Descendants of Vikings who were in North America a millennium ago will set sail on Lake Winnipeg this year for a voyage to Hudson Bay.

Those descendants, Winnipeggers Johann Sigurdson and David Collette, are on a hunt for traces of Norse explorers in Hudson Bay 800 years ago.

Ancient Viking sagas suggest Norse traders in narwhal and walrus tusks and polar bears may have slipped through the Northwest Passage during a brief period of global warming at the height of Viking settlements in Greenland and North America.

If they did, they may have made it as far as Hudson Bay.

“We’re looking for a Viking presence and we want to write another chapter of Viking influence in North America,” said Sigurdson, a retired federal fisheries biologist whose work took him repeatedly to Lake Winnipeg and Hudson Bay.

Along with his nephew, Collette, who holds an engineering degree, the men each have commercial pilot’s licences and years of experience on the water.

The Manitoba expedition is garnering excited interest in Iceland.