Full-day course 'Learn to sail a Viking ship'

Published 01th Feb 2023

Do you want to try sailing a Viking ship in Roskilde Fjord?

You can now book the sailing experience of a lifetime online. No prior knowledge of sailing with Viking ships is required to participate in the full-day course.

The Viking Ship Museum offers full-day courses for those who wish to learn how to sail a Viking ship. All participants that go aboard the Viking ships 'Helge Ask', 'Kraka Fyr' og 'Skjoldungen' will learn about square sails, tack, bowlines and all the other concepts associated with the Viking ship.

The entire course will be based on practical exercises on Roskilde Fjord and before leaving the museum harbour, the participants will be provided with a brief introduction to safety precautions and life vests will be distributed. 

Learn to sail like the Vikings

A day course in sailing a Viking ship provides new experiences for both the inexperienced sailor and the one who seeks new challenges regarding his or her sailing experience.  

The participants will get a basic introduction to sailing with square sails as the Viking ships' sail type is called. Sailing with square sails is a very different sailing experience and it often challenges the knowledge of sailors that are used to the sails on a modern ship. 

Unlike Bermuda and fork sails the raw sail is placed in front of the mast and it often takes some getting used to and gives the modern sailor fun eye-opening experience.

Construction and materials like 1000 years ago

The Viking ship's special construction and materials are exceptional. During the course the participants will also get introduced to these during the sailing experience. You get to handle these histrocial materials when handleing sails or the ship's ropes that are often in original materials, such as horsehair and linden bast. 

The entire course is based on practical exercises at Roskilde Fjord. Before departure from the Museum Harbour all participants receive a short safety instruction and are given life jackets.

Packed lunches are brought for all participants.
Lunch is eaten on board.

The ships

The courses take place on a reconstructions of the original Viking ships which are exhibited in the Viking Ship Hall. The ships are built with Viking techniques and with the same materials used 1000 years ago. Sailing these ships is some of the closest we get to sailing like they did a 1000 years ago in the original Viking ships. 

The smaller warship 'Helge Ask'

The Viking ship 'Helge Ask' is a reconstruction of the Skuldelev 5 ship.  A small warship from the Viking Age. Helge Ask was built at the Viking Ship Museum in 1990-91.

Helge Ask has room for 16 participants and there will be 4 crew members on board throughout the course.

» Read more about the Viking ship reconstruction of Helge Ask...

Ships for fishing and small scale cargo 'Kraka Fyr' og 'Skjoldungen'

The Viking ships 'Kraka Fyr' and 'Skjoldungen' are both reconstructions of the original Viking ship 'Skuldelev 6' ship. In the Viking Age this type of ship was used as a fishing and cargo vessel.

There is room for 10 participants and there will be 2 crew members on board throughout the course.

» Read more about the Viking ship Skuldelev 6 here... 
» Read more about the reconstuction of Kraka Fyr and Skjoldungen here... 

The full-day courses 2023:

Dates: 'Learn to sail a Viking ship' in Helge Ask:
Saturday  3 June
Saturday 17 June

Price sailing Helge Ask:
Adults: 2400,00 DKK per person incl. lunch and mineral water.

Dates: 'Learn to sail a Viking ship' in Kraka Fyr or Skjoldungen:
Saturday 20 May
Saturday 27 May
Saturday 10 June

Price sailing Skjoldungen or Kraka Fyr:
Adults: 1350,00 DKK per person incl. lunch and mineral water.

» Tickets can be purchased on 'VisitFjordlandet's ticket portal

The course will commence at 10:00 with a brief introduction on land, after which the remainder of the course will take place on the waters of Roskilde Fjord. The course will end at about 16:00. 

The course will only take place if there are enough participants, and the Viking Ship Museum reserve the right to cancel in the event of bad weather (too much wind) or too few participants.
No previous experience of sailing Viking ships is required. 

- Important:
For safety reasons, all participants must be able to understand Danish or English.
- We reserve the right to cancel if the weather is a risk to safety or there are too few participants. 
- Duration: 6 hours
- Packed lunch and a bottle of water is included
- Bring warm clothes.
- The ticket is non-refundable unless the trip is cancelled. 
- Ticket fee is non-refundable.
- Read more about the Viking Ship Museum's terms of agreement.

Created by Rikke Johansen