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VIDEO: In the wake of vikings

In April, the Draken Harald Hårfagre set off from Haugesund, Norway, bound for Iceland, Greenland, Canada and the United States to re-create Leif Erikson’s Atlantic crossing.

The Draken Harald Hårfagrehas spent the last few weeks in the Great Lakes, traveling to ports and participating in the Tall Ships Challenge, but her time there is ending. U.S. regulations require pilots aboard foreign ships of her size on the St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes. The cost for the pilotage to complete the Tall Ships Challenge is about $250,000 — a significant reduction of the initial $400,000 fee but still a hefty sum.

The Sons of Norway, an organization that promotes and preserves Nordic culture and heritage, helped raise $139,157, according to expedition officials. It’s enough take the ship as far as Green Bay, though insufficient to continue the Tall Ship Challenge.

Since setting sail, the crew has met thousands of people and introduced them to Viking-era sailing and traditions.

Skippered by Capt. Björn Ahlander, the Draken will exit the Great Lakes after her stop in Green Bay and head to New York to begin the next leg of her journey. “We have had the most amazing time sailing this expedition, meeting all the people and visiting all these places,” says Ahlander.

Click here to follow the ship’s progress.