Modern-built Viking ship to visit Boothbay Harbor
The world’s largest modern-built Viking ship, Draken Harald Harfagre, is setting sail for Boothbay Harbor.
In 2010, Norwegian entrepreneur Sigurd Aase began a project to build the largest seaworthy Viking ship in modern times for recreating Norsemen’s travels to North America, according to drakenhh.com. In 2016, the Draken made its initial, 17- city Expedition America East Coast Tour.
The Draken measures 115 feet from stem to stern. It is 26 feet wide, with 260 square meters of silk sail and a 79-foot tall mast made from Douglas fir.
“We heard earlier in the year that the Draken was interested in coming for Windjammers, but we just couldn’t confirm a date,” said Friends of Windjammers Days board member and Gimbel and Sons Country Store owner Mark Gimbel. “But I think it’s going to work out. We need an attraction for July after Windjammers and this should create a crowd. My phone is already blowing up.”
The ship arrives at 4 p.m. Friday, July 13 and will dock at Whale Park in Boothbay Harbor until July 16. Hosts Gimbel and Sons Country Store and Fisherman’s Wharf will greet the Draken’s 35-person crew during a ceremony in which the public is invited.
At 5 p.m., there will be a Highland Park Whiskey Tasting. Highland Park Whiskey, a single malt Scotch, is a tour sponsor. In 2008, a large Viking ship was found buried near Orkney, Scotland which is also home to Highland Park Whiskey. Guests must be 21 or older to attend the event at Fisherman’s Wharf Inn.
On July 14, there will be tours of the Draken Village and deck tours. From 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., the Draken will be open for timed tours. During the 30-minute tour, guests are guided through the ship and offered a day-in-the-life look of the crew and historic craftsmenship used to build the ship constructed of oak, tar, hemp, iron and silk.
Within the Draken Village, guests experience a photo and video exhibition illustrating Viking history, modern explorers and adventures of the Draken, Highland Park Whiskey hospitality tent, and local food and beverage vendors. The Draken Village is open and free to the public.
Deck tours cost $6 for ages 5-15, $12 for adults, and $30 for a family pack. There is no admission for ages 4 and under.
At 7 p.m., a lecture about the Draken’s past adventures will take place at Fisherman’s Wharf. Captain Ahlander will discuss the ship’s 2016 Atlantic Ocean crossing. The lecture costs$25.
On July 15, there will be a screening a new Draken documentary, Expedition America: A Modern Viking Adventure at the Harbor Theatre. No time has been set for the showing. There is a $15 charge for the movie.
The host committee expects the Draken’s visit to be an engaging look at the modern day Viking spirit.
“The residents of Boothbay Harbor are proud of our maritime heritage. We continue to keep these traditions alive through our active waterfront and inviting historic sailing vessels to our community,” Gimbel said. “We are beyond excited to welcome the Draken and look forward to learning all we can about this magnificent ship and her crew.”
The North American tour begins July 9 in Mystic, Connecticut, then proceeds to Boothbay Harbor. The third leg is July 17-20 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Then comes a visit to Rockland July 22-25.
To learn more about the Draken ship, its crew and the tour, visit DrakenHH.com or @DrakenHH on social media.35
This article has been updated.