Viking (barque)

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File:Barken viking gothenburg 20051011.jpg
Four-masted "Barque Viking" at Gothenburg harbour in 2005

The Viking (better known by her Swedish name, Barken Viking) is a four-masted steel barque, built in 1906 by Burmeister & Wain in Copenhagen, Denmark. She is reported to be the biggest sailing ship ever built in Scandinavia.

Barken Viking was originally built as a sail training ship for the rapidly growing Danish merchant fleet. At that time, seaworthiness and cargo capacity were given top priority. One day in July of 1909, while carrying a full cargo of wheat from Australia, Captain Niels Clausen recorded a speed record in the ship's log: 15.5 knots (28.7 km/h).

On February the 25th 1917, she was sighted and boarded by the German commerce raider Seeadler. Unusually, the Germans then allowed her to proceed because being Danish, she was a neutral ship. This was something of a lucky escape, because within weeks Germany would return to unrestricted marine warfare, a tactic that would have meant sinking her.

In 1929 she was registered under the Finnish flag, and joined the Åland-based Erikson fleet of tall ships. She was part of Erikson's fleet until 1950. She was about to be scrapped in the late 1940s, but was eventually saved by the Swedish government in 1950. Because of the low bridges that separate the tall ship from the open sea, it's hard to believe she ever will sail the seas again.

She participated in several of the Great Grain Races from Victoria, Australia to Falmouth, Cornwall. Barken Viking won the Grain Race of 1948.

There are only ten four-masted barques and one four-masted full-rigged ship (the Falls of Clyde) in existence, and only five of these still sail (Sedov, Kruzenshtern, Sea Cloud I, Nippon Maru II, Kaiwo Maru II). A few more are still afloat and berthed in various harbors (Peking (New York City), Moshulu (Philadelphia), Passat (Lübeck, Germany), Pommern (Mariehamn, Finland), and Viking).

Viking came to Göteborg, Sweden permanently in 1950, as a home for various shipping organizations, and later became a school of seamanship. Today she is moored in the Göteborg guest harbor as hotel "Barken Viking". The owner is the Liseberg amusement park.

Finnish seafarer Lena Ringbom-Lindén, one of the first female mariners, sailed on Viking on one of her voyages to Australia. She wrote of her experience in a book, Skeppet och Lena (Ship and Lena).


  • Length overall with the bowsprit - 118 m
  • Length without the bowsprit (hull length) - 106 m
  • Length on deck - 97 m
  • Length p/p - 87 m
  • Beam (Width) - 13.9 m
  • Draught - 7.33 m
  • Depth of hold - 8.1 m
  • Ballast - 1,400 tonnes (1,370 tons)
  • Displacement - ~6,300 tonnes
  • Cargo capacity - 4,100 tonnes (4,035 tons)
  • Cargo hold - 6,300 m³ (2,959 GRT / 2,665 NRT)
  • Tallest mast - foremast, 55.5 m above deck
  • Sail area - 3,690 m²
  • Anchor weight - 3 tonnes each
  • Launch - 1 December 1906
  • Maiden voyage - 19 July 1907 via Hamburg (coal) to Callao and back to Hamburg (guano)

The Viking's cargos:

See also

External links

Coordinates: 57°42′45″N 11°57′56″E / 57.712389°N 11.965472°E / 57.712389; 11.965472

de:Viking (1907) fr:Viking (voilier) sv:Barken Viking