World’s Biggest Viking Ship Draken Harald Hårfagre Has Reached New York!

– Congratulations to the courageous Draken Harald Hårfagre crew! It’s been a long and hard journey, but the crew of Draken Harald Hårfagre has made it! The world’s biggest Viking ship has now reached New York.

The Viking ship Draken Harald Hårfagre sailed all the way from Norway to America. The long journey started in April this year. The voyage started in Haugesund, Norway and the Viking ship crossed the Atlantic passing Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland the Great Lakes in Canada and the United States before arriving in New York.

“To sail past the Statue of Liberty and come in among thousands of people in the harbor clapping and cheering was remarkable. It was a great feeling for the whole crew,” Swedish Captain Björn Ahlander said.

The aim of this journey was to travel as Leif Eriksson probably did when he and the Vikings reached North America around A.D. 1000.

Leif Eriksson was the first known European to have discovered North America before Christopher Columbus. When Erikssom reached North America, he explored a region he called Vinland. He may also have sought out Vinland based on stories of an earlier voyage by an Icelandic trader. After spending the winter in Vinland, Leif sailed back to Greenland, and never returned to North American shores.

As previously reported, the world’s biggest Viking ship is named after Harald Fairhair, the king who unified Norway into one kingdom. It is 115 feet long and 27 feet wide, and construction began in 2010.

Built with techniques from archaeological findings, using old boatbuilding traditions and the legends of Viking ships from the Norse saga, the Draken Harald Hårfagre is believed to be the largest Viking ship built in modern times, according to the ship’s website.

A total of 34 men and women crew of ten nationalities have been working on the boat during the five months at sea. The journey has been challenging and the weather sometimes harsh. Some of the waters around Greenland is seen as the most dangerous.

“Especially the nights have been tough when we have encountered icebergs and ice floes that can cause much damage to a ship. Seeing those huge icebergs at night has certainly been a challenge. But just like the Vikings, we just kept going,” Captain Ahlander said. The challenges have also built up a special community on the small boat. Only 24 people could sleep in the tent while on board. Therefore, they had to take turns standing guard while the others sleep.

A satisfied Captain Ahlander can now look forward to a comfortable flight back home.

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