Until the 2000 launch of Royal Clipper, a sail cruise liner, she was the only five-masted full-rigged ship ever built. Preussen was built as hull-number 179 at the Joh. C. Tecklenborg ship yard in Geestemünde according to the plans of chief designer Dr.-Ing. h. c. Georg Wilhelm Claussen, launched and christened on 7 May 1902.
The ship was commissioned on 31 July 1902 and left the harbour of Bremerhaven the same day on her maiden voyage to Iquique under the command of Capt. Boye Richard Petersen who assisted naval architect Claussen in his plans.
The basic idea of building such a ship is said to come from famous Laeisz captain Robert Hilgendorf, commander of the five-masted steel barque Potosi. Story has it that Kaiser Wilhelm II, while visiting Potosi on 18 June 1899, asked Carl H. Laeisz when the five-masted full-rigged ship will finally "come". This inspired Laeisz to build the ship.
Source: Erick Navas