Photos by Kristin and BL Strang-Moya
If you were staying in a hotel on Ocean City’s bayside last Wednesday evening, you may have looked out your window only to see a 115-foot long Viking ship sailing south toward the Inlet. And even if you’re familiar with El Galeon, the 17th century Spanish galleon replica that dropped anchor in Ocean City last August, the Draken traversing the waters of Delmarva was very much a sight to behold.
Translated in English to Dragon Harold Fairhair, the Draken Harald Hårfagre was named after the first king of Norway, its native country. Construction on the ship began in March of 2010, and at 115 feet long, 26 feet wide and with a 79-foot tall mast, it is the largest Viking ship ever built in the modern era. The Draken first set sail in 2012, tentatively making its way along the coast of Norway before making its first ocean voyage to Liverpool, England in 2014.
In 2016 the ship took its first tour of North America in “Expedition America 2016,” returning now in 2018 to tour America’s East Coast. The ship sailed south from Greenport, New York before making its stop in Ocean City, and it will make additional stops in Philadelphia, PA, Norfolk, VA, Washington, D.C. and Mystic Seaport, CT before heading back home in October.
If you have a chance to take a tour of the Draken before it heads back north to PA, absolutely do it! The ship sails out on Wednesday morning, and tickets to tour the boat are $12 for adults and $6 for children. The photos below are just a taste of what you’ll experience on board the ship, but you won’t really start to feel like a Viking until you step foot on the Draken.