Thought the days of Vikings were long behind us? You're wrong.
The Norwegian Viking ship Draken Harald Hårfagre is coming to Norfolk on Thursday, September 13, and will continue to pillage the village with some educational history till September 16. The ship will dock at Norfolk's Nautilus Harbor, where it will stay open to the public for tours, entertainment, and a splash of history from the world's largest Viking ship.
A free arrival ceremony for the Draken's docking will be held at Nautilus on September 13 at 4:30 p.m., where Captain Björn Ahlander and his crew will welcome the crowd to explore their mighty vessel.
Ticketed tours will be available Thursday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., available for purchase on the Draken website for $12 for adults and $6 for children. Norfolk residents can also explore the Viking-inspired Draken Village at Nautilus for free.
The Draken is also looking for professional and new crew member volunteers for the duration of its stay. Love history, or just want to be a Viking for a weekend? Apply here to fulfill your lifelong dream of ransacking, exploring, and living history live by volunteering to join the crew. Thirty-five men and woman from all backgrounds and nationalities currently serve as crew members on the ship.
The Draken Harald Hårfagre (or, as it's more commonly known, the Draken) is touring 14 harbors along the East Coast for its Expedition America: East Coast Tour 2018.
Courtesy of Draken Harald Hårfagre: Expedition America: East Coast Tour 2018
The majestic Viking ship initially set sail from Haugesund, Norway, before docking in the Shetland Islands, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland, the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Great Lakes, New York City, Mystic Seaport in Connecticut, and, soon, Norfolk, Virginia.
The Draken's journey recreates the historic trans-Atlantic voyage by Viking explorer Leif Erickson. Leif Erickson was the first known European explorer to set foot in the Americas in the 10th or 11th century C.E., long prior to Christopher Columbus. The Draken was also constructed only with historically-appropriate materials, such as oak, tar, iron, hemp, and silk.
”Each Draken stopover offers a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for visitors to relive history in a way never before experienced," said Captain Björn Ahlander of his ship and its endeavor. “We offer guests the opportunity to not only marvel at this stunning Viking ship on guided deck tours – but also to interact with the crew while they share their personal experiences of the thrill, fear, and exhilaration felt from having relived one of the world’s most mythological sea voyages – the first transatlantic crossing and the Viking discovery of the New World, more than a thousand years ago.”
The Vikings are mythical figures in world history, but they also had real talents. In addition to their infamous conquests, the Vikings' chronicles, archaeological artifacts, and longstanding tales documenting their voyage remain one of the most impressively longstanding tales of early- to mid-European history in what remains a largely mysterious era for the continent's early exploration across seas. The Vikings were accomplished artisans, navigators, traders, and storytellers, but more than anything, they were renowned for their majestic ships. Now, in Norfolk, you can see one.
Do you plan to check it out? Let us know.