The Vikings leave Green Bay and head east

You might do what I'm planning, which is to see the fantastic Draken Harald Hårfagre in Green Bay, then go on to Door County for some Swedish meatballs and raise a glass to toast the Viking crew. This is Draken's last stop in the Great Lakes. 

  • No other ship has a square red - and silk - sail. Viking ship Harald Hårfagre entering Chicago harbor. Photo: Amanda Olson Robison
  • It was to another round of “Hurra, hurra, hurra, hurra!” that the crew of the Draken Harald Hårfagre announced they had enough funding to sail on to Green Bay! They are so incredibly thankful for all the support and donations making it possible for them to be at one more Tall Ships festival in the Great Lakes. The Viking ship has sailed out of Chicago’s harbor at Navy Pier and is en route up Lake Michigan to Green Bay's Tall Ship Festival, scheduled for Aug. 5-7.

  • The sail is hoisted down and oars come out as the crew prepares to dock at Navy Pier. Photo: Amanda Olson Robison
  • Last week when I was waiting for the Draken Harald to dock in Chicago, I met a sun drenched young sailor from Denmark, also waiting at the dock. He had just arrived in the U.S. — his first time — and was getting ready for his shift on the Viking ship. This would be the third of three planned crew shifts: The first segment was from Norway to Quebec, the second sailed from Quebec to Chicago and the third began with this trip to Green Bay; this crew will stay with the ship until October, when she's expected to be in Mystic Seaport on Connecticut’s Atlantic coast to spend the winter.

  • The Draken Harald Hårfagre docks at Navy Pier in Chicago. Photo: Amanda Olson Robison
  • So you can keep your plans to see the incredible Draken in Green Bay! You might do what I’m planning, which is to tour the Viking vessel in Leicht Memorial Park (128 Dousman St., Green Bay, WI) then drive the hour+ to Door County and visit Al Johnson’s for some Swedish meatballs, followed by a local brew — or its signature Malmö Mule — at Al’s new beer garden, Stabbur, which in Norwegian means a storage house, sometimes also used as a guest house (the Swedish equivalent would be härbre). The weather should be perfect.

  • Draken Harald Hårfagre, the worlds largest Viking ship built in modern times, sailed from her homeport in Haugesund, Norway in a challenging voyage that mimics that of Viking explorer Leif Erickson. The Draken is in Mystic Seaport, CT during the 2017 summer. Photo: Peder Jacobson
  • What's next for the Viking ship? On August 4 and 5, the Viking Kings, the organization behind the Draken Harald Hårfagre project announced their tough decision to make the Tall Ships Festival in Green Bay the last stop in this Tall Ships Challenge. It will not continue to Duluth. Even after a recalculation of fees showed the estimated pilotage costs would be lower than initially thought ($430,000 to $250,000), the funds aren't enough to complete the entire expedition. For more on the fundraising efforts and the expedition itself, visit and

  • Photo: Amanda Olson Robison
  • Amanda Olson Robison