The world's largest Viking ship is on its way to Duluth


The world's largest Viking ship is bound for Duluth.

The Draken Harald Hårfagre is set to depart Norway Sunday on a months-long adventure that will see her visiting Duluth this summer.

The Draken and her crew is reliving the journey Leif Erikson made 1,000 years ago when he sailed to find the New World, a news release says, with the Expedition America 2016 website noting the journey is "all about exploring the world, just like the Vikings did."

So when weather allows, she'll set sail, stopping in Iceland around May 1, before making her way to Greenland. Then she'll continue west across the Atlantic Ocean, where she'll visit Newfoundland and make her way into the St. Lawrence Seaway and through the Great Lakes for various Tall Ships events, including in Duluth, the expedition's website shows.

The Draken will arrive in Duluth in August (the exact date isn't known because it all depends on weather), but she's scheduled to appear at the Tall Ships Duluth event that runs from Aug. 18-21.

After Duluth, the Draken will sail back through the Great Lakes to and down the Hudson River to New York City in September. The ship will spend the winter at the Mystic Seaport in Connecticut.

The ship

The Draken was inspired by Norse Sagas and the historical Gokstad ship – a ninth century Viking ship that was recovered from a Norwegian burial mound and is on display in Oslo, the release says.

It was named after Harald Fairhair – a Viking king who united Norway into one kingdom, the release notes. The Draken is 115 feet from stem to stem and 26 feet wide, KBJR 6 reports, and will be crewed by 32 sailors who were picked from among roughly 4,000 applicants, the expedition's website notes.

The only shelter on the boat is a tent, which can fit 16 sailors at a time, the two heads, the ship toilets and a small nook for navigation instruments, with the expedition's website explaining that the ship has no "under deck" because it is so shallow.

During the ship's voyage across the Atlantic, a chase boat will follow the Draken to provide security, cargo space and communications, the release says.

You can track the ship's journey online here. And for more photos of the Draken, click here.

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