On October 8, 1622, the ship Christianshafn left Copenhagen Harbor, heading for the newly established Trankebar trading station in India.

The first ships, under the leadership of Admiral Ove Gedde, left Copenhagen in 1618. It returned to Copenhagen in April 1622.

The reason for the first expedition was an expected treaty with the Emperor of Ceylon. But when the ships arrived there were no treaty. The ships vent on to the Nayk of Tanjore and got his permission to make a trading station in the small fishing village Tranquebar an also his permission to build a fort, Dansborg.


Christianshafn was a ship of about 400 t. The ship was purchased for 10,500 rigsdaler (Danish Dollar) and it was equipped for the journey in 1622 for 56,000 rigsdaler .

On this trip was the Icelandic gun shooter Jon Olafsson. He has written his memories about his travel to Tranquebar. (see article)


Christianshafn made this first trip to India and back to Copenhagen very fast. The ship was back in Copenhagen on May 27, 1924 after less than 20 months of travel.

The cargo it brought home was very valuable, it consisted of 400 barrels of peppers and some textile products.


Christianshafn managed to go to Tranquebar two more times. The second time it left Copenhagen soon after the homecoming in 1624. Now Christianshafn was in India for almost ten years and was used in the trade between India and Maccasar , Bantam and Atchin in present Indonesia.

In 1634 Christianshafn was send back to Denmark and arrives in Copenhagen in 1635 from this second trip to India.

The Cargo in 1635 was bought in India for 58.000 rigsdaler. It consisted of 83.940 pounds of clove, 73.893 pounds of pepper and some other commodity. The cargo was sold for 145.000 rigsdaler.  

In 1639 Christianshafn vent to India for the third time.

Before leaving the ship was repaired for 19,000 rigsdaler.

It was equipped together with the ship "The gilded sun" for 16,300 rigsdaler  and carry 50,000 rigsdaler in silver money.


Near the Canarian Islands the ship was damaged by a storm and had to go to Tenerife for repair. It was seize by the Spanish, and only after long diplomatic negotiations, the ship was released in 1643.  In September 1643, Christianshafn reached Tranquebar for the third time. It now served in India for several years. Christianshafn was Governor Willum Leyels main ship in the privateer war against Bengal. It took part in the capture of  the ships St. Michael, St. Peder and St Povl, a Bengal fregatta and many bigger and smaller ships.

In 1645-46 Christianshafn was on a trade mission to Macassar on Celebes with a cargo of textiles. When Christianshafn in 1649 returned to Tranquebar from a voyage to Macassar, it was in a bad shape. Information’s from 1652 says that the ship now is of no use.

After the arrival of Christianshafn in 1643, no more ships came from Denmark to Tranquebar in the next 30 years.




KM 7.    DAN ISBOR G  CHRIS TIANS HAFN                            07a    07o

              This coin is from one of the two first trips to Tranquebar

              From Christianshafns last stay two coins are known:

KM34.   Crowned C4      CH CAS 1645                                          34al 34ol


KM 51.  Crowned F3       CH 1650                                                       51al     51ol



The first lead coin KM 7. is probably from Christianhafns first visit to Trankebar 1623. In this case it is the first lead coins with ship names.

The next coin with a ships name is the coin named PERLEN, which must originate from Perlen's stay in Tranquekebar in 1624.

Perlen started a serie of 7 coins with the same obverse DAN-NISG ORG.   This series ends with the coin with the ship name St. Anna, It must be from the ship St. Annas stay in Trankebar in 1636.

The last two coins with CH from the years 1645 and 1652, originates from Christians last and long stay in Trankebar.


Christianshafn came to India in 1643, as last ship from Denmark for almost 30 ears.  It Participates in the long civil war against Bengal.  Information’s from 1652 says that the ship now is of no use.

The ship Christianshafn has been strongly linked to Trankebar's earliest history.   It came to Trankebar three times and it managed as the only ship to have its name on three coins.