The World's Largest Viking Ship Sailing From Norway to America

Press Release ( - Haugesund, Norway - Apr 12, 2016 - ​The ship is a recreation of what the Vikings would call a ”Great Ship”, built with archaeological knowledge of found ships, using old boat building traditions and the legends of viking ships from the Norse sagas. Draken Harald Hårfagre is the largest Viking ship sailing in modern times. 

Expedition America 2016

Expedition America 2016 will find out what it’s like to cross the North Atlantic Ocean in an open ship reliving the voyages the Vikings made around 750-1100 AD. The aim is to explore the world and embrace the Viking spirit to look beyond the horizon and take on challenges, to inspire people to take on adventures. 

”It is not an easy thing to tame a Dragon, it takes a lot of the sailors. The work is hard, wet and tough, sailing an open ship across the challenging waters of the North Atlantic Ocean.” says Captain Björn Ahlander. An open ship does not provide a lot of shelter, the crew sleep in a tent aboard, resting between watches whilst the others brave the cold winds outside. Draken Harald Harfagre is crewed by 35 sailors, chosen from over 4000 applicants. 

Vikings – the great explorers

“Without the Viking ships there would not be a Viking age. The Vikings are known to be brutal raiders but in fact they were, more than anything else, traders, farmers, explorers and most important – seafarers.” – William Fitzhugh, director of the Arctic Studies Center at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

Dragon’s head ceremony

The Expedition America starts in Haugesund, Norway with a Dragon’s head ceremony at Vikinggården Avaldsnes, the 23rd of April. The dragon’s head is traditionally not mounted until departure for longer journeys and its purpose is to protect the ship and the crew from sea monsters, bad weather, evil creatures and unforeseen raids. The ships mythological head is uncovered in the ceremony, and the great adventure of sailing the historical route from Norway to Iceland, Greenland, Canada and the USA will be wished fair winds and following seas.

Please call or write to Sarah Blank, +46 768 71 75 33 / for accreditation and or more information and material. 

For updates and information follow our Facebook-page and our website with real time tracking of the ship’s position (starting April 23rd)

Pictures, Photo credits Peder Jacobsson:

Draken Harald Hårfagre – hard facts:

An open clinker-built Viking ship with,

  • Hull: Oak
  • Mast: Douglas fir
  • Rigg: Hemp
  • Sail: Silk


  • 115 feet from stem to stern
  • 26 feet wide
  • 78 feet mast
  • 260 square meters sail


All dates are due to fair winds and following seas.

  • Haugesund, Norway 23/4/2016*
  • Reykjavik, Iceland 3/5/2016*
  • Qaqortoq, Greenland 15/5/2016*
  • St Anthony/L’anse aux Meadows 1/6/2016*
  • Quebec City, Canada 15/6/2016
  • Toronto, Canada 1/7/2016 TSC Great Lakes 2016
  • Fairport Harbor, USA 8/7/2016 TSC Great Lakes 2016
  • Bay City, USA 15/7/2016 TSC Great Lakes 2016
  • Chicago, USA 27/7/2016 TSC Great Lakes 2016
  • Green Bay 5/8/2016 TSC Great Lakes 2016
  • Duluth 18/8/2016 TSC Great Lakes 2016
  • Erie Canal (Oswego5/9/2016*
  • New York City 15/9/2016*
  • Mystic Seaport, CT 2/10/2016*

*Approximated dates.

From June 1st to August 25th Draken Harald Hårfagre will be a part of Tall Ships Challenge Great Lakes 2016. 

Source : Draken Harald Hårfagre
Business Info :
Viking Kings AS

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