NAVTOR supports young seafarers of tomorrow - Sailing with Elisabeth (18)



Exploring the world onboard a classic sailship is just a dream for many, but it is a reality for a lucky few. We got the opportunity to follow the journey of a young female seafarer soon to embark on a voyage with a classic ship across the Atlantic. Elisabeth Lædre Puntervold (18) from Egersund, NAVTORs home town, has signed up to join the educational vessel “Sørlandet”, a fully rigged sailship from 1927 operated by students at A+ World Academy. On Sunday, August 22th she began a 10-month journey with the classic sailship, with support from NAVTOR. On Saturday, September 18th, she leaves Norway onboard the school ship with France as her destination.


The crew will visit southern Europe, Africa and the Canaries, the Caribbean and America. Upon returning to Europe, they will visit the Azores and Ireland before completing the voyage in Norway. NAVTOR got a quick chat with her before her journey began and got a glimpse of her anticipations as a first-timer onboard. Later this autumn, we will catch up with Elisabeth on several exciting destinations along the route.


-Elisabeth, tell us a bit about yourself!


- My name is Elisabeth Lædre Puntervold, and I`m 18 years old. I love spending time with my family and friends and stay close to where the action is. Travelling and gaining new experiences on the road are some of my favourite activities. I was born and raised in Egersund and lived close to the ocean. I haven`t been properly sailing far before, but that is about to change!


- What made you enrol at a school year onboard a sailing ship?


- I`ve always wanted to do something adventurous and exciting, and I have been looking for a different way to spend a year at school. I have been fortunate to join a sailship named "Boy Leslie" around the coastline near Arendal on waste cleanup missions for two summers now. I met others who attended A+ World Academy and spoke highly about their voyage with the fully rigged sailship "Sørlandet". That sounded very interesting, and I had grown fond of life at sea. I applied and got the opportunity to attend as a student this year. It was clearly a once in a lifetime chance that I could not miss. The community we build onboard is unique, and I hear that so many incredible experiences await us, both at sea and in port.


- During the time on board, what are you expecting? What do you want to learn the most?


- I can`t wait to meet new people and experience completely new places. We will also have classes in schools at places we visit, see museums and have history lessons at the actual place where events took place. That will be exciting! Also, gaining real experience in sailing and seamanship is going to be great. All crew members on board "Sørlandet" get some responsibility for operating the vessel, both day and night. Since we will be working at all hours, I will learn a lot about myself and how to best function in a tight-knit community on board.


- How about job or career plans, or future education?


I haven`t fully decided what I want to do or study yet, but I clearly prefer to work with other people, children and youths especially. Besides that, I`m very comfortable travelling by sea, so I might find a career that combines the two. But choosing a particular job or career is still wide open!


-Which place along the route are you most excited about, and why?


- For the moment, the itinerary is still not completely decided. But the place I look forward to the most right now is St. Malo. From the pictures I`ve seen, it is a beautiful town in Western France. It is also the first port we visit after departing Norway, which is very exciting. The crew onboard describe St.Malo as a very nice port.


The crew will visit southern Europe, Africa and the Canaries, the Caribbean and America. Upon returning to Europe, they will visit the Azores and Ireland before completing the voyage in Norway. NAVTOR got a quick chat with her before her journey began and got a glimpse of her anticipations as a first-timer onboard. Later this autumn, we will catch up with Elisabeth on several exciting destinations along the route.


Illustration - Voyage map for Sørlandet
Voyage plan for Sørlandet- Image: A+ World Academy

The A+ World Academy is an international high school program that sails to 20 ports in 14 countries onboard the Norwegian fully rigged sailship "Sørlandet". The students will achieve goals academically, learn communal living and solve real-world problems through sail training and seamanship. Global studies and cultural education during the journey is also a part of their educational program. The sail training aims to build grit & resilience, time management skills, teamwork and practical skills on board. Read more about the voyage of "Sørlandet" on the A+ World Academy website.