THE WORLD’S LARGEST VIKING SHIP TO SAIL INTO NORFOLK
Draken HH Charts Course to Visit 14 Coastal Harbors During
Expedition America: U.S. East Coast Tour 2018
NORFOLK, VA – Norwegian Viking ship, Draken Harald Hårfagre (Draken), today announced Norfolk, VA as an official stop on its Expedition America: East Coast Tour 2018 presented by Highland Park Single Malt Scotch Whisky. The tour, which launched in July 2018, will bring the world’s largest operating Viking ship to Norfolk for a 3-day stopover from September 14 through September 16. Beginning with an arrival ceremony on September 13 and continuing with 3 days of ship tours and activations in the Draken Village, the Draken visit promises visitors an engaging look at the modern-day Viking spirit.
“Nauticus is proud to welcome this amazing vessel to the downtown Norfolk waterfront,” said Stephen Kirkland, Nauticus executive director. “It’s a chance for the community to meet an international team of mariners and learn more about traditional Viking shipbuilding.”
“We are excited about the arrival of the Draken, and the opportunity for our visitors to explore the decks, learn about the history of the ship and see demonstrations” said Sam Rogers, interim president & CEO of Visit Norfolk.
Hosted in partnerships with Visit Norfolk, the Draken will dock at Nauticus and will offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for visitors to relive history in a way never experienced before. Draken will allow guests to not only marvel at this stunning Viking ship – but also to interact with the crew as they 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 Experience in Norfolk
Thursday, September 13
Draken Arrival Ceremony, 4:30 p.m.
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.
Friday, September 14 through Sunday, September 16
Draken Village & Deck Tours, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Beginning daily at 10 a.m., Draken will be open for timed and ticketed deck tours. Tour tickets, which run $6 for kids (ages 5 to 15, free admission for ages 4 and under); $12 for adults (ages 16 and over); and $30 for a family pack (includes two adults, and up to three children) can be purchased online at www.drakenhh.com, or on-site 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; the Highland Park Whisky hospitality tent; local food and beverage vendors; official Draken merchandise, and more.
“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.”
Following the overwhelming response from the 2016 tour, the Draken Harald Hårfagre North American tour has consisted of stopovers across the U.S. East Coast states of Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia.
The crew on board Draken is a team 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 take part in this rare opportunity visit: www.drakenhh.com/join-the-crew.
To learn more about the Draken ship, team, and 2018 tour, visit www.DrakenHH.com or @DrakenHH on social media.
En Route for Draken HH
Daniel Davis, Communications Manager
Beth Bilderback, PR Specialist
About Draken Harald Hårfagre:
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 and encountering thousands of people along her Trans-Atlantic journey, 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. Named after Harald Hårfagre, the king who unified Norway into one kingdom, the great dragon ship 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.
About Highland Park:
Highland Park is a renowned single-malt Scotch whisky from Orkney, a remote set of islands off the far north coast of Scotland. Established in 1798, the distillery combines the highest standards of craftsmanship with the pride and fierce independence of the early Viking settlers who made Orkney their home over 1,000 years ago to create a perfectly balanced single-malt Scotch whisky that stands apart. Highland Park’s range of single-malt whiskies is consistently acclaimed by whisky lovers around the globe, with the brand receiving the accolade of “Best Spirit in the World” from industry expert Paul Pacult on three separate occasions. www.highlandparkwhisky.com
Located on the downtown Norfolk waterfront, Nauticus is a maritime science museum that explores the economic, naval, and natural power of the sea. Nauticus features hands-on exhibits, marine life, 3D movies, a Stewards of the Sea exhibit that explores the Navy’s environmental efforts, the Hampton Roads Naval Museum, the awe-inspiring Battleship Wisconsin–one of the largest and last battleships built by the U.S. Navy- and the Banana Pier Gift Shop. Nauticus is also home to the Sail Nauticus Sailing Center, the Half Moone Cruise & Celebration Center, and the Victory Rover Naval Base Cruises.