STAFF REPORTER A sailing ship dating from 1906 is currently in Palma as part of its international mission to train young people in the art of navigation. The Alexander Von Humboldt, named after the 18th century naturalist and geographer, has been acquired by German company Sail Training. Thirty-seven students are taking instructions from 20 crew members for work in the merchant marine.

Having originally started life as a lighthouse ship, the green colour of the hull and the sails now reflects the sponsorship of German beer company Becks. There are no less than 1'036 square metres of canvas attached to its masts, the tallest of which reaches 30 metres.

The Alexander Von Humboldt is also scheduled to stop off in Portugal, Italy, Greece before finally reaching Turkey. Captain Reimer Peters said yesterday that sailing a classic ship without the aid of modern technology is something that sailors of the future may need to learn.

The ship will remain in Palma until 22nd March.