Thursday, February 05, 2015

Draken Harald Hårfagre

Havhingsten didn't get to keep its title of world's biggest Viking ship for very long. I just learned that the Norwegians have built an even bigger vessel; Draken Harald Hårfagre which is a good five meters longer indeed. Havhingsten was launched in 2004 and the new ship, whose name translates to Dragon Harald Fairhair (dragon refering to the ship type) was launched in 2012. Last year she undertook her first major voyage sailing to Liverpool and back, and this appears to have been a success.

Oddly the ship hasn't been given much attention in Denmark, that is to say I have not noticed it at all. Perhaps because it is bigger than our biggest Viking ship and thus steals the title of world's largest Viking ship? I don't know, but when looking at the online material from Norway, I can't but help noticing there is little mention at all of Havhingsten even though Carsten Hvid who captained the Danish ship also captained Draken Harald Hårfagre and he observed several crucual differences between the two vessels. Where as Havhingsten is a replica of an actual Viking war ship, Draken Harald Hårfagre is not. The Norwegian vessel is actually a modern design, based on Viking designs but also incorporating later Norwegian design elements. In other words, Draken Harald Hårfagre is an anachronism apparently built for the simple purpose of being big. 

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