The Nordic Spirit is a late 18th- or 19th-century fishing boat from the northern fjords of Norway. It was given to the Nordic Heritage Museum by Volvo-Penta of America in 1980, after serving as an outreach tool for the Swedish company. In the early 1960s Volvo reimagined the vessel and outfitted it with Viking-style embellishments.
Today, the Nordic Heritage Museum believes that the next life of the Nordic Spirit should begin in the spring of 2009, with its display at such events as the celebration of Norway’s Constitution Day (May 17), the Northwest Folklife festival, and the Ballard Seafood Festival, culminating with the centennial celebration of the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition (AYP), to occur late in the summer of 2009. The restored Nordic Spirit will reenact the sailing of the Viking, which opened Norway Day at the AYP Exposition in 1909. The celebration of Nordic participation will be a major component of next year’s centennial retrospective. Held on the University of Washington campus, the 1909 AYP attracted 3.7 million visitors to Seattle's first World's Fair and showcased Washington State as an international city.
The Nordic Heritage Museum recognizes the restoration of the Nordic Spirit as a way to both honor the past and inspire current and future generations. The restored Nordic Spirit will be a testament to the tradition of Scandinavian shipbuilding and adaptive reuse. The vessel has already had two lives: as a Norwegian coastal fishing boat in the late 18th or 19th century, and as an interpretive reproduction in the mid-20th century. Much-needed restoration of the vessel will enhance its current role as an educational object for the Museum’s ongoing cultural programs.