The ship is a full-scale model of the historic East Indiaman merchant vessel “Götheborg” that sank in September 12th 1745 off the entrance to the harbour of the city of Gothenburg. The then-insane idea of building an 18th century ship and sailing her to China was conceived while marine archaeological excavations of the wreck took place from 1986 to 1992. Ancient building methods, handicraft technique and materials from the 18th century were utilized in rebuilding the vessel; unfortunately there were no drawings or manuals from the past to be found thus the bulk of referential material was through innovation, skill and sheer persistence in research which finally led to the completion of the ship after more than ten years.
The ship was launched in the summer of 2003 and following trial sailings in her home waters and along the Swedish coast she left Gothenburg on October 2nd 2005, on her expedition to China.
“We look forward to her visit in Singapore, especially considering the great interest that we have met here. It will be a great honour for this word unique ship to celebrate New Year 2007 here in Singapore”, says Stellan Mjardner, President of SOIC.
Traditional merchant vessels that travelled along the historical route during the 18th century carried great riches from China to Gothenburg, like porcelain, silk, spices and tea that were sold at auctions and also exported to Europe. Although the present Götheborg carries no physical goods onboard, it serves as an ambassador in the world for Swedish culture, trade and enterprise. There will be activities and exhibitions to highlight and promote the historic and contemporary links that exist between Sweden and Singapore
“It is not just about seeing, smelling, feeling history in reality,” beams Par Ahlberger, Ambassador of Singapore’s Embassy of Sweden, “It serves as a fantastic historic symbol between Europe and the East. To me, this is the single most important event since I’ve been here in Singapore”
The Götheborg has recently left Shanghai waters and will be visiting Hong Kong from the 29th of November until 10th of December 2006.
The Swedish Ship Götheborg will stay in Singapore until the 14th January before setting sail towards India.
A more detailed programme about the events and exhibitions in conjunctions to the ship’s port-call in Singapore will be presented shortly on http://www.soic.se/