Famed boat hostel returns to Stockholm

Famed boat hostel returns to Stockholm
With salutes, speeches, and former deck hands as guests of honour, the af Chapman ship finally returned to Skeppsholmen harbour in Stockholm on Wednesday.

Fully rigged, the boat was towed this week from Muskö in the Stockholm archipelago where she has been under renovation since October 2006.

Earlier on Wednesday, the af Chapman paused nearby at Stadsgårdskajen on the banks of Södermalm for a press conference held on her newly polished deck.

Moments later the boat was towed across the water to Skeppsholmen, where she will once again serve as a youth hostel.

Twin brothers Gunnar and Åke Fagerlind were deck hands on the ship in the 1930s, and were among some of the guests of honour.

“It wasn’t a playground, but it was a fun time,” said 88-year-old Gunnar.

“Now we are extraordinarily proud to be part of this voyage, out of pure snootiness, if I may say so. We were already on board at Muskö yesterday,” he added.

The honoured guests even delivered a few knots tied in the shape of key chains to Stockholm’s Deputy Mayor for Culture and Sport Madeleine Sjöstedt, who gave a speech to mark the occasion.

The total cost of the af Chapman renovation came to about 100 million kronor ($16.7 million).

Old photos have been dug out of storage, and although many fittings of the ship have been exchanged, and the guest quarters thoroughly cleaned, the work was done in a way that maintains the feeling of an old, fully-rigged ship, emphasized representatives from the city of Stockholm.