Merchantman back in London after 262 years

Gotheborg will stay in the capital for two weeks

The good ship Gotheborg is coming back to London – 262 years after she left.

On 19 May, this full-scale replica of the 18th century East India merchantman will sail up the Thames for a two-week stay in the capital.

The ship will become the first ever replica East India merchant vessel to sail into London, and is one of only two ships like it in the world.

This won’t be the only first. HMS Belfast will welcome the ship to the Thames with a full gun salute, which has not happened since the warship berthed in London.

The original Gotheborg left London in 1745 bound for Sweden. She never arrived, after being wrecked just outside the harbour of her namesake city in what was suspected to be an insurance scam.

When she sank, she was reportedly carrying cargo valued at more than Sweden’s national budget. The cargo has never been salvaged.

This new Gotheborg has been at sea since the end of 2005 traveling the world and acting as an ambassador for Sweden.

She took three years to build, and was constructed using craftsmanship employed in the 18th century. Over 50km of planks, 70,000 hand forged nails and 10,000 bolts were used in her construction.

During her stay in London, she’ll be berthed at West Quay. Guided tours will be offered, and exhibitions will be set up on the quayside.

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