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Better future / Sustainable projects

Tres Hombres

Sailing boat as a cargo ship – a future perspective?

Since 2010 the cargo sailing ship Tres Hombres is annually en route on the Atlantic course as the only sailing trading vessel worldwide, expected to push the concept of fair trading as a pilot project.


The story behind the former war fishery boat and its fair traded goods is not only a story about adventures and travel but also about realising dreams and visions. The “tres hombres” behind this unique concept got to know each other 2000 on a sailing boat – what a surprise. The Austrian Andreas Lackner together with the two Dutchman Arjen van der Veen and Jorne Langelaan had a joint vision right away: a climate neutral sailing boat regardless of any machines transporting special goods through the world.

They found a fishery boat deeply in need of rehabilitation which they reconstructed into todays Tres Hombres with the help of 150 volunteers from 25 different nations in about 160.000 hours of hard work.


But why would anyone rebuild an outdated unprofitable concept like this? Lackner’s answer to this question is pretty simple:„Because we want to live in a world where we can still breathe.” The project is intended to influence the people’s way of thinking and point out the fact that the modern cargo freighters cause a huge environmental damage in our world. Therefore the Tres Hombres sets sail every year to collect different goods on the Atlantic route and transport them to Europe – emission-free, of course.


The Tres Hombres Rum is besides chocolate, cocoa and pickled tuna the most famous product which is transported by the former war fishery boat. This special rum is mainly produced on the caribbean islands and get stored over several years by means of a particular procedure. The subsequent journey on the boat to Europe which can take up to 2 months influences the taste of the rum as well – that’s why the taste of the Tres Hombres Rum differs slightly every year depending on the circumstances during the transport. Guests of our arthotel „Der Wilhelmshof“ can enjoy this unique rum exclusively at the hotel-bar while dreaming of exotic places and wild adventures a la Robinson Crusoe.

Tres Hombres 1


The cost of the products which sailed around the world is in fact 3 to 4 times higher than for products which were transported with a modern cargo ships. However from an environmental point of view this higher cost is the “honest price” of products transported without causing any environmental damage. The economic efficiency of the sailing boat is therefore still a problem, but the founders remain positive about spreading their vision of fair trading into the world and turn the contaminated market into a clean one again.


Since 2015 the second emission-free sailing cargo ship named Nordlys 4 is en route between Scandinavia and Portugal and demonstrates: the concept of the Tres Hombres is clearly a future perspective with potential. We believe in you, guys, keep going!

For more information and possibilities to support this fantastic extraordinary project, click here: