How it all started
The ESN Sea Battle was organized for the first time in 2005 (back then though under the name ESN Viking Sea Battle) and for a total amount of 500 exchange students. During the first years the ESN Sea Battle was only attended by participants from Swedish ESN sections. This event made all the Swedish sections come together and meet at least once per semester in a less formal way than during the National Platforms (national meetings). The ESN Sea Battle was, and is still today, the first big event of many active ESNers and the inspiration to continue being involved within the network. During the years 2005 - 2014, the destination was most of the times Tallinn, Estonia, but the ESN Sea Battle also traveled to Gdansk/Gdynia, Poland and Riga, Latvia in a couple of occasions.
After fall 2007 ESN Sea Battle stopped going to Poland and Riga, but already next spring discussions were held about expanding the event to also include ESN Estonia. In the end the event became a three-country event, involving not only ESN Estonia, but also ESN Finland. The first three-country trip took place fall 2008. During the period 2008-2011 also ESN Denmark, ESN Norway, ESN Latvia and ESN Lithuania were included in the trip, gathering in total over 2100 international students twice a year; the ESN Sea Battle had hence in a few years grown with over 400%. Spring 2011 was the last time ESN Finland took part of the ESN Sea Battle after the Swedish ESN network had grown remarkably in the previous couple of years and experienced a higher demand of tickets to the event. ESN Finland organizes though today their own cruise which is similar to the ESN Sea Battle. Spring 2014 ESN Sea Battle visited Riga for the first time in 7 years.
Up until 2008, the ESN Sea Battle had been coordinated mostly by the President of the National Board of ESN Sweden, but this required a lot of effort and took a lot of time away from his/her other duties. When the project expanded in 2008, a new national position was created to take care of the event, theESN Sea Battle Coordinator. During 2008 and 2009 this person was elected by the Annual Meeting of ESN Sweden but wasn’t still a part of the National Board. At the Annual Meeting, 2010, the sections decided to make the ESN Sea Battle Coordinator an official and independent position in the National Board