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Voyage of the
Islendingur


With a crew of modern day Vikings and captained by a direct descendant of Leif Ericson, the recreation of Leif Ericsonís voyage 1,000 years later will see the ĎIslendingurí (The Icelander) a replica Viking longship, arrive in LíAnse aux Meadows July 28, 2000, as the star ship of the Viking Sail 2000 flotilla.

On July 28, you will travel back in time as you watch the Islendingur and up to 15 replica Viking vessels relive history as they sail towards the picturesque shores, just as Leif Ericson and his crew had sighted 1000 years ago. Visitors will participate in a moving ceremony that highlights aspects of Newfoundland and Labradorís culture and heritage and our links to the Viking culture, including our own aboriginal cultures. This celebration will be performed before visiting provincial and national dignitaries, and dignitaries from the Nordic countries, as well as thousands of area residents, and tourists.

The vessel will then spend 25 days in Newfoundland waters, visiting 10 ports of call on the west coast, south coast and Avalon Peninsula.

Ports of Call

July 28 - 30 LíAnse aux Meadows
July 31- August 1 Port aux Choix
August 1 - 3 Norris Point
August 3 - 6 Corner Brook
August 6 - 8 Port aux Basques
August 9 - 11 Harbour Breton
August 11 - 13 Burin
August 13 - 14 Placentia
August 15 - 20 St. Johnís
August 20 - 21 Port de Grave

A similar calibre of entertainment and activities are planned for each and every port of call, highlighting the portís own unique aspect of the Newfoundland and Labradorís history and culture. The provinceís capital city, St. Johnís, will host the Islendingur to incredible crowds and fanfare. The tour will wind up with a memorable send off at the historic fishing community of Port de Grave which combines its rich cultural history with its use of modern technology in the fishery.The Viking ship Islendingur is an exact replica of an old Viking ship, called "Gaukstada" which was found incredibly well preserved in an ancient burial mound in Norway in 1882. It is believed to be from 870 AD, the time of the settlement of Iceland.

Viking ship Islendingur facts:

  • Built in 1996

  • 22.5 metres in length

  • 5.3 metres beam

  • 1.7 metres draft

  • Oak and pine construction

  • 18 tons of wood (5,000 nails)

  • 80 gross tons

  • 7 miles per hour speed (average)

In the Viking age a ship like the Islendingur would often have around 70 crew members, with a double shift of rowers for the 32 oars. There would have been a sandpit to support an open fire and livestock such as lamb on board, so fresh meals would be cooked on long voyages.

The Viking ship Islendingur is a worthy representative of the ships that sailed the North-Atlantic a thousand years ago. Like the original Viking ships, the Islendingur is a fast ocean going vessel, exceptionally stable.

On the 2000 Leif Eriksson Voyage, the Islendingur will be accompanied by an escort ship, a 150 ton vessel - originally a fishing boat. The Islendingur has a motor for use in emergency situations.

About the Captain

The main owner of the ship, the ship's designer and builder, and its Captain is Gunnar Marel Eggertsson, a 45 year old Icelander.

Gunnar was born and raised on the volcanic Vestmanna Islands off the south coast of Iceland into a family of seamen and shipbuilders. Before he was 25 he had his shipbuilders degree and vast experience as a seaman.

Gunnar was always fascinated by the Vikings and their navigational skills, and soon got involved with Viking enthusiasts. In 1991 he was the skipper of the Viking ship GAIA that sailed from Norway all the way south to Rio De Janeiro.

Gunnar is married and has two children.

Media contact: Tara Laing, Communications, Tel: (709) 729-3813, Fax: (709) 579-2067, e-mail:tlaing@mail.gov.nf.ca

2000 04 27


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