90-Year-Old Tall Ship Danmark May Shut Down Due to Funding Issues

File image courtesy Danmark

Published Nov 29, 2023 5:33 PM by The Maritime Executive

The training ship Danmark has had its share of unfortunate news over the past two years, and it has more: it may be forced to end operations after next year due to budgetary constraints. 

The 1933-built Danmark is a three-masted, full-rigged school ship homeported in Copenhagen. It is owned by the Danish government and run by a maritime academy for use in training ordinary seamen. When under way, it has capacity for up to 80 students at a time. 

Danmark serves as an overseas ambassador for the Danish state, and receives budgetary support from the government. That budget has not risen fast enough to keep up with inflation, according to the operators, and the ship may be forced to shut down after 2024. 

"It has been too low for a long time. And it continues to be," said program director Pia Ankerstjerne, speaking to Denmark's TV2. "We can see that it will continue with the same funding, and [$440,000-$590,000] are therefore missing. When we dock next year, we simply won't have enough to be able to operate the ship in 2025."

The Danmark has had a difficult run over the last several years. In February 2022, a 23-year-old crewmember fell from the rigging and died during a shipyard period at the port of Assens, according to local police. 

Later the same year, in September 2022, the Danmark sustained minor damage when it struck the littoral combat ship USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul at a pier in Baltimore, Maryland. The sailing ship was under tow by two tugs when she struck some pilings alongside the pier, then made contact with the warship's hull. No injuries were reported, and the LCS suffered only minor damage.