The Götheborg Returns Home

After an epic two-year deep sea voyage, the replica three-masted wooden merchant ship Götheborg has returned to Sweden.

Thousands of people gathered on shore and scores of small boats vyed for space on the water, to welcome the ship, an exact replica of the Swedish East India Company’s 18th century vessel of the same name, to Gothenburg’s Free Port on Saturday.

Götheborg’s arrival was also signalled with a 21-gun salute, as Sweden’s King Carl Gustaf, and Chinese president Hu Jingtao watched the vessel dock, along with some 90 guests of honor, including the local bishop, top figures from business and Nobel Prizewinner Arvid Carlsson.

The Götheborg left Sweden in October 2005, travelling along the same route as 18th century merchant vessels, making stops in Europe, South America, Africa and Australia, before arriving in China in July 2006.

Götheborg’s return to Sweden began in Hong Kong in December 2006, and took in Singapore, India, Alexandria, Nice and London.