After he ran away at the age of twelve or thirteen, to see Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, Luckner signed on to a Russian sailing ship. When he fell overboard he was rescued after he managed to grab a circling albatross and hold on to the bird long enough for a lifeboat from his ship to retrieve him. This was only the beginning of his adventures at sea.
Luckner’s fame today comes from his position as the captain of the SMS Seeadler. The Seeadler was a three-master windjammer, assigned by the Imperial German Navy to be a commerce raider in 1916 during World War I.