German Navy officer cadets setting sail on Romanian sail training ship

It is official. German Navy officer cadets are finally getting their feet wet on August 9 when they will embark Romanian sail training ship Mircea to gain their first at sea experience and training.

Mircea is scheduled to enter the German port of Wilhelmshaven on August 2 to welcome the cadets who will embark the ship for their seamanship education by August 9.

Germany’s 50 officer cadets, together with an equal number of counterparts from Romania, Bulgaria and China, will set sail on August 11. The first port call of their tour: Lisbon, Portugal.

Mircea’s core crew will be supported by ten officer trainers from the German sail training ship Gorch Fock.

The German Navy is leasing the Romanian Navy’s sail training ship as Germany’s own, the Gorch Fock, is tied to port for extensive repairs.

Mircea was built in 1938 by the Blohm & Voss shipyard and is based on the same design as Gorch Fock.

Germany was forced to seek solutions for the training of navy cadets after it was found out that their training ship Gorch Fock would have to stay in the dry dock for much longer than initially expected. The German Ministry of Defense even considered scrapping the ship due to the high costs of repairs.

Gorch Fock docked for a regular maintenance period in January 2016 with repair costs estimated at around 10 million euros. Most recent estimates of the costs were placed at around 75 million euros and will allow the sail training ship remain in service beyond 2030.