NRP Sagres sails under the Portuguese flag as a naval training ship. She was built in 1937 at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, and is virtually a sister ship to U.S. Coast Guard Eagle, Mircea, Tovarishch, and Gorch Fock II. The name Sagres is derived from the historic port that sent forth many famed Portuguese explorers and navigators and which served as the home and base for Prince Henry the Navigator (1394-1460). His court in Sagres was responsible for the geographic studies and practical explorations that made Portugal master of the seas in the early 15th century. A bust of Prince Henry serves as the figurehead on the bow of Sagres, and the ship is easily identified by the traditional Portuguese crosses of Christ (Maltese crosses) that mark the square sails on her fore- and mainmasts.
The Sagres was captured by the Allies in World War II. The ship was then given to the Brazilian Navy as restitution for the damages caused by the German Navy submarines to their fleet during the war.