Antwerp Student Fleet is a project made for and by students of the Hogere Zeevaartschool (Antwerp Maritime Academy). Our goal is to give students a chance to experience the maritime world. Students do not get many opportunities to sail during the course of their studies; the Antwerp Student Fleet will grant everyone an opportunity to put the theory they have learned to practice.
With that objective in mind, we are planning a voyage in the North Sea, departing from Antwerp, setting course for Peterhead, Scotland, calling at Haugesund, Norway, before finally heading back to Antwerp. We chose those two cities for a simple reason: they are both hosts to significant maritime training institutions. Thus we intend to build a connection between these three key players of maritime officer training in Europe. This journey will last 3 weeks and will take place in September 2018.
Our fleet consists of four traditional sailing ships, each of which will embark six to eight students making a total of approximately 30 students. At sea, they will achieve a better understanding of the fundamentals of watchkeeping duties: estimate a position, chartwork, steering the ship without most of the modern electronical instruments. Additionally, the cohabitation of people with different mother tongues from different cultural backgrounds will enhance team building to develop a real sense of good seamanship, rightfully required of every sailors.
Teamwork has been at the core of our project since the very beginning. The idea was generated by three students; as we started spreading the word we rapidly caught the attention of many more, and we are now working as a team of 20 motivated people towards the completion of our project.
Today’s apprentices are tomorrow’s officers. The Antwerp Student Fleet is an opportunity to better understand navigation as a whole through traditional methods. Following firmly in the HZS spirit of excellence, we will facilitate the training of better, demanding, skilled officers who love what they do.