With its steel hull, three masts, and 26 sails, the Danish training vessel Danmark will make quite the impression when it arrives in New York City’s harbor on September 16.
This isn’t just a friendly stopover: The Danmark will welcome visitors aboard the ship to learn more about Denmark’s long maritime history and discuss contemporary sustainability issues during Climate Week NYC 2022 (September 19–25). Coinciding with the United Nations General Assembly, the week is meant to be “an ambitious platform for our mission to drive climate action. Fast.”
Conservation and preservation have long been hallmarks of Danish society. “Sustainability means different things to different people,” per Denmark’s official website. “To the Danes, sustainability is a holistic approach that includes renewable energy, water management, waste recycling, and green transportation including the bicycling culture.”
The climate-friendly Danmark will pull into Pier 17 as something of a floating sustainability ambassador, cohosted by the South Street Seaport Museum and VisitDenmark. Typically docked in Frederikshavn, the ship still functions as a training vessel for young people seeking careers at sea. There are currently 80 cadets age 17 to 23 training onboard; they will be available to answer visitors’ questions next month, as will the ship’s crew of 15.
The Danmark will be open to visitors on Friday evening, September 23, from 7 to 9:30 p.m., and Saturday afternoon, September 24, from 1 to 3:30 p.m.; visitors will be able to board the ship on the north side of Pier 17 at the seaport.
The Danmark was launched in 1933 as a training ship for the Danish merchant navy, visiting the United States several times. In fact, when Denmark was occupied by Germany on April 9, 1940, during World War II, the ship was docked at Jacksonville, Florida; it stayed there to avoid being seized by the Germans. After Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the U.S. Coast Guard used the Danmark for training purposes until December 1946, when it headed back to Denmark.
Jonathan Boulware, president and chief executive officer of the South Street Seaport Museum, which is near Pier 17, said the Danmark will illustrate “the direct connection between the waterfront and the existence of New York as a global metropolis.”
Noting that the ship had visited the Seaport many times before, he said it is the museum’s “hope and intent to host other vessels” going forward.
The Consulate General of Denmark in New York and Danish organizations are hosting a three-day expo, ”Citizen Sustainability Summit,” on the High Line in New York September 19–21, with programs that will be open to the public and explore sustainability, livability, and inclusivity.