World's Largest Viking Ship Brings History to St. Michaels

The ship began its current tour in July. Photo: David Nelson

The Norwegian Viking ship, Draken Harald Harfagre, is making a surprise visit to St. Michaels for the next two days. Draken added the last-minute stop on its Expedition America: East Coast Tour after Hurricane Florence delayed its progress southward to Norfolk.

Draken is the world’s largest operation Viking ship. It teaches visitors about Viking history, and the crew shares their own experience from the ship’s 2016 transatlantic crossing, reliving the Vikings’ discovery of the New World 1,000 years ago.

 Draken’s East Coast tour recently stopped in Fells Point.
Draken’s East Coast tour recently stopped in Fells Point.

The ship’s arrival in St. Michaels is being heralded with a welcome ceremony Tuesday at 4 p.m., followed by ship tours through Thursday afternoon. Tour organizers say, “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.”

Draken will be docked at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, so ship visitors will need to buy a ticket to the museum for access to the ship.

“We are proud to welcome the Draken ship to CBMM and our historic town,” said CBMM President Kristen Greenaway. “Each year, we draw guests from all around the world, and now we can say we draw ships from all around the world. It’s very exciting! ”

Deck tours will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday. The 30-minute tours take guests through the ship and offer a look at life for the crew and the historic craftsmanship used to build the ship with oak, tar, hemp, iron, and silk. The timed, ticketed tours are $12 for aduts, $6 for kids ages five to 15, and free for ages four and under. Family packs are also available. To buy tickets online, click here.

 “The Vikings were accomplished navigators, artisans, traders and storytellers, but their greatest triumph was the ships they built,” said Captain Björn Ahlander. “We hope our visitors are inspired by the vigor of the Viking spirit and our modern-day adventures.”

Draken’s crew is made up of 35 men and women from all over the world. If you’re inspired by their journey, you can join them. The ship is looking for volunteers for public crew positions. Click here for more information.

After the bonus St. Michaels stopover, Draken will make its planned stop in Norfolk from September 27-30. Deck tours in Norfolk will take place from the 28-30.

-Meg Walburn Viviano