Tuesday, 24 May 2011

In the Wake of The Vikings with Zegrahm

Zegrahm Expeditions is excited to announce a community-based partnership with W.I.L.D. Expeditions, an adventure education organisation dedicated to empowering our youth to be stewards of the environment through life-changing kayaking and sailing experiences.

W.I.L.D. Expeditions has recently begun work building a traditional 56-foot Viking ship to educate kids about Viking heritage and give them additional means to explore the waters of the Pacific north-west. In conjunction with Zegrahm’s July 'In the Wake of the Vikings' voyage, the adventure travel company is offering any traveller who lives in the north-west and books this upcoming voyage an exclusive tour of the Viking ship in Anacortes, Washington, including the opportunity to meet the shipbuilder himself.

In addition, for each of these bookings Zegrahm will donate $1,000 per booking to W.I.L.D. Expeditions to help complete the building of the ship and fund upcoming youth programmes.

The building of the vessel is being completed by master shipwright Jay Smith, who was recently featured on the History Channel special, “The Big Build: Viking Longboat.” Jay has gathered over 70 crooks from oak trees in Oregon for the ship's frames and pure Alaskan yellow cedar from British Columbia for planking. Studying with Scandinavian masters to perfect his trade, the ship will be traditionally built by hand, using many of the old Viking tools.

Not only will 'In the Wake of the Vikings' expose travellers to the unspoiled islands of the Faroes and the volcanic wonders of Iceland - two areas difficult to explore unaided - but Zegrahm’s expert expedition team adds an educational component by bringing the region’s cultural heritage and natural history to life. Among others, archaeologist Colleen Batey will share her stories of excavating Viking sites in Northern Scotland, Iceland and the Orkney Islands, and her work with the Smithsonian on the 'Vikings: North Atlantic Saga' exhibit.

Iceland native Ragnar Hauksson will lecture on the everyday life of Icelanders coupled with the folklore, fairy tales, and sagas. And, expedition leader and Zegrahm co-founder Mike Messick will ensure travellers make the most of their time in these northern realms with ample opportunities to explore the itinerary’s planned ports of call and several expeditionary exploits by Zodiac. Additionally, travellers will have the opportunity to:

• “Storm the beach”—via Zodiac—at Dunrobin and explore this 13th century castle and its Versailles-inspired gardens.

• Sail past seabird colonies perched on cliffs along the region’s dramatic fjords.

• Take a cliff-side hike and enjoy stunning views while learning about the volcanic geology below your feet.

• Tour (and taste!) Scotland’s best-known industry: whisky.

• Visit picturesque coastal villages still steeped in Viking tradition.

• Embark on a thrilling snowmobile ride across Europe’s largest glacier.

To learn more, visit Zegrahm’s Web site at www.zeco.com or contact the UK's leading adventure-cruise specialist agents The Cruise Line Ltd.