The original Kalmar Nyckel was the flagship in Governor Peter Minuit’s 1638 expedition that founded the colony of New Sweden, the first European settlement in the Delaware Valley.
The Kalmar Nyckel made four roundtrip crossings of the Atlantic Ocean, more than any other ship of the American colonial era.
Today, the replica ship is used as a floating classroom, teaching students about Delaware’s rich maritime history.
The original ship was a new type of gun-armed merchant vessel called a Dutch Pinnace that was built in Amsterdam in 1625. It later served as an auxiliary warship in the Swedish Navy, before being decommissioned in 1651.
No definitive records exist, but the original vessel is believed to have been sunk while serving as an escort vessel for the Dutch in a war against the English in 1652.
The Kalmar Nyckel arrived in Greenport Wednesday morning. It will be available for tours each of the festival’s four days.