The Hjemkomst Viking Ship, a full-scale ship modeled after the Gokstad burial ship, is located in the Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead. The ship was built in nearby Hawley, MN by Robert (Bob) Asp and a group of volunteers. After Bob’s death, his family and friends sailed the ship 6,000 miles from Duluth, MN to Oslo, Norway.
Asp, a Moorhead Junior High School guidance counselor, had shared his dreams of building a Viking ship with his brother Bjarne for years. Bob studied his Norwegian heritage and found the story of the Gokstad burial ship that had been unearthed from a burial mound near Sandefjord, Norway, in 1880.
The dream took shape in an empty potato warehouse. Over 11,000 feet of lumber for the ship was sourced and milled in Minnesota. In all, the ship took more than six years to build.
The Hjemkomst (Homecoming in Norwegian) was hauled to the Port of Duluth and a crew of 12 set out for Norway and was greeted with a hero’s welcome and a meeting with the King of Norway in Oslo. Bob’s dream had been fulfilled.