The modern Vikings and their ship in Lefkada -Greece

by Ioanna Filippa

Photo: Ioanna Filippa
Photo: Ioanna Filippa

On Monday, July 8, a special ship docked at Lefkada Marina: the Norwegian Saga Farmann with a crew of six. It is named after a great Viking King, Bjørn Farmann (Saga means sea voyage).

Saga Farmann was built by the Oseberg Viking Heritage Foundation, which works with archaeologists, museums, universities and specialist researchers to save Viking cultural heritage.

This is a faithful replica of the Viking ship Klåstadskipe from 998 AD. With a length of 20.6m and a width of 5.2m, it develops speeds of 10-12 knots sailing with a sail of approximately 90m2. It was built in the traditional Viking way, using oak wood for the hard parts of the ship (hull) and pine wood for the planks, with period tools (axe) and iron nails. So the ship can glide on the waves and cross the sea smoothly.

Its epic journey started in 2023 from Tønsberg, Norway and crossing Northern and Central Europe (Lübeck, Mainz, Regensburg, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Belgrade, Constanta) it ended up in Istanbul. From there it started again on the 18th of May this year for the sea route of the Mediterranean (Smirni, Syros, Athens, Patras, Kefalonia, Corfu, Split, Rome) which is expected to be completed on the 31st of August.

Captain Dan Cato Fagernes, who welcomed us and showed us around the ship, said he was impressed by the hospitality in all Greek ports and by the response of the people. After all, Norway and Greece are countries with a great maritime tradition from ancient times to the present day, which facilitates the goal of Saga Farmann to spread the maritime achievements of the Vikings, their dominance in the ancient world through trade (they traded fish and furs) and their current imprint on the history of Scandinavia and Northern Europe.

The Norwegian crew – all volunteers – are totally committed to Saga Farmann’s cultural mission and this is what helps them defy the rigors of such a long sea voyage without amenities.

Next year the ship will sail through rivers and canals from Marseille to London and then north to the Scottish Isles.

The modern Vikings of Scandinavia are bold, risky and determined to show the world who their ancestors were!

PS Special thanks to Captain Dan Cato Fagernes for the hospitality and discussion.


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