DAR MLODZIEZY, “gift of the children”, is a full-rigged, 360-foot ship designed by the distinguished Polish naval architect Zygmunt Choren and is the flagship of the Merchant Marine Academy in Gdynia, Poland. DAR MLODZIEZY was funded in part by contributions of elementary school children during the 1960s and 1970s. Commissioned in 1982, she replaced the venerable DAR POMORAZE, “gift of Pomoraze” (a reference to the coastal region of Poland), which served Poland for more than six decades before her retirement. DAR MLODZIEZY’s distinctive design served as the prototype for a class of vessels (five in all) built in Gdansk for the Russian confederation of the 1980’s. Four of the five vessels – MIR, DRUZHBA, PALLADA, and NASHEBA – now fly the Russian flag, while KHERSONES flies the flag of Ukraine. These are true sister ships and vary only slightly in dimensions and configuration.