(NewsMadura) — Nearly 200 years after it sank into the sea, the Götheborg galleon is returning all over the world.
The original Götheborg, a Swedish East India Company trading ship, sank in 1745.
Despite going down in the Göta älv River near Gothenburg harbor, divers were able to explore the wreck for the first time in the 1980s.
A full-size replica, called Götheborg II, now stands proudly in Stockholm’s waters. In April 2022, it will depart from Sweden and begin to follow the journey of its namesake.
The Götheborg II towers over other boats in the harbor.
Fredrik Nilsson/Courtesy of Svenska Ostindiska Companie
While wind and weather conditions are always a factor, the ship’s planned route includes stops in London, Lisbon, Palma de Mallorca, Athens, Alexandria, Djibouti, Muscat, Chennai, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
If all goes according to plan, Gotheborg II will arrive in Shanghai sometime in October 2022.
The ship is docked in Sweden and currently has 80 crew members. New deckhands are added at each stop and the crew is growing by about 50, meaning about 600 people will need to be on board to get the Goteborg II safely to Asia.
“The mission of the trip is to strengthen Swedish-Asian trade ties and promote the need for innovative solutions for a more sustainable world,” a representative from Götheborg II told NewsMadura.
“The goal of the expedition is to bring forward Swedish innovations and businesses as an important and necessary part of the solution for our vision of creating a sustainable future.”
Participate in the past and present
One of the challenges in recreating the ship was finding the same types of wood and tools used in the 18th century.
During its lifetime, Gothenburg was the largest wooden seafaring ship in the world. The team that built Götheborg II didn’t want their ship to be a modern interpretation — rather, they spent time finding the right materials and tools to build a ship in exactly the same way they did two centuries earlier.
Like its predecessor, Götheborg II is 58.5 meters (192 feet) long, 11 meters (36 feet) wide, has a vertical clearance of 47 meters (154 feet) and can reach speeds of up to 11 knots.
All told, it took over a decade.
The original ship belonged to the Swedish East India Company, which was established to conduct trade between Sweden and Asian countries, mainly China. The company was active from 1731 to 1813 and is responsible for bringing many Chinese products, such as tea and rice, to Sweden for the first time.
And the name of the ship, Götheborg, was particularly fitting. Gothenburg (as it is spelled in English) is located on the west coast of Sweden, making it a perfect entry and exit point for these ships. In the 18th century, Gothenburg flourished as a trading center and grew into Sweden’s second largest city, which it still is today.
Even today, more than 200 years later, there are still glimpses of that time in the modern, busy city. For example, the former office of the Swedish East India Company is now home to the Gothenburg City Museum.
The Swedish East India Company was re-established in 1993, albeit with a significantly different mission. Instead of focusing on trade, the company is now working to support the Swedish shipbuilding industry.