SUPPORT OUR JOURNALISM: Please consider donating to keep our website running and free for all - thank you!


King Harald and Crown Prince Haakon inspect the Norwegian Royal Yacht

Photo: Oskar Aanmoen

The summer season is officially underway for crew and officers on the Royal Norwegian Ship. On Thursday afternoon, King Harald and Crown Prince Haakon embarked the ship for inspection.

The tradition of royal embarkation dates back to 1948 when King Haakon VII received ‘Norway’ as a gift from the Norwegian people. Due to the ongoing global health emergency, the 2021 sailing programme is not yet ready, but the Royal Yacht will be seen sailing along the Norwegian coast during the summer. During the ceremony, the King inspected this year’s crew. He also examined the ship and made sure everything was as it should be before having a short chat with the captain and another military commander on board the boat. The King then declared his official approval that everything was as it should be.

Once the ceremony was over, the season is officially underway for the Royal Yacht. The King and Crown Prince were received by the Commander Geir Vidar Thorkildsen when they boarded the ship in the port of Oslo. In the recent weeks, there has been hectic work on board to get the Royal Yacht ready for this year’s season. Ropes have been replaced, the floor has been swept, the yacht has been painted, patched and sanded so that the ship will show itself from its best side. Even the engine room shines when the ship is to be inspected by His Majesty the King.

The Royal Yacht has been used for many large celebrations before. When King Harald and Queen Sonja celebrated their 60th anniversary in summer 1997, royals from all over Europe participated in the event. The guests were invited on a trip from Trondheim to Lofoten and were accommodated aboard the Royal Yacht.

The Norwegian Royal Yacht is one of the world’s two remaining royal yachts. The other is the Danish Royal Yacht, Dannebrog; the British Royal Yacht, Britannia was decommissioned in 1997. The Royal Yacht was a gift from the people of Norway to King Haakon VII in 1947, purchased in the wake of a nationwide collection effort. The ship is owned by His Majesty The King but is manned and maintained by the Royal Norwegian Navy.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written six books on historical subjects and more than 1.500 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.