Draken Viking Ship at The Wharf

By Jamie Davis Smith
Vikings hold a special place in the hearts of many children (and adults) alike.  It’s rare to experience a piece of Viking culture up-close, but with the Draken in DC Viking enthusiasts have the opportunity to see a slice of Norse life up close.  

In 2016 the ship undertook a transatlantic crossing starting in Norway to relive the Viking discovery of the New World more than 1,000 years ago so crew members have no shortage of tales to tell.  

The Draken is a huge ship with plenty of hand-carved details, including an intricately carved dragon head and tail.  While on the ship, hear crew members talk about the ship’s history, explain how the ship sails around the world, and what life on board is like.  While aboard, visitors can also see how the modern crew lives. The Draken was built in modern times using the techniques and tools utilized by the Vikings.

My kids (10, 8, and 3) and I all enjoyed taking an up-close look at the ship and listening to the crew speak about the ship and their life on board.  We spent about 30 minutes on the ship, and about another 30 looking at a display about the ship and crew members and watching a short film about the ship and its journey.  

While at The Wharf grab a bite to eat at one of the many restaurants there and experience some of the other activities.  Since The Draken doesn’t sail with visitors aboard, but aspiring sailors can take a quick (and free) ride on the Water Jitney that travels between The Wharf and Potomac Park every few minutes or take a longer ride on the Water Taxi.  

77 Things to Do With Kids in Washington DC

  • The Draken will be at the Wharf DC through October 15th.
  • Visitors can board the ship daily from 10:00 am – 8:00 pm.  Tickets are for timed entry.
  • Tickets are available online or on site.  We highly recommend buying tickets in advance as many time slots sell out in advance.  
  • Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for children five and above.  Children four and below are free. Family packages for two adults and two children are $30.

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