A Viking ship is coming to Boothbay Harbor. The Draken Harald Harfagre, the world’s largest modern-built Viking ship, will sail into the harbor Friday, July 13.
Friends of Windjammers Days board member and event host Mark Gimbel said the ship had tentatively planned to arrive earlier this summer, during Windjammer Days, but a date was never confirmed. Now, he said, it’s a sure thing.
Construction of the Draken Harald Harfagre began in 2010 in the town of Haugesund in Western Norway. In 2016 the new ship crossed the Atlantic, recreating the historic voyage of the Viking explorer Leif Ericsson. The Draken was named after the Norwegian king Harald Harfagre, who unified Norway into one kingdom.
The ship’s Expedition America: East Coast Tour 2018 began Monday, July 9. The ship will have a three-day stopover July 13-15 in Boothbay Harbor, one of 14 harbors it will visit. The visit will begin with an arrival ceremony Friday and continue with two days of ship tours.
The ship is due to arrive at 4 p.m., and will dock at the Whale Park Dock, 22 Commercial St., where visitors will be invited on board. Gimbel and Sons Country Store and Fisherman’s Wharf Inn are the local hosts of the three-day event.
Captain Bjorn Ahlander and his crew will welcome the crowd and introduce the Draken. Musical entertainment will be provided by the community band. The event is free and open to the public.
At 5 p.m., Fisherman’s Wharf Inn and Highland Park Single Malt Scotch Whiskey will host a tasting event to sample the whiskey from Orkney, Scotland. There is no charge, but guests must be 21 or older.
On Saturday and Sunday, July 14 and 15, starting at 10 a.m., the Draken will offer 30-minute tours, where guests will be offered a look at a day in the life of the crew and the historic craftsmanship used to build the ship with oak, tar, hemp, iron, and silk.
Tickets for the tours are $6 for kids ages 5-15, $12 for adults 16 and up, and $30 for a family pack (two adults and up to three children). Tickets may be purchased online at drakenhh.com, or on-site.
There will be a “Draken Village” set up in Whale Park, where guests will experience a photo and video exhibition illustrating Viking history, modern explorers, and the adventures of the Draken; a Highland Park Whisky hospitality tent; and food and beverage vendors. The village is free and open to the public.
Other events will include a lecture with Captain Ahlander at Fisherman’s Wharf on Saturday at 7 p.m. (tickets $25) and a screening of the newly released Draken documentary “Expedition America – a Modern Viking Adventure” at the Harbor Theater on Sunday (tickets $15).
The Draken’s crew consists of 35 men and women from all over the world, a diverse mix of ages, genders, nationalities, and backgrounds. The Draken is accepting applications for public volunteer crew positions. For more information, see drakenhh.com/join-the-crew.
The Viking ship is 115 feet long, with a 26 foot beam and a 79-foot mast made from Douglas fir. It carries 260 square meters of sails, made from silk.
“The residents of Boothbay Harbor are very proud of our maritime heritage,” Gimbel said in a press release. “We continue to keep these traditions alive today through our active waterfront and inviting historic sailing vessels to visit our community.
“We are beyond excited to welcome the Draken to Boothbay Harbor, and we look forward to learning all we can about this magnificent ship and her crew.”
For more about the Draken, its team, and the 2018 tour, see drakenhh.com or @drakenhh on social media, or contact Gimbel at email@example.com or 504-0207.