Viking Ship Headed Towards Duluth May Be Forced to Return to Norway
A couple of months ago, I wrote about the Viking Longship Draken Harald Hårfagre, which was sailing towards Duluth in time for Tall Ships Duluth 2016. Now, it appears that some red tape has presented itself and the ship might not make it here at all.
StarTribune.com is reporting that the ship must raise $400,000 to pay for a pilot to guide it through the Great Lakes. Björn Ahlander, the ship's captain, says they are out of money and they may be forced to return to Norway without visiting Duluth or any other Great Lakes destinations that they had planned on visiting.
Tall Ships Duluth organizers are currently working on resolutions to the issue, including lobbying the U.S. Coast Guard to grant a waiver and finding more money in the budgets to help cover the cost. There is also an online petition at Change.org calling for the fees and pilot requirement to be waived.
My gut tells me they will work this out and the ship will be here. With all the money made at the Duluth festival alone, this money should be discovered in the budget if the cost is not waived altogether.