Youth Hansa

Meeting of the Trainee Mariners

“Learning how to be a real mariner” – the adolescents from twelve nations and, in total, 64 different cities met in Rostock for four days in order to get a whiff of sea air and acquire some real mariner skills.

Setting sails, tying knots, and learning to navigate are part of the packed program for the around 100 young visitors. Of course, there was time left for a city tour, as organizer Nicole Czerwinski discloses. “During their stay here, the participants could attend various workshops that each took place on different ships,” she explains further.

Im Radisson Blu Hotel haben die rund 100 Teilnehmer ein Abschiedsessen veranstaltet. Foto: Susanne Gidzinski

Photos: Susanne Gidzinski

Despite the stormy weather, some dared to venture out onto the sea. “Our regatta was canceled due to the strong wind, but we managed to go out for a small tour,” says Czerwinski. For almost four hours, the group sailed on the stormy sea, fighting against five meter high waves. “The waves were at least ten meters high,” says Valerie Scherzer with a twinkle in her eye. This is her second Youth Hansa, and she travelled all the way from Osnabrück to attend. Her friend, Clara Greiwe, adds: “A few of us even got seasick. But the experience was priceless.”

The adolescents all slept on various ships in order to experience what life as a mariner could look like up close. “The special thing about Youth Hansa is that you can learn an incredible amount about other cultures and make new friends in so few days,” says Valerie Scherzer. The atmosphere on the ship always stayed friendly and upbeat, despite the bad weather, reports the 25-year old.

Iselin Thorsen from Norway confirms the other participants’ statements. Because of her fear of heights, Iselin decided not to participate in climbing up the ship’s mast, but was still pleased with the many memories she could make over the course of the four days: “It was so much fun, and the people are all so nice. I’d love to stay a bit longer.”

On Sunday morning, a small farewell-meal was organized in the Baltic Sea Hall of the Radisson Blu Hotel. Here the participants had one more opportunity to exchange views and continue conversations before they decorated and painted the sail for the “Ship of Tolerance” together. The adolescents thanked the hotel for the sponsored food, as well as other supporters such as the WIRO, OstseeSparkasse Rostock, and ROSTOCK PORT.


Susanne Gidzinski