The real Good Ship Lollipop


Last updated at 10:45 17 August 2005

It is the sort of idea that sounds as if it was dreamt up after a hard night in an Amsterdam coffee shop - building a replica Viking ship from 15million ice cream sticks.

But, whatever the inspiration, the modern Good Ship Lollipop set sail for the first time yesterday in the Dutch capital's harbour.

The 15-metre ship, which took two years and two tons of glue to build - not to mention plenty of ice-cream eating - sailed for around 90 minutes.

Weighing in at 12 metric tons, the 'Mjollnir', named after the hammer of the Norse god Thor, was rowed around the River Ij by a team of volunteers.

Before yesterday's big launch, there were fears its first voyage would also be its last. The biggest worry was that the keel might be too light and the vessel would capsize.

The ship is the brainchild of former Hollywood stuntman, Robert McDonald, who now lives in the Netherlands. 'Captain Rob', whose Sea Heart Foundation provides leisure activities for children in hospitals, hopes to sail his Viking ship across the Atlantic next year.

"That's still the ultimate goal, to sail across the Atlantic - Viking-style," said the 45-year-old.

No comments have so far been submitted. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now