On Sunday 24 April the the world’s largest Viking ship, Draken Harald, will set sail to embark on a challenging voyage from its home port Haugesund over the North Atlantic to discover the world the way the Vikings did a thousand years ago.
She will be sailing from Norway to Iceland, Greenland, Canada and eventually end up in the United States.
Although Draken is a fantastic sailboat, no one can predict what the weather will be like on the trip, and the crew will be facing many challenges, according to Björn Ahlander, captain of Draken Harald.
– It’s hard to say which part of the trip will the toughest, but an area we are certain that will prove challenging is the sea around Cape Farewell in Greenland, which is known as one of the most dangerous marine areas in the world. It is extremely windy and it will probably also be filled with ice.
Draken Harald is a reconstruction of what the Vikings would call “Leidanger ships” , which combine the excellent sailing characteristics of the viking ships used to sail the oceans with the use of oars of the viking war ships, and has been built with archaeological knowledge of findings, the use of old boatbuilding traditions and based on legends from Viking in Norse sagas. Draken Harald is the largest Viking ship in modern times.
The 32 brave men and women who make up the crew of Draken Harald come from Norway, Sweden, USA, Canada, Estonia, Russia, Spain, France and the UK and will work under the leadership of captain Björn Ahlander.
Drake Head Ceremony
Expedition America will start in Haugesund with a Drake Head Ceremony at the Viking farm at Avaldsnes 23 April at. 16:00. The head of drake is traditionally not mounted until the ship is departing for a long journey and the purpose of the head of the drake is to protect the ship and her crew from sea monsters, bad weather, evil beings and unforeseen attacks. The mythological head of the ship will be unveiled during the ceremony, and good winds and tractable sea will be wished for on the great adventure of sailing the historic route from Norway to Iceland, Greenland, Canada and the United States .
Source: www.drakenharaldharfagre.com / Norway Today