Many visitors driving from Keflavik Airport into Reykjavik report seeing an ancient Viking vessel seemingly floating in midair along Faxafloi Bay. This is no mirage, but an optical illusion provided by Viking World Museum which is the proud home of Islendingur (the Icelander), a Viking replica ship completed in 1996 by shipbuilder Gunnar Marel Eggertsson.

The impressive achievement is an exact replica of a vessel discovered during an excavation in Norway in 1880. It is believed to have been built around 870. Using only tools and materials available to Vikings during this time was no small task. It took more than two years to accomplish using these traditional methods.

Is the replica ship in Viking world usable?

In the year 2000 Gunnar Marel and a crew of nine passengers aboard Islendingur embarked from Iceland. They sailed to New York and back again to celebrate 1000 years since the discovery of America by the Vikings. The ship on display in Viking world is Islendingur.

Smithsonian Institution exhibition

Viking World also hosts segments from the Smithsonian Institution’s Viking Millennium Exhibition, ‘Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga’. It sheds light on early Norse settlement and exploration.

Where there vikings in Iceland?

Yes, although Iceland was discovered late in the Viking age, there were, according to the Sagas, more than a few Icelanders that traveled to Norway to become vikings.

Have there been found viking ships in viking graves in Iceland?

No, it seems that most viking ships either fell into ruin or the wood was used as a building material for houses. Burial mounds where people were buried with smaller boats have been found, but no barrows with ships as large as Islendingur.

Is there an entrance fee to the Viking World?

Yes, adults pay 1.500 isk.

What more is there to see at Viking World?

The museum hosts four different exhibitions and has a good café.