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After years of hard work, sea trials in the norwegian fjords, and a small setback, Draken and her crew sailed a successful open sea voyage trial in 2014.
We are finally ready for an epic expedition. This expedition will test the nerves and abilities of ship and crew.
On April 24th, Draken Harald Hårfagre will set sail across the icy north, beginning Expedition America 2016. The first stop will be in Reykjavik around the 1st of May, the exact date is not final yet, and celebrate the arrival to the Viking island of Iceland in proper fashion.
From Iceland we sail for Greenland, rounding the treacherously windy and confused seas of cape Farewell and Greenland’s southernmost tip. We will need to dodge the sheet ice to seek refuge in the port of Qaqortoq in Greenland’s south western fjords.
From Qaqortoq we set sail across the Davis Strait, a thousand miles north of where Titanic met her fate, maneuvering past icebergs for Newfoundland, Canada. Our first stop in Vinland is planned to be St. Anthony harbor and the known viking settlement of L’anse aux Meadows tentatively the 1st of June.
Draken will sail on, as we suppose the vikings sailed, into the Gulf of St Lawrence to Quebec City, Canada to arrive for the weekend of June 17th.
The race begins and the next port of call will be Fairport Harbor, Ohio in Lake Eire July 8-10.
Off to Bay City Tall Ships Celebration in Lake Huron, July 15-17.
In the end of July, Draken sails into Lake Michigan, and land Navy Pier in Chicago, Illinois to join the Tall Ships Chicago July 27-31.
From Chicago we sail up Lake Michigan and land Green Bay, Wisconsin and the Tall Ships Festival Green Bay August 5-7.
Duluth, Wisconsin in the far reaches of Lake Superior, and the Tall Ships Duluth August 18-21, will be the last port on our Tall Ships Challenge route in the Great lakes before we sail on.
From Duluth, Draken will sail all the way back through the lakes, and head off for the NY Canals. We must downrig our four ton mast in Oswego in order to maneuver the canal system to the Hudson River. We are actively planning our landing in New York City and will reveal this plan when the time is right.
Many long days and sleepless nights have gone into the building of Draken Harald Hårfagre, restructuring and strengthening her hull for smoother flexibility, and planning this voyage; all no small feat.
Don’t miss Draken during any part of Expedition America 2016! If you happen to be comatose for whatever reason during Expedition America, you will still have a chance to visit Draken without her crew during this winter 2016/17 at Mystic Seaport Museum in Mystic, Connecticut.
During many parts of Expedition America we will be sailing very close to shore, especially during our transits of the St. lawrence Seaway and the many canals and locks in the Great Lakes and Erie canal. Just before we set sail in late April we will go live on our website with a fully interactive chart of our current position so you can share in our exploration.
We look forward to sailing with you!