Tall Ships Kalmar Nyckel and Draken Harald Harfage at the Baltimore Harbor This Weekend

| September 7, 2018 | 0 Comments

Kalmar Nyckel, the 141 ft.-tall ship from Lewes, Delaware, is at the Baltimore Inner Harbor this weekend. It arrived yesterday and will be here until Sunday.

Kalmar Nyckel will be available for free public tours Saturday from 10am to 1pm. Tickets can be purchased for sails that are scheduled from 5pm to 630pm on both Friday and Saturday. The ship will head to Wilmington, Delaware after departing Baltimore.

About the original Kalmar Nyckel from its website:

The original Kalmar Nyckel was one of America’s pioneering colonial ships, a Mayflower of the Delaware Valley, yet her remarkable story has never been widely told.

The original Kalmar Nyckel served as Governor Peter Minuit’s flagship for the 1638 expedition that founded the colony of New Sweden, establishing the first permanent European settlement in the Delaware Valley, Fort Christina, in present-day Wilmington, Delaware. She would make a total of four roundtrip crossings of the Atlantic, more than any other documented ship of the American colonial era.

The original ship — a new type of gun-armed merchant vessel called a Dutch Pinnace — was built by the Dutch in Amsterdam in about the year 1625. She was purchased in 1629 by a Swedish consortium to serve as an auxiliary warship for the Swedish navy, which she did until her decommissioning in 1651 — except for the years from 1637 to 1644 when she sailed the Atlantic for the New Sweden Company. An exceptional ship with a long and remarkable career, she was sold to a private merchant after being decommissioned from the navy. No completely definitive records have been uncovered as of yet, but Kalmar Nyckel was probably resold to the Dutch navy as an escort vessel and sunk in the North Sea while fighting for the Dutch in a war against the English in 1652.

The present-day Kalmar Nyckel was built at the Kalmar Nyckel Foundation’s shipyard on Wilmington’s historic 7th Street Peninsula. It was launched into the Christina River in 1997.

Draken Harald Harfage from Norway is also arriving today at Brown’s Wharf Pier in Fells Point. It will leave on Monday. The 115 ft.-Viking replica ship is available for tours Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 730pm and Monday from 2pm to 530pm.

About Draken Harald Harfage from its website:

In March of 2010, construction began on what would be the largest Viking ship ever built in modern times. Named after Harald Hårfagre, the king who unified Norway into one kingdom, the great dragon ship came together in the town of Haugesund in Western Norway.

The Vikings left almost no record of how they built their ships, or how they sailed them. Draken Harald Hårfagre is a recreation of what the Vikings would call a “Great Ship”, built with archaeological knowledge of found ships, using old boatbuilding traditions and the legends of Viking ships from the Norse sagas.

Plank by plank, nail by nail, more than 10 000 of them, the ship was constructed by a band of experienced boat builders, historians, craftsmen and artists.

115 feet from stem to stern, 26 feet wide, 260 square meters of silk sail and a 79 feet tall mast made from Douglas fir. She is a seaworthy ship, able to sail the Oceans of the World.

At a hundred and fourteen feet of crafted oak, twenty-seven feet on the beam, displacing eighty tons, and with a thirty-two hundred square foot sail, this magnificent ship is indeed worthy of a king.

Norway’s leading experts in traditional boat building and the square sail were engaged in the development and construction of the ship. The construction is an experimental archaeological research program, and the aim was to recreate a ship with the superb seaworthiness that characterized the ocean going long ships in the Viking Age.

Photo from Draken Harald Harfage’s website


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Founder and Publisher of SouthBmore.com, longtime resident of South Baltimore, and a graduate of Towson University. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, father of three, amateur pizza chef, skateboarder, and "bar food" foodie. Email me at Kevin@InceptMM.com and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.