1875

HELENA was built at Jonker shipyards and registered in 1875.

1911

Skipper Adrianus Rijnvos buys the HELENA from shipper Fromm and renames her Antonius Maria.

1926

Skipper Dorus Verburg buys Helena and modernizes the ship. He removes the original rigging, shortens the mast and reduces her canvas.

1952

Helena collides with a motor ship near Orsauw. The ship sinks but the skipper and his son luckily manage to get out alive. The ship is lifted and repaired.

1977

The HELENA was sold for scrap.

1998

On May 16th, 1998 a huge crane lifts the HELENA out of the water and puts her on the quay at ship yard Koningspoort. This marks the beginning of the restoration.

1999

On October 15th, the hull is finished and the HELENA is launched in the presence of the mayor of Rotterdam, Ivo Opstelten.

2003

After years of hard work, the HELENA sets sail again. The restoration not completely finished yet, but to finish the job, she has to earn more money.

2007

The HELENA receives the Rijnpatent. As only sailing ship in the world she can sail with passengers on the Rhine, all the way up to Basel. As if to celebrate this, the royal family comes on board in Woudrichemduring Queensday.  

History
Helena

Anno 1875

1875

IN 1875 THE HELENA WAS BUILT IN KINDERDIJK.

The ships’ type stevenaak came forth from the (wooden) Dortense barge. She belongs to the last generation of sailing ships which were competing with steam ships. This was a special class of ships with its own traditions, typical lines and graceful stern. The HELENA is the last representative of these ships and it is the last remaining ship in the world which is still allowed to sail on the Rhine with passengers on board.

1998

THANKS TO SHIP RESTORER BART VERMEER THE HELENA HAS BEEN RESTORED AND SAVED.

After years in the harbour, the HELENA is sold to a scrap yard. Most likely due to her beautiful shape and graceful lines the ship is saved. It is sold to many hands, but none of the aficionados that buy her succeeded in restoring the ship. Only when Bart Vermeer decides to hand over the ship to The Rotterdam Sailing Ship Foundation, he can complete his life’s work. And in what way! The restoration receives an honorable mention by Europa Nostra. Bart receives a royal commendation and the HELENA was recognized as national monument of great cultural historic value.