The largest Viking ship built in modern times, Draken Harald Hårfagre, arrived in St. Anthony, Newfoundland at 9 am on Wednesday, June 1.
The following photos were provided by Chris McGonigle, VO1TX. Thanks Chris! His club, the St. Anthony Amateur Radio Club, have worked with the Viking settlement in L'Anse aux Meadows over the years. The most recent event was held in 2000 when they operated a Special Event Station VO1VIK.
Here is an extract from the Draken Harald Hårfagre website:
In late April 2016, Draken Harald Hårfagre, the world's largest viking ship built in modern times, will leave her home port in Haugesund, Norway and sail off for a challenging voyage across the North Atlantic Ocean. The aim is to explore and relive one of the most mythological sea voyages – the first transatlantic
crossing, and the Viking discovery of the New World, more than a thousand years ago. History tells us about the Viking explorer, Leif Eriksson, who discovered America over 500 years before Christopher Columbus. The expedition is all about exploring the world, just like the Vikings did. The project will, like Leif Eriksson, create intercultural meetings and inspire people to go beyond the horizon in a modern Viking saga. Along the traditional route, the ship will pass Viking settlements and new archaeological findings. Reaching the American continent, Expedition America 2016 will sail on visiting ports in Canada and USA.
With great interest for sailing, boatbuilding and vikings the project to build and sail the greatest viking ship of modern times started. The curator of the project, Sigurd Aase, wanted this extraordinary ship to follow in the wake of one of the most challenging viking explorations – the Viking discovery of the New World. In March of 2010, construction began on what would be the largest Viking ship ever built in modern times. Named after Harald Hårfagre, the king who unified Norway into one kingdom, the great dragon ship came together in the town of Haugesund in Western Norway. At a hundred and fourteen feet of crafted oak, twenty-seven feet on the beam, displacing eighty tons, and with a thirty-two hundred square foot sail, this magnificent ship is indeed worthy of a king.
Norway’s leading experts in traditional boat building and the square sail were engaged in the development and construction of the ship. The construction is an experimental archaeological research program, and the aim was to recreate a ship with the superb seaworthiness that characterized the ocean going long ships in the Viking Age. In 2012 Draken Harald Hårfagre was launched and the trial sailing began. During 2012 and 2013 she has been trimmed and tested in the waters along the Norwegian coastline. The summer of 2014 Draken Harald Hårfagre made her first ocean going voyage, from Haugesund, Norway, to Liverpool, England and back again.
Here is a tentative schedule of the ports the ship will visit:
- April 26: Haugesund, Norway
- May 6: Reykjavik, Iceland
- May 21: Quqortoq, Greenland
- June 1: St Antony, Newfoundland, Canada
- June 15: Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
- July 1-3: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- July 8: Fairport Harbor, Ohio, USA
- July 14: Bay City, Michigan, USA
- July 27: Chicago, Illinois, USA
- August 5: Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA
- August 18: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
- September: Oswego, NY Canals, New York, USA
- September: New York City, New York, USA
- October: Mystic Seaport, Connecticut, USA
You can follow the ship's progress on Facebook.