New Viking ship replica to be launched at the Roskilde Viking Ship Museum this weekend

Photo: Viking Ship Museum Roskilde

On Saturday, May 7, 2022, the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde will launch a brand new Viking ship replica. 

The ship is a reconstruction of the original, 1000-year-old Skuldelev 3 ship. The festive event is also a celebration of the Nordic clinker boat traditions being included on UNESCO’s list of the world’s intangible cultural heritage.

With its beautiful shape and bow, which rises high above the construction site in the middle of the Museumsøen, the Skuldelev 3 ship has become a well-known sight to museum visitors. 

Since 2017, boat builders have worked every summer on the 14-meter-long ship, and many thousands of people have seen the ship take shape – both as visitors to the museum and online around the world.

But this season marks the beginning of a new chapter for the ship. With the launch on May 7, the boat builders’ careful work will have to stand the test of the fjord’s water and weather conditions.

The newly built ship – a reconstruction of the original, 1000-year-old cargo ship, Skuldelev 3-ship, which is exhibited in the Viking ship hall – helps provide unique, new knowledge about Viking ships in general. 

Specific knowledge can only be gained by building and sailing such ships, the Viking Ship Museum points out on its website.

Despite the fact that the construction of the new ship took five years, it is part of a much larger project that dates back to 1982. This is not the first time that the museum has built a full-scale reconstruction of the Skuldelev 3 ship.

The first reconstruction of the Skuldelev 3 ship, “Roar Ege,” was the very first Viking ship built at the Viking Ship Museum. The construction took place from 1982-84, and marked the beginning of a process that, over time, became the core of the museum’s research efforts: the experimental archeological reconstruction of ship and boat finds.

May 7 launch and next steps

Skuldelev 3 will be launched on May 7 and row the same day on its maiden voyage on Roskilde Fjord. It will take some time before the ship is fully rigged and ready to hoist sails.

Once the ship is rigged up, the next phase of the archaeological experiment will begin. The new ship will undergo a series of controlled test voyages to determine the ship’s sailing characteristics and examine the differences in handling the new reconstruction compared to Roar Ege.

A new, voluntary boating association will be set up to maintain and sail the ship in the coming years. And the boating association has many exciting, new experiences ahead of it, which have not previously been completed with Viking ship reconstructions. 

Among other things, the new ship will be tested with different types of cargo – everything from barrels with fish to live sheep – just as the original Skuldelev 3 ship has been used. Thus, a new and exciting chapter in the museum’s exploration of Viking age ships and shipping is set to begin soon, The Viking Herald writes.

The launch will take place outdoors at the shipyard on Museumsøen, with free admission for visitors on May 7.

Source: #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayTravel

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