(CNN) – Almost 200 years after it sank in the sea, the gallon Gothenburg traces its way around the world.
The original Gothenburg, a merchant ship belonging to the Swedish East India Company, sank in 1745.
Despite going down into the Göta River River near the port of Gothenburg, divers were only able to explore its wrecks in the 1980s.
A full-scale copy, dubbed Gothenburg II, now stands proudly in Stockholm’s waters. In April 2022, it sails from Sweden and begins to trace its name’s journey.
Gothenburg II towers over other boats in the harbor.
Fredrik Nilsson / Courtesy Swedish East India Company
Although wind and weather conditions are always a factor, the ship’s planned itinerary stops in London, Lisbon, Palma de Mallorca, Athens, Alexandria, Djibouti, Muscat, Chennai, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong and Shanghai.
If all goes according to plan, Gothenburg II will arrive in Shanghai sometime in October 2022.
Docked in Sweden, the ship currently has 80 crew members. At each stop, new deck hands will come on and the crew members will grow by about 50, which means that there should be about 600 people on board to see Gothenburg II safely to Asia.
“The mission of the trip is to strengthen Swedish-Asian trade relations and promote the need for innovative solutions for a more sustainable world,” a representative of Gothenburg II told CNN.
“The expedition’s goal is to promote Swedish innovations and companies as an important and necessary part of the solution to our vision of creating a sustainable future.”
Join the past and the present
One of the challenges in recreating the ship was to find the same woods and tools that were used in the 18th century.
During its lifetime, Gothenburg was the world’s largest wooden ship. Teambuilding Gothenburg II did not want their ship to be a modern interpretation – they rather spent time finding the right materials and tools to build a ship in exactly the same way they would have two centuries earlier.
Like its predecessor, Gothenburg II is 58.5 meters (192 feet) long, 11 meters (36 feet) wide, has a vertical distance of 47 meters (154 feet) and can reach speeds up to 11 knots.
All in all, it took more than a decade to complete.
The original ship was owned by the Swedish East India Company, which was set up to establish trade between Sweden and Asian countries, mainly China. The company was active from 1731 to 1813 and is responsible for bringing many Chinese products, such as tea and rice, to Sweden for the first time.
And the ship’s name, Gothenburg, was particularly appropriate. Gothenburg (as it is spelled in English) is located on Sweden’s west coast, which makes it a perfect entry and exit point for these ships. In the 18th century, Gothenburg flourished as a trade center and grew to become Sweden’s second largest city, as it remains today.
Even today, more than 200 years later, there are still glimpses of that time in the modern, bustling city. For example, the Swedish East India Company’s disposable office is now home to Gothenburg City Museum.
The Swedish East India Company was re-established in 1993, albeit with a significantly different mission. Instead of focusing on trade, the company is now working to support Sweden’s shipbuilding industry.