Sea fare and menu

Saga texts and finds from, for example, the Oseberg Ship from Norway tell us that the fare at sea consisted of porridge, flour, dried fish, butter and bread. Boiled or roasted meat was rarely part of the provisions. The most common drink on board was water; this was carried in barrels or vats. Beer was only found on the chieftains’ or the King’s warships.

On board the Sea Stallion today the diet is more varied but it is still important that provisions on board are able to be kept fresh for a longer period of time. Like the Vikings, the crew on the Sea Stallion also mostly drink water.

  • What kind of food must the crew have in order to satisfy their hunger, keep warm and have enough energy for the physical work on board ship?
  • What type of provisions takes up least room and is able to keep fresh the longest?
  • Make provision lists for the same ship – one for the Viking Age and one for the present. The ship is sailing from Roskilde to Dublin in Ireland with 65 men on board and the voyage takes six weeks. Think about the differences. Do not forget water!
  • Play the game ”SEA STALLION ATTACK” here on the website. Among other things must ensure there is enough water on board for your crew on a Viking Age expedition.
  • What did they know about diet then compared to what we know today?
  • Compose a menu for a winter solstice party in the Viking Age and a menu for a big party today. Compare the two menus.

Sea fare

This exercise contains problems, suggestions for written work and the worksheet Food in the Viking Age.

The exercise deals with topics such as:

  • Sea fare in the Viking Age
  • The ship's logistics
  • The Sea Stallion then and now
  • Physical performance
  • Food in the Viking Age 

The following pages may help in solving the exercise: 

But consult in particular the diaries from the voyage to Dublin 2007/2008.​​​​​​​ Use the library and the Internet to obtain further information.

This exercise could, for example, form part of a project on the life on board together with the exercises The duty roster, Skipper's law, Games, Stories aboard and Sailing.

This exercise is an obvious conclusion for studies of the Viking Age. A proper party – Viking style – is recommended as a finale.

Subjects: Home economics, Science and technology, History.

Suitable for age: 10-20 years