Baltic German Admiral Fabian Gottlieb Thaddeus von Bellingshausen was born in Saaremaa island in Estonia 1778.

He was a leader of the first Russian Antarctic expedition that discovered the continent of Antarctica.

To commemorate this discovery of Antarctica the Estonian Maritime Museum has organised a maritime expedition from Kronstadt to Antarctic peninsula by 24 meter S/Y Admiral Bellingshausen.

There will be twelve crew members on board at all times. Almost a hundred people in total will take turns in joining the crew on different legs during the expedition.

A TV documentary is even going to be produced on the expedition. Almost twenty scientists sail along to share their knowledge of different maritime, climatic and ecological issues.

There are several maritime professionals and voluntary maritime rescuers on board to propagate safety at sea.

The majority of the crew of Admiral Bellingshausen have participated in cooperation with Estonian Volunteer Rescue Association in sea safety training at Reval Marine & Offshore Training centre in Tallinn.

We have also turned to all IMRF members on route to be in contact with us and help to make the expedition as safe as possible.

On 11 July 2019, the expedition ship Admiral Bellingshausen set sail from Kronstadt, bound for Antarctica.

The route will largely retrace the one taken by Bellingshausen and Lazarev’s ships the Vostok and Mirny, but this time many more ports are going to be visited.

The expedition will culminate in late January 2020, when the bicentenary of the discovery of the frozen continent will be celebrated near the Antarctic Peninsula.

Fifty years of Soviet rule drove a wedge between Estonian seafaring nation and the world ocean.

The Soviet border guard kept even coastal fishers away from the sea, not to mention those who wanted to sail to distant lands, beyond the horizon, to discover new and different worlds.

This was despite the fact that over the centuries, Estonia has produced many seafarers who have left an 

indelible mark on the history of global exploration.

The Estonian-born Baltic German Gottlieb von Fabian Gottlieb Bellingshausen among them. When Estonia became independent again in 1991, all the old traditions had to be revived.

The first round the world trip under the Estonian flag in 1999 was the first big step in raising the self-confidence as a maritime country.

S/Y Admiral Bellingshausen’s voyage from Kronstadt to Antarctica will take approximately eight months. During that time, more than 100 crew members will take turns on board - researchers, sea-safety and nautical experts among them.

The Estonian Maritime Museum and Thetis Expeditions – a non-profit representing Estonian business people and public figures – are launching our ship not for entertainment purposes, but with a clear mission: to remind people of our distinguished seafaring history and draw attention to the ecologically precarious situation of the world’s seas.