and cruising Portuguese waters.
Passengers sailing aboard «Leão Holandês» can get official evidence of this unique happening, in the form of a special designed Certificate, before they step off the ship. Also, it is possible to receive one or more Certificates after the Cruise has ended. I have sailed with her twice and will order my Certificates as soon as possible!!!!