California Maritime’s Golden Bear departs for training cruise in South Pacific

The California Maritime Academy’s Golden Bear III.

(VALLEJO, CA – APRIL 25, 2008) – The California Maritime Academy’s 500-foot training ship Golden Bear III will depart the campus pier on the Carquinez Strait at Vallejo at 8:30 Sunday morning, April 27th for a nearly 24,000 mile training voyage to the South Pacific.  The ship will call ports in Tahiti, Tonga, New Caledonia and Hawaii.

Nearly 300 cadets, faculty and staff will be aboard each of two cruise legs lasting nearly two months apiece.  During that time, students will be gaining valuable hands-on experience in all phases of operating, managing and maintaining a modern vessel, under the guidance of experienced faculty.  For students in the school’s maritime majors, the time-at-sea is a critical requirement for earning the Coast Guard licensure they will need to work as deck or engineering officers after graduation.  Engineering majors also gain valuable experience in the operation and maintenance of large engines and mechanical systems.  And all aboard get a unique exposure to foreign cultures, economies, politics, and history, and a sense of their role as global citizens and ambassadors for their country.
In addition to over 300 Cal Maritime students, this year’s cruise will also include over 120 students from the Texas Maritime Academy and nearly 70 from the California State University’s Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

This year’s cruise is a bittersweet one for Commodore John Keever who guides the ship on its initial leg from Vallejo to Tahiti before stepping down as the ship’s Master after more than two decades of service, including over a dozen years as Vice President for Marine Programs.

Anyone interested in following Golden Bear’s journey this summer can do so via a special Follow the Voyage (FTV) site on the Internet.  Visitors to the Cal Maritime website ( can click on the FTV hotlink and find daily postings of photos, articles, and features, information on the itinerary and ports of call, and cruise statistics.
By Professional Mariner Staff