RIVER THAMES TO WELCOME AN '18TH CENTURY' WOODEN SAILING SHIP
The Götheburg of Sweden is so tall, Tower Bridge will open to let it pass through on August 8
Seafarers, ship-lovers and people of a Pirate persuasion will flock to the Thames on Monday [Aug 8] to witness the majestic Götheborg of Sweden sail through Tower Bridge en route to Canary Wharf.
OK, it wasn't actually a pirate ship, but the replica of an 18th century East Indiaman certainly has a whiff of The Black Pearl about it, and even comes complete with ten cannons, in case the Thames Clippers get too close.
The original Götheborg of Sweden sank in 1745, but not before it had made voyages to Cadiz in Spain, where Swedish goods were traded for silver and Jakarta in Indonesia, where they waited for the northern winds to power them on to Guangzhou in China on behalf of the Swedish East India Shipping Company. It wasn't until 1984 when a marine excavation of the wreck was carried out in the waters outside Gothenburg and an eight-year build of the replica began.
Since 2003, the huge, wooden vessel has sailed the globe, retracing the historical route to Asia and back and making several excursions around Europe in a bid to promote trade relations in the two continents.
For those wanting to catch a glimpse of the iconic Tower Bridge opening, the Götheborg will pass through at 8:30am and again at 9am before arriving at Canary Wharf at 10am, where it will be moored against the backdrop of towering skyscrapers for four days.
Guests will then be able to step aboard the spectacular ship, visiting the weather deck with its helm, capstan and ship's bell. On the sundeck, visitors will enjoy incredible views of the ship and towering masts and downstairs on the gun deck they can get up close to the cannons used to keep pirates at bay. Also on display downstairs will be artefacts recovered from the original Götheborg, including a cupboard with porcelain and chalk pipes.
You'll also be able to learn about the Swedish East India Company, hear from the crew who sail the huge ship and learn about the painstaking process to create an 18th Century vessel of this size.
From London, the Götheborg will travel to the Mediterranean, where it will stay for the winter before heading to Asia in March and on to its final destination, Shanghai in September 2023.
The Götheborg will moor in London from August 8 - 11 and tickets cost £15.
8 August: Open 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm
9 August: Open 10:00 am – 2:30 pm
10 August: Open 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
11 August: Open 10:00 am – 5:00 pm