Another mainstay for the 375th anniversary celebration is the Kalmar Nyckel ship of Wilmington, Delaware. The King and Queen of Sweden and dignitaries from both Sweden and the U.S. will travel on the ship from Wilmington’s downtown area to the Fort Christina Park next to the Kalmar Nyckel Shipyard.

A historical re-enactment exploring the trial of the Swedish officer who was blamed for the loss of Ft. Trinity in 1655 will take place on April 7 at New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St. in New Castle.


Also, on April 13, is the Colonists' Day, commemorative ceremony at Fort Christina Park (1122 E. 7th Street, Wilmington, DE 19801) between 11 AM and 3 PM. For more info on both events:

The Kalmar Nyckel Foundation
..a group of 300 devoted enthusiastic volunteers, maintains and manages the original ship’s replica. Volunteers are what make the proud vessel stay ship shape and available for school groups and curious guests from all over the world during its sailing season, usually April through October or November. Three deckhands make their home on the ship during winter, grinding, painting, polishing and preparing the ship for the intense period of the summer.

The present day Kalmar Nyckel serves as Delaware’s seagoing goodwill ambassador. She was built by a group of committed citizens to be a continuing witness to the courage and spirit of those individuals who undertook the mid-winter North Atlantic crossing in 1637-1638.
Since 1998, the ship has served as an outreach platform for the state of Delaware and a catalyst for social and economic development. The ship provides a unique platform for the foundation’s educational programming as well as a venue for diplomatic, recreational, governmental and commemorative functions. The ship is owned and operated by the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation, a non-profit organization that offers people of all ages a variety of sea and land based learning and recreational experiences.

The original Kalmar Nyckel was one of America's pioneering colonial ships. Its historical significance rivals that of the Mayflower, yet her remarkable story hasn't been widely told. She sailed from Sweden to the New World in 1638 leaving its passengers to establish the first permanent European settlement in the Delaware Valley, the Colony of New Sweden in present-day Wilmington, Delaware. She made a total of four roundtrip crossings of the Atlantic—more than any other ship of the era. Her first voyage to the New World left 24 settlers of Swedish, Finnish, German and Dutch descent in the Delaware Valley. Joining them was a freed black man who sailed from the Caribbean aboard her companion ship the Fogel Grip.


Read more about the New Sweden colony A Forgotten Power

Brandon, senior and resident winter deckhand on Kalmar Nyckel—one of the ship's more permanent "schooner bums" who's worked as a volunteer on the ship since his teenage years.