The Schooner Linnéa is not just a sail ship. For the owners the Bergström family, it is a way of life and it is their passion. It all started in 1968 when Kerstin Bergström had an idea. Why not buy a sail ship and live on board? The young family needed a home and the Schooner Linnéa built in 1915 was up for sale. In those days neither Kerstin nor Egil Bergström knew how to sail but it didn’t bother them much and they argued that learning by doing would be fun. They became proud owners of Linnéa and lived on board for eight years. They learned to care for it and the art of sailing old wooden ships. Two of the five boys spent their earliest years on board and today some of the boys are still part of the crew.
They started out in Stockholm but soon discovered a beautiful archipelago south of Stockholm called Västervik. In 1976 they moved there, settled in the town of Gamleby and made it their home port. They soon began using Linnéa for expedition cruises and took on board groups of school children, companies and individual guests. In 1986 the foundation Människan och Havet (Man and Sea) was founded and it is the organization through which the Bergström family now works. They sail approximately 100 days a year from May to September. A fun idea for a home has turned into a full-scale professional business.
Kerstin is the chef on board and she’s renowned for her sail ship menus. She is also the one that with needle and thread makes cloth sails from the same company in England that delivered sail cloth to Lord Nelson in the 18th Century. Skipper Egil is a master storyteller. He can tell you all about how to make tricky knots and when to use them and he can give you a fascinating insight into the long history of sailing ships. He speaks Swedish, English, German and Greek. His deep love for the sail ships of old was rewarded when the Naturhistoriska Riksmuseet (Museum of Natural History) in Stockholm gave the Foundation the three-mast Schooner Vega built in 1909. This resulted in a thorough renovation of Vega at the dock in Gamleby. Innumerable hours of unpaid work together with the Foundation’s help ensure that the Vega will be sailing the Baltic soon, with paying guests on board.
The labelling comittes statement
Labelling Committee´s motivation (17 March 2006)
Because of the innumerable working hours, the smell of tar and the power of the wind Linnéa will take guests on a sailing adventure through history. This lifetime achievement in preserving our cultural heritage by the Family Bergström gives anyone a chance to experience and take part in navigating the Baltic as practiced in the golden age of sail ships.