Replica Swedish Ship to Retrace Historic China Voyage

Sweden is recreating a historic sailboat in order to make it retrace the journey to China more than 250 years ago.

About 120 Swedish workers are building a replica of Gotheborg, a sailboat that made three voyages to China but capsized in the third tour, according to sources with an official Swedish delegation visiting Shanghai.

The Gotheborg, which was nearly 60 meters long and had a capacity of 900 tons, was built in the 18th century when the Scandinavian nation was striving for trade ties with the Far East.In 1739, the vessel made her maiden trip to south China. In 1745, she struck a reef and sank.

In 1983, the Swedish government recovered the remains from the sea, and ten years later decided to make a replica of the ship at a cost of 30 million US dollars.

The new Gotheborg is scheduled to be launched by next June. In October 2004, she is expected to begin her voyage along the ancient oriental route, with China as the final destination.

According to the plan, the Gotheborg will arrive in Guangdong in south China in July 2005, visit Shanghai in August that year and return to the Port of Gothenburg of Sweden in Sept. 12, 2006.

Over 200 Swedish companies, which are sponsoring the program, are expected to visit China in 2004 aboard the new Gotheborg.

People's Daily Online ---