The Prins Willem (or Prins Willim) was the largest ship at the time of the Dutch East India Company (the VOC)
The ship Prins Willim was built in 1649 in Middelburg in the Netherlands and sank near Madagaskar in 1662.
Curiously, the name on the ship was Prins Willim. Two possible reasons have been advanced:
* The ship’s name is Middle Dutch
* Lack of space for the name caused the “e” to be changed to a shorter “i”
A replica with the same name has building now at the Dutch shipyard Amels in Makkum for the Oranda Mura (“Holland Village”) theme park in Nagasaki, Japan.
In 2004, the replica became part of the theme park Cape Holland in Den Helder, the Netherlands.
In 2009, the bowsprit of the Prins Willim replica was being restored.
On the morning of 30 July 2009, the replica was lost to fire, probably due to an electric malfunction. The owner of the ship, the Libéma company, was to decide on a restoration of this ship. It is really a pity!