It may be 950 years since Viking ships were last seen off the Scottish coast, but this month the longship, Freydis, is making the voyage across the North Sea to her spiritual home of Norway where she will be a guest at Tønsberg’s Viking Festival which runs from 9th-13th September 2015.
Freydis, and her two support vessels, will be led by two of the organisers of the Loch Fyne Viking Festival.
- Phil Robertson, who built Freydis in 2014;
- Hans Kok – the inspiration behind the Festival which has recently celebrated its second birthday.
The support boats are Hans’ boat Mallemok and Phil Robertson’s St Claire. They will carry the crew – when they’re not rowing.
In true Viking style, Phil and Hans have attracted a fully international crew for their six-week journey, with sailors from Britain, Denmark, Holland, Ireland and Switzerland.
Freydis will leave the harbour in Tarbert, Loch Fyne on Friday 14 August – give her a fabulous send off – and set sail for the Crinan and Caledonian Canals. Be warned – Nessie is likely to be around in Fort Augustus for the departure, as Freydis takes to the waters of Loch Ness before her three-day, 300NM North Sea journey.
On the way to Norway there will be lots of chances for the public to see Freydis and find out more about Viking traditions.
The expedition intends stopping at Crinan, Corpach, Fort Augustus, Inverness, Burghead in Moray [where they will be part of the Burghead Viking Event], Mandal, Kristiansand, Lillesand, Grimstad, Arendal, Tvedestrand, Risør, Kragerø, Stavern and Tønsberg.
Unlike their predecessors, the Kintyre Vikings are very friendly and happy to let Viking fans sail Freydis – or try their hand at rowing her. Now there’s a challenge.
Hans Kok says: ‘When we were invited to Tønsberg for their Viking Festival, we hadn’t envisaged taking Freydis. But, as with all good plans, this one grew and before we knew it we’d planned a Viking adventure’ We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Heart of Argyll Tourism Alliance, Scottish Canals and Burghead Viking Festival for their generous support of our trip.
‘We’re really looking forward to both festivals and we’ll promoting Argyll to the locals. As well as promoting food from Argyll we have arranged for the new all girl Argyll group, Smorach, to perform In Tønsberg. And, of course, we’ll be extending an invitation for a reciprocal visit to the 2017 Loch Fyne Viking Festival.’
Organisers have been fundraising all year for this trip but, due to unforeseen costs with the ship’s sail, they have now started a CrowdFunding project. All donations will be welcome. Everyone who would like to pledge money to get this show on the North Sea, can do so here at the Freydis Crowdfunder website.