De Tukker, the first ship operated by sail cargo company Ecoclipper, has set sail. Leaving Amsterdam on 10 May carrying chocolate, five crew members and five trainees, De Tukker is headed for Porto where it is expected to arrive around 13 May and take on a cargo of wine and olive oil.

It is the first voyage on a sailing schedule which will see the ship sail on a regular route across North and West Europe.

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.

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De Tukker

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 tonnes, of cargo.

It also has accommodation for up to twelve trainees or travellers. The ship is handling well and is currently crossing the Bay of Biscay.

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Cacao by sailing vessel

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.

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.’

Also read: Shipyard Talsma and EcoClipper join forces for sailing cargo vessel conversion