Gaia,a replica of a Viking ship

“Gaia” was built as a replica of the Viking ship that was excavated at Gokstad, on the outskirts of Sandefjord, in 1880. “Gaia” was given as a gift to Sandefjord Municipality in 1993 by shipowner Knut Kloster.
The Finds at Gokstad

In 1880 the ‘Gokstad Ship’ was excavated from a burial mound known as ‘The King’s Mound’. It is situated at Gokstad approx. 4 km from the centre of Sandefjord. The finds were some of the richest ever made up to that date. They gave us valuable knowledge about the Vikings and their shipbuilding methods. The ship served as a burial chamber most likely for a high ranking member of the Yngling clan. The latest research dates the burial of the ship to the year 901. The Gokstad ship was built of oak and exceptionally seaworthy. This has been proven by the many copies that have been built over the years.

«Gaia» a ship dedicated to the environment was built during the winter of 1989-90 at Bjørkedalen in Sunnmøre. «Gaia» was officially named by the President of Island, Vigdis Finnbogadottir on the 19th June 1991.

On the 17th May 1991, Ragnar Thorseth and his crew sailed «Gaia» to North America to celebrate the 1000 year’s anniversary of Leiv Erikssons journey to Vinland.

Shipowner Knut Utstein Kloster of the «Gaia Ship foundation» gave the ship as a gift to Sandefjord Municipality in 1993.

Sailing with «Gaia» an exciting experience

Even today the square sails that the Vikings had on their ships are used on smaller boats in Northern Norway. It is mostly the fishermen who have kept this tradition alive.

To sail «Gaia» at full speed takes the skills of a well co-ordinated crew. Whilst sailing there must be at least 10 experienced crew members and a Captain. With the right wind Gaia can obtain high speeds and on certain occasions has reached a speed well over 10 knots. Gaia has 32 oar holes and one steering oar on the starboard side. Sailing with Gaia is an experience bought to life by the movement of the ships hull. Thousands of children and teenagers have visited the ship in Sandefjord and on other cruises Adults and older children get the chance to row and the younger ones can experience life on board.

Signal letters: LGGI

Tonnage: 26 Gross Reg. Tonnage 10 Net Reg. Tonnage

Length: 23.55 metres

Width: 5.25 metres

Height: 18 metres from waterline to top of mast.

Engine: Volvo onboard motor 57 hp. diesel

Crew: 8 when sailing 3 with engine

Passenger Certificate: Certified for up to 30 passengers

Built: 1990

Built by: Jacob D. Bjørkedal

Built at: Bjørkedalen, Sunnmøre, Norway

Registered: NOR

Ship owners: Sandefjord Municipality

Managed by: The Sandefjord Museums

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