Russian sailing ship Pallada docked downtown, with tours!

After getting a question about the tall ship docked downtown at Pier 66 – our friends at KING 5 mentioned it last night – we checked with the Port of Seattle to see how long it’ll be around, and they said they’ve just gotten a schedule for public tours. It’s the Russian ship Pallada, said to have at least at one time held a record as the “fastest sailing ship” in the world, owned by the Far Eastern State Technical Fishing University. It’s on a goodwill tour, carrying what this report from Russia describes as “an exhibition featuring the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s space flight and the 270th anniversary of the discovery of Russian America by Russian seafarers.” According to port spokesperson Charla Skaggs, the Pallada is open for tours till 6 pm today, 10:30 am-4 pm tomorrow, and 10:30 am-3 pm on Friday. She says it’s scheduled to leave later Friday – no exact time yet; the Russian report says it’ll be bound for Japan, after having stopped here, in B.C., and in Alaska. Via the WSB Facebook page, Rob pointed out his photos of the Pallada visiting Puget Sound in 2005 for the Tall Ships Tacoma festival.

More Web research yielded another bit of local history with this ship: It was stuck in Seattle for a while almost exactly 20 years ago because of money troubles. Here’s a story from August 1991.

20 Replies to "Russian sailing ship <i>Pallada</i> docked downtown, with tours!"

  • karen August 10, 2011 (12:58 pm)

    Any idea if there is a cost for the tours?

  • liz August 10, 2011 (2:51 pm)

    It was here during the GoodWill games in 1990 also, and we entertained some of the sailors at that time…what fun!

  • leukothea August 10, 2011 (2:57 pm)

    My coworker just toured it for a few hours and he says it’s totally free!

    • WSB August 10, 2011 (3:14 pm)

      Thanks, Leuk … Port of Seattle just confirmed that for us too. – TR

  • LAintheJunction August 10, 2011 (3:24 pm)

    I toured the Pallada during the summer of 1991 when it docked in Dutch Harbor, AK – right before it got stuck in Seattle in the article you mention.

    The ship was indeed full of young Soviet cadets, and it was the first time most of them had ever left their home ports, let alone traveled to the United States. We similarly-aged young ladies showed them a great time, or as good a time one can have in the Aleutian Islands when you don’t speak the same language … and now get your mind out of the gutter. ;)

    They loved Stormy’s Pizza and we drank them under the table at the Elbow Room. I have great photos, a Lenin pin, and a handful of rubles in a box somewhere commemorating the experience. Great memories – might have to go check out the ship again.

  • Jasperblu August 10, 2011 (3:38 pm)

    What a great story @LAintheJunction!! I saw some of the young sailors today in Pioneer Square during my lunch. Great uniforms, such young cadets. I hope they’re enjoying Seattle & their world tour. :)

  • Bill at Duwamish Head August 10, 2011 (4:01 pm)

    I am riding over tomorrow to see and tour this lovely. Thanks for the info WSB.

  • Gene August 10, 2011 (7:39 pm)

    Just as a small point of clarification — it’s actually the world’s fastest monohull sailing ship. Many multi-hull (catamaran, etc.) sailboats/ships are much faster, approaching 50 knots. This ship is still quite fast at about 18-20 knots.
    And, what is old is new again – a number of companies have been experimenting with adding sails to modern (typically very polluting) cargo ships:

  • John August 10, 2011 (10:54 pm)

    Wow, the West Seattle Blog scoops Seattle Times AND the Seattlepi. Good job West Seattle. I would have never known it was here.

    If you do a google search, the two local papers are clueless.


  • Rentonguy August 10, 2011 (11:25 pm)

    I saw some of the cadets walking around the peer today! I had no idea they were in town! This is way cool! I hope to make the tour tomorrow before work! And John is right, I had to google search 3 or 4 times before I found any info on them being here! :)

  • tk August 10, 2011 (11:41 pm)

    Gene- You’re right, multihulls have broken the 50 knot barrier several years ago. But monohulls hold their own at over 40 knots, for example:

    “Mari-Cha IV
    Robert Miller and the yacht Mari-Cha IV hold the record for the fastest monohull boat to cross the Atlantic, sailing the course in 6 days 17 hours and 52 minutes. Built at JMV in 2003, and capable of speeds of over 40 knots, the 140 foot yacht Mari-Cha was built specifically to break ocean sailing records.”

    By contrast, the Guiness record quoted for the Pallada is only 18 knots! Maybe it was the fastest when it was built, but no longer can claim that record. Its strange that all the PR for the Pallada quote the Guiness record, as 18 knots really is a snail pace in today’s sailing world (note to WSB- I do not find the record on the Guiness website, by the way- does it still exist?)

    • WSB August 11, 2011 (5:00 am)

      I’ll just take the record part out of the headline; it is referred to in multiple past stories that came up, but of course without links, since few news sources (still!) do much linking.

  • gatewood August 11, 2011 (7:30 am)

    I remember seeing it before. Very cool. Speaking of docked ships, does anyone know the story about the empty Matson Kauai that has been docked here for a couple of years?

    • WSB August 11, 2011 (8:08 am)

      That’s another one we get asked about a lot, since it’s so visible from the bridge … the port refers inquiries to Matson, who I just haven’t gotten a chance to talk to – TR

  • higgins August 11, 2011 (7:52 am)

    Perhaps it’s the world’s fastest traditionally-rigged ship. By contrast, Washington State’s own tall ship, the Lady Washington, does 8 knots on a good day.

  • John Newcomb, Victoria August 11, 2011 (10:39 am)

    Pallada crew will enjoy their Seattle stop as much or more as they did when they spent 3 days in Victoria. Victoria Tall Ships Society led hosting duties, with some help from HMC Base Esquimalt’s interpreters. Great to see the cadets – future Far Eastern Fishing ships crew – setting out on their careers. Curious that Pallada tour is hyping 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin space flight, as well as the Russian-America imperial adventure of centuries ago – themes probably crafted by Foreign Ministry. Maybe next time, the theme could focus on Russian Far East fishing issues.


  • Jim P August 11, 2011 (10:54 am)

    Much is explained: I saw a number of what I took to be Russian sailors downtown Wednesday evening and now I know why. Very splendind uniforms they had.

  • Bill at Duwamish Head August 11, 2011 (2:25 pm)

    I just got back from touring, and it is a very cool vessel. I recommend going to see it. There is a bike rack to lock up right on the dock also.

  • FD August 16, 2011 (9:05 pm)

    I take it it’s gone now? After poor reporting on the port of seattle site? I looked for it last night and couldn’t find it? Status?

Sorry, comment time is over.