The ‘Sea Stallion from Glendalough’, modelled on an actual longship which travelled from Denmark to Ireland during Viking times, began its return journey to the Danish port of Roskilde yesterday morning.
Among those attending the departure were Lord Mayor and Admiral of the Port Paddy Bourke; OPW Minister of State Martin Mansergh; National Museum of Ireland director Pat Wallace; and Roskilde Viking Ship Museum director Tinna Damgärd-Sorenseon.
After farewell messages from the dignitaries present, cheers from the crowd and a traditional piper, the 65-strong crew boarded the ship in preparation for their return journey.
“Ireland has a rich Viking heritage and the arrival of the Sea Stallion to Ireland has regenerated interest in this heritage,” said Mr Mansergh.
“This magnificent ship symbolises the shared history of Ireland and Denmark and will continue to link in friendship and community, both our peoples and countries now and into the future.”
To mark the departure of the boat, a Viking festival took place in the city over the weekend, attracting thousands of visitors who soaked up the medieval atmosphere, sampled delicacies from the farmers’ food market and watched battle re-enactments at Wood Quay.
The return voyage to Denmark is expected to take about six weeks to complete.
The Sea Stallion arrived in Dublin last August and was put on display at the National Museum at Collins Barracks.