The Vega, painting by Jacob Hägg
|Port of registry:||Sweden|
|Launched:||1872, in Bremerhaven|
|Port of registry:||Dundee, Scotland|
|Out of service:||1903|
|Fate:||Missing in Melville Bay, Greenland|
|Class and type:||Steamship|
|Propulsion:||Sails, 70 hp auxiliary steam engine|
SS Vega was a Swedish barque, built in Bremerhaven, Germany in 1872. She was the first ship to complete a voyage through the Northeast Passage, and the first vessel to circumnavigate the Eurasian continent, during the Vega expedition. Initially a troubled enterprise, the successful expedition is considered to be among the highest achievements in the history of Swedish science.
Constructed as a whaler, the vessel was acquired and rebuilt for Arctic exploration by Nils Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld with financial assistance from King Oscar II of Sweden and others. On 22 June 1878 the ship set out from Karlskrona, Sweden through the Northeast Passage around the north coast of Eurasia. Blocked by ice on 28 September of that year only 120 miles (200 km) short of the Bering Strait marking the eastern end of Asia, the ship was not freed until 18 July 1879. Two days later East Cape was passed, and Vega became the first ship to complete a voyage through the Northeast Passage. Returning by way of the Western Pacific, Indian Ocean, and Suez Canal, Vega also became the first vessel to circumnavigate the Eurasian continent.
Whaling and sealing
After the expedition Vega returned to her original trades of whaling and seal hunting. The ship was reported sunk in Melville Bay west of Greenland in 1903, sailing under the Scottish owner Ferguson of Dundee.
Vega monument in Stockholm
- Gjøa, the first vessel to transit the Northwest Passage.
- Oscar Frithiof Nordquist, Finnish member of the expedition
- Cape Vega and Vegafonna, named after this ship
- Baker, W.A.; Tryckare, Tre (1965), The Engine Powered Vessel, New York: Grosset & Dunlap, p. 81
- Aho, Marie, A.E. Nordenskiöld Collection included in the Unesco Memory of the World Program, Tietolinja News (National Library of Finland), January 1999
- Liukkonen, Petri. "Baron Nils A(dolf) E(rik) Nordenskiöld". Books and Writers (kirjasto.sci.fi). Finland: Kuusankoski Public Library. Archived from the original on 25 March 2010. Italic or bold markup not allowed in:
- Webpage about the journey
- Vegas färd kring Asien och Europa by A.E. Nordenskiöld 1880, slightly abbreviated version edited by Göran Schildt 1960.
Media related to Vega (ship, 1872) at Wikimedia Commons
- Photograph by Alexander Wilson of "Vega" in Dundee Harbour, 1903, Dundee Central Library
- Expedition Vega 2013, Ola Skinnarmo´s search expedition for the wreck of Vega in August 2013.