We are a motley crew

It is a motley crew that has now, after 30 years, come together to form Friends of Nella Dan. Many of us have never sailed together, and we have each followed our own winding path to reach this point. We have all carried Nella Dan with us on our personal journeys. She has remained a factor in our lives. And inevitably, our families and others in our lives have also had to put up with living in the shadow of an old flame.

Nella Dan got under everyone’s skin once they had boarded. Hundreds of men and women sailed off and returned home on Nella Dan as crew members, guests, international researchers and staff for the research stations in the Arctic and Antarctic. Thousands of family members and friends have stood behind on the pier, hoping that Nella Dan would bring their loved ones safely there and back again. Only a very few were lost on their journey.

Naturally, the ship became important to everyone who sailed on her or depended on her being there to bring them safely home. However, Nella has also left a lasting impression on everyone who only met this plucky little red ship through our stories. It’s difficult to explain, but Nella Dan appears as a distillate of life and the need to stick together when you are, literally, caught in a storm with no way out but through.

When almost 90 people of different professions, cultures and languages are trapped in the ice or on the roaring sea, comradeship becomes a crucial discipline that makes everything possible. Amazingly, across the hundreds of people who have sailed on Nella Dan over the years, all tell of the unique sense of unity and comradeship on board. We cannot explain it. That’s just the way it is.

The association Friends of Nella Dan arose out of this bond among comrades across time and place. Facebook has made it possible to track people down and bring some 300 friends of Nella Dan together around activities aiming to share stories from a chapter in Danish maritime history to the benefit of others.

It is now as it was on board Nella Dan. Everyone has their place on a ship – and there should be room for anyone who has a heart for adventure.

Networking and partnerships

The association depends on volunteer efforts and the commitment that members and supporters put into promoting the association’s purpose and community. Everyone has contributed, with passion and dedication, to the comradeship that has characterized the association’s early years.

For a small association such as ours, partnering with others is crucial for our continued success and the value the association may offer others. The association is too small to achieve its goals alone – and our hopes and expectations for the association’s projects and activities are sky-high.

We rely on close relations with private projects, professional consultants, suppliers, media, public institutions, maritime museums, associations, companies, foundations etc.

Our main relations and cooperation partners since the founding of Friends of Nella Dan in 2015 include:

  • Springeren – Maritime Experience Centre, rep. by Mads Sølver Pedersen
  • Lauritzen Fonden, rep. by Inge Grønvold
  • KNUD E. HANSEN a/s, rep. by Finn Wollesen
  • ANARE Club, rep. by David Dodd and John Gillies
  • The Lauritzen family archive, rep. by Jan Lauritzen
  • Lauritzen Veteranerne, rep. by Finn O. K. Lassen
  • Maritime Museum of Denmark in Elsinore, rep. by Ulla Tofte
  • KS Film, rep. by Klaus Stenderup
  • HP Medier, rep. by Helle Sydendal
  •, rep. by Jacob Trock
  • HagenETC, rep. by Rikke Hagen
  • Media and film consultants

Last, but not least:

  • Novelist Favel Parrett
  • Graphic designer Nella Maria Kornerup Qvist
  • Private archives rep. by Povl Kjeld Hansen, Bjarne Rasmussen and others
  • All the friends of Nella Dan sharing their stories, films and photos
Photo by Rasmus Nygaard

In search of new partners and collaborations

We are always interested in partnerships and collaborations with associations, institutions, companies and private individuals in connection with upcoming projects with the aim of sharing stories about Nella Dan with the public. We are also always interested in sources, records, charts, journals and personal accounts for the Nella Dan Archive.

You are welcome to contact the board for additional information about the association’s activities and potential areas of collaboration.

Photo by Lex Harris