Next stop for Viking ship: America
Loop North News

Draken Harald Harfagre Next stop for Viking ship: America

4-Jul-16 – Having politely plundered all it can from the Redpath Waterfront Festival in Toronto, the largest Viking ship built in modern times is on its way to the United States.

(Left) The Draken Harald Hårfagre departs Toronto via Lake Ontario on Sunday. Photo obtained from Draken Harald Hårfagre.

The Draken Harald Hårfagre departed Toronto on Sunday. It is sailing south on Lake Ontario toward the 27-mile-long Welland Canal, which will take it to Lake Erie. It is expected in Fairport Harbor, Ohio, about 30 miles northeast of Cleveland, on Friday.

Google Map

(Above) Map showing Toronto in upper right corner and Chicago in lower left corner. Click on image to view larger version. The Draken is on its way to Fairport Harbor, marked in red. The ship left Haugesund, Norway, on April 26.

Video shows the ship attracting a large crowd at the Toronto festival. At each stop, the Draken hosts an “open ship,” allowing the public to board and tour.

Bjorn Ahlander In Quebec City, Captain Bjőrn Ahlander met with the mayor, Régis Labeaume.

“This ship is not the biggest but it’s for real,” Ahlander (left) told the mayor, “and the material, it’s hemp and tarp, oak wood, and everything is for real, it’s not a fake.”

The 114-foot-long Draken Harald Hårfagre has a crew of 33 men and women, chosen from more than 4,000 applicants. They are split into two shifts, with half the crew working for four hours while the other half rests. There are no showers and no shelter other than a tent that holds 24 people.

Captain Ahlander told CBC News the crew is in “good spirits” and the ship is “seaworthy,” averaging about nine miles per hour.

“She has withstood all types of weather. The stretch from Greenland to Newfoundland has been the toughest. We have endured heavy gales, icebergs, breaking waves, and a stretch with no wind at all.”

During one bout of heavy wind, Ahlander says the crew spent more than a day wearing survival suits, which made them too bulky to fit into their sleeping bags.

“It was very, very cold in the tent and the crew was extremely uncomfortable.”

The Draken will be in Fairport Harbor, Ohio, July 8-10, Bay City, Michigan, July 14-17, and Chicago, July 27-31, for the Tall Ships Festival at Navy Pier.

By Steven Dahlman | Loop North News |

Published 4-Jul-16 2:38 AM

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