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The first ship operated by Dutch sail cargo company Ecoclipper, De Tukker has set sail on its maiden commercial liner voyage in which Afloat tracked the vessel in the English Channel recently when offshore of Guernsey.

De Tukker with five crew and equally the same number of trainees had departed Amsterdam carrying chocolate on the cargoship that is currently in the Bay of Biscay. The ship is handling well and is heading for Porto, Portugal where ketch is expected to arrive around May 13th and take on a cargo of wine and olive oil.

This is the first voyage on a sailing schedule which will see the sail-cargoship operate on a regular route network as Afloat reported across North and West Europe

Following a refit and sea trials, De Tukker, which was built in 1912 and seen life as a coastal trader and sail training vessel, is now propelled again by over 300 square metres of sail.

De Tukker is able to carry about 70 cubic metres, or an equivalent of 50-70 tons, of cargo and has accommodation for up to 12 trainees or travellers. 

The first cargo onboard is chocolate produced by Dutch chocolate maker "Chocolatemakers" and destined for European distribution by sail cargo brokers “New Dawn Traders”.

The cacao used in the chocolate’s production process was shipped from the Dominican Republic by fellow sail cargo vessel Tres Hombres and so will reach consumers with a minimum of harmful emissions produced in its transport.

De Tukker’s currently scheduled destinations are Porto, Noirmoutier, Saint Nazaire, Penzance, Torquay and London, however, depending on the needs of exporters and consumers EcoClipper is open to adding additional ports to the route.

Jorne Langelaan, EcoClipper founder and CEO, has expressed his excitement that De Tukker is now sailing again. “After a year-long period of expert refitting by our own refit crew and the crew of the Talsma shipyard, it was with the greatest pleasure that I watched De Tukker sail off towards the horizon. This is the next step in returning to large scale transport by sailing vessel at sea.”

There is still cargo space available for exporters who want to take advantage of this new shipping option in Northern and Western Europe. Visit the EcoClipper website here for more information.

The voyage is being covered by De Tukker’s Captain, Paul Pélaprat, on EcoClipper’s Instagram page @ecoclipper

Published in Ports & Shipping