She was launched on 29 November, 1854 by the shipyard of Cornelis Gips and Sons in Dordrecht, The Netherlands, for the account of the shipping company of Gebr. Blussé (Dordrecht), inspired by a model of a medium-clipper presented in 1852 at an exhibition in Amsterdam by the Dutch lieutenant-commander M.H. Jansen.
The Kosmopoliet carried both cargo and passengers. She was full rigged and carried royals and skysails on all three masts.
Though a voyage from the Netherlands to Java (port to port) normally took a 100 days or more, the Kosmopoliet completed her maiden voyage in 89 days. Later she did the passage in 76, 74 and 77 days.