A Brief History of the Albatros


1899: Built for Captain Johannes Muller from Middelharnis near Rotterdam and used for cargo carrying between Holland and the Baltic. Survives World War I under Captain Muller.

1920: Muller sells “Albatros” to Captain Lolk from Svendborg (DK)

1933: Lolk installs her first engine (80 HP)

1941: Lolk sells the “Albatros” to Captain Rasmussen from Hobro (DK)

1941-1945: Rasmussen keeps trading through World War II and uses the “Albatros” to rescue Jews and political dissidents out of Nazi-occupied Denmark to neutral Sweden carrying back guns and explosives for the Danish Resistance crammed between her cargo.

1964: Rasmussen reduces rigging to steadying sails and installs a stronger engine (160 HP)

1978: Captain. Rasmussen retires after 37 years on the “Albatros”. “Albatros” laid up in Copenhagen.

1980: Captain. Ton Brouwer buys the “Albatros” and sails her to Amsterdam.

1983-1987: Complete restoration under supervision of Germanischer Loyd.

1987: “Albatros” recommissioned as a sailing cargo vessel with classification GL 100 A4K.

1987-1997: Ton Brouwer captains the “Albatros” as Europe’s last cargoship under sail in the Home Trade and the Baltic trade taking on disaffected youths as a crew and sailing about 20.000 nautical miles per year with different cargos to several ports around Northwest Europe.

1990-1996: “Albatros” becomes a regular visitor in the port of Wells-Next-The-Sea bringing more than 100 cargos of soyabeanmeal from the continent.

1996: On September 5th 1996 the “Albatros” delivered 100 tons of soyabean meal from Rotterdam to the North Norfolk port of Wells-next-the-Sea. Those who stood on The Quay two days later and watched her sail back to Holland were present at an historic moment: The “Albatros” was the last sail driven cargo ship in Europe and this marked the end of her 98 year career as a freight carrier.

1997/98: Cargohold refurbished and the “Albatros” converted to a fully licensed sailing passengership.

1998-2000: “Albatros” chartered by Greenpeace and used as a waterborne venue for children’s environmental education along the coast of Holland.

August 2000: “Albatros” officially invited to SAIL AMSTERDAM.

2001: “Albatros” based in Wells-Next-The-Sea where members of Wells’ maritime community have formed a Trust called “The Albatros Project” to support the use of the ship as an educational centre. In order to keep her commercially viable the “Albatros” is available for luxury cruises, sail training, executive development and corporate entertainment.

2005: The Albatros Project stops and the Trust is dissolved. In addition to the sailing program Ton Brouwer looks at the possibilities of using the ship as a bar, restaurant and music venue alongside the Wells Quay. After approval of his plans by the Wells Harbour Commissioners Ton Brouwer obtains his publican license and a premises license for the ship from North Norfolk District Council.

A brand new chapter in the history of the ship starts with the first customers coming on board for a pint of Woodfords Wherry and Dutch Pancakes.

2008: The Albatros makes its last commercial sailing trip with guests in July. From then on the sale of real ales and pancakes becomes a full time all year round business.