Step Aboard This Replica Viking Ship in Nordfjordeid

Home » Norway Travel Tips » Step Aboard This Replica Viking Ship in Nordfjordeid

The burned remains of the Myklebust Viking ship is the biggest ever discovered in Norway. Now, following a major construction project, visitors to Nordfjordeid can step aboard a beautifully crafted replica.

Over a millennium ago, Norse adventurers embarked from Scandinavia, heralding the dawn of the Viking Age and altering the course of history in Europe, and beyond.

David in the replica Myklebust Viking ship in Nordfjordeid, Norway. Photo: David Nikel.
David in the replica Myklebust Viking ship in Nordfjordeid. Photo: David Nikel.

Norway, with its wealth of archaeological treasures and ship burials, offers a window into this transformative period of raiding and trading. The country is a prime destination for those eager to delve into the Viking Age.

Though the renowned Viking ships—Oseberg, Gokstad, and Tune—are currently off-limits due to the ongoing renovation of their Oslo museum home, there's no shortage of Viking history to explore across Norway.

I discovered one such place on my recent trip to the Norwegian fjords, and loved it! Come with me to Nordfjordeid in the Nordfjord region of Norway.

Discover the Myklebust Viking Ship

A standout attraction awaits in the scenic Norwegian fjords: the reconstructed Myklebust Viking ship, showcased at Sagastad, a new Viking Age museum in Nordfjordeid.

Sagastad Museum in Nordfjordeid.
Sagastad Museum in Nordfjordeid. Photo: David Nikel.

This modern waterfront facility is designed with large rear doors and a ramp leading directly into the fjord. This design allows the ship to be easily launched during special events.

Annually, the Myklebust ship sails the fjord, drawing significant attention from across Norway. There are plans to increase these voyages, but the vessel’s primary home will remain inside the museum.

Inside the Myklebust replica Viking ship in Nordfjordeid. Photo: David Nikel.
Inside the Myklebust replica Viking ship in Nordfjordeid. Photo: David Nikel.

Here, visitors can step aboard via a gangway to appreciate the detailed craftsmanship. There are shields and helmets on hand for those perfect photo moments.

The museum also delves into the discovery of the Myklebust ship burial, the chieftain interred with the vessel, its reconstruction story, and Nordfjordeid’s Viking Age significance.

Bow of the replica Viking ship. Photo: David Nikel.
Bow of the replica Viking ship. Photo: David Nikel.

Don’t miss the English language film (looped continuously) to understand the project more fully, and the immersive Viking role-play VR game to have a little fun.

There's also an interesting timelapse showing just some of the work that went into the construction of the replica.

Visitors can access an audio guide upon entering the museum, which adds useful information at various points. This isn't done via a headset.

Myklebust Viking ship detail. Photo: David Nikel.
Myklebust Viking ship detail. Photo: David Nikel.

Instead, visitors scan a QR code to access a special website with the audio guide, so it's a good idea to bring some headphones or ear buds along with you.

The Myklebust Saga

In 1874, a young archaeologist investigated a prominent burial mound in Nordfjordeid. Although later eclipsed by the discoveries of intact ships like Gokstad and Oseberg, the Nordfjordeid site has been crucial in illuminating the Viking Age.

The mound revealed the remains of a Viking ship and numerous high-status items from the late 9th century, offering insights into the rich Norse culture and burial customs.

The ship, dubbed the ‘Myklebust ship,’ appears to have been burned during the burial rites and contained bones and an arrowhead, suggesting the chieftain buried there might have fallen in battle.

Nordfjordeid. Photo: David Nikel.
Nordfjordeid's history dates back to the Viking Age. Photo: David Nikel.

Museum exhibits suggest he could have been King Audbjørn, who, according to Icelandic sagas, fought Harald Fairhair at the Second Battle of Solskjel.

Recently, skilled boat builders from Bjørkedalen, a town famed for its traditional shipbuilding, have meticulously recreated the Myklebust ship. This remarkable attraction draws both locals and tourists.

Visiting Sagastad

Sagastad is located on the waterfront in the heart of Nordfjordeid (also known simply as ‘Eid’), a quaint town at the terminus of the Eidsfjord, a branch of the larger Nordfjord.

Sagastad is open daily in June, July, and August, with limited hours in May, September, and October. Off-season it will open when cruise ships are scheduled in Nordfjordeid. For the latest information, check the Sagastad website.

The museum is small and very much centred around the ship. However, you should allow at least one hour to experience everything, perhaps a little longer if it's busy. There's bathrooms, a small gift shop, and drinks available for purchase.

As of the latest update, entry costs 230 Norwegian kroner, roughly $22. It's not cheap, but it's worth it if you have an interest in the Viking Age.

Nordfjordeid offers more than just the museum. Visitors can meet Norwegian Fjord Horses and explore the historic town centre with its charming wooden buildings and cultural trails.

Conveniently situated on the E39 highway, it's an ideal stop on a road trip between Bergen/Stavanger and Ålesund/Trondheim.

About David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a professional writer on all things Scandinavia.

Norway Weekly Subscribe Banner

Leave a Comment