- Name: ISKRA ORP
- Class: A
- Nationality: Poland
- Year built: 1982
- Home port: Gdynia - Poland
- Rig: Barquentine 3
- Height: 33.14 m
- Length: 42.71 m
- Entered by: The Polish Navy
- Number of trainees: 42
- Number of permanent crew: 24
Sailing Vessel ORP ISKRA is one of a few Polish Navy training ships. The main purpose of the ship is to train cadets from Polish Naval Academy.
The ship was built in Gdansk Shipyard. She was designed by Polish architect Zygmunt Choreń. The Keel was laid down on 11 November 1981. ORP ISKRA was launched on the 6 March 1982 in Gdansk Shipyard. She was commissioned on 11 August 1982. She has two sister vessels, which were also built in Gdansk Shipyard – the barquentines Pogoria (1980) and Kaliakra (1984).
ORP ISKRA is the second sailing ship in the Polish Navy with this name. She took her name and traditions after a wooden, three – masted gaff schooner ISKRA which sailed under the Polish Navy ensign for 50 years between 1927 and 1977. Schooner ISKRA covered 250,000 nautical miles, visited 64 harbours and trained more than 4,000 officers for the Polish Navy in her 50 years of service.
During her previous duty, the ship covered 210,000 nautical miles. She has visited more than 150 harbours placed in 30 countries all over the world. Since 1987, she has been participating in the Cutty Sark Tall Ships’ Races. During the years of her sailing the ship has won numerous prizes including:
- United Nations’ Peace Medal given in 1990;
- Cutty Sark Trophy in 1989;
- Fair Play Prize in 1999 Cutty Sark Race;
- Polish Navy Best Ship Prize (5 times).
Two of the longest voyages of ORP ISKRA were:
- Atlantic cruise with cadets and members of international School Under Sails in 1990;
- Grand Regatta Columbus in 1992
ORP ISKRA has circumnavigated the globe (1995/96). She covered 37,774 nautical miles in her voyage of 300 days. During that period from 18 April 1995 to 10 February 1996 the ship has visited 13 countries, 19 harbours and among them harbours on Mauritius, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, and on 27 November sailed around Cape Horn.
In 2004 ORP ISKRA sailed the Atlantic and took part in 2004 Tall Ships Challenge USA”. During that voyage she visited 11 harbours in USA, Canada and Europe. In 2005 she took part in “International Fleet Review”, “International Festival Of The Sea” (Portsmouth) and “Belgian Defence Days (Zeebrugge). During that voyage she covered 2,300 nautical miles.
The letters ORP before the name are the abbreviation: “Ship of the Republic of Poland”, which indicates that the ship belongs to the Polish Navy. The name “ISKRA” itself means “spark”. Originally to sow a spark in youth hearts to be a fire as a real love to the sea in the future.