World's largest Viking ship docks in New York

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​New York, Sep 18 (IANS) The world's largest Viking ship docked on Saturday in New York, the latest destination in a voyage that began in Norway and has included port stops in Iceland, Greenland, Canada and US cities of the Great Lakes region.

The aim of Expedition America 2016 was to reenact the voyage the Vikings carried out 1,000 years ago and see if it was possible to sail an open 115-foot wooden ship across the North Atlantic Ocean to Newfoundland and into the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes, EFE news reported.

The Norwegian Draken Harald Harfagre sailed past the Statue of Liberty and then received a grand welcoming ceremony shortly afterward at North Cove Marina in southern Manhattan.

The crew has managed to navigate the ship through storms, icebergs and unforeseen weather conditions since they set sail from Haugesund, Norway, in April, the expedition's Web site said.

The ship arrived from the Great Lakes via the New York Canal System and the Hudson river.

"The main goal when we started this voyage, was to cross the North Atlantic Ocean in a safe manner, following the historic route of the Norse Vikings. Next goal was to visit the Great Lakes. We managed that too," Captain Bjorn Ahlander was quoted as saying on the expedition's Web site prior to arrival in New York.

"I am extremely satisfied with the seaworthiness of the ship. This old construction has fulfilled all expectations. I am also tremendously proud of the crew that has endured five months in very cold, as well as hot, environments," he added.

The Draken Harald Harfagre will dock in New York until September 26 and then make its last port stop at Connecticut's Mystic Seaport, the US' largest maritime museum, in October.

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