You may have heard the adage, “the best things in life are free.” But what you may not know is that it’s true. The ocean is a natural wonder that has been delighting humans for hundreds of years. One way to revel in this wonder is by sailing on a ship, or more specifically, one of the five most magnificent ships ever known. These ships have a great history and provide a glimpse into many different points in time from centuries ago to now. From the Barque Sedov, a pre-revolution Russian boat used to spy on England during the Crimean War, to America’s version of a clipper, the Juan Sebastian Elcano. These ships have a long and brave history and deserve a place in our hearts and minds.
The Barque Sedov
The Barque Sedov was a pre-revolutionary Russian ship used by the British in 1778. The crew were trained in English and worked together to infiltrate spying on English ships during the Crimean War. The ship was named after Alexei Alexeyevich Sedov, an assistant to an admiral from 1804–1827 and head of meteorology from 1819–1828. The ship was a source of information on the weather and a revolutionary method for communication, eventually being used by the British.
The Royal Clipper
The Royal Clipper is another ship that helped shape the course of history. This magnificent piece of work was used as a mail ship in 1869 and ran from England to Australia. Onboard was the first group of English-speaking immigrants to settle in Australia after it was made available by Queen Victoria. The Clipper is still around today and can be sailed regularly.
The Preussen is a bit different than other ships on this list. Instead of being used as a working ship or sailing regularly, it is more like a hotel room with sails and an engine. The Preussen was initially a German merchant ship purchased by the British and converted into a stationary hotel. The ship had all the amenities of a luxury hotel and could accommodate up to 50 people. The unique part is the glass elevator used to climb 60 feet above the ship. This elevator doesn’t move and is connected directly with the mast and sail by a steel cable and pulley system without losing speed.
The Thomas W. Lawson
The Thomas W. Lawson is another unique-sounding name for a great ship, but it lives up to its name. The Lawson was one of America’s most advanced clippers when crossing the North Atlantic in 1890. The Lawson made it to Europe in six days and 13 hours, a record time for that ship. The ship is most famous for being sold to Scandinavian owners and used to transport frozen mutton from South America.
The Juan Sebastian Elcano
The Juan Sebastian Elcano is the latest addition to the fleet of ships featured on this list. It was built in 1995 and makes up part of a modern fleet of sailing vessels. The Elcano is most commonly found in the Western Hemisphere and used in trans-Atlantic crossing races for large yachts.
The above ships have all had an impact on today’s society, even if only slightly. They are unique works of engineering and have pushed the boundaries of what man thought was possible to do at the time. Each one has a fantastic story behind it, even if it does seem a bit familiar.
As a final note, if you have any more questions or want to learn more about these ships, I recommend that you check out each ship’s Wikipedia page.