Polish Ship Arrives in London

Fryderyk Chopin arrived in London on Friday – not the composer but a ship named after him – which has moored on St Katharine’s Pier next to Tower Bridge.

The world’s second largest brig has arrived for the Mayor’s Thames Festival, which takes place from Saturday and I was lucky enough to be invited aboard.

At 40m in height, with a bust of the famous composer, an incredible 23 different sails and more than 130 guide ropes attached, it’s an impressive sight.

The young and enthusiastic crew – all students from Poland – will entertain Londoners and visitors with traditional dances, songs and acrobatics as well as guiding visitors around the ship during their stay in London.

Mr Rafał Szmytke, President of the Polish Tourist Organisation said:

“They’re the best of the best, hand-picked finalists of a national competition. They are young, creative, and passionate about telling the world about their cities, regions and the country.”

I spoke to crew member Michael Szynkarzynshi who told me:

“The whole course took about three months and there were almost 70 students from all around Poland from at least 75 universities and we were specially picked.”

He added “We had to send a special one-minute video presenting ourselves and the most interesting people were chosen.”

The students will be teaching visitors the Polonaise, a traditional Polish dance, leading up to a Guinness World Record attempt for the most people dancing the Polonaise at one time on Sunday 12 September.

Fryderyk Chopin will now  be at Canary Wharf until 12 September. The Mayor’s Thames Festival takes place this weekend.

Click on the video below to see the Fryderyk Chopin crew members in action.

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  1. Claire Doble says:

    Love the photo of the rope & Tower Bridge

  2. Caine says:

    where is the brig now? Not at St Katharine’s dock – we were turned away from St K’s Dock yesterday and told to go to Canary Wharf South Quay but no sign of her there!

    • Jonny Payne says:

      We’ve just had an update from the Polish Tourist Office,here’s what they’ve had to say:

      “Due to adverse River Thames conditions (quickly falling river depth), in the interest of safety of the ship and visiting public, Fryderyk Chopin tall ship is now moored at:

      CANARY WHARF
      INDIA DOCKS
      E14 9SL

      Fryderyk Chopin can be easily reached by Docklands Light Railway (to South Quay Station), London Underground (to Canary Wharf Station) or Thames Clippers (from St. Katherine’s Pier to Canary Wharf Pier).

      If you stand back to South Quay station, you should go straight ahead and the ship is moored in the dock.
      http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&rlz=&=&q=south%20quay&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wl

      So maybe you beat her to it!

      For regular updates of Chopin’s movements follow the ships facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/chopinthecourse

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