The tall ship Belem and the 2024 Summer Olympics torch relay

Wednesday, 1 May 2024 - 01:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Tall ships, Yacht of the Month
Reading Time:  4 minutes

in La Rochelle © Pascalou petit/cc-by-sa-3.0

in La Rochelle, France © Pascalou petit/cc-by-sa-3.0

Belem is a three-masted barque from France. She made her maiden voyage as a cargo ship in 1896, transporting sugar from the West Indies, cocoa, and coffee from Brazil and French Guiana to Nantes, France.

Belem escaped the eruption of Mount Pelée in Saint-Pierre, Martinique, on 8 May 1902. On arriving at Saint Pierre ahead of the eruption, Captain Julien Chauvelon found that roadsteads were full of vessels. With no place to anchor the ship Chauvelon angrily decided to anchor some miles further away off a beach, which provided shelter when the volcano erupted.

She was sold in 1914 to Hugh Grosvenor, 2nd Duke of Westminster, who converted her to his private luxurious pleasure yacht, complete with two auxiliary Bolinder Diesel engines of 300 HP each.

In 1922 she became the property of Sir Ernest Guinness, of the Guinness family, who renamed her the Fantôme II and revised the rig from a square rigger. Guinness was Rear Commodore of the Royal St. George Yacht Club, in Kingstown, Ireland, from 1921 to 1939. He was Vice Commodore from 1940 to 1948. Hon. A.E. Guinness took the Fântome II on a great cruise in 1923 with his daughters Aileen, Maureen, and Oonagh. They sailed the seven seas in making a travel round the world via the Panama and Suez Canals including a visit to Spitsbergen. During her approach to Yokohama harbour while sailing the Pacific Ocean the barque managed to escape another catastrophe – an earthquake which destroyed the harbour and parts of Yokohama city. Guinness died in 1949. The Fântome II was moored in the roads of Cowes, Isle of Wight.

in Bayonne, France © Harrieta171/cc-by-2.5 in Bordeaux, France © Olivier Aumage/cc-by-sa-2.5 in Dublin, Ireland © Cqui/cc-by-sa-3.0 in La Rochelle, France © Pascalou petit/cc-by-sa-3.0 in Ostend, Belgium © Georges Jansoone/cc-by-sa-3.0 in Sète, France © Christian Ferrer/cc-by-sa-3.0
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in La Rochelle, France © Pascalou petit/cc-by-sa-3.0
In 1951 she was sold to the Venezian count Vittorio Cini, who named her the Giorgio Cini after his son, who had died in a plane crash near Cannes on 31 August 1949. She was rigged to a barquentine and used as a sail training ship until 1965, when she was considered too old for further use and was moored at the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice.

In 1972 the Italian carabinieri attempted to restore her to the original barque rig. When this proved too expensive, she became the property of the shipyard. In 1976 the ship was re-rigged to a barque.

Finally, in January 1979, she came back to her home port as the Belem under tow by a French seagoing tug, flying the French flag after 65 years. Fully restored to her original condition, she began a new career as a sail training ship.

On 8 and 9 May 2024, she will have the honor to carry the Olympic flame for the upcoming 2024 Summer Olympics torch relay by sailing from Athens, Greece to Marseille.

Read more on culture.gouv.fr, 13 February 2023: Nantes: the Belem, a ship classified as a historical monument, restored for the Olympic flame and Wikipedia Belem. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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