epic oceangoing explorations come to life in the Midcoast

Viking ship ‘Draken’ to visit Rockland

Mon, 07/02/2018 - 2:15pm

    The Norwegian Viking ship, Draken Harald Hårfagre (Draken) will make Rockland its official Maine stop on its Expedition America: East Coast Tour 2018, presented by Highland Park Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

    The tour, which got underway at the start of this month, will bring the world’s largest operating Viking ship to Rockland for a four-day stopover, July 22-25. Beginning with an arrival ceremony on Sunday, July 22, and continuing with three days ship tours and activities in the onshore Draken Village, the Draken visit is to provide insight to the modern-day Viking spirit.

     In 2016, the Draken successfully crossed the North Atlantic Ocean, recreating one of the most epic, mythical explorations of all time in the wake of the Viking explorer Leif Ericsson.

    Visiting numerous ports, the Draken Harald Hårfagre emerged as a pillar of culture, education, and enrichment, bringing the illustrious Viking age of exploration to life in today’s modern age.

    Curated by Sigurd Aase, construction of the Draken began in 2010, creating what would be the largest Viking ship ever built in modern times. The vessel is named after Harald Hårfagre, the king who unified Norway into one kingdom, the great dragon ship.

    "The Vikings were accomplished navigators, artisans, traders and storytellers, but their greatest triumph was the ships they built." said Captain Björn Ahlander. "Each Draken stopover offers guests a tangible tie to history. We hope our visitors are inspired by the vigor of the Viking spirit and our modern-day adventures."

    "This is a very exciting visit for Rockland and it's a great chance for folks to get up close and on board an incredible vessel," said Dan Bookham, of Allen Insurance and Financial, and who is coordinating the Draken visit. "Rockland's history as a fishing and boat-building hub in Maine along with the number of Scandinavians who immigrated to the Midcoast to work the quarries, the land, and the ocean gives this visit special significance and we look forward to welcoming visitors from both near and far to the Public Landing."

    Hosted in partnership with the City of Rockland, Allen Insurance and Financial, Strand Theatre, Apprenticeshop, and Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Draken will dock at Rockland's Public Landing and will offer an opportunity to relive history in a way never experienced before.

    Draken crew will share their personal experiences of thrill, fear, and exhilaration while enduring the ship's 2016 transatlantic crossing – reliving the Viking discovery of the New World more than 1,000 years ago.


    The Draken in Rockland schedule

    Sunday, July 22, 4 p.m.

    Draken Arrival Ceremony 

    Led by Rockland City Council, guests are invited to greet the Draken ship as it sails into port with a display of Viking valor and excitement. Captain Björn Ahlander and his crew will step ashore to welcome the crowd and introduce the Draken. This event is free and open to the public. A small, private welcome reception will follow. 


    Monday July 23, to Wednesday, July 25, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., daily

    Draken Village and Deck Tours

    Beginning daily at 10 a.m., the Draken will be open for timed and ticketed deck tours.

    Tour tickets prices: $6 for children, 5 to 15, free admission for ages 4 and under;

    $12 for adults, 16 and older; and

    $30 for a family pack, which includes two adults, and up to three children, can be purchased at drakenhh.com or onsite at the Draken Village.

    During each 30-minute tour, guests are guided through the ship and 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.

    Within the Draken Village, which is free and open to the public, guests can experience a photo and video exhibition illustrating Viking history, modern explorers, and the adventures of the Draken; land-side views of the ship; official Draken merchandise, and more. 

    Additional ticketed Draken events include a screening of the newly released Draken documentary, Expedition America — a Modern Viking Adventure (tickets $20, Monday July 23, 7 p.m., at the Strand Theatre, 345 Main St, Rockland, rocklandstrand.com) and a talk by Captain Björn Ahlander outlining the adventurous expeditions of the Draken (tickets $25, Tuesday, July 24, 7pm at the Apprenticeshop, 655 Main St, Rockland).

    The 2018 Draken Harald Hårfagre North American tour will consist of stopovers across the U.S. East Coast states of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia, and more. The final tour schedule and all stopover ports are set to be announced in the coming weeks.

    The crew consists of 35 men and women from all over the world, representing a diverse mix of age, gender, nationality, and background. The Draken is now accepting applications for public volunteer crew positions. To participate, visit drakenhh.com/join-the-crew

    To learn more about the Draken ship, team, and 2018 tour, visit DrakenHH.com or @DrakenHH on social media.

    came together in the town of Haugesund in Western Norway. Draken measures 115 feet from stem to stern, 26 feet wide, with 260 square meters of silk sail, and a 79 foot tall mast made from Douglas fir. She is a seaworthy ship, able to sail the Oceans of the World. www.drakenhh.com