Aboard the majestic three-master Duchesse Anne, a former training ship, you will discover the crew’s quarters and their living conditions, from the ‘tween deck (for cadets) to the sumptuous Commander’s cabin.
She was built in 1901 as the Großherzogin Elisabeth with a steel hull by the yard of Joh. C. Tecklenborg of Bremerhaven-Geestemünde (Germany) according to plans drawn by Georg W. Claussen. The mainmast is 48 m tall and 25 sails were rigged. She was used as a training ship for young aspiring sailors in the German merchant marine.
The ship was handed over to France as war reparations after World War II and renamed Duchesse Anne. The ship has been classified a historical monument since 5 November 1982.
Under the French flag, it plied the Baltic Sea or sailed off the coasts of Africa and South America for 30 years, with between 130 and 200 cadets onboard, overseen by a crew of between 15 and 20 officers, subordinate or petty officers and enlisted men.
After its purchase by the city of Dunkirk in 1981 for a token sum, the association Les Amis de la Duchesse Anne started its restoration in March 1982 under the presidency of Benoît Venturini. On the 22nd of August 1998, after being restored following traditional ship-building techniques, it reached its final destination, facing the Harbour Museum of Dunkirk. With some of the work still under way, the Duchesse Anne had to wait until 2001, on its 100-year anniversary, to greet its first visitor, after 19 years of renovation.
Source: Duchesse Anne website and Wikipedia