Shipping & Shipbuilding News -  20 May 2007 - The Brightest Maritime Daily

Roar of cannon-fire heralds ship's visit to London
The Swedish Ship Götheborg arrived in London yesterday. The English capital is the last stopover before the ship will return to its homeport Göteborg after an almost 20 month long expedition.

Götheborg is (not surprisingly!) the first replica of an East Indiaman that has ever sailed in to London. The ship gave a eight shot salute from her iron cannons as she sailed through Tower Bridge. The salute was returned by HMS Belfast firing - a perhaps even more astonishing first as it is the first time since her berthing in London that she has done so. Then Götheborg continued into London Pool.

(Incidentally, the Harland & Wolff-built HMS Belfast last fired her guns in anger during the Korean war in the early fifties. Apparently she rattled them off at such a pace she wore them out! We don't wish to presume it too fifty odd years to fix them...)

The Swedish Ship berthed in West India Docks at 4.30 pm yesterday when a grand welcome ceremony took place, including jazz bands, orchestras and choirs performing. The ship will remain in London until her departure on the 2nd of June 2007

The original East Indiaman Götheborg ran aground at the entrance to Göteborg on 12 September 1745. The ship was fully laden with goods such as tea, porcelain, silk and spices, and had almost reached dock after her third voyage to China, which had lasted a full 30 months. All of her crew survived the sinking and Swedish historian's believe the sinking was a deliberate insurance scam!

The launch of the current ship took place on 6 June 2003 in the presence of His Royal Highness Carl XVI Gustaf, the ship´s chief patron, Queen Silvia and Prince Carl Philip. A large contingent from the press and thousands of onlookers also attended the launch.

On 3 September 2004 the ship was named by Queen Silvia, the ship's godmother, at a formal ceremony outside the Göteborg Opera House. The long awaited first sea trial took place on 22 May 2005.

The Götheborg will stay in London until 2 June, berthed at West India Docks, South Quay, E14 9RS. She is open to the public during this time, providing an insight into the type of ships that helped build the country’s wealth and shape its heritage over 200 years ago. A quayside exhibition about this ship’s recreation is also provided.

When she departs she will do so with some extremely unusual and important botanical cargo to celebrate the tercentenary of the birth of Swedish genius Carl Linnaeus. Linnaeus (alive at the time of original Götheborg) invented Taxonomy, the system still used today to categorise plants and animals. This year’s Chelsea Flower Show will pay tribute to Linnaeus by hosting a special Swedish garden. At the end of the plants will be moved to Gothenburg’s Botanical Garden. In tribute to Linnaeus, the Götheborg will carry some of the garden back to Gothenburg – just as ships during the 18th century would have been used to transport botanical specimens from country to country.

The ship's opening times:

May 22: 10am – 5pm
May 26 – 28: 10am – 8pm
May 29 – 31: 10am – 3pm

Admission: Adults: Ł8, Children (under 12’s): free
(Tickets available at the ship, admission tickets only valid on date of purchase)

Other Activities During Götheborg’s Stay in London:

May 21: 9am:
Seminar - Sustainable Transports. Museum in Docklands

May 21: 2.30pm:
Seminar – London, the Financial Centre, Museum in Docklands

May 22: 6:30pm:
Film – The Linnaeus Expedition, National Film Theatre, BFI Southbank

May 24: 7pm:
Concert – Swedish pop groups, Institute of Contemporary Arts

For more information on Götheborg see:



Click here for front page of the Shipping Times

About Us - Click here for contacts, enquiries, addresses
Editorial contact:
Shipping Times UK, Fullarton House, Ayr, UK KA7 1UB
Copyright 2007 Shipping Times UK - Reproduction prohibited without permission