Norwegian Viking ship won't go to Duluth for festival

The 115 foot Draken Harald HÃ¥rfagre and her crew sailed five weeks from the North Sea, across the Atlantic, but they couldn't navigate Lake Superior's pilot laws.

Ships from foreign ports are required by the Coast Guard to hire pilots to guide them through the Great Lakes, and those pilots aren't cheap. When the viking ship reached the end of the St. Lawrence seaway last month, the crew learned they'd need to pay $430,000 to continue.

They negotiated a lower price and raised enough funds to get to Green Bay in time for a festival this weekend, but now the Draken is out of money. According to the ship's website, it's turning around.

"The ship and her crew navigated through the rough seas, ice, extreme temperatures and all the storms along the way," the crew wrote, "We couldn't be more proud of this accomplishment ... but we are very sad not to sail all the way to Duluth."

The boat was scheduled to end its trip in Duluth, for the Tall Ships festival later this month. The festival will continue as planned. Eight other tall ships will still make it to Duluth in time for the Aug. 18-21 event.

Create a More Connected Minnesota

MPR News is your trusted resource for the news you need. With your support, MPR News brings accessible, courageous journalism and authentic conversation to everyone - free of paywalls and barriers. Your gift makes a difference.