Winter at the Boatyard

The sun has shone down on the Viking Ship Museum and the boat builders most of the summer. At the boatyard, there has been busy activity with spiltting of oak and the building of the new reconstruction of the Skuldelev 5 ship. This project is now on hold until the warmth of summer returns to Denmark.

Meanwhile, the boat builders are still busy with boat maintenance, repairs, and indoor construction in the boatyard hall. Just follow the sound of tools hammering and cutting to discover which boat the builders are working on.

Viking age tool replicas 

Inside the Boatyard Hall the boat builders' tools are on exhibition. The tools used by the museum's boat builders are faithful replicas of archaeological finds of Viking Age tools. Many different-shaped axes and other cutting tools are displayed, each designed for specific cuts.

Each tool has a unique function, and in the Boatyard Hall, you can study them up close. Perhaps you can even recognize the ancestors of the tools you have at home?

The boat builders rely heavily on their tools, so visitors do not have the opportunity to use them. However, you can see the tools the boat builders use for the current construction projects - and you are welcome to inquire about why a particular piece of equipment is in use.

Building of traditional clinker boats

Over Winter you will find the boatbuilders working on their building projects in the shelter from winter's cold. In the boatyard hall you can follow boatbuilders practicing the beautiful and ancient craft of building clinker boats.

The tradition of building Nordic clinker boats is so important to preserve that UNESCO in December 2021 decided to include clinker boat traditions on their list of intangible cultural heritage.

During the winter, traditional, region-specific wooden boats for the Skjoldungernes Land National Park will be built. A total of five boats have been ordered, with the first boat already in place at Jyllinge Fishing Harbor.

The five beautiful boats will be distributed around the fjord's coastline. You can follow the construction process and later in the year, sail in one of the traditional boats yourself. This provides an opportunity to understand and connect even more with the traditions of clinker boats.

Repairs and Maintenance

When the boat collection is safely ashore, the boat builders thoroughly inspect each vessel. This is crucial for the boats ability to sail with thousands of museum guests and volunteers during the warmer months.

The boatyard plans both major and minor repairs, which the boat builders work on throughout the winter months. Some of the smaller boats will be moved under the shelter in front of Café Knarr for repairs, while other repairs will be carried out where the boats have been pulled ashore for the winter on the lawn in front of the Viking Ship Hall.

The Shipyards outdoor area

Even though the boat builders have moved indoors to the Boatyard Hall during the winter, you can still explore the outdoor exhibition on boat building in the Viking Age and see pictures and drawings from the construction of Skuldelev 5.

As you walk through the exhibition let your imagination run wild as the scent of wood shavings and the sound of axe blows from the Boatyard Hall transport you back to the time when the Vikings built and sailed clinker-built boats on this very site 1000 years ago.

Winter season at the Boat Yard (November 1 - May 1):

The Boatyard Hall is open to the public on all weekdays.
The outdoor shipyard area can be visited every day.

Meet the boat builders. All weekdays from 10 am to 4 pm:
In the Boatyard Hall, traditional fjord boats are being built for the local National Park.
On the area around the boatyard and in front of the Viking Ship Hall, the reconstructed Viking ships and traditional boats are checked for damage and repaired.
The reconstruction of Skuldelev 5 - a Viking ship from around 1040 - will resume in the summer.

Exhibitions inside the Boatyard. All weekdays from 10 am to 4 pm:
In the Boatyard Hall, an exhibition is held about the UNESCO nomination of the Nordic clinker boat building traditions.
In the Boatyard Hall, boat builders' replicas of Viking Age tools are exhibited.

Exhibitions at the outdoor boatyard area. All weekdays and weekends from 10 am to 4 pm:
Guests can experience the exhibition on boat building in the Viking Age on the shipyard area.
The reconstruction work on Skuldelev 5 will be covered and can be explored independently.

Guided Tours During the winter
Guided tours are available in the Viking Ship Hall.
11:00 am: Guided tour in the Viking Ship Hall (English, 50 min.)
1:00 pm: Guided tour in the Viking Ship Hall (Danish, 50 min.)
Guided tours at the boatyard will be back in the spring.