|Photo credit: Peder Jacobsson|
A crew of 16 sailors are about to embark on an epic adventure that will take them across the North Atlantic as they look to recreate historical voyages that first took place more than 1000 years ago. On Sunday, the Draken Harald Hårfagre – the largest viking ship ever built – will set sail from Norway with the goal of eventually reaching the U.S., proving once again how Viking explorers reached North America hundreds of years earlier than Christopher Columbus.
Dubbed Expedition America, the journey is meant to learn about the conditions faced by the Vikings as they undertook voyages of discovery from 750-1100 AD. To that end, the Draken Harald Hårfagre has been built to exacting details in the same manner as the ancient Viking ships before it were constructed. It has an open-air kitchen and a sleeping area. The 16 crew members will take turns spending 4 hours manning the vessel and 4 hours off resting throughout the length of the voyage.
The ship will depart from Vibrandsøy, Haugesund, Norway, setting out across the North Atlantic with the goal of reaching Reykjavík, Iceland by May 1. From there, they’ll continue on to the port of Qaqortoq in Greenland, skipping across the ocean just as their ancestors did before them. After that, they’ll make a harrowing voyage across the Davis Strait – traveling a thousand miles north of where the Titanic went down – on their way to the viking settlement of L’anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland, Canada. They hope to arrive there around the 1st of June.
The voyage won’t end when they reach North America however. The Draken Harald Hårfagre will than proceed up the Gulf of St. Lawrence to Quebec City, before proceeding into the Great Lakes to visit places like Toronto, Chicago, Green Bay, and even traveling as far west as Duluth, MN before turning back east for a stop in New York City in September.
Of course, you’ll be able to follow along with this voyage on the expedition’s official website. It should certainly be interesting to watch unfold.
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