“Dar Pomorza”

Over a century ago a new ship was built in Hamburg shipyard which was earmarked for the German merchant marine. It was then called “Prinzess Eitel Friedrich”, to honour a German princess, the daughter in law of Emperor Wilhelm II. It served the Germans for only 10 years and then was taken over by the French, who sold it to some nobleman who wanted to transform it into a luxury ocean yacht. Two years later it was bought by the Poles and the story of the White Frigate called “Dar Pomorza” (Pomerania’s Gift) started. The first name of the ship under the Polish flag was just “Pomorze” but it was quickly decided to honour all the donors who gathered money for the new school ship, with the Pomeranian residents being the most generous, hence the name meaning “the gift from Pomerania.

The new ship was launched in the new Gdynia harbour and in 1930 it went ob its first training trip, boarding the students of the Maritime School, which was then moved from Tczew to Gdynia. The ship replaced the legendary training ship “Lwów” which used to serve the future Polish sailors.

For half a century of its operation there were over ten thousand students trained there, on a total of 102 sea trips, covering half a million sea miles thus, circumnavigating the Earth 25 times. After fifty years it retired and became a museum ship, presenting the history of the beginning of the Polish maritime.

A visit to “Dar Pomorza” should be considered compulsory for anyone who comes to Gdynia, even moreso because there is no other place offering so much information on the history of Poland’s existence on the sea and depicting the human desire to explore endless oceans following the call of the sea.



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