This Stunning Swedish Ship Is Moored In Canary Wharf Till Friday

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 16 months ago
This Stunning Swedish Ship Is Moored In Canary Wharf Till Friday
A masted ship sails past the modern skyscrapers of London
Image: Jonathan Browning

Visit Canary Wharf this week, and you're in for quite a sight.

Götheborg of Sweden — the three-masted replica of an 18th century East Indiaman ship — is moored up in South Dock Quay. The facsimile trading vessel — which took more than a decade to build — is on an epic two-year-long expedition from Stockholm to Shanghai, stopping in London till Friday (12 August)* having already made a, ahem, showboating detour to ensure Tower Bridge did its bascule-raising thang.

The prow of a ship in front of the Tower of London
Image: Jonathan Browning

You can ogle the Götheborg from ashore, or stump up for a ticket to board the vessel; have a snoop, smell the tar, admire its gun deck, and learn more about the ship's past.

Tower Bridge lets a grand masted ship pass beneath it
Image: Jonathan Browning

The original ship (which sank in 1745) was owned by the Swedish East India Company, and although the Götheborg website states this "was purely a commercial undertaking and there was no element of colonisation", it's not quite as simple as all that. As Eurozine previously suggested, any such trade was dependent on the products of slavery. Anyway, visitors are encouraged to "come prepared with all your questions!" so perhaps that's your cue to ask about the real impact and legacy of the Götheborg's trading past.

Götheborg of Sweden, South Dock Quay in Canary Wharf, until 12 August

*We were originally told the ship was in London till 11 August, but turns out you've got a bonus day.

Last Updated 11 August 2022

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