Thursday 29 September, we sailed into sunny and beautiful Nice, France. After arrival we had the honour to welcome the Deputy-Mayor of Nice and Metropolitan Councillor, Christiane Amiel, and the Consul Honoraire of Sweden, Johan Wretman, on board during a very well attended welcoming ceremony. After that we opened the ship to the public.
After a big thunder and hail storm during the night, that temporarily knocked out our power supply both on land and on the ship, we had warm and sunny days with great interest from the people of Nice. We want to thank everyone for the very warm welcome to Nice and the great interest in the ship. We had amazing days!
A flying visit to highlight an important issue
After five days in Nice, it was time for a flying visit to Monaco, to deliver a blue, life-sized elephant sculpture to H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco. The elephant is a gift to the Prince from the Swedish animal and nature organisation The Perfect World Foundation, to highlight the Prince's work to protect our world's oceans.
Ocean welfare – an issue close to our hearts
H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco is one of the world's leading philanthropists and, through his own organisation, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, has financed around 700 projects with a focus on reducing the effects of climate change, promoting renewable energy, supporting biodiversity and protecting our oceans.
The elephant, named ‘Oceans of Hope’, alludes to the saying "the elephant in the room", and is designed with inspiration from animals that depend on our oceans. It is a gift to the Prince from The Perfect World Foundation, and given to him during a gala held in Gothenburg in April 2022. Its purpose is to draw attention to the problem of ghost nets. Every year, 640,000 tonnes of ghost nets end up in the world's oceans, killing millions of marine animals and fish.
The health of our oceans is an issue close to our hearts at Götheborg of Sweden, and it felt important to support the work to highlight this issue. Ghost nets are a problem that all of us that work out on the oceans have encountered. The Götheborg itself has luckily not had problems with ghost nets, but on the last expedition to Asia in 2007, we encountered several illegal fishing nets.
An elephant on sundeck
The elephant sculpture was transported through Europe using an electric car, and the last leg of the journey was on board the Götheborg. Getting the 2.4 meter high elephant sculpture up on sundeck was a very different job, and a different sight. We are happy to say "Hope" was successfully delivered to the Prince's Palace of Monaco and her new home.
First ship to be welcomed with gun salute in more than 30 years
Arriving in Monaco 4 October, we received a very special welcome. We greeted the city with gun salute, like we always try to do, and the Prince's Palace of Monaco responded. This was the first time in more than 30 years that a ship was greeted to Monaco with a gun salute! A very special feeling.
After arrival, the sculpture "Oceans of Hope" was presented to H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco himself, and he also received a tour around the ship. Photographer Dan Norrå also handed over photo art of the glacier Monaco, another delivery from the gala in April.
Thank you everyone who came on board for this special event, and we are very proud to be an important part of bringing awareness around the important issue of ghost nets. A special thank you to The Perfect World Foundation for great collaboration!
We left Monaco 6 October, again with gun salute (check out Facebook or Instagram for some cool footage), and are now headed for Valletta, Malta, where we arrive 14 October. Hope to see you there!