Sea Trek 2001

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The Christian Radich, one of the tall ships chartered by Sea Trek 2001 to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

Sea Trek 2001 was a privately organized commemorative sea voyage in 2001, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the migration of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church or Mormon Church) from Europe to the United States during the 19th century.[1] It followed the church's sesquicentennial reenactments of Mormon pioneer wagon trains 1997.[2]


The Sea Trek 2001 commemorative statue in Liverpool

The events for Sea Trek 2001 were in two stages. The first, called "The Gathering", was a tour of tall ships through different European sea ports over a seventeen-day period. Eight sailing ships were rented: the Statsraad Lehmkuhl, Christian Radich, and Sorlandet from Norway; the Europa, Swan fan Makkum, and Antigua from Denmark; the Mir from Russia; and the Mary-Anne from Germany.[3][4] They departed from Esberg, Denmark on August 7, 2001 and stopped at ports in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Germany, Scotland, and England, where Mormon emigrants had departed in the nineteenth century.[3][5] Identical statues were donated to a number of port cities visited during the project.[6] The unusual sight of tall ships at these sites drew crowds and publicity, with thousands paying to tour the historic ships.[7] Around 1,700 boarders paid for passage between different ports and durations at sea.[3]

The second stage, called "The Crossing", took passengers across the Atlantic Ocean, from Portsmouth to New York, at $160 per day for 39 days.[3][8] Three ships (Statsraad Lehmkuhl, Christian Radich and Europa) sailed on to the Canary Islands, Bermuda then New York City. The final arrival on October 4 in New York Harbor was planned as a media event with a concert, fireworks, and exhibits, to generate publicity and souvenir sales. However, these were cancelled because of the September 11 attacks, which occurred while the ships were underway in the Atlantic Ocean.[3][9]

Financial trouble[edit]

Following the voyage, there was concern for some time that certain bills to the tall ship operators would not be paid, as The Sea Trek Foundation ran short on cash and failed to honor its commitments. However, Property Reserve, Inc, an affiliate of the LDS Church, which was not an organizer or sponsor of the event, stepped in and paid all of the foundation's debts in full.[10][11][12] The project reportedly cost more than $4 million, and the LDS Church bought debts of almost $500 thousand.[13][10]


Sea Trek 2001 was organized by the Sea Trek foundation, which had no affiliation with the LDS Church, a nonprofit founded by William and DeAnn Sadleir of Salt Lake City, Utah.[3]

The following were members of the Sea Trek 2001 Advisory Board: [14][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ R. Scott Lloyd (August 4, 2001). "Epic Atlantic Voyage". Church News. Retrieved 2015-06-02. 
  2. ^ Lynn Arave (December 7, 2000). "Saving up for a sea trek". Deseret News. pp. B1–B2. Retrieved 2015-06-02. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g William G. Hartley (2004). "Nineteenth-Century Latter-day Saint Immigration: Lessons from Sea Trek 2001 for Telling the Story Better" (PDF). Telling the Story of Mormon History. Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History. pp. 125–33. ISBN 0842525580. Retrieved 2015-06-02. 
  4. ^ The Mary-Anne is confirmed as the German ship in this article: "Crowds wait for tall ships to arrive". The Yorkshire Post. August 21, 2001. Retrieved 2015-06-02. 
  5. ^ John L. Hart (September 29, 2001). "Sea Trek 2001 completes Atlantic crossing". Church News. Retrieved 2015-06-02. 
  6. ^ "Statues in Liverpool and Kingston-upon-Hull". Retrieved 2012-02-17. 
  7. ^ David Atkinson (2005). "Heritage". Cultural Geography: A Critical Dictionary of Key Ideas. I.B. Tauris. pp. 143–44. ISBN 1860647022. Retrieved 2015-06-02. 
  8. ^ "Sea Trek 2001 to reenact Mormon immigration". Reading Eagle. April 1, 2001. p. E14. Retrieved 2015-06-02. 
  9. ^ "Sea Trek 2001: Saints on the Seas". Ancestry Magazine. 19 (5): 10. September–October 2001. Retrieved 2015-06-02. 
  10. ^ a b Carrie A. Moore (March 1, 2002). "LDS affiliate pays off Sea Trek debt". Deseret News. Retrieved 2014-08-25. 
  11. ^ Kent Larsen (January 28, 2002). "Norweigan Ships Will Take SeaTrek Foundation to Court over Debts". Mormon News. Retrieved 2015-06-02. 
  12. ^ "Ship owners try to collect from Sea Trek organizers". AP Worldstream. January 24, 2002. Retrieved 2015-06-02. 
  13. ^ David M. W. Pickup (August 24, 2001). "Pay $15,000 for Sea Trek statue?". Deseret News. p. B8. Retrieved 2015-06-02. 
  14. ^ John L. Hart (January 27, 2001). "Momentum building for Atlantic crossing". Church News. Retrieved 2015-06-02. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Sea Trek 2001 at Wikimedia Commons