The history of the Iris

The Iris was launched in The Netherlands in 1916. She was built as a fishing boat and launched as the “Pallas”. In that year as a herring-lugger she made five voyages to the Shetland Islands north of Scotland bringing home no less than 1683 barrels of herring! Sailing-luggers are the fastest and most reliable ships to sail the waters of the North Sea.

After 1920 fishing by means of sail was becoming no longer economically feasible. The Pallas was sold to Swedish owners and was modified for coastal trading. She sailed the Baltic Sea successfully until 1975 when she was sold back to Holland . For the next 25 years she sailed as "Geesje van Urk" offering cruises and management training. Voyages included sailing as far north as the Lofoten Islands and the North Cape.

In 2001 the ship was sold to the present owners and cruises were offered in The Netherlands, British, Irish and French waters. Homeport of the Iris is the beautiful Veerhaven in the centre of Rotterdam, where traditional sailing vessels gather offering a breathtaking view of modern architecture and traditional naval activities.

From her homeport Rotterdam IRIS cruises all over NW Europe offering sailing holidays, day sails, corporate events and she is a regular guest at the major maritime festivals. The traditional appearance and historical importance of the ship are perfectly balanced with the modern demands of comfort and safety.
IRIS is fast, exceptionally seaworthy, and certainly deserves her name. IRIS, she who travels with the wind.

 The Pallas


Statue to the Herring industry in Stornoway, Outer Hebrides