Suomen Joutsen (The Swan of Finland)


During her French period the name of the ship was Laennec. On her first trip she carried coal cargo from Cardiff to Iquique, Chile. Then she carried saltpetre cargo from Iquique to Bremerhaven.

In 1906 she was sold to Compagnie Plisson. Under the French flag the ship made 15 transatlantic voyages.

In 1922 the ship was sold to H.H. Schmidt & Co., Hamburg, and was renamed Oldenburg. On her voyage from Hamburg to Callao in ballast she lost most of her rigging of main mast near Cape Horn on 15th of May 1925. She had to take refuge at Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands. From Port Stanley she sailed to Montevideo for repairing. Finally she was on 25th of September in 1925 in Hamburg.

In 1928 she was sold to Seefahrt Segelschiffs - Rederei G.m.b.H., Bremen.

In 1930 on her voyage from Fernandina, Florida to Malmö, Sweden she had a list of 55 degrees in a stormy weather on the North Atlantic, because the phosphate cargo shifted in a Hurricane.

The ship made eight transatlantic voyages as a cargo-carrying sail training ship under the German flag.

In August, 1930 after inspection in the Bremen dockyard, she was purchased by the Finnish Government to be used as a training vessel of the Finnish Navy. She was docked again at Uusikaupunki, Finland where new lodgings and two Scandia motors were installed. The vessel was renamed Suomen Joutsen on the first of November 1931.

She set sail on her first ocean voyage as a training ship on 22th of December 1931.

She made eight ocean voyages:

I (22.12.1931 - 22.5.1932)

Helsinki - Copenhagen- Trangisvaag (Far-Islands) - Hull - Las Palmas (Canary Islands) - Ponta Delgada (Azores) - Vigo (Spain)  - Helsinki

II (18.10.1932 - 3.5.1933)

Helsinki - Las Palmas - Porto Grande (Cap Verde) - Rio de Janeiro - Montevideo - Buenos Aires - Port Castries (St. Lucia) - Charlotte Amalie (Virgin Islands) - Ponta Delgada - Helsinki

III (1.11.1933 - 15.5.1934)

Helsinki - Marseille - Aleksandria - Napoli - Santa Cruz (Tenerife) - Port au Prince (Haiti) - Lissabon -Helsinki

IV (31.10.1934 - 3.5.1935)

Helsinki - Cartagena (Spain) - Pireus (Greece) - Saloniki (Greece) - Beirut - Haifa - Aleksandria - Casablanca - Ponta Delgada - Gravesend - Kööpenhamina - Helsinki

V (9.10.1935 - 2.7.1936)

Helsinki  - Lissabon - La Guaira (Venezuela) - Cartagena (Colombia) - Balboa (Panama) - Callao (Peru) - Valparaiso (Chile) - Buenos Aires - Rio de Janeiro - Ponta Delgada - Helsinki

VI (2.11.1936 - 1.5.1937)

Helsinki - Leixoes - Dakar (Senegal) - Ciudad Trujillo (Dominican Republic) - Vera Cruz (Mexico) - Havanna - New York - Oslo - Helsinki

VII (20.10.1937 - 12.5.1938)

Helsinki - Funchal (Madeira) - Montevideo - Cape Town - Calais (France) - Helsinki

VIII (27.10.1938 - 23.4.1939)

Helsinki - Bordeaux - Casablanca - Pernambuco (Brazil) - San Juan (Puerto Rico) - Ponta Delgada - Rotterdam - Helsinki

On her third voyage from Port au Prince, Haiti to Lissabon she made a list of 55 degrees in a Hurricane without damages.

On her fifth ocean trip she was visit on 6th - 11th of February 1936 in Valparaiso. From Valparaiso she sailed via Cape Horn to Buenos Aires.         

During the Second World War she was laid up as a mother ship for submarines. After the War, Suomen Joutsen became the mother ship of the minesweeping Fleet. She served as the base for minesweepers operating far from shore in the Gulf of Finland.

She was re-rigged again in 1946 - 1948 for few short trips. In 1951 she made her last trip on the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland.

In 1961 - 1988 she was served as a Naval Trade School in Turku. The permanent mooring of the vessel was to be the Aurajoki River in Turku.

Nowadays she is owned by Turku City. She celebrated her 100th Anniversary in 2002 in Turku.