On October 2, 2005 it was finally time to leave the homeport of Gothenburg and sail its maiden voyage to China. Wherever in the world The Swedish Ship Götheborg would lay it would attract attention. The success became bigger than anyone had ever dared to hope for. The Ship has completed a total of nine expeditions during a period of ten years; thousands of people have sailed the Swedish Ship on its voyages, and more than a million visitors have been aboard to experience the ship.
YEAR 2005 - 2006
The Expedition to China
On October 2, 2005 it was finally time to leave the homeport of Gothenburg and sail its virgin voyage to China. Wherever in the world The East Indiaman Götheborg would lay it would attract attention. The success became bigger than anyone had ever dared to hope for.
Sunday October 2 was a lovely warm day, ideal for a historic departure. At 1:47 pm, the ship that could not be built began her long voyage that could not be completed. More than 33 000 nautical miles lay ahead. Construction hardships and tremendous obstacles lay astern.
The Swedish Ship Götheborg majestically headed along the river, escorted by a crowd of accompanying boats and watched by tens of thousands of people along the shores and quaysides. The big adventure could begin.
This is a brief summary of the Swedish Ship Götheborg’s voyage to China 2005 - 2007. The ship followed the same route the East Indiamen took during the glory days of the 18th century. The same winds that blew then blow even today.
We sail to China…
After 48 days at sea the Swedish Ship Götheborg arrived at her first stopover, the historic port of Cadiz. She was the starting ship for the Volvo Ocean Race. She also hosted many official receptions and sponsor events at her stopovers. In Cadiz, like everywhere else, the ship attracted great interest and extensive media attention, just as planned.
After nine days the East Indiaman Götheborg took a southwest course to Recife in Brazil, a journey that took 32 days. After a week filled with official commitments and stocking up with provisions, the ship set sail for Cape Town. With the help of the west winds the voyage took 41 days across the Atlantic. On February 19, Götheborg arrived in one of the world’s most beautiful harbours for ship maintenance, sponsor activities, and official commitments. There was also a change of ship crew here.
Between March 9 and 25, the Swedish Ship Götheborg made a very high-profile stopover in Port Elizabeth and then set sail for Fremantle. This was the longest leg of the expedition that, with the help of strong west winds, took 49 days. After Fremantle the voyage continued northward towards the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra. After passing both the equator and Christmas Island, the ship moored at Jakarta on June 18. Ten days later she sailed the South China Sea towards Guangzhou (Canton). In mid-July the ship finally reached the mouth of the Pearl River, the Tiger’s Mouth.
After folding the masts for power cables and bridges, the ship reached its historic destination of Canton with great pomp and ceremony. The dream had come true, a complete success. The subsequent reception ceremonies on July 21 – attended by senior Chinese dignitaries, the King and Queen of Sweden, main sponsors and partners – were grandiose to say the least.
After a few weeks of official receptions, press viewings, exhibitions, and sponsor activities, the Swedish Ship Götheborg continued northward through the Formosa Strait to Shanghai. The long, adventurous home voyage to Gothenburg began on October 28, 2006.
… And home again
Before the voyage home, maintenance was carried out on the ship at a shipyard outside of Shanghai. On October 28 she was ready and set sail. One month later she reached Hong Kong for a high-profile two-week stopover. On December 30 she reached Singapore, one of the world’s largest ports. After two weeks, a crew change and New Year’s celebrations it was time to continue the voyage home, which was now taking a slightly different route than the original.
On January 31, 2007 the Swedish Ship Götheborg reached Chennai where the largest trade event Sweden has ever held in India. 300 top Indian politicians along with crowds of people showed an interest in the ship and the little Scandinavian country. 25 000 delighted Indians were lucky enough to get a closer look at the ship on board.
On February 10, Captain Gunnar Silfverberg Utgaard had his crew set sail for the adventurous journey across the Indian Ocean, to the lowest profile stopover of the expedition in the desert town of Djibouti. It was time to stock up on provisions and change crew. The departure was logged for March 17.
The voyage went through the Red Sea and in convoy through the Suez Canal. The ship arrived in Alexandria on the morning of Saturday March 31 for a visit on behalf of the Västra Götaland County. Three days later the Swedish Ship Götheborg set sail for Europe and Nice on the French Riviera. The ship arrived in Nice on April 17 for an eight-day stopover before heading for the tenth and penultimate stop, London.
The Swedish Ship Götheborg reached the British capital on June 2. After two intensive weeks of official visits, sponsor activities, exhibitions, and viewings, the course was finally set for the North Sea and the homeport of Gothenburg.
The final leg took 7 days and on Saturday June 9, the now world-famous vessel was sighted off Vinga. It had been over 250 years since an Swedish Ship had saluted her homecoming. Needless to say the reception by the city and the people of Gothenburg was worthy of a global star.
After 615 days at sea, 14 towns on 5 continents and 300 000 visitors aboard, the mission was complete. The project fulfilled an ambassadorial role for Swedish culture and trade, as well as opening up opportunities and doors for sponsors and partners. The ship that could not be built and sailed was back with a star status.
Stopovers 2005 - 2007
November 19th - November 28th 2005
December 30th 2005 – January 10th 2006
February 19th – February 28th 2006
March 9th – March 25th 2006
May 13th – May 25th 2006
June 8th – June 28th2006
July 18th – August 19th 2006
August 29th – October 28th 2006
November 29th – December 12th 2006
December 30th 2006 – January 14th 2007
January 31st – February 10th 2007
March 14th – March 17th 2007
April 1st – April 3rd 2007
April 17th – April 24th 2007
May 19th – June 2nd 2007
West Coast Tour
Shortly after the homecoming from China, The Swedish Ship Götheborg went on a successful tour along the Swedish west coast. Many wanted to see the ship in real life and the journey became a triumph.
After her homecoming from China, there was great interest in the Swedish Ship Götheborg in Sweden. On July 1 to August 3, the ship went on a successful tour along the coast of Bohuslän and Halland. The West Coast Tour began in Marstrand, where the Swedish Ship Götheborg was a popular platform for partners during the Match Cup Sweden sailing race.
Thousands of people flocked to Uddevalla for the welcome ceremony, and for several days there were long queues to board the ship. The arrival in Grebbestad was during the on-going Grebbestad Carnival. The planned three days turned into four thanks to strong winds. The most southerly stopover of the tour was Halmstad Marinfestival, where there were maritime activities and performances by artists. 5 400 visitors board visits in one day was a new record. In Skärhamn located on the west Tjörn Island, Frenchman Daniel Coppin became the lucky 50 000th visitor, and he got to sail with his family to Lysekil. There, the Swedish Ship Götheborg hosted the opening ceremony of the Lysekil Women’s Match sailing race.
Newspapers ran headlines along the lines of “Götheborg – a loving adventure that goes on”, “Thousands waited on the shore and in boats” and “Götheborg’s triumphal voyage”. With a total of 64 000 visitors aboard during the six stops, there was no doubt who the queen of the West Coast was that summer.
July 1st - July 9th 2007
July 9th - July 14th 2007
July 15th - July 19th 2007
July 20st - Jult 24th 2007
July 25th - July 30th 2007
July 30th - August 3rd 2007
Baltic Sea Tour
The summer after the homecoming from China, the East Indiaman went on a Baltic Sea Tour, with several stopovers along the Swedish South and East Coast. A total of 164 000 persons boarded the ship during this tour.
On May 16, 2008 the Swedish Ship Götheborg set sail for the Baltic Sea. The Baltic Sea Tour was comprised of four official stopovers – Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn and Visby – as well as a number of public stops along the Baltic coast. During the visits, public events and festivities were combined with trade-focused export activities.
The Swedish Ship Götheborg’s visit to Stockholm was a joint arrangement with the Vasa Museum and the Brig Tre Kronor under the theme of ‘Three Centuries of Flagships’.
On the evening of June 8, the Swedish Ship Götheborg arrived at the South Harbour in Helsinki, and was a starting point for a week packed with historic events, seminars and festivities linked to Helsinki Week.
On June 17-22 the Swedish Ship Götheborg visited the Estonian capital of Tallinn. The visit coincided with Tallinn’s Ocean Days, which were packed with maritime activities, music, and children’s activities. Just over six days later, on June 28, the Swedish Ship Götheborg was the starting ship at Nynäshamn harbour for the Jubilee regatta, when classic yachts sail from Nynäshamn to Visby and back again.
May 22nd - May 25th 2008
May 29th - June 6th 2008
June 8th - June 16th 2008
June 17th - June 22nd 2008
June 24th - June 26th 2008
June 28th - July 1st 2008
July 4th - July 13th 2008
July 16th - July 17th 2008
July 18th - July 21st 2008
July 23rd - July 25th 2008
July 27th - July 29th 2008
July 31st - August 3rd 2008
August 15th - August 17th 2008
August 22nd - August 24th 2008
August 29th - August 31st 2008
During the summer of 2009, the Swedish Ship Götheborg visited a number of harbours in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Several of the stopovers were characterized with historical features.
Arendal in Norway and the historic Kjaempestaden Public Festival marked the first Norwegian stopover. The Swedish Ship Götheborg has links to Arendal and the Sørland coast through the East Indiaman “Drottningen”, which ran aground in 1803 at Hombursund on the Norwegian Sørland coast.
The ship arrived in Fredrikshamn for the 18th century ‘Tordenskiöld Days’ festival on June 26. Götheborg was the main attraction in the historical re-enactment of the Swedes’ attack on Fredrikshamn and Tordenskiöld’s ship, Vite Örn.
During the summer tour, the Swedish Ship Götheborg visited two towns in the province of Vestfold on the western side of the Oslo Fjord: the maritime town Sandefjord and Stavern with its re-enactment of the battle of Dynekil in 1716. Götheborg took part along with other sailing ships, and Tordenskiöld’s soldiers from Stavern and Fladstrand in Denmark.
On July 10 the Swedish Ship Götheborg arrived for the Ålesund Boat Festival. Two days later the ship set course south again for Stavanger, to later stop in Lysekil, where the ship was the starter boat for the Lysekil Women’s Match and then stayed in port for three days.
The Scandinavian Tour finished off in Risör at the large annual Wooden Boat Festival.
June 13th - June 14th 2009
June 19th - June 21st 2009
June 26th - June 28th 2009
July 1st - July 3rd 2009
July 4th - July 5th 2009
July 10th - July 12th 2009
July 15th - July 17th 2009
July 19th - July 21st 2009
July 23rd - July 25th 2009
July 27th - July 30th 2009
August 2nd - August 3rd 2009
August 6th - August 9th 2009
The summer of 2010 offered a number of unforgettable moments. The greatest of these, however, was when all the Swedish governors and their guests celebrated the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel’s wedding aboard the ship together with the Royal family.
The Swedish Ship Götheborg was in Stockholm to take part in the celebrations for the Royal wedding between Sweden’s Crown Princess Victoria and Mr. Daniel Westling. The ship was also part of the Love Stockholm 2010 event.
‘Tordenskiöld Days’ in Fredrikshamn is a unique national festival held each year in memory of Scandinavia’s great maritime hero Peter Jansen Wessel Tordensköld. Fredrikshamn is where the Great Northern War ended between Sweden and Denmark in 1717, and since then war has never been a threat between the two sister nations.
The next mission was to take part in Sail Amsterdam 2010. Almost 200 tall ships took part in the event, attended by some two million visitors. Together with the Dutch clipper Stad Amsterdam, the Swedish Ship Götheborg took the lead in a long line of 6000 boats headed for central Amsterdam.
The Summer Tour finished with the Sail Bremerhaven Boat Festival. It is one of the largest maritime festivals in Europe and takes place every five years. Over a million people stood along the waterside to watch the ships sail past.
June 14th - June 20th 2010
June 26th - June 28th 2010
August 19th - August 23rd 2010
August 25th - August 29th 2010
European Tour 2012
In the summer of 2012 the Swedish Ship Götheborg visited three ports in the Netherlands, France and Germany. During the tour the ship was the main attraction at several large maritime festivals and about 40 000 people visited the ship during the stopovers.
On June 30, the Swedish Ship Götheborg set sail towards Europe and the three stopovers of the tour – Den Helder, Brest and Bremerhaven.
The Swedish Ship Götheborg arrived at Brest on Friday July 13, and with an eight-shot-salute she inaugurated the 20th edition of one of the largest maritime festivals in the world, Les Tonnerres de Brest. The festival is organized every fourth year and attracts almost one million visitors.
The ship got a great deal of attention all over Europe with nationwide television broadcasting from the ship in both France and Germany.
On August 3, the Swedish Ship Götheborg arrived at the home port of Gothenburg after a very successful European Tour.
July 5th - July 7th 2012
July 13th - July 19th 2012
July 25th - July 29th 2012
European Tour 2013
For the second summer in a row the Swedish Ship Götheborg headed out on a European Tour. During the four-month long tour the ship visited nine countries and fifteen cities around Europe. Among other events the ship took part in the Tall Ships Race 2013 and the French maritime festival Lármada De Rouen, one of the largest maritime festivals in the world that are visited by over ten million people.
On Monday May 6, the Swedish Ship Götheborg casted off and head out on the four-month long adventure, European Tour 2013. During the summer the ship participated in everything from small festivals to royal celebrations.
During the tour the Swedish Ship Götheborg attended several events including the National Day celebrations in Oslo and the 600-year anniversary celebration of the city of Landskrona.
On the July 7, Tall Ships Race started, the world’s largest international race for sail training ships. Over one hundred ships from all over the world gathered in Århus in Denmark for a joint departure to Falsterbo, where the start of the first race leg took place. Together with the Russian ship Shtandart the East Indiaman Götheborg conducted a unique naval battle that also was the inauguration of the Tall Ships Race festival in Århus. The entire race lasted a month and the finish line was in Szczecin in Poland.
The East Indiaman Götheborg arrived at her homeport of Gothenburg on September 7, after a very successful tour in Europe. Over 100 000 people visited the ship during the summer and the ship was the main attraction at several major maritime festivals throughout the four-month long tour.
May 8th - May 9th 2013
May 11th - May 13th 2013
May 13th - May 19th 2013
May 24th - May 26th 2013
June 6th - June 16th 2013
June 20th - June 23rd 2013
June 27th - June 30th 2013
July 4th - July 7th 2013
July 17th - July 20th 2013
July 25th - July 28th 2013
August 3rd - August 6th 2013
August 9th - August 11th 2013
August 16th - August 18th 2013
August 22nd - August 25th 2013
August 30th - September 1st 2013
European Tour 2015
In the summer of 2015 the Swedish Ship Götheborg headed out on a three-and-a-half-months long tour, European Tour 2015. The tour lasted from early June to late September and included the completely unique Vänern Tour 2015. The ship visited a total of fourteen cities in five countries and had over 200 000 visitors on board.