On Tuesday the relief crew of the Shtandart frigate will leave St. Petersburg for Paris. On July 8, the 23 relief crewmembers are to replace their colleagues in the French city of Brest, in the Bay of Biscay.
In Brest the vessel will take part in the world's largest sailing ship festival: it is invited to head the formation of historical vessels at the opening ceremony.
Then the Shtandart's crew aged 15-25 are to cover a difficult route from the Bay of Biscay to Antwerp (Belgium) via the English Channel and then via the North Sea to Denmark's Aalborg and via the Baltic Sea to Rostok, where the crew will be relieved once again.
The frigate is an exact copy of a vessel created in the early 18th century after the design of Russian Emperor Peter the Great. It left the port of St. Petersburg on June 5th.
The ship travels in the Baltic and North seas and is expected to visit 17 European ports.
Besides, the Shtandart is to take part in several regattas, as it has received nine invitations from different sea festivals.
Thus, in the English town of Hartlepool the ship will participate in a sea duel with its Australian "friend", the Endeavor ship, a copy of James Cook's vessel.
This year the Russian ship's crew was for the first time recruited in an open contest. About 300 St. Petersburg residents took part in it, and 70 have passed the tests. For most of them it is the first sea voyage and to take part in it the young men had for three months worked on the frigate, learned seamanship, navigation and passed medical training.
The construction of the Shtandart began in 1994 on the initiative of Russian shipbuilder Vladimir Martus. In May 1998 the ship was given its name. Since then it has many times participated in different voyages, festivals and other events.
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