In 1934, the Marine Engineering School was moved into the buildings of the already closed Fisherman School on the island of St. Cyril near the town of Sozopol. In 1940, the school returned to Varna in the large imposing building on Stefan Karadzha Street. That same year, its graduates participated in the assault operation in Balchik during the return of Southern Dobrudzha in the borders of the Kingdom of Bulgaria.
In 1942, with a royal decree, the Maritime School received the status of specialized higher maritime school and the name His Majesty’s Naval School. In 1943, a Maritime unit was opened in the Reserve Officer School – Varna, created to His Majesty’s Naval School for training of officers of the reserve for the Navy.
In the period 1945-1946, the school was called “Naval People’s School to the Maritime Forces”, and in 1946-1949 – “People’s Naval School”. In 1949, the Naval School adopted as its patron Nikola Vaptsarov, a poet, graduate of the school from the Class of 1926 and received the name N. Y. Vaptsarov People’s Naval School.
A special page in the history of the naval alma mater is the training of foreign cadets, an objective criteria for the increased international prestige of the educational institution. The beginning was in 1953 when some Czech students and Albanian cadets were admitted. By 1994, a total of 141 foreigners from eleven countries on four continents received their college diplomas from N. Y. Vaptsarov Naval Academy.
In 1954, the school moved into its present facility on 73, Vasil Drumev Street. With a Decree of the Presidium of the National Assembly of 1956, it received the status of higher engineering maritime school and was renamed N. Y. Vaptsarov People’s Higher Naval School. In 1960, it was entered in the registers of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to UN, which recognized its diplomas before all ship owners in the world.
In 1968, an additional floor was added to the main building on campus. Since 1991, the school’s new name is Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy. In 2000, the Naval Academy was entered in IMO’s White List an approved provider of maritime education and training, conforming to the STCW 78/95. In 2001, with a decision of the National Agency for Assessment and Accreditation to the Council of Ministers, it received full accreditation as a university, in accordance with the new Law on Higher Education. In 2000, it received an ISO 9002.4 quality certificate for the discipline “Navigation” from the Lloyd’s Register, and in 2004 – ISO 9001-2000 for all disciplines.
In September 2007, at the request of the Defense Minister and with an order of the Minister for Education and Science of Republic of Bulgaria, the Professional Sergeant College to the Nikola Vaptsarov Naval Academy in Varna was founded.