The voyage

Tønsberg - Lübeck

The SagaAsia2023 expedition is the journey of the viking ship Saga Farmann from Tønsberg, Norway to Istanbul, Turkey. The ship is a reconstruction of the Klåstad ship (980 A.D.) found in a field near Larvik. The original is now on display at Slottsfjellmuseet in Tønsberg.

The ship’s point of entrance to continental Europe is in Lübeck in Germany, and this marks the start of Saga Farmann’s journey on the waterways through Europe, from the Baltic to the Black Sea. This journey includes passing over 100 canal locks, and the majority of the journey is made up by the Rhine, Maine and Danube rivers.

Tønsberg – Lübeck (April 29-May 14)

The first two weeks we will rely on the weather, and cannot give you the exact itinerary beforehand. We are planning on crossing over to Sweden, kissing the Swedish West Coast until Varberg. From there we cross over to Denmark. If we go Storebælt, Lillebælt or Øresund, we leave to those in charge of the weather. So please stay tuned.

Follow us from Tønsberg across the Oslo fjord to Viken, and from then down to the Swedish West Coast. .

Entering the waterways of Europe

At Lübeck we prepare for the voyage on the inland waterways of Europe. The ship needs to undergo a EU certification inspection by the German authorities before we can continue.

Also, the ship needs to be set up for river and canal travelling. We need to lower the mast as some bridges are as low as 4.2 m - With the mast stored in a mast fork aft, the ship is just below 4m from waterline to top of the bow

Lübeck – Mainz (May 14-May 28)

The first section of the canal is the Elbe-Lübeck Canal. The route partly follows the old "Stecknitz Canal", which was completed in 1398 as one of the first of its kind in Europe. Saga Farmann crosses the river Elbe and continues the journey on the Elbe-Seitenkanal, known for, among other things, the "Scharnebeck" water lift, with a height of approximately 40 meters. The journey continues on the Mitteland Canal, from Braunschweig to the Dortmund-Elms Canal, from Høstel Bevergern via the city of Münster to Henrichenburg and further in the Ruhr area on the Rhine-Herne Canal to Duisburg on the Rhine.

The voyage continues upstream to the city of Mainz near Frankfurt, but in order to get there, Saga Farmann must be towed by a river barge or other suitable towing vessel.

Mainz - Regensburg

The journey from Mainz to Regensburg will take us through the canals of southern Germany. We will journey through Frankfurt, down the Reine to Wurzburg, through the historic town of Bamberg and eventually finishing our leg of the journey in Regensburg.

Mainz – Regensburg (May 28-June 11)

The river Main flows through the states of Bavaria and Hesse and is 527 km long. The Main is, together with the Mosel, the most important tributary of the Rhine. The Main–Danube Canal stretches all the way from Bamberg across Nuremberg to Kelheim, just west of Regensburg. This canal connects the two great rivers Rhine and Danube, and was completed in 1992. The largest city on the Main is Frankfurt am Main.

The name Main is actually a transliteration of the Celtic rivergod. There are many locks on this part of the journey as well, which takes place in a beautiful and varied natural landscape, passing through historic cities and witnessing the watershed between east and west.

Regensburg - Budapest

This part of the journey takes us up the Danube, Europe’s second longest river of 2,845 or 2,888km, depending on which river source is followed. The landscape here is dramatically beautiful, featuring historic towns and famous castles.

Regensburg – Budapest (June 11-25)

Saga Farmann travels through five countries as well as the capitals Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest, the latter residing on both sides of the Danube – the only of the great European rivers that flows from west to east, as opposed to east to west.

Budapest - Belgrade

On this part of the expedition Saga Farmann travels through Hungary and Croatia, before leaving the EU and arriving in Serbia.

The river Vuka joins the Danube in the town of Vukovar, northeastern Croatia, and here the wounds from the Balkan war still run deep. Saga Farmann enters the university city of Novi Sad, the second largest city in Serbia, best known for the fortress of Petrovaradin, dated back to 1237 through its mention in historic documents. The Byzanthian name for this fortress was Petrikon, probably derived from Saint Peter. Today, the name Petrovaradin is used in Serbian, Croatian and Turkish.

Budapest – Belgrade (June 25-July 9)

Here the landscape opens up on the Hungarian plain, characterized by agriculture and industry. Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, is one of Europe’s oldest cities. Archaeological excavations have shows traces of settlement as far back as 6000 B.C.E.

Belgrade - Constanta

The stretch from Belrgade to Constanta is the longest of the whole expedition. Saga Farmann follows the Danube through Serbia to Romania, which will appear on our left. A few days later Bulgaria will appear on our right. These two countries have dammed the Danube in the «Iron gates» area, but thankfully also built locks for use by Saga Farmann and other ships.

Belgrade – Constanta (July 9-23)

Large parts of this voyage are characterized by small villages, beautiful nature, agriculture and industry. The last stretch is within Romania where we can choose to use the Danube-Black Sea canal, which goes directly to Constanta.

Constanta - Istanbul

Finally, Saga Farmann sails onto the Black Sea, heading for Istanbul and Turkey. Sailing along the coast of Bulgaria, hopefully with winds from the north and east. We pass well-known holiday resorts such as Varna and Burgas.

Constanta – Istanbul (July 23-Aug 6)

After 10 weeks with the mast down and without sailing, Saga Farmann will again let the winds fill the sail and follow the coast of Romania and Bulgaria south to Turkey. We might visit many harbours on our way, and on the 5th of August we will finally end our journey in great city of MIKLAGARD (the name used by the vikings: Mikla = large, Gard = town or city).

To find us, please check on and search for 257081140 or just the name of the ship.

Istanbul (Miklagard)

After arrival from Constanta on August 5, the ship will visit different places in the area.

Istanbul (Miklagard) (August 6-20)

Saga Farmann will be sailing in the Istanbul area for two weeks.